Obstacle courses, mud runs, and military-themed races are some of the hottest trends sweeping the racing and endurance sports. People of all ages are signing up to be a part of these grueling challenges. But exactly what is the appeal? We believe it’s the satisfaction of knowing that you pushed through your comfort zone and worked your absolute hardest just to make it to the finish line.
There are two types of people who participate in these events. We’ll call the first group “weekend warriors” and the second “average avengers.” The difference? Their training intensity and mentality towards preparation.
The average avenger will dabble in pre-race-day training that’s slightly different from their normal workout pursuits, but they aren’t exactly sure what to expect come race-day, or how to properly prepare for it. On that same note, they don’t do much research or preparation beforehand, they’d rather just have fun and “wing it.” The weekend warrior is a veteran in these events and trains daily towards peak performance on race day.
While these two obstacle-race participants may look and act differently, they both need smart, targeted and consistent training to reap the full benefits of competing in and overcoming their obstacle race of choice.
If you’ve just signed up for an obstacle-course race you might find yourself thinking, “Where do I start to train for this?” Or maybe you’re wondering, “Is my current training enough?” Well, we’re making it easy for you—your training and preparation resources can be found in this Obstacle Course Training Manual.
Together with Hybrid Athlete, we’ve developed a manual for a 4-week training program. The goal of the program is to provide the Weekend Warrior and the Average Avenger with a progressive workout routine founded in the functional movements needed to successfully complete an obstacle-course race. Using our versatile Hyperwear SandBell®, and the Hyper Vest® PRO weight vest, each workout gradually pushes you harder to build the intensity you’ll need for optimum performance. Each day’s programming builds on the movements performed the previous day, and as such, it is designed to be completed in order, beginning with Week One, Day One to Week Four, Day Four. Also, on top of a well-developed, sequential training program, we have included rest days for optimum muscle building and recovery.
If you have participated in a Spartan Race, you’re probably all too familiar with the “Spartan Pancake” or its official name, the Super SandBell®. It comes in 20 lbs. for women and 40 lbs. for men. Seamlessly integrated into the race, participants must carry the shifting sandbag through a section of the course. If you know you’re going to have to manage a sandbag challenge, then you should prepare yourself the best way you can by using this training program! Even Tough Mudder and Go Ruck challenges have sandbag- object-carries as a part of their challenge.
Most obstacle course races feature challenges such as rope climbs, rock climbing walls and monkey bars, and those challenges require a strong grip along with wrist and forearm strength, which are trained when using the SandBell. But the SandBell does more than improve your grip strength. If you like functional training, improving total-body strength, or just want to be a stronger, faster, better you, then this 4-week training program can enhance your overall fitness.
Training with the most comfortable, form-fitting and adjustable weight vest will help you be a more agile, powerful and aggressive machine come race day. Weight vest training will help improve your power output, speed and overall strength. This will be especially helpful for obstacle races that have a larger running component, as training with an extra 10 lbs. will leave your fellow racers left in a trail of dust behind you. Overloading during training will also make agility challenges like ladder or tire drills, wall and rope climbs and mud runs much easier because your body will be used to training with extra weight and able to more easily get over, past or through any obstacles.
What’s more, our friends over at Hybrid Athlete have taken all the guesswork out of learning each day’s exercises and workouts. On the Hybrid Athlete Hyperwear You Tube Channel, you’ll find explanations and demonstrations. Also, over the next few weeks, full workouts will be posted on the Hyperwear blog, starting with this week’s Hyper Training Lab—Furious 5 SandBell Exercises. In this week’s article, trainers Master Trainer Jim Bell and Andria Kern take you through one of their favorite workouts from the training manual and provide a video demonstration and coaching cues.
We hope you enjoy the programming and encourage you to post your training photos and share your story along the way on the Hyperwear Facebook page!
Join in on the Hyperwear (@hyperwear), Hybrid Athlete (@hybrid_athlete) and Adam Bornstein (@bornfitness) Twitter Party on Nov. 8 at 9pm EST and get all of your questions answered about training for an obstacle course race, and how the SandBell and Hyper Vest PRO can help you prepare!
For more obstacle course race training programming, check out the Race Day Domination obstacle course training programs.