Why You Should Do Obstacle Course Racing to Get Fit

The physical and mental challenges of obstacle racing are great, and they test every aspect of your fitness.

Brock Armstrong
7-minute read
Episode #386

Training for Obstacle Course Races

Here are five examples of workouts that will get you ready for an obstacle race and also whip you into the kind of fitness I was just outlining.

#1: Glute Burner

A simple workout that requires only you and your buns of steel.

  • 200M walking lunges
  • Run max distance for 5 minutes
  • 200M walking lunges
  • Run max distance for 4 minutes
  • 200M walking lunges
  • Run max distance for 3 minutes
  • 200M walking lunges
  • Run max distance 2 minutes
  • 200M walking lunges
  • Max distance run for 1 minute

#2: Battle Lungs and Legs

All you need is one set of dumbbells or Kettlebells for this lung buster.

Do 3-5 rounds for time (as fast as you can with good form) of:

#3: The Running Bear

To do a Bear Complex, you will need a barbell. Do these exercises in this order, back to back. Power clean, front squat, push press, back squat, and second push press. Completion of the five lifts equals one rep. 

  • Do 10 Bear Complex using a challenging weight. Then run 1 Mile.
  • Do 8 Bear Complex, followed by running 800M.
  • 6 Bear Complex, followed by running 400M.
  • 4 Bear Complex followed by 200M
  • A final 2 Bear Complex.

#4: Heavy Stuff Stairs

All you need is something heavy and a flight of stairs.

  • Find a staircase, 3-5 flights.
  • At bottom of stairs, do 5-10 clean and jerks with your heavy item (sandbag, heavy backpack, or dumbbells)
  • Carry the heavy item to the top of stairs. Carry it back downstairs.
  • Set the heavy thing down and hold the plank position for 60 seconds.
  • Repeat for as many rounds as you can.

#5: Living Room Beast

You only need a chair and something to jump onto for this one. Do as many rounds as possible of:

  • 10 lunge jumps per side
  • 15 burpees
  • 20 box jumps onto the couch  
  • 25 chair dips
  • 30 jumping jacks
  • Finish with a 2-5 minute cold shower (remember that arctic enema I mentioned earlier?)

If you are a marathon runner, triathlete, or a yoga enthusiast, these workouts may seem like the machinations of a madman. But if you give them a try, just a few times per week, you will enjoy the increase in stress resilience, increase in lung capacity, increase in lactic acid threshold, and many other important increases in physiological parameters. Keep these up for a while and next thing you know you will be the one causing Terry Crews to say those dreaded of all words: “into the blood!” as you make your way through the Ultimate Beastmaster. 

For more obstacle info, beastly tips, and to join the Spartan conversation, head over to Facebook.com/GetFitGuy or twitter.com/getfitguy. Also don't forget to subscribe to the Get-Fit Guy podcast on Apple Podcasts, StitcherSpotify, Google Play or via RSS.


About the Author

Brock Armstrong

Brock Armstrong is a certified AFLCA Group Fitness Leader with a designation in Portable Equipment, NCCP and CAC Triathlon Coach, and a TnT certified run coach. He is also on the board of advisors for the Primal Health Coach Institute and a guest faculty member of the Human Potential Institute. Do you have a fitness question? Leave a message on the Get-Fit Guy listener line. Your question could be featured on the show.