T Nation

Obstacle Course


#1

Hey guys, I'm doing the Spartan Race Super course in May, any templates you would recommend that would also keep my strength levels up and not make me lose a lot of muscle? Was thinking of Built Like a Badass... Been focusing heavily on bodybuilding for the past couple of years and my conditioning and cardio is shit. The only thing I'm scared of is losing a lot of muscle mass, but I'll keep my calorie intake high.


#2

[quote]Alex89 wrote:
Hey guys, I’m doing the Spartan Race Super course in May, any templates you would recommend that would also keep my strength levels up and not make me lose a lot of muscle? Was thinking of Built Like a Badass…[/quote]
That’s a solid program for athleticism, so you’d be fine with it.

If you start doing more cardio work than you’re used to, then you do need to factor in the calories burned. But remember that dropping bodyfat is an “easy” way to improve sports performance. What’s your current height, weight, and general fat level?


#3

Thanks for the reply Chris, I’m 6 ft, and weigh 180. Never really measured my bodyfat, prob around 15-18%, I look pretty good with my shirt off, just some extra chest flab. Also, I’ve been doing a 3 day split: legs/arms, chest/shoulder, back. Been following a Mountain dog type of routine. If I changed the rep scheme by ramping all of my exercises to a top set of 6-8 reps and add in some metcon work at the end, and running once a week. Would this be fine?

I’ll also be eating a lot so I don’t lost a lot of muscle. Been doing a bodypart split for the longest time and been seeing awesome results, that’s why I’m scared of changing…habits die hard haha.


#4

[quote]Alex89 wrote:
I’m 6 ft, and weigh 180. Never really measured my bodyfat, prob around 15-18%, I look pretty good with my shirt off, just some extra chest flab.[/quote]
Ok, so in all fairness, you do have a bit of “stored fuel” so you’re not necessarily in danger of burning muscle. I’d focus on eating smart rather than “just” eating a lot. Mind your total calories, especially if you do add in cardio work, but make sure you’re getting plenty of carbs (especially right around workouts).

I don’t think that’ll have any major effect.

This would be a big difference-maker, yep. I’d probably do 10-20 minutes of finishers/conditioning right after lifting and take that one running day to push for longer distance, since the course looks like it’s 8+ miles.

Kinda understandable. But it’s like the old saying, make sure your actions mesh with your goals. If your goals are shifting (to surviving/conquering the race), it’s worth tweaking your training a bit and re-prioritizing things.


#5

Appreciate the help Chris, thanks!


#6

[quote]Alex89 wrote:
Appreciate the help Chris, thanks![/quote]
Alex you will also want to train on hills or even better mountains if you are near any. I have done 2 Spartan beasts and they love to run you up and down mtns. also alot of carrying of sand bags or anything that is uncomfortable to carry. Whatever it is plan on being out for 4-5 hours for the Super.


#7

Thanks for the heads up bigdog. I have a mountain right near my place, too bad it’s covered with snow! lol


#8

You may not need to alter your program much. When I first started I got very good results from just adding loaded carries and pullups between sets. Ended my workouts with a 4 minute tabata on a bike. Every other week I may try to get some distance work in, but my normal schedule doesn’t allow for that much time allocated to it, plus it sucks. The biggest thing with nutrition is the night before and day of. Don’t do anything new. Don’t drink alcohol the night before. Don’t wait to go to sleep until midnight. I’ve done a sprint, super, and beast and my worst experience was on the sprint bc I got cocky and drank the night before and didn’t fall asleep until 1 when I had to be up at 5.


#9

I’m doing the Ohio Beast in May and it’s my second one along with some other long OCR’s. Assuming you have a decent level of strength, just from consistant training not beast mode or anything, then obstacles like the bucket carry and the sandbag carries are really easy. What gets me is rope grip. Being able to climb a rope with your feet is a huge advantage otherwise you’d better be able to crush the grip strength and be able to pull hard. There really is no need for anaerobic run training because you’re not sprinting anywhere on a 14 mile course so focus running on LSD and don’t worry about it killing your strength because for one it’s over stated and two you should know better to expect to be hitting PR’s when endurance training. If you’re part of a team and are the only person who has to start walking instead of slogging you’ll be holding everyone back. Don’t worry about the very steep hills because even the pros walk those as that’s the most efficient way to do it.

The stages that screwed me good last time:

Rope swing: muddy 2" rope and not enough grip strength for my 230lbs ass.

Rope wall climb: I actually had the grip strength for this but my cleats were like ice skates on this muddy incline. Keep your ass as low as possible.

Monkey bars: it wasn’t the bars it was the grabbing a rope between parallel running bars and having to swing. It was totally unexpected and I couldn’t prepare for something like that anyway unless I joined a CF gym.

Rope climb at the end of the race: I had nothing left and my arthritic hip wouldn’t allow me to use my legs to climb even though I choose the knotted rope.


#10

I know I live under a rock here in "stan, so, while in Dubai for a few days, I saw this program called the Broken Skull Challenge. Never saw it before and looked it up and its been on for several years. That skull crusher obstacle course at the end looks like a real bitch. Makes American Ninja look a little wimpish:)) Anyone ever watch or train for this?