Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Obstacle Course Race Training with P90X

Obstacle Course Race Training with P90X
 Obstacle Course Race Training with P90X

I really enjoy talking about this topic because it seems like so many people are confused about how to train for an OCR (obstacle course race), what is the best way to train, which training method is the best, and so forth.

First of all, I don't believe in training for a specific race unless you are already in good athletic condition (not necessarily peak condition), are at your fitness goal whether that be athletic, weight loss specific etc. I have heard so many people say "I need to train for a Spartan Race", and they can't even do one pull up, or bear crawl for 25 feet.  FYI, anyone can finish a Spartan Race, or any obstacle course race, just ask yourself this question: Are you training to compete at an elite level, or are your training just to race for fun and just finish?

Colorado Spartan Military Sprint - Ft. Carson, CO.
Colorado Spartan Military Sprint

Some of the most elite obstacle course racing athletes out there won't even tell you there secrets because they don't want anyone to steal their thunder, and I understand that. But people have to realize that these athletes have been training for years. Most of them have years of cross country running experience! They did not come from years of watching TV on the couch, they worked hard to get where they are, but guess what? They started somewhere in the beginning, they started based on their fitness level. They began their training with building a foundation, learning proper form first, being consistent, building strength and endurance, and through time, they achieved greatness. They didn't start doing tire flips, weight vest and elevation mask training and rope climbs, they did basic movements like squats push ups, jogging, circuit training, and pull ups. People have to realize that you cannot train like an elite athlete, until you are an elite athlete, or at an advanced fitness level. You have to start from the beginning, build your foundation, gain your strength and endurance and if you stay consistent, you will then be able to train like an elite athlete. I've seen so many people trying to do all of this crazy training stuff, and they get injured, it's really ridiculous! Everyone is always looking for the quick solution, fast results, the "hardcore" workout etc. But if you want the BEST results, you have to do things right, you have to be safe, you have to listen to your body. It's not about what you can do in a couple months, it's what you can do for the rest of your life!

Body Beast + P90X OCR Workout - Powerhouse Gym 
Obstacle Course Race Training with P90x

For the record, I want all of you reading this to know that I am a Full Time Beachbody Coach. I have been training with all of the most elite Beachbody Fitness programs since 2010. But I do know that Beachbody Fitness is not the only way to get fit and healthy, and definitely not the only way to train for an obstacle course race. What I am saying is that, this is how I train for an OCR, and I have had great results. No, I am no Hobie Call, but I am someone that just started running in 2011. I am also a Top 10% Finisher (sometimes 5% finisher), and a Top 3 AG finisher. I am by no means bragging about my accomplishments, but in order to give advice to people, I believe that it helps to have credibility. There are so many OCR Coaches, Personal Trainers, SGX Certified Trainers etc. who train people for races, but have not even achieved elite status, they have never won any races! So why would you even consider coaching from them? Now yes, they may know a thing or two about sports science, and that helps a ton, but if you know what you're talking about, why not be a product of the product and show people what you know?

Hobie Call and I - Superhero Scramble North FL 2013
Hobie Call Superhero Scramble

I am a product of the product because I am loyal to my fitness programs, my shakeology nutrition, and I present my hard work at various obstacle course races. So the next time you start looking for someone to train you for a race, it's helps to find out what their race resume looks like. And they don't have to be a Hobie Call or anything like that, but I would seriously look for someone who is at least a Top 10% Finisher or a Top 10 AG (age group) Finisher. Because only they know how to make it to the top. They know what hard work is all about, they know a heck of a lot about not making excuses, and how to stay motivated. That's the kind of coach you want coaching you, do you agree?

I have been Obstacle Course Race Training with P90X, and other Beachbody Fitness programs since 2011. When I did my first Warrior Dash in the Carolinas, I was surprised of my fitness abilities because before that, I had already graduated from P90X and the Insanity Program. After the Warrior Dash, I found out that I needed to incorporate running into my workouts, and so I did. I few months after incorporating running into my P90X workouts, I did my first half marathon (I skipped the 5K and 10K's lol) and completed my first half with a time of 1:36.

Warrior Dash World Championship Qualified (2014)
Warrior Dash Chicago 2014
18th Overall out of 250 at WD Chicago

I don't want this blog to turn out to be like a book lol, so I will just share with you some things that I do with P90X to help me train for obstacle race events:

- Weight Vest: I wear a weight vest (no more than 10-15lbs) when I do P90X Plyometrics, Asylum Vertical Plyo, and Trail Running after a workout. (ok, be smart people, if your goal is to lose weight, then you shouldn't be using a weight vest)

Sand Bag or Added Weight: In between P90X and Body Beast Strength sets, I pick up a sand bag or a dumbbell (whatever you have) and run for 25m or less. You can run up stairs, tread mill, neighborhood etc. I prefer anything that is not flat =).

- Spartan WOD: I normally do my P90X and Body Strength Workouts on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I do Insanity, Asylum, T25, Yoga and Spartan WOD's (choose one) on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturdays. You have to listen to your body. Insanity workouts are #craycray, and so you can easily over train with such workouts. The Spartan WOD's can get crazy too, so just pick and choose based on how your body feels on that day.

 1st Place AG, 6th Overall - Superhero Scramble Miami (2013)
Superhero Scramble Miami 2013
 Fueled by P90X and Shakeology

- Elevation Mask: I don't use this as much as I should, but I try to use this for all of my workouts (strength, cardio, running) especially a couple weeks leading up to a race. If you're training for a sea-level race, this will definitely give you the advantage. If you are from sea-level and training for a race with higher elevation, this will help as well, but keep in mind, you will be competing against locals who are already acclimated to the elevation. I would try to get to the race destination at least a week before race day.

- Outdoors: Take your P90X workouts outdoors, or your garage, or maybe even an open gym like a Crossfit Box. Use the workout sheets or P90X app. Obstacle Course Races are outdoor events, so the more you can get used to training outdoors, the better your body will adjust on race day. Plus, nature is beautiful, enjoy it!

- Running: I like to do my longer runs on my strength days (Mon, Wed, Fri), and shorter runs on my cardio days (Tues, Thurs, Sat).  My goal is to do at least 2 short runs, and 1 long run. I also enjoy doing sprints in between P90X and Body Beast sets if I am not doing burpees, but you can always alternate between the burpees and sprints. Try also doing Parachute Sprints in between sets, that's a good one, as if the strength workouts won't already kick your arse =) Running alone is just friggin boring! =)

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Running Singles

- Burpees: Sometimes I do a 1 minute "run in place" then 30 burpees after each P90X or Body Beast Strength Set. It's important to incorporate cardio into your strength workouts especially if you are training for OCR. Obstacle Course Racing is not just about obstacles, there is a lot of running and cardio involved, so make sure that you are doing this with your workouts.

- Watch the Videos: If you are just a beginner, and you are not familiar with the exercise movements, then it is always recommended that you watch the videos first before using the worksheets, and taking your workouts to the gym/outdoors etc. Once you understand doing the movements properly, then you don't need the videos. But I tell you what, the goal is always to try to keep up with them on the videos. Sometimes I workout without the videos, and it takes me double the time to complete the workout. So if you can finish the P90X workout in the same time frame from the videos, and do all the reps, that's when you know you're a beast!

- Nutrition: I am not a nutritionist, but what I do know is that if you want the best results, you have to focus on 80% nutrition (what your fuel your body with), and 20% fitness (how consistent you train). I know some athletes who don't really have good eating habits, and they claim that you don't need it. I think that's crap! It's not what you do these few months, it's what you do for life. Do you just want to be an athlete for a few months, or do you want to be an athlete for the rest of your life? I choose to be happy and healthy forever, and my Shakeology helps me with that.  It always has, and it always will. You don't have to drink Shakeology, although I highly recommend it, all you have to do is eat a clean as you can, and stick with it. Like anything, it's about consistency!

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Buy Shakeology Now

My favorite Beachbody Fitness Programs for OCR Training:
(I don't recommend hybrid workouts "combination of the workouts below" unless you have completed each program, or already at advanced fitness levels)
- P90X
- P90X2
- P90X3
- Body Beast
- Insanity
- Insanity Asylum
- Shakeology Superfoods

Insanity Asylum Outdoor Workout
Insanity Asylum Outdoors

So I hope this helps you understand how you can incorporate P90X into your Obstacle Course Race training program. I highly recommend that you consult your physician before trying any program, and as always, be safe and use proper form at all times. If you would like more information on my P90X Challenge Groups, message me and I'll be happy to get you started!

Related P90X and OCR Links:
- P90X Programs
- Body Beast Program 
- Crossfit versus P90X
- How to do P90X at the Gym
- My Obstacle Course Racing page
- a Social Network for OCR Athletes
- Free P90X and Body Beast Workout Sheets

I film OCR events as well, check out my YOUTUBE - Focused on helping the sport of OCR grow!

Take the P90X2 Challenge:


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