How to Train for the World’s Toughest Obstacle Course

"Training isn’t training unless you’re training for a purpose”.

… If you’re training for something, you need to be specific about it.

Allow me to put this into perspective for you –

If I want to be a faster runner, I’m not going to devote a single minute to swimming.

… Get me? Good!

Train with an identity. Visualise yourself at the finish line and ensure every effort possible is made to actualise it.

Reverse-engineering is the most effective way to get to the desired result. Try it.

… With all that being said, let’s talk about specific Obstacle Course Training and what it’s taken to effectively prepare for an event like Australian Ninja Warrior.

The following can be considered “common criteria” for the majority of obstacle course events –

·       Stores Carry

·       Climbing

·       Balancing

·       Gripping

·       Hanging

·       Running

·       Jumping

·       Crawling

·       Additionally, you’ll need to have decent strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, power and speed, to conquer all the obstacles. 

To effectively address each of these “common criteria”, I’ve included a list of equipment/activities, for you all to include in your training.

Stores Carry -

Use things like farmers carry handles, kettlebells, dumbbells, as well as awkward objects like water filled bags, logs, tyres and dead balls.

Climbing

Use the environment around you! Trees, Playground Equipment, a Fence, a Ladder, do pullups/muscle-ups – whatever it may be.

Balancing

Again, use your environment! Being a real ninja is not about having access to the best facilities – it’s about being adaptive to the environment around you.

Walk along the edge of the gutter, the side rail at the park, stand on one foot and get someone to throw you a ball, use a Bosu ball to test your balance and add variations to complicate the movements.

Grip Strength

Grip Strength / Hanging is a skill that will be concurrently developed with movements like the stores carry & pullups. However, to further aid your development, you can add rope pulls/climbs and high intensity drills with a battle rope, to condition your forearms & shoulders.

Furthermore, if you have access to a nearby indoor rock-climbing facility, you’re at a significant advantage.

Running

Most obstacle course races are long distance - sometimes 500m to 1km between obstacles. Interval running of 400 metres is perfect, as it will allow you to maintain your pace in between obstacles. Longer runs of 3+ KM’s will help with your overall cardiovascular endurance.

Jumping

I would suggest doing both single and double foot jumps, onto/ over a box or hurdle. If you do go higher with your jumps, then do these at low reps – Explosiveness is key, I’d suggest no higher than 10 per set. Incorporate skipping as well, to condition your calves and Achilles.

Crawling

Want a challenge? Get on your guts and leopard crawl the length of the local footy oval! (FYI, I would suggest wearing long pants and sleeves if you were going to do this!)

Monkey Run, Bear Crawl – Do any types of animal movement(s), get yourself low to the ground and move as fast as you can!

For those of you interested in competing in Ninja Warrior or any Obstacle Course races, you need to be mindful that each of the abovementioned disciplines is simply, a slice of the whole pizza – you need to be versed all.

If you can comprehensively incorporate these activities into your weekly training, then you’re providing yourself with an outstanding platform to succeed, at your given event.

If you’re looking at this list and saying to yourself “WOW! That’s a lot of training – How am I going to fit all that into my current training?” – Do yourself a favour – deeply analyse your current routine(s) – 4 sets of 10 reps isn't going to cut it. So, scrap them! Alternatively, get your copy of EVENNETT | Hardcore now and experience a program tailored to the unconventional.

If you truly want to succeed – Train only for the end result.

Fitness on a Budget

“If you've got a door – You’ve got a gym!”

We’ve all heard that phrase before (If you haven’t, I suggest a quick YouTube search for some entertainment). Ironically, amongst all the satire - what’s proclaimed, is true!

A common question I receive is - “But Scotty, I don’t have access to a gym – can I still get fit and strong?”

UNEQUIVOCALLY, YES!

The easiest way for me to draw supporting evidence is to simply look at myself as an example –

Do I train in a gym? Yes, I do.

…but, remember – I train for function. Function doesn’t require a framework. Function equals freedom.

What do the majority of my workouts consist of? Jumping, Lunging, Climbing, Pulling, Pushing, Crawling, Hanging & Slamming.

… and what is the overwhelming common denominator amongst these movements – They can be done anywhere.

Each movement and its variants can be performed anywhere you can possibly imagine! Trust me – I’ve done it!

 I want to use this week’s blog to conclusively put to rest the notions that you need to be training at ‘X’ Gym, or using the latest TechnoFart 3000, to avail yourself to the opportunity of achieving the level of wellbeing you’re after – it’s just not true!

If you’re on a tight budget and a gym membership is out of the question – or, if you’re just someone who doesn’t particularly feel comfortable in the gym, don’t stress – I’ve got a few tips for you.

1.     START

Do something now – don’t wait. You can’t feed yourself excuses like “I’ll start tomorrow” – they’re gym-goer excuses.

Whether it’s the spare room, the garage, the backyard, the hill at the end of the street and/or the park down the road - the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll feel better.

2.     CREATE

“Dear Sand Dunes,

Today I’m going to run up you… backwards.

And on the way down, I’m going to crawl… backwards.”

Opportunity is only bound by your creativity. If your training is stagnating – give it more thought.

3.     SUPERSET

What I love about functional training is that you can truly turn up the intensity and put yourself in a zone, which will challenge you mentally, as much as it will physically.

Supersetting your workouts is a fantastic way to build muscle and burn fat, simultaneously.

Tuck Jumps --> Sprint

Burpee --> Broad Jump

Bear Crawl --> Rope Climb

Pushup --> Plank

Any of the abovementioned examples are bound to get your heart racing – so try them!

Intensity breeds improvement – drop the self-doubt & anxiety – You’re not in the gym and you don’t have to worry about “who’s watching”.  Put yourself into a zone where all you can focus on is getting out the next breath, whilst performing an explosive movement at maximal intensity.

#EvennettArmy, a tight budget is not a barrier to a healthier life – but, a small mind is.

Whatever your circumstances – you can still create the life you want, by simply opening your mind to opportunity.

… and maybe opening your door - go for a run

Better yet! Join me outdoors, for the CT 6HR Challenge on September 9.

#ChallengeAccepted

 

The Hardest Exercise of All

Here's an interesting one for you -

I get asked this question all the time!

"Scotty, what's the hardest exercise of them all?"

The answer - it's a little different to what you might think...

PLANNING

Planning is the hardest exercise of all - Let that resonate.

How many times have you personally (or someone you know), failed to follow through with an action - whether it is at the gym, or not - as a result of improper planning?

We all know someone who has been preaching, for the longest time, that they're going to do "X, Y & Z" and yet, years down the line, they still haven't acted on it.

Now ask yourself - how often have you succeeded in completing a task, when you've focused, analyzed & planned accordingly?

Truthfully, it's black & white. Investing in proper planning is ensuring a successful outcome.

So, why is it that planning is often so overlooked?

You might recognize it as something you've done in times-gone-by & be asking yourself - "Why is it that I shirk from planning at times when I know I should?"

Well, from past instances I've dealt with, I believe I might have a bit of insight for you.

A common trait I've noticed in people who fail to plan & fail to act is that they feel they have to do it all at once, and the workload doubts/scares them into inaction.

It's not about not knowing where to start, or what the best method is - It simply comes down to people getting 'turned-off' by the amount of work to do - Which leads to thoughts of "I'll set aside a few hours this weekend" or similar - essentially, "I'll do it later".

Sound familiar?

Onto the solution -

I treat the work I do in the gym is a metaphor for the rest of life.

Let's say my goal is to increase size & strength. I could go to the gym and complete every known exercise to man, walk out 9 hours later and eat my local cafe dry - Yet, apart from feeling seriously bloated and fatigued - I would not have solved the problem I was aiming to address.

Alternatively, I could sit down & plan an attack, which, over a defined period of time, achieves this goal. I can sequentially identify:

  1. The required training methods to provide optimal results.
  2. The sources of nutrition that are going to aid maximum growth and recovery.
  3. Where I need to be mentally in order to achieve this (i.e. What are my sources of motivation? What are the things I need to eliminate to ensure a continued focus? What is the mantra I will repeat to myself everytime I step foot through the gym doors?)

And I definitely wouldn't do it over the course of just one day -

Instead, I'd set aside the required time to complete each module & thereafter be done with it for the day. I.E. Short bursts of maximal application (can you see how that relates to gym work, also?)

How long is it going to take you to compile your favorite playlist, motivational video and agree to tell yourself that every time you walk through the gym doors, your mantra is going to be "1% more every day"? Not long at all! But, if you've been writing exercise and nutrition guides for yourself for hours prior, it certainly feels like a task!

It's simple - Plan effectively and break the larger plan down into smaller modules, which you can complete, one-by-one.

Every minute of application is a minute closer to achieving your goal.

And whilst we're on the topic of planning - if you're reading this and have set a goal to increase size and strength - check out the EVENNETT | Warrior Athlete program! Funnily enough - the motto of the program is "Plan. Execute. Achieve" - I wonder why ;)

I've attached a video below, explaining just a little bit more about the EVENNETT| Warrior Athlete program.

As always, the team and I are on hand to help - so don't hesitate to contact!

Enjoy your week.

Destroy your week. #ChallengeAccepted.

SE.