SavageRace Savage Anywhere: The Athena Challenge Workouts


The Savage Anywhere challenge is a 28 day challenge designed to help you prepare for your Savage Race event. To participate in the challenge, you can follow this link to register. Registered participants will receive an Athena Challenge shirt and Savage Anywhere medal upon completion, and the completion will count towards Savage Syndicate eligibility. Read the full details and rules for Savage Anywhere.

You are now on the workout page for Savage Anywhere, The 2022 Athena Challenge. You have 28 days to complete the following 14 challenges, so take rest days as needed.

Equipment suggested: All of the movements may be scaled for athletes without access to fitness equipment. However, the experience is enhanced if you have access to dumbbells, a jump rope, a pull-up bar, and a heavy backpack, sandbag, or other heavy object.

Download the Savage Anywhere challenge log to keep track of your workouts.

Savage Anywhere MMXXII

 It’s time Savages!  New year, new beginning, new goals, new Savage Race locations and a new set of Savage Anywhere challenges that will get you ready for your best race season yet.  The Savage Anywhere theme for 2022 is the Greek Olympians:  Athena, Zeus, Artemis and Poseidon.  At the center of Greek mythology is the pantheon of deities who were said to live on Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece. They reigned above all the other gods in Greek mythology.  From their perch, these principal gods ruled every aspect of human life. Olympian gods and goddesses looked like men and women though they could change themselves into animals and other things.  Olympians were also–as many myths recounted–vulnerable to human foibles and passions. Each of them has one or more domains or areas of rule and the people of Ancient Greece sought their blessing and favor and to honor them in daily life. Savages, whether you seek the favor of the gods or seek to impress them, Savage Anywhere: The Olympians is your opportunity to rise and conquer.  Let’s get after it.


Athena is the Olympian goddess of wisdom and war and the adored patroness of the city of Athens. A virgin deity, she was also associated with peace and handicrafts, especially spinning and weaving. Majestic and stern, Athena surpassed everybody in both of her main domains and all Greek heroes sought her for help and advice.  They knew that while she was known to be skilled in creative talent, when the time came to fight a war, Athena was always found in the front of the battle, winning.  In the Athena series we will be focusing on mobility and core along with endurance development, both muscular and cardiovascular. These are key ingredients in the recipe for winning.  We will also be sharpening up on some skill movements as well as continuing to improve on the movements we dislike.  Why? Because Athena said so. 

Athena I      

For time:
.5 mile run
100 Thrusters
5 Burpees to start and on at the top of each even minute (min 2, min 4, min 6, etc)
0.5 mile run


Barbell Thrusters      M: 95     W: 75
Dumbbell Thrusters  M: 35s   W: 25s

 Scale weight as needed


Athena II

Two DB’s or KB’s needed

5 Rounds for Time:
50 yd Single Arm DB Overhead+Farmers Carry
Walking Lunges – 25 yd position 1, 25 yd position 2
20 Hand Release Push Ups

Position 1

Position 2


At go the athlete begins walking lunges with a dumbbell in the overhead position with one arm and a dumbbell in the farmers carry position with the other arm (as pictured).  At the 25 yd mark, the athlete switches arm positions to the opposite of the first position and resumes the walking lunges 25 yds back to the start.  From there the athlete completes 20 hand release push-ups.  This is one round.  Continue until five rounds are complete. 

Single Arm DB Overhead+Farmers Carry Walking Lunges
M: 25’s       W: 15’s 

Scale weight as needed

The keys to this challenge are to make sure the core is solid and the overhead weight is stable for each rep of walking lunge, keeping the arm straight, elbow locked, and pressing the shoulder to the ear.  The shoulder of the farmers carry arm should be slightly back with the lat engaged.  As fatigue sets in, a pause or touch-step at the top of each lunge may be needed to maintain stability and control.  A brief rest before each 25 yd set is not a bad idea to prevent mid set failure.   


Athena III

Warm up:  1 mile run

Part A
5 x 10 @ 125% of bodyweight
90 sec rest between sets (important) 

If using lighter weight, increase reps.  Ex: bodyweight=15 reps per set, 75% of bodyweight=20 reps per set, keeping 90 sec rest between sets

Sets should be unbroken touch-and-go, mixed grip (barbell) allowed. 

Part B

30 Min AMRAP

10 Hanging Knees to Elbows
40 Double Unders or 80 Single Unders
200 yd run

Scale:  Hanging Knee Raises


At go the athlete begins with 10 hanging knees to elbows followed by 40 double unders or 80 single unders and then a 200 yd run.  Complete as many rounds/reps of this sequence as possible in 30 minutes. For hanging knees to elbows, the knees must touch the elbow to count as a rep.  Kipping movement is allowed for hanging knees to elbows and/or hanging knee raises.  


Athena IV

 Part A

3 Rounds

10 Alt DB Hang Clean and Jerk
20 Single DB Box/Ledge Step Ups     Multiple step up options (see video)

Advanced  M: 50lb       W: 35lb
Scaled      M: 35lb      W: 20lb


Part B

10 Rounds

15 sec on, 45 sec off: 40 ft Shuttle Sprint

 At go, the athlete sprints to the 40 ft line, touches the ground, returns to the start, touches the ground and continues this sequence, maintaining sprint speed, for 15 seconds before stopping to rest.  Ground touches should be counted to keep track of pace.  After a 45 second rest, the athlete begins the same shuttle sprint/rest sequence for a total of 10 rounds, counting touches each round with a goal of ‘losing’ as few touches as possible between rounds 1 and round 10.  Post up your round 1 and round 10 touch counts! 

Athena V

Part A

Winter Ruck

Choose your distance:
Blitz Version:    3 miles
Race Version:  6 miles
50 Air Squats at the end of each mile (including the last)

Ruck or Backpack weight:   30-40lb if you weigh more than 150lbs, 20-30lb if you weigh less than 150lbs

Savage Races are held pretty much year ‘round so you never know what the weather will be.  38 degrees and pouring rain in Texas?   Yep.  Upper 90’s with stifling July humidity in Chicago?  That too.  And everything in between.  Savages brave not only the world’s best obstacles but some pretty severe weather at times.  If you want to train outside only when it’s perfect weather, good for you, stick to your 5k Turkey Trots.  If you want to be a Savage, layer up, hydrate, stretch and get after it, no matter what the weather app says.   


Part B

Dead Hangs

5 sets max effort (time)

Set 1- overhand grip
Set 2- underhand grip
Set 3- overhand grip
Set 4- underhand grip
Set 5- mixed grip


Athena VI

For Time:

5   Pull Ups
50 DB Goblet Squat
5   Pull Ups
50 DB Russian Twist
5   Pull Ups
50 Alt DB Power Snatch
5   Pull Ups
50 Supermans w/one sec hold at top
5   Pull Ups
50 DB Cossack Squat
5   Pull Ups
50 Double Unders/100 Single Unders
5   Pull Ups
50 Burpee over DB
5   Pull Ups


DB Weight:
Advanced  M: 40lb       W: 25lb
Scaled       M: 25lb      W: 15lb


This workout can be done in a small space with a single DB or KB, a rope and a pull up bar.  A thorough warm up is key with an emphasis on mobility of the hips and some good stretches for the back. Kipping is allowed for pull ups and Jumping Pull Ups, Ring Rows, or Low Bar Pull Ups can be used as scaled options.  Below are some good mobility and back stretches.  


Pigeon Pose Stretch

Samson Stretch

Lower Back Stretches


Athena VII

15 min AMRAP

1 Devil Press
1 Renegade Row (L and R= 1 rep)
1 Sit Up

2 Devil Presses
2 Renegade Rows
2 Sit Ups

3 Devil Presses
3 Renegade Rows
3 Sit Ups


Continue progression, adding 1 rep each movement per round

DB Weight:

M: 40lb       W: 25lb
Scaled       M: 25lb      W: 15lb


At ‘go’ the athlete performs a single devil press followed by a single renegade row followed by a single sit up.  From there the athlete performs two of each movement, followed by three of each, etc, adding a single rep to each movement per round until the clock reaches 15 minutes. Score is rounds and reps. 

Devil Press-keep the dumbbells wide on the ground so that the chest touches the ground in a deficit position between the dumbbells each rep.  The push up press should finish with the athlete hopping forward and landing in a wide stance, almost to where the toes are even with the back of the dumbbells.  Keeping a grasp of the dumbbells, shift the weight back, slightly dragging the dumbbells until they lift off the ground and swing backward between the legs before being thrust upward, finishing with the arms locking out overhead.  The dumbbells are then lowered back to the ground to begin the next rep. 

Renegade Rows-the athlete begins in the push up plank position with hands on the dumbbells in parallel position on the ground.  The athlete pulls one dumbbell up and back toward the hip, keeping the shoulders square to the ground and flexing the lat while maintaining a tight core, then lowers the dumbbell back to the same position on the ground.  The athlete performs the same row with the other arm.  A left and right row equals one rep.  NOTE:  No push up is required between rows. 

Sit up-the athlete begins in a seated position on the ground, knees bent, soles and heels pressed flatly together.  The athlete leans backward until the back is flat on the ground and arms extend overhead to touch the ground before ‘throwing’ the arms forward, generating momentum to lift the torso back up to the seated position.  The athlete finishes the movement by touching both feet with the hands.  


Athena VIII

1 mile run/2000m row/4000m bike (choose one)

8 Rounds for Time:
20 Burpee Broad Jumps (progressive or in place)
20 Alt DB Front Rack Lunges (10 each side)
3 Wall Walks
10 Air Squats at the top of each minute

Cool down 1 mile run-moderate pace

DB Weights:
Advanced  M: 40lb       W: 25lb
Scaled       M: 25lb      W: 15lb

 Following a 1 mile run, at ‘go’ the athlete begins with 20 burpee broad jumps.  These consist of a burpee followed by a standing broad jump with both movements equaling one rep.  These can be completed in an ‘out and back’ fashion – 10 progressive reps then reversing and doing 10 progressive reps back to the starting position OR in an ‘in place’ fashion – 1 rep then reverse for 1 rep back to the starting position for a total of 20 reps.  From there, the athlete picks up the two dumbbells, performs a clean to bring them to the front rack position and proceeds with 20 alternating in-place lunges, 10 each side.  Finally, the athlete performs 3 wall walks.  A full wall walk consists of the athlete ‘walking’ all the way to the wall once in the vertical position and touching the wall with the chest, then ‘walking’ back out until the feet, legs and the chest are resting on the ground.  The basic scaled version of the wall walk consists of the athlete beginning in the resting position, feet, legs and chest on the ground, then performing a push up. From there, the athlete holds the push up plank position while placing both feet on the wall.  This equals one rep of the basic scaled version.  The progression of the wall walk standard is when the athlete attempts to ‘walk’ toward the wall when in the vertical position as far as possible before reversing and ‘walking’ back out to the resting position.  Prior to starting the workout the athlete should determine what standard of wall walk they are attempting and strive to hold to that standard for the entire workout.  To clarify:  the scaled version of the wall walk is any version from the basic ‘hold and back down’ movement to any number of ‘walks’ toward the wall without touching the wall with the chest.  Watching the clock, the athlete should pause at the top of each minute and perform 10 air squats, making sure to reach the parallel level or below at the bottom of the squat before picking up where he/she left off.  This sequence is performed for 8 full rounds. Score is time.  After a brief rest, the athlete completes a 1 mile run at moderate (conversational) pace.   


Athena IX

Part A
Front Squats – Dumbbell or Barbell
5 x 10
90 sec rest between sets

Dumbbell Weights:
Advanced  M: 50lb       W: 35lb
Scaled       M: 35lb      W: 20lb

Barbell Weights:
Advanced  M: 135lb     W: 95lb
Scaled       M: 115lb    W: 75lb


Part B

For time: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
Modifed Rope Climbs
Single DB Box/Ledge Step Ups     

30 Second Elbow Plank Hold in between each round with a max effort (time) plank hold after the final round (of 1 rep)

Two part score:  Time 1: time through final round of 1 rep, and Time 2: max plank hold time

DB Weight:
Advanced  M: 50lb       W: 35lb
Scaled  M: 35lb      W: 20lb


At ‘go’ the athlete performs 10 modified rope climbs followed by 10 single dumbbell box/ledge step ups followed by a 30 second standard elbow plank hold. From there the athlete performs 9 of each of the two movements followed by another 30 second standard elbow plank hold.  This pattern is repeated (8 reps, 7 reps, 6 reps, etc) until the athlete completes 1 rep of each movement followed by a final max effort plank hold.  Clock time is noted after the final round of 1 rep for score 1.  Max effort plank hold begins immediately after the final round. This is score 2.   


Modified rope climb – the athlete can scale this movement based on the degree of knee bend (see video).  Both feet should remain in the same place during the rep.  Keep the hands close to the body throughout the hand-over-hand pull sequence.  Minimal to moderate distance reaches ensure that the athlete stays in the ‘power zone’ and doesn’t over-exert the lats and biceps with long reaches.    

Single DB box/ledge step ups – multiple options offered for the hold position of the DB (see video).  Box or ledge should be at least knee height with advanced standards of 24” for men and 20” for women. The athlete must open the hips at the top into a full, upright extension, standing straight up.

Elbow plank hold – standard position plank with the legs and torso held in a straight position throughout the hold.  All muscles of the body should be flexed during the hold.


Athena X

Deck of Cards

Numbered cards 2-10 = complete the number of reps on the card that is drawn

Face Cards
Jacks = 20 Push Ups
Queens = 10 Burpees
Kings = 20 Double Unders or 40 Single Unders or if no jump rope -40 Line Hops
Aces = 200 yd run


Clubs = Inchworm Walkout with Push Up Keep the legs as straight as possible, hinging at the hip as you ‘walk’ out.  Push up at the end before ‘walking’ back up.  

Spades = Jumping DB Lunges Keep the core tight each rep, landing with some width to ensure stability during the landing and lunge.  Up and down once each leg = 1 rep.

Recommended DB weights:          M:  35lb W:  20lb     Scale as needed

Diamonds = Hand Stand Push Ups .  Strict, Kipping or Scaled (as seen in the video).  Additional option:  Floor Seated Dumbbell Press – must be floor seated, no bench or back support. Same weight as Jumping DB Lunges.

Hearts = – Toes to BarKipping or strict.  Additional option:  Hanging Knee Raises


Shuffle up and enjoy this chipper Savages. A total of eight different movements to test stamina, strength, skill and cardio.  Watch the videos of the movements if you’re unfamiliar as they demonstrate and explain pretty well.. As always, scaled versions and weights are always options.  Get after it!



Athena XI

Part A

Thrusters (barbell or dumbbell)
Pull Ups 

Barbell Thrusters  M: 95         W: 75
Dumbbell Thrusters  M: 35         W: 25

Scale weight as needed.

A classic push pull routine that remains a standard of fitness for short version WODs.  This workout should be between 2 minutes 30 seconds and 9 minutes (depending on pull up option) at full intensity.  No half effort, no zone 2 heart rate.  One strategy here: go hard.


At ‘go’ the athlete performs 21 thrusters followed by 21 pulls ups (or any one of the scaled pull up options), then goes directly into the round of 15 thrusters and 15 pull ups and then finishes with 9 of each movement in the same order.  Score is final time of all three rounds.  Thrusters can be barbell or dumbbell. The athlete must reach parallel or below with the hip crease at the bottom of the squat and full extension of arms overhead at the top. Pull up options can be strict (fully extended arms to chin above the bar), kipping (again, fully extended arms with chin reaching over the bar with a hip kip, butterfly or any of the scaled options:  Jumping Pull Ups, Ring Rows, or Low Bar Pull Ups

 Ultimate goal:  unbroken for all three rounds, both movements. That’s high level fitness and skill.  Note:  unbroken doesn’t mean fast.  Reps can be steady and deliberate to keep the athlete from ‘red-lining’ so hard that he/she burns out.  We will re-visit this workout in an upcoming Savage Anywhere Challenge.  Make sure you’re ready to crush your previous or first time. When done right, your lungs will feel like they were filled with lava.  They’ll cool down, and you will be one step closer to being in the best shape of your life.    


Part B

Athena Plank Sequence
30 sec Elbow Plank Hold
30 sec Forearm Plank to Push Up Plank
30 sec Plank Jacks
30 sec Side Plank Hold
30 sec Plank Shoulder Taps
30 sec Side Plank Hold (opposite first side)

1 min rest

Repeat x 4 (total of 5 rounds)


Core is crucial.  It is the foundation of whatever we seek to build and become as athletes.  If it’s not solid, we will not reach peak potential and we will not hit short term or long term goals.  While core work is often built in to many movements, lifts and exercises, a core-only session is good for the body.  And soul.  Tighten up Savages.  Hold those positions.  Stick the posture.  Grit it out.  Savage to the core.  


Athena XII

Cardio HIIT

Athlete’s choice of movement (pick one):  Run, Row, Ski Erg, Indoor Cycle, Outdoor Bicycle, Burpees

Start with a full Dynamic Warm Up Routine

Note for this video:  For the 3 way leg swing (beginning of routine), stabilizing the body by holding a pole, rack or wall is recommended if you have not done these before. 

Following a thorough warm up, proceed with the following work/intensity/rest sequence for the selected cardio movement above.    

15 Rounds
35 seconds near maximum (90%) effort
45 seconds rest

The first 5 seconds of each work segment should be the build up to 90% effort intensity of the movement to ensure 30 full seconds at near max effort.  The later rounds should be very difficult so remember, it’s not a certain speed or pace you are trying to reach each round, it is effort level.  This workout is beneficial only if the athlete performs the work segment at that intensity mark.  This is a short duration challenge (less than 20 minutes) but can be a great tool to help increase the amount and efficiency in which the body utilizes oxygen.  Stay focused, keep track of your rounds, take deep breaths during the rest segment and go to work Savages.  It will pay off.  


Athena XIII

For time:

10 Burpees
1 Macho Man Complex
10 Burpees
2 Macho Man Complex
10 Burpees
3 Macho Man Complex
10 Burpees
2 Macho Man Complex
10 Burpees
1 Macho Man Complex

 Macho Man Complex: 3 power cleans, 3 front squats, 3 push jerks.  Dumbbell or Barbell.

Dumbbell Macho Man Complex

Barbell Macho Man Complex

Dumbbell Weights:
Advanced  M: 50lb       W: 35lb
Scaled      M: 35lb      W: 20lb

Barbell Weights:
Advanced  M: 135lb     W: 95lb
Scaled       M: 115lb    W: 75lb

At ‘go’ the athlete performs 10 burpees.  From there the athlete performs a single Macho Man Complex consisting of 3 power cleans, 3 front squats and 3 push jerks (all 9 reps of movement = 1 complex).  The power cleans are ground to shoulder, dumbbell or barbell.  The weights must touch the ground each rep of the power cleans.  The athlete’s hip crease should reach parallel or below on the front squats.  For the push jerks, start with a dip and drive with the legs as the weights move from shoulder to overhead (see videos).  This completes the first round.  The second round begins with 10 burpees and continues with 2 full Macho Man complexes (total of 18 reps of movement).  The third round is 10 burpees followed by 3 Macho Man complexes (total of 27 reps of movement).  The fourth round is 10 burpees and 2 Macho Man complexes and the final round is 10 burpees and 1 Macho Man complex.  Score is time.  Scale weight as needed. 

Notes:  Macho Man Complex breakdown-

Power Cleans: as the weight is pulled up, drop into a quarter squat and ‘meet’ the weights (bar or dumbbells) with the shoulders instead of having them plop onto the shoulders.  From there the athlete stands upright and opens the hips fully to complete the rep. 

Dumbbell Power Clean

Barbell Power Clean

Front Squats:  keep the back straight and the head up for each rep, preventing the weights from pulling you forward and down.  This will become increasingly difficult as fatigue sets in so the athlete must keep focus in order to maintain proper form. 

Push Jerk:  this is a skill movement that involves a dip-drive-dip-catch sequence.  If the athlete is not familiar or proficient with this movement, a simple dip-drive Push Press is allowed.  This allows the legs to help drive the weights up from the shoulders where the shoulders will complete the rep with arms fully extended overhead and legs straight. 


R.I.P. Macho Man Randy Savage 1952-2011


Athena XIV

For time:

5 Burpees

5 Burpees
10 DB Romanian Deadlifts

5 Burpees
10 DB Romanian Deadlifts
20 Push Ups

5 Burpees
10 DB Romanian Deadlifts
20 Push Ups
40 Sit Ups

5 Burpees
10 DB Romanian Deadlifts
20 Push Ups
40 Sit Ups
80 Double Unders (160 Single Unders)

5 Burpees
10 DB Romanian Deadlifts
20 Push Ups
40 Sit Ups
80 Double Unders (160 Single Unders)
160 Air Squats


DB Weights (RDL’s):
Advanced  M: 35lb       W: 20lb
Scaled  M: 20lb      W: 10lb


Welcome to the final workout of the Athena Challenge.  Congratulations Savages for pushing through and finishing what you started.  This WOD consists of 6 rounds with the first round of 1 movement, each round adding a new movement and ends with a final round of 6 movements.  A total of 315 reps.  The final movement of the final round is a doozie – 160 air squats.  Kinda like what you’d find in a Savage Race – some of the toughest obstacles are toward the end of the course, proving that it doesn’t get easier just because you’re near the finish.  On the contrary.  It takes guts, grit, good form and some gas in the tank to finish strong.  One of the objectives of the Savage Anywhere Challenges is to prepare and equip Savages for what it takes to conquer a course of the World’s Best Obstacles.  That’s why everyone loves our finisher medals.  They symbolize the Savage spirit.  You gotta earn it though.  Take a deep breath and settle in for this one Savages.  Finish strong. 



Romanian Deadlifts-reps should not be too fast, steady up and steady down.  Push the hips back and keep the knees slightly bent.

Sit Ups- lumbar support is recommended (can be a cushion, pillow, etc).  Touch the ground overhead at the top and touch the feet after rising. 

Air Squats- hip crease should reach parallel or below at the bottom, legs should be straight with fully open hips at the top.  Arms can counterbalance in any forward position but should not touch the thighs.  



This completes The Athena Challenge. Congratulations! You earned it.

Upon completion of The Athena challenge, paid participants may fill out this form to claim their earned Athena Challenge T-shirt and medal.


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