Obstacle racing is rising in popularity, attracting up to 1 million Americans each year. If you're thinking of signing up for an obstacle race, you'll need to train for it. Your training should focus on endurance, strength, and mental toughness. These three workouts will help you improve in all three areas.
1. Barn Workout
The Barn Workout is a great routine to build strength and endurance. This one is best suited for intermediate-advanced exercisers.
Easy jog for ½- 1 mile (or as much distance as you can cover in 5 minutes)
Stretch for 5 minutes, focusing on major muscle groups:
1. 30 Burpees
2. 30 Burpee/Pullups
3. 30 Pullups
4. 30 Box jumps
5. 30 Medicine Ball Squat Throws
6. 100 Jumping Jacks
7. 300 crunches
8. 30 body weight squats
9. 30 side kicks (each side)
10. 30 jumping lunges
11. 30 curls
12. 30 Triceps overhead presses
13. 30 frog jumps
14. 30 squat jumps
15. 3 x rope climbs
Stretch major muscle groups, holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds.
2. Deck of Cards
Deck of Cards is a good total body circuit that will add variety and intensity to your training. You may also find it kind of fun, too.
Although it's ideal for advanced fitness levels, it can also be customized for beginners.
How It Works
Colors and/or shapes represent an exercise. You can pick what exercise each represents. Some ideas:
Clubs: Push-Ups or Burpees
Spades: Pull-Ups or Rows
Hearts: Squats, Lunges, or Deadlifts
Diamonds: Ab exercise of choice
- Intermediate-Advanced Suggestions: Hanging knee tucks or V sit-ups
- Beginners: Crunches on stability ball or floor
The numerical and face cards denote the number of reps you do per exercise. Jacks, kings, & queens = 10 reps; aces = 11; jokers can be thrown out or designated to represent another rep number.
Go through the entire deck and perform the exercises for the specified number of reps. If you're a monster-advanced exerciser, you can even try going through the deck twice!
The Deck of Cards workout can be adjusted for beginners so that you complete half the deck only or complete the deck without the face cards.
3. Beginner Intervals: Walk-Jog or Jog-Run
If you're new to running, intervals can help you work up to running your goal number of miles consecutively, water-break free.
Alternate walking-jogging or jogging-running for predetermined ratios for 3 miles. If you're new to running, you may do a walk:jog ratio of 2 minutes:1 minute.
If you have some experience running, but can't run three consecutive miles consecutive without stopping for a rest, you may try a jog:run ratio or 2 minutes:4 minutes. You can also do a variation of something in between 2:1 and 2:4 ratios.
The key to this workout is to push yourself and make yourself devote a greater portion of your session to running or jogging each time and less to the "recovery" bout of your training.