Updated: May 21
We all hope to cross the finish line with 100% obstacle completion, but for many Obstacle Course Racers, that's just not the case. Let's dig into why this is happening and how to fix it!
The most common reason is this: a lot of racers simply do not have enough upper body/grip strength to hold up their own body weight, especially while swinging through the air, on things like monkey bars.
So how do we fix this? Well, that depends on whether your workouts mostly consist of strength training or focus more on cardio. If you currently lean more toward the strength training side and can lift a decent amount of weight but still fail obstacles then you most likely have "show" muscle and not "go" muscle. "show muscle" refers to those big muscles you have that are just for looks. You can fix the issue by adding in some functional exercises like hanging grip switches, walking renegade rows, and pull up shuffles. If most of your workouts focus on cardio then you need to add in some strength training. Pull ups, push ups, and farmer's carries are a great place to start.
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Here's a more sensitive but game changing reason. Your weight.
Let's get real, the less weight you have to carry, the easier it will be for you to carry yourself through the air, maneuver under barbwire, and make it up and over the walls. This does not mean you should go to the opposite extreme and become unhealthily underweight, but getting your body to a healthy weight will only help your overall performance.
A not so obvious reason is a lack of focus/transition preparation.
One of the challenges in OCR is being able to go from climbing up a hill, to carrying a sandbag, to more running, and then into an upper body obstacle. This is extremely taxing on the body and can be mentally overwhelming if you aren't prepared. If you run up to an obstacle with your heart rate sky-high and you are mentally stressing about whether you will complete it, then you will probably end up failing. Try taking a deep breath before starting, clearing your mind, and focusing on the task at hand. A great way to practice this is by simulation: Do a 5 minute run, then without a break, go right into burpees and then hanging grip switches. This will help your body to adapt to the constant varying strains of the OCR course and give you a chance to practice focusing on performance and not getting overwhelmed or rushing.
In summary - #nomorefailedobstacles
If you need help with how to successfully implement these training techniques, visit us at TrioFitnessOCR.com - we customize each program for you based off of your current fitness level, fitness goals, equipment availability, and schedule.
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@lukejshayes (Article Author)