How to Train for a Savage Race

Hi my name is Cassandra Cardona (Follow on Instagram). I currently live in the Tampa Bay area, and I am a fitness fanatic. I am a nurse, and I work for the VA Hospital her in Tampa. I have been working out since I was 24 years old, I may not be a certified trainer but when it comes to working out, I know my stuff. As I have aged, I have noticed that I have had to change the type of workouts I do, but also the intensity of how I work out. I love to strength train, but I hate cardio. With that being said, my distain for cardio has finally caught up with me. At 44 years old, my body doesn’t snap back the way it used to in my 30’s.

This is me: 

It came time for me to make the most of my time at the gym and also switch up my normal 3-4 days of training body parts. I have now switched to completing a full body workout each day, and doing this in a circuit with a burst of cardio between exercises. WOW, what a difference. My body has become stronger and I have more stamina than ever before.

Here I am again: 

My sister is 3 years younger than me, and has always come to me with her fitness questions and concerns. She has 3 kids all under 5 and finds herself gaining weight and having no energy. I can totally empathize with her. I am a single parent, I work full time and also attend college full time. There just seems to be less and less time, and no energy. So, last year she completed her first “Savage Race.” Not sure what a Savage Race? Watch this:

I was so incredibly proud of her, but also slightly envious. I can’t believe she had the guts to do it, I mean WOW. My sister kept telling me, “I wish you were there, you would have appreciated it.” So, she asked me to do the Savage Race with her in March of 2015. And, well, the rest is history. We have been training like crazy ever since. I am no runner, by any means, nor am I a lunatic who wants to go out there and hurt myself. However, I am a great supporter of my sister Angela, and well if she can do it, then I can do it. If I can help her accomplish her goals, then why not right? No guts, no glory.

So, now you know a little bit about me and why I have decided to write this blog. I want to try and help other men and women, who for some reason or another maybe are intimidated by fitness or gyms all together. I was there once, but one thing is for sure, you can’t make the changes you want to see without putting in the work to make them happen. If you would like to follow us on our journey to the Savage Race please do so. If you would like to ask me questions or advice, please let me know and if I can help in any way, I am happy to do so. Today we did a workout that was “light” for us. My light day, may be a heavy day for some or a cake walk for others. That is the great thing about fitness, you can customize it to you, your goals, and your level. The sky is the limits people, don’t forget that. Set goals, and you will get there.

Today we completed these exercises. Please keep in mind, we did not stop in between exercises. It was not stop from one exercise to the next. Watch the video below, and you can read more in depth about the exercises under the video. 


Please complete 25 reps each leg/3 sets in total. Starting off in a lunge position, you will go forward and lunge, push back and immediately go into a side lunge, followed with a reverse lunge. These burn like crazy but are crucial for shaping your legs. Your glutes and hamstrings will be burning, but that is exactly what you want.

Curtsy Lunge

Make sure that you are in the correct position, keep your abs in nice and tight. Curtsy to the left or right depending on which leg you start with and then tap your foot at the top and complete 25 each leg/3 sets total. This is another great leg work out to shape and tone the entire leg.

Ab Crunches

We completed these on a piece of gym equipment. Hoisted up and holding our abs in tight you can either bend your legs straight out while crunching in your abs or you can curl your legs into your abs, either way works fine. I alternated both types with a total of 40 reps/3sets.

Side Abdominal Crunches

We used a 25lb plate and holding your abs in nice and tight, crunch to your left and or to your right. Let the weight pull you down as you control your body movement, and then crunch the weight up until you are in a standing position. 10-15 reps/3sets

Decline Push Up

With your legs up against a wall, get in the pushup position and complete a push up. You will notice that the pushup is more difficult to complete because all of your weight is going towards your upper body, but all the better. This exercise is great for the rear deltoid area, your biceps, triceps and abs. 10-15 reps/3sets

Decline Tap Push Up

For those of you who want more of a challenge, you can do the same move except after each pushup you tap an alternating shoulder. What fun. 10-15 reps/3 sets

Wall Pull Ups

Find a wall that is at least half of your height. In my case I’m only 5 feet tall so that isn’t a problem. Just pull yourself up as if you were going to pull yourself over. These are maneuvers that we will have to complete at the Savage Race so that is why we are doing them. It’s great for your shoulders, triceps and back.


I didn’t know what else to call these, but during the race we need to crawl on our stomachs under barbed wire. Completing this exercise is crucial for us, there is more than one time this maneuver comes up. We crawled approximately 50 feet. 2 sets total counting back and forth.

Jumping Squats

Starting in your normal squat position, you just squat and lunge forward and don’t stop until you get to your stopping point, then you turn around and go back. 50 feet/2 sets total back and forth.

Check the routine out on Instagram: 

A video posted by Cassandra (@cassandra_cardona) on

By the end of this day, we were spent. The strength training followed with the bursts of cardio are great at shocking the body and confusing your muscles. That is a sure way of toning and defining the muscle. I try my hardest not to live by the dreaded scale. Muscle weights more than fat, with that being said, it’s much more beneficial to take measurements of your arms, chest, waist, hips and legs so you can see the difference. Obviously, when your clothes start to fit you differently, YOU KNOW it’s working.

One thing to remember, you cannot spot train. Meaning, you can’t just loose fat or flab on your legs or arms or even your abs. If you want to see changes, give yourself some time. Set goals and constantly challenge yourself, that way you don’t get tired with your workout. Workout at a different gym once in a while, just tag along with a friend, or workout outside. Everything helps. Listen, you are worth it. The health benefits to working out are endless, we can discuss that another day.

Hope this workout has helped you get some ideas, you are welcome to use it.

By: Cassandra Cardona


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