Ep05: How to Develop ‘Obstacle Immunity’ | with Spartan Race founder Joe de Sena


Grit. Determination. Perseverance. Are these qualities you can build, or are you just born with them? In today’s episode I interview the founder and CEO of The Spartan Race Joe De Sena. We discuss his background starting several businesses (including being a pool boy for the mob as well as making women’s clothing), why and how he started the Spartan Race, and most importantly, how to build obstacle immunity and apply it to anything in your life to become more successful.

Even if you have no interest in obstacle course racing, this interview can and will inspire you to make changes in your life to better yourself and perhaps push you out of your comfort zone. 

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

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Useful Resources Mentioned:

The Spartan Race

FiP Ep19: “Becoming Weekend Warriors”

FiP Ep22: “Spartan Race Wrap-Up”

FiP Ep28: “Weekend Warrior Update”

Christopher Rush, “The Ultimate Spartan”

The Spartan Up! Podcast

Spartan Up! The Book

Our Generous Sponsors:

This episode is made possible by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat, my #1 recommendation for anyone interested in moving more at their height-adjustable workstation. Listen, standing desks are only great if you’re standing well, otherwise you’re constantly fighting fatigue and chronic pain. Not like any other anti-fatigue mat, the Topo is scientifically proven to help you move more throughout the day which helps reduce discomfort and also increase your focus and productivity. And they’re really fun and a great conversation starter.

This episode is made possible by the HumanCharger,  a revolutionary new light therapy device made specifically for people who spend long days in the dark and don’t get enough sunlight…i.e. You and me. Simply put in the earbuds for 12 minutes a day to receive your daily recommended dosage of UV-free white light. Doing so can drastically increase your energy, improve your mood, and increase mental alertness and focus.This device has literally changed my life and I use it every morning without fail. Use the code ‘OPTIMIZE’ to get 20% off your order.

Guest Bio:

 Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Joe De Sena is the founder and CEO of Spartan Race, Inc. De Sena has been an entrepreneur since his pre-teens. From selling fireworks at age 8, to starting a t-shirt business in high school, to building a multimillion-dollar pool business in college, to creating a Wall Street trading firm, De Sena is a living definition of “entrepreneur.” De Sena is the New York Times bestselling author of SPARTAN UP! A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life and SPARTAN FIT! 30 Days. Transform Your Mind. Transform Your Body. Commit to Grit. He is also the host of the Spartan Up! Podcast, available on iTunes, Stitcher and YouTube. For information about a Spartan Race in your area, visit www.spartan.com.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared and published by Jakin Rintelman. Special thanks to Krystle Penhall and Sarah Furie for helping to spread the love!

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).


Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, and the creator of the Optimize Yourself program. Zack helps ambitious creative professionals and entrepreneurs overcome procrastination, depression, and creative burnout so they can get sh*t done and achieve the most meaningful goals in their lives...without sacrificing their sanity in the process. If you’re interested in learning how to better manage your time, your energy, and develop ninja-like focus, download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”

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