Hyperwear recently spoke with Elite Obstacle Course Race competitor & trainer and Hyperwear Ambassador, Yancy Culp, about the future of OCR and what it takes to win the OCR World Championship.
Q: How did you get started in OCR?
Yancy Culp: I saw an advertisement for Warrior Dash in 2010. It was my very first OCR and it was so much fun. It left me wanting much more. Since then, I’ve competed in over 50 races.
Q: What do you love most about OCR?
Yancy Culp: All the courses are different and even as you become a seasoned OCR athlete, there are still unexpected obstacles and terrain. OCR takes me back to my childhood growing up on a farm where I was able to run through the woods jumping, crawling, throwing, climbing, and carrying.
Q: What advice would you give to someone for their first OCR event?
Yancy Culp: Do it with a friend and be prepared to be addicted!
Q: How has the OCR changed over the years?
Yancy Culp: It definitely has a professional and competitive side to it now. All the race organizers still provide everything that made so many of us fall in love with it in the first place, but for serious competitive athletes, there’s now large cash prizes, elite point series, world championship events, and media/television coverage. There are now serious sponsors and a flood of athletes from many different sports.
Q: What does it take to win the OCR World Championship?
Yancy Culp: To win an OCR World Championship, you must be a well-rounded athlete.
#1 You must be a strong runner. You don’t have to be an elite runner but you better be good.
#2 You have to have exceptional grip & pull strength and grip & pull strength endurance.
#3 Depending on the location, you must be a strong trail runner with a focus on steep climbing.
#4 You must have good full body power and strength.
As a large number of top level athletes continue to merge over to our sport, race distance specialization is quickly becoming the most important part of putting yourself in contention for the various World Championships.
Q: Where would you like to see OCR go in the future?
Yancy Culp: First, and most importantly, we need to make sure we never loose site of what got us to where we are today and that’s race organizers providing a great fitness experience to rip people off the couch, become more active, and grow together socially through an amazing fitness experience.
What Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, Battle Frog, and many other race organizations have accomplished is arguably the greatest fitness movement to ever take place.
Second, I would like to see our sport focus on offering multiple race distances at the World Championship level. OCRWC will be the first to do this at the 2016 OCR World Championships.
Third, I would like to see our sport in the Olympics. We are a movement that offers something to the world that most sports do not. We are a global fitness movement and having professional athletes represent us in our sport at the Olympic level is something I hope I eventually see.
Q: Favorite OCR obstacle?
Yancy Culp: All the various Rigs that require grip & pull strength and grip & pull strength endurance.
Q: Least favorite OCR obstacle?
Yancy Culp: The spear throw. Although I’ve gotten pretty good at this obstacle and it’s helped me get on the podium several times, I feel the way it’s currently set up on race day doesn’t fit in well with a formal World Championship format where a lot of money is on the line.
Q: If you could add one obstacle to OCR what would it be?
Yancy Culp: Anything that resembles American Ninja Warrior type obstacles.
Q: If you couldn’t do OCR what other sport do you think you would excel at?
Yancy Culp: Trail running and Track & Field
Q: What does a typical training week look like for you?
Yancy Culp: 3-4 days a week of OCR specific training to improve running, climbing, OCR specific strength training. 2-3 days a week of cross training while I’m training HS, Collegiate, and Boot Camp clients. Several days a week I train Cedar Park High School Football and this always turns in to an intense full body training session.
Q: What is your training schedule prior to an event?
Yancy Culp: The OCR season pretty much runs year round so it can be challenging to work specific training cycles in to the routine but this is always a big area of focus. Picking key A races will help allow for this.
For a big A race, I personally train as well as having my YancyCamp.com clients train for an approx. 4 month cycle in prep for the event.
Q: What’s the biggest weakness that you’ve had to overcome?
Yancy Culp: Transitioning a strong running background in to becoming a strong climber. My flat performances don’t translate well to climbing but I’m getting stronger in this area.
Q: What gives you an edge in competition?
Yancy Culp: Obstacle proficiency. I edged out many athletes who are better runners than me last year because I’m obstacle proficient. In 2015 I didn’t fail a single obstacle over the course of the season. This included 11 races and approx. 275 obstacles.
Q: What are your recovery secrets after an event or hard training?
Yancy Culp: A post race 2-mile recovery run. I also use my Belle Core on the majority of my body (it’s a game changer) and a RollerTek body rolling device. I also visit my chiropractor, Dr. John Tuggle, every single week year round.
Q: What do you like about the SandBell?
Yancy Culp: It provides my Yancy Camp clients and I with a great full body strength training tool that I use in many different ways to train for OCR.
It’s also a training tool that you’ll find out on course during certain obstacles. It will take your grip-strength to the next level.
I can create a complete full body strength training routine with just one SandBell. I can also use it to train for the heavy carry obstacles like the SandBell carry and the Bucket Carry (simply throw it in the bucket and go).
Q: When did you first start using the SandBell?
Yancy Culp: A number of years ago when I started training OCR athletes.
Q: What are your favorite movements to do with the SandBell?
Yancy Culp: Bent rows, snatch & throw, clean & squat, farmer’s walk, Russian twists, lunges, split squat jumps, swings, and so many more. The options are almost endless.
Q: What do you like about the Hyper Vest PRO weight vest?
Yancy Culp: It fits really well, it’s easy to get on and off and it cleans up easy. It provides me with a smooth ride when I’m running with it. It also provides great resistance during pull and hang workouts.
Q: What are your favorite movements to do with the Hyper Vest PRO?
Yancy Culp: Weighted pull-ups and hangs and climbing.
Q: Best advice you ever got?
Yancy Culp: Serve others vs serving yourself
Q: Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
Yancy Culp: Dominate The Day (thank you Brian Cain)
Q: Who is your favorite athlete?
Yancy Culp: Track athlete, Nick Symmonds. Also the person who finishes last at an OCR event and signs up for their next race the moment they get home.
Q: Tell us about your training program YancyCamp.com?
Yancy Culp: In the OCR and general fitness community, YancyCamp.com allows people from all over the world an online opportunity to team up and train with some of the top OCR athletes in the world.
I train some of the top Spartan Pro Team Athletes and Yancy Camp allows you to see a large portion of their training plan/workouts that are written in a way that allows you to plug them in to your weekly training routine.
Clients also have an unlimited line of communication with me to help answer any OCR or fitness questions they might have.
We also have an Acceleration/Speed/Power Program taught by professional sprints coach Chad Leath. Anyone looking to quickly improve in these areas will be provided with an easy to follow and effective online training program.
Q: How does someone get it touch with YancyCamp for training?
Yancy Culp: Simply go to YancyCamp.com or email me directly [email protected]
Check out how to train with a SteelBell for OCR here!
Check out what other athletes have to say about Hyperwear gear! Shout-Outs!