The Top 5 Exercises to Prepare for an OCR

Have you signed up for an Obstacle Course Race and don’t know where to begin your training? Or, maybe you have thinking about signing up for one, but are intimidated. If you are still thinking about it, check out Coach’s Suzanne’s reasons to take on an OCR. Aside from foam rolling and putting in some miles, below are some great exercises to incorporate in your OCR training.

 

  1. Pull/Chin Ups

Pull/Chin ups are crucial when training for OCR success.  There are many obstacles that require climbing, pulling, and grip strength. Be sure to use multiple styles of pull-ups (multiple hand positions and varied tempo) as well as multiple types of grips (fat grips, towels, balls).

  1. Carries

You are required to carry heavy objects in many races. The bucket carry, atlas carry, sandbag carry are just a few obstacles that require to move heavy loads. Like the pull-up, practice multiple styles of carries (farmer- weight in each hand, bucket, sandbag- over the shoulder, kettlebell in the rack position). This will prepare you for the required strength, endurance, and grip.

  1. Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings made the list because they are fantastic for developing power, endurance, and grip strength. They are also a great alternative if your body needs a break from running.

  1. Crawls

Crawls is an amazing functional exercise that must be trained if you plan on having a strong race.  The crawl is yet another exercise that should be trained in multiple forms and direction (forward, backward, and lateral).

  1. Box Jumps

Weather your race has flights of stairs, obstacles to jump to, or obstacles to jump over, box jumps will prepare your body for the needed power, conditioning, and athleticism needed to complete many obstacles. They will also help condition you for any burpees that may need completing.

5 Reasons to do an Obstacle Course Race

By: Suzanne Klaus RD, LD, CPT

From the Warrior Dash and Tough Mudder to The Green Beret Challenge and Spartan Races, OCR, or Obstacle Course Races are taking over! Back in February I completed my first Spartan Race in Arizona. I loved it! It had such an impact on my life that I wrote a blog specifically about it. I absolutely love obstacle course races! It’s hard to narrow down the reasons, but here are my top five reasons.

1. Have something to train for.

As Joe De Sena said in his book Spartan Up! “When you sign up for something, you’re forced to train for it. Just like in a business, you are forced to work. Just like having a kid, you’re forced to take care of it all. All of a sudden, you become accountable.” After I signed up for my first Spartan Race I took ownership of my workouts. I had some form of training every day, but Sunday. It mattered if I missed a day. You can’t fake it during a race. For me signing up for obstacle course races has made all the difference in my training, 2018 has been my best and most consistent year of training. It’s April 10th and I already have 68 workouts completed!

2. Do something you didn’t think was possible.

I am a firm believer that anything is possible. Maybe the thought of an obstacle course race is scary, but that is all the more reason to do one. With the proper training, nutrition, and mindset you CAN do it! Imagine crossing the finish line! What an AMAZING feeling to conquer something you once thought was impossible! It’s a way to break out of the monotony. It’s a whole new feeling and way of living.

3. Challenge the way you think.

During any race, there is usually a point where you think, “Why am I doing this?” You are tired and there is still plenty of race left. It is during these moments that you are faced with two choices, to dig deep and keep moving forward or to stop. When you choose the mindset to keep moving forward it can translate to other difficult situations in your life. In some of the races you don’t know what the obstacles will be until race day. This forces you to adapt to situations you didn’t plan for. Doesn’t that sound a lot like life. You are forced to put all your focus on the present obstacle in front of you. You aren’t thinking about the stress of work, the laundry that needs to be done, or any family issues. You are focused on the present task at hand. You are choosing to face an obstacle head on and give it your all.

4. Build strength.

One of the reasons I love obstacle course races so much is the fact that they require strength. A marathon is certainly a challenge, but it doesn’t require the same kind of strength that you need to get through an obstacle course race. You must be able to jump over, crawl under, and pull yourself up. Most people I meet with say they want to become more “toned,” which is basically building muscle and losing fat. Trust me, training for an obstacle course race will do just that!

5. Elevate your overall health and fitness.

Having an obstacle course race to train for automatically motivates you to make healthier choices. Not only will you have a reason to train, but you will be more apt to get your 7-9 hours of sleep, drink plenty of water, and make healthier food choices. With all these healthy habits forming, your stress level should decrease too!

What are you waiting for? Join the Forward Fitness OCR Team! We already have a few races lined up. They are roughly 5K or 3 miles.

Warrior Dash: August 4th

Spartan Stadium Sprint (Busch Stadium): August 11th

Spartan Sprint (Nashville): September 22nd

Interested in getting all the benefits of OCRs? Email Suzanne@ForwardFitnessSTL.com to get started!