Running is standard for obstacle course race training, but a great resistance workout plan is just as important to finishing strong. The following exercises can be done nearly anywhere, with or without weights. We feel that these five exercises should be implemented into every obstacle course racer’s training regimen, but don’t just take our word for it… try them yourself.
There is a very good chance that you will have to crawl under something during an obstacle course race. Whether it be a cargo net, a metal fence, or fallen logs, you need to be able to move quickly with as little effort as possible. Throw the bear crawl into your workout for a total-body strength builder.
Pull-ups & Chin-ups
A race wouldn’t be nearly as challenging without having to pull yourself over something daunting. This is something that I see a lot of participants having trouble with throughout the races. They are relying on team members rather than their physical ability to pull themselves over. Pull-ups and chin-ups are two of the best upper body exercises you can perform, and this skillset will be important for getting over walls and past obstacles like the monkey bars. If you can’t perform a standard pull-up or chin-up, use the following technique to work your way up to the full exercise.
If you really want a challenge and a great exercise to boost your quickness over obstacles, perfect the “Muscle Up.”
Training dips is incredibly helpful in pushing yourself over pesky walls, out of ditches and ice baths, and through mud. When your legs begin to weaken or you have little room to leverage your leg strength, this general motion becomes invaluable in getting through sticky situations.
In my opinion, there is no better exercise for obstacle race training than the burpee. Some obstacles such as the over-under require this movement almost exactly. I’ll just leave it as this and let the exercise do the explaining…
Running is one of the most important things you can do on a week-to-week basis in order to get ready for an obstacle race. However, additional weight training is important to increase performance, especially over brutally steep hills. Step-ups improve not only strength, but balance as well… important in minimizing your risk of injury.
That’s all for now. Now get out to the gym (or wherever it is you workout) and get training! These exercises aren’t going to perform themselves, you know… PS – What exercises have YOU found beneficial during your training? We’d love you hear your feedback.