David Magida – Interview

David Magida is in position to make a run at the first place spot at every Spartan Race he runs this year. Having already taken first place in back to back days in Georgia(2014) he has all the signs of a great year in the making.  But not only is he one of the best Spartan Racers, he is opening his own gym this coming summer in DC.  See below what makes David unstoppable:


Racer Profile davidmagida4-small

Name: David Magida
Age: 27
Height: 6ft
Weight: 180lbs
Hometown/current: Washington, DC
Sponsors: Spartan Race, OCR Gear

Who do you see as your inspiration?  Why? 
I was always inspired by Steve Prefontaine. The guy defied the odds with a non-prototypical body type and raced with pure guts. His aggression in races made watching track exciting. And his hunger to win was second to none.

I’m also inspired by my friend David “Highland Cow” Mick. Because despite all odds, his shortcomings, and lack of athleticism, he is about to compete in the Death Race. Simply amazing.

I too will be running the 2014 Summer Death Race. And I’m going for the win!

Do you think Prefontaine would have won gold?
It’s debatable. He was an incredible talent but his main competition for gold was Lasse Viren, who was fairly young and was essentially his contemporary. Viren went on to win Gold in the 5000m and 10000m in 1976. He’s one of the greatest Olympians of all time so it’s hard to argue against him. One thing is for sure. They would have had some epic battles had Pre not been killed in a car accident at the age of 24.

Are you currently sponsored? If so who and how has the experience been?
Being sponsored by Spartan Race has been a dream come true. To travel the country and represent such a massive brand, especially one who’s lifestyle I live on a daily basis, I couldn’t be happier. They’re so supportive. Everyone on the Spartan Race staff is incredible. The company has such a positive mentality.

What are your goals for the upcoming year?
My goal for the upcoming year is really just to improve overall as an athlete and win as many races as possible. I’m not going to worry about the Points Series this year. Now that I’ve got a couple wins under my belt for the year, the pressure is off and I can just focus on running well.

What has been the highlight of your career?
The highlight of my career is without question, my victory at the New Jersey Super Spartan. I had to beat out a very deep field of talented athletes to garner the first Saturday victory of my career. Winning on Saturday in Georgia was also a huge accomplishment but nothing is ever quite like that first win.

Tell me about your most embarrassing moment in racing?
Going into the World Championships last year I was on an 8-race podium streak, and having won the New Jersey race just 2 weeks earlier. There was a lot of hype, a lot of media attention and I bought into it a bit too much. I believed myself to be a contender and wasn’t shy about voicing my opinion about it. Of course, the race went wrong for me from the jump and I ended up hyperextending my knee and fighting horrible cramps over the course of the entire race. I limped in outside the top 30 for by far worst finish of my career.

What is the most difficult obstacle in any race you have run?
I think many would agree that the sandbag carry in Vermont this year was the most difficult obstacle they’ve ever faced. I’d have to agree. The 60 lbs weight was 50% heavier than usual and the climb was 800m up and another 800m back down. I felt like I was just crawling with that thing.

What do you see for the future of adventure racing?  Olympics? 
Olympics is a possibility for the sport. I always figured we would go the route of the X-Games first, then graduate up to the Olympics. One idea I had was to make a push for the Winter Olympics. There’s less competition to get into it and Cross Country has been rumored to be in the conversation for potential Winter Olympic Sports. It could be an interesting way to get the sport to the Olympics faster.

David Magida

Favorite Pre-race food?
Before races, my preference is to eat a bagel with either cream cheese or peanut butter and a banana with honey. Not sure why cream cheese works but I always feel great after eating it. Any other dairy, that’s not the case.

I read about your new gym that is opening in DC, tell me about your motivation for training people in a different way than standard gyms?
My facility is called “Elevate Interval Fitness.” We focus on High Intensity Interval Training to enhance functional fitness and increase athleticism in our clients. I’ve always had a passion for fitness but felt the fitness world needed more options than Big Box gyms and CrossFit. When I got the opportunity to open my own facility, I analyzed the current fitness market and found a nice middle ground that is perfect for the average person all the way up to elite athletes. I’m living proof that it can work with athletes. We also will be teaching Spartan Group X classes, which is exciting for me because I can share my love of OCR with the DC community and give them the training and racing tips they need to excel in the sport.

Tell me more about the Spartan Group X classes – what are some of the core concepts and exercises?
It’s based on all the principles that make Spartan Race. It’s designed to teach you to be physically and mentally ready for anything you encounter. It mainly involves bodyweight work, running, and animal flow techniques. But it’s my opportunity to really use my imagination as well as we take people out of the gym and create urban obstacle courses.

When will your gym be opening?
We’re somewhat hindered in knowing our opening date as we wait for construction permits, but we anticipate a launch by early summer. It would behoove DC locals to jump on board with us early to get some of the phenomenal discounts that we’re offering! We are hosting the DC Spartan Workout on May 3. You can register here: http://www.spartanraceworkout.com/locations/5-3-14-washington-d-c.html

Tell me about some of your other interests outside of racing?
Outside of racing I do a lot of traveling. Many are surprised to find that I actually used to have a big boy job working in public affairs in DC. Part of my job was being very up to date with what was going on in the news so I tend to keep myself up to date with current events. In the summer, I spend a lot of time out on my boat wakeboarding and wake surfing. Other than that I’m pretty normal. I enjoy a nice beer and a good meal with friends.

What’s your favorite beer or type of beer?
Chimay. I’m a big fan of Trappist ales, but the truth is I don’t discriminate much on beer. I’m happy to drink whatever is on special. So often that’s a Yuengling or a Fat Tire. Whatever the beer may be, I think beer is highly underrated in recovery. That’s right. I said recovery. A beer or two serves as a natural muscle relaxant and has plenty of carbs. Just don’t make a habit of overdoing it.



How many hours a week do you train?  
Last year I trained a lot more. But my body was pretty banged up. I tend to train only about an hour a day now, but I go HARD! Quality over quantity. Every once in a while I’ll have a big training day with 3-4 hours.

What is your favorite running workout?
For running workouts, I lean toward intervals. One of my favorites is 400m repeats with 50m lunges as my rest. It really teaches you to run through fatigue. Try 10-12 rounds of that and you’ll be pretty worn down.

David Magida

What is your favorite non running work out?
My favorite workouts are probably Tabata because those sessions can crush my soul in under 30 minutes.  Tabata is Eight rounds of 20 seconds of max effort work, followed by 10 seconds of recovery. Try doing these 8 Round Tabatas: Burpees, Jump Squats, Pushups, Switch Lunges, Mountain Climbers. You can recover for 2 minutes between each exercise. That’s 30 minutes of work but it will shatter your concept of fitness.

Most people manage to mix in one or two tabatas per session, should average athletes go for 5 sets or leave it to the pros?
Whether you do one exercise or many, it’s good for you. In my last Tabata workout I did 9 Tabatas of different exercises. Yeah I was destroyed afterward but it was worth it. I say go for it. Anyone can do it.

Resting heart rate?
That’s a great question. Not as low as I’d like it to be. I actually have an arrhythmia and a murmur. My cardiologist said it’s nothing to worry about. Quite the opposite actually. He believes it’s what gives me my competitive advantage. My max heart rate is well above 200.

Are you into long tough miles or hard interval workouts?
Both have their benefits, but for my purposes, I like the efficiency of Intervals. Long, short and hill intervals. I incorporate all of them into my training.

How many burpees do you do on a weekly basis?
I don’t really keep track of my burpees any more, but it’s definitely a few hundred over the course of each week. They’ve best mixed into running or mixed into a circuit. There are many kinds of burpees. Some are more fun than others.


That’s all we have on David Magida, be sure to check out our other interviews.

For more on David head over to his official Facebook page:


And Coming Soon:

Elevate Interval Fitness

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Dario is an obstacle course racer and lover of great coffee. When he isn't writing on this blog he can be found working as a photographer for NYSE, AP, and occasionally Getty Images.
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