Joe De Sena Profile

  • Joe De Sena is the founder and CEO of Spartan Races, which holds over 200 annual events worldwide attracting 1 million participants each year.

  • With commitment, passion, and resilience, De Sena turned the concept of obstacle racing into a multi-million dollar international business.

  • De Sena is the co-author of the best-selling book, Spartan Up: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life.
  • Fitness legend, Joe De Sena is the founder and CEO of Spartan Race, the biggest brand in obstacle racing. Every year Spartan hosts over 200 competitions worldwide, bringing in approximately 1 million participants per year.

    Spartan embodies endurance, passion, and commitment – the same principles it took to make it a thriving business. At the time of Spartan’s founding, De Sena was already a veteran entrepreneur having made money on Wall Street, in construction, and even in pool-cleaning with a neighborhood business he started as a teenager. However, his vision of races that saw participants climbing under barbed wire, trudging through mud, and sprinting over the occasional fire pit, did not automatically translate to a profitable model. In the early years De Sena would sometimes invest extensive money and time into an event, only to have 1 participant show up. Several times he was near the brink of bankruptcy, but his passion to get people to be healthier and more resilient, kept him going, and several years, Spartan began to see exponential growth through multiple events and a growing buzz on the Internet. Today it is a multi-million dollar business.

    Recently, De Sena has launched the SpartanX Leadership Forum, which helps trains business leaders and teams to better manage unforeseen obstacles and challenges. De Sena is the co-author of the best-seller Spartan Up: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life, author of Spartan Fit!: 30 Days. Transform Your Mind. Transform Your Body. Commit to Grit. No Gym Required, and most recently, The Spartan Way: Eat Better. Train Better. Think Better. Be Better.

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      Joe De Sena – Founder and CEO of Spartan, the world’s largest obstacle race and endurance brand – has demonstrated his entrepreneurial drive since his pre-teens. After building a multimillion-dollar pool and construction business in college, and creating a Wall Street trading firm, De Sena set his sights on ripping 100 million people off their couches by creating the Spartan lifestyle.

      Following a successful career on Wall Street, De Sena moved his family to Pittsfield, Vermont to operate an organic farm, a bed and breakfast, and a general store for hikers. It was here his passion grew for ultramarathons, adventure races, and endurance events, and thus the idea for Spartan was born.

      With more than one million annual global participants at more than 200 events across more than 30 countries, Spartan offers heats for all fitness levels and ages, from beginner to elite and Kids as young as four-years-old. The brand has transformed more than five million lives since it was founded in 2010.

      De Sena is also the New York Times Best Selling Author of “Spartan Up” and “Spartan Fit,” and recently released his third book, “The Spartan Way.” As a popular key note speaker, De Sena has parlayed the teachings of his Spartan Principals into the SpartanX Leadership Forum, a series of events in which participants collaborate to solve challenges alongside business leaders while learning to overcome mental and physical obstacles.

      In addition to race events, the Spartan lifestyle that De Sena built encompasses all the tools one needs to transform their lives including partnerships with fitness brands such as Life Time, 24Hour Fitness and the DailyBurn; complementary training, nutrition plans and content; television series on NBC and Facebook; forthcoming documentaries about the brand, sport and health; and an extensive line of apparel and licensed fitness gear and equipment.

      Throughout his lifetime, Joe has competed in any extreme sports adventure he could find, testing his mental and physical endurance against nature. Joe turned an interest in endurance racing into a passion. His racing resume is the stuff of legend – over 50 ultra-events overall and 14 Ironman events in one year alone.

    Joe De Sena Speaking Videos

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    Joe De Sena's Speech Descriptions

    From losing weight to launching that startup, Joe De Sena inspires and equips audiences to hit their target. De Sena’s Spartan principles have changed the lives of over 5 million people, helping them create better habits conducive to meeting their goals. Whether your true north is related to fitness, your personal life, or business, De Sena can help you cultivate resiliency and become “obstacle immune.”

    Spartan Up!: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance

    Say you’re at the gym, bench pressing and breaking a little sweat…but not really exerting yourself. How do you consistently push yourself to the point that it HURTS? Like in business, Joe De Sena believes you’re only going to see real success and growth by getting dirty and uncomfortable. In this unconventional take on a motivational talk, Joe sets audiences up to reach their peak potential and appreciate the “pain” needed for triumph.

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    Books by Joe De Sena:

    The Spartan Way: Eat Better. Train Better. Think Better. Be Better.

    New York Times bestselling author Joe De Sena, founder and CEO of Spartan, the global health and wellness platform, leader in obstacle racing, and executive producer of NBC’s television show Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge, challenges you to live The Spartan Way.

    Determined to yank 100 million people off their couch cushions to start living instead of being passive observers of life, Joe De Sena has one ultimate goal: to help improve everyone’s physical and emotional health by teaching them the tenets of Spartan living from ancient Greece: simple eating, smart training, mastering resilience, and an all-out commitment to achieving a goal.

    Like Spartan training, living The Spartan Way requires endurance to reach your finish line, the goal that inspires and drives you to succeed no matter what obstacles are thrown in your path. De Sena believes you can gain that endurance in just thirty-six days by following the ten Spartan Core Virtues, timeless principles to help you embrace adversity and overcome any challenge, and making them a permanent part of your own personal core.

    The Spartan Core Values include:

    Self-Awareness―Know yourself
    Commitment―Be dedicated
    Passion―Discover your purpose
    Discipline―Practice diligence
    Prioritization―Put your house in order
    Grit―Push your limits
    Courage―Face your fears and your failures
    Optimism―Look for the positives
    Integrity―Act honestly
    Wholeness―Live as a Spartan

    De Sena turned this philosophy into a lifestyle―and so can you. With The Spartan Way, you’ll discover your true north, unleash the warrior within, and transform your life to 10X your maximum potential.

    Spartan Up!: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life

    What do marathoners do when 26.2 miles just isn’t enough anymore? They try obstacle racing, combining the endurance challenges of a marathon with the mind- and body-bending rigors of overcoming obstacles along the way. At the heart of this phenomenon is Joe De Sena, the driving force behind the Spartan Race. De Sena overcame his own obstacles—working his way from Queens to Wall Street to legendary extreme athlete—by adhering to a simple philosophy: commit to a goal, put in the work, and get it done. From that philosophy, as played out now for millions across trails, through mud, and up mountainsides, the Spartan Race was born.

    Filled with unforgettable stories of Spartan racers as well as hard-won truths learned along the course, Spartan Up! will help you reach your full potential in whatever you set out to do.

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