@geologist: well…if your focus for this year is an optimal performance in your obstacle course race, then yes, I absolutely think big barbell lifts are wasting time. You’d be better off mapping out a route to all of the local playgrounds, then running from one to the next and making yourself do an assortment of random bodyweight movements (dips, monkey bars, pull-ups, climbing up the jungle gym, etc) at each one. OCR’s include things like rope climbs, balance beams, monkey bars, scaling walls, etc…I can’t recall anything on a course that I’ve seen where limit strength would have been beneficial at all.
That being said, please understand the following: I’m not actually suggesting that you drop all barbell lifting just because you’re planning to participate in one of these things. I don’t know many people who take OCR’s so seriously that they would drop all other fitness pursuits in favor of maximizing performance specifically in an OCR. Most of the people who participate in those things are policemen, firefighters, military, or guys from the local CrossFit gym / rugby club / etc that are just looking for something that feels like a rugged physical challenge, for whom the goal is merely “completion” of the event rather than “competition” or placement. If that sounds like you, then carry on with your barbell training and some other conditioning work. If you’re a guy who lifts using 5/3/1 and does some Prowler pushing and hill sprints, you’ll surely be able to finish the thing based on your overall level of fitness - just don’t kid yourself into thinking that’s optimal training for an OCR.
Really, it comes down to goals and priorities. Are you trying to “compete” in the obstacle race, or just trying to “complete” the event (as a side benefit, improving your all-around “conditioning” on top of lifting goals)? If it’s the former, quit wasting time with the barbell lifts and start spending as much time as possible running hills and doing all sorts of wacky climbing stuff. If it’s the latter, carry on with your standard lifting program, add some hill sprints, and once a week go for a long-ish run or hike to get yourself prepared to spend some time on your feet.