If you’re planning your first OCR adventure or looking to improve your skills, Clinton Slater, a Reebok Spartan Race SGX coach and co-owner of Outdoor Physical Training, reveals some of his top training tips and techniques to get you race ready.
Training tip: Defeating the Spartan walls is all about explosive power through the legs to firstly get you up onto the wall, then gain balance before using your upper body strength to pull your body weight up and over.
Work on your explosive leg power with squat jumps and use dips and pull ups to get you used to lifting your own bodyweight.
My best advice would be to get out there, to your local park or your back garden, to find something that resembles the walls. Practice jumping up and holding onto the top of the wall: this will build the arm strength you need to hold up your own bodyweight.
Best technique: Don’t hesitate! Run up to the wall in one movement and use momentum to lift you up as you jump and grab the top of the wall. Beware of your knees hitting the wall, it’s about timing.
Rotate your elbows forward as you’re jumping to the top, use the drive to lift your body up and over (taking a pause at the top to balance if you need).
The Monkey Bars
Training tip: The monkey bars are 70% back and shoulder strength, 20% biceps and 10% will power.
I always start training with some ‘hang time’ – just being able to hang and hold your own body weight. Once you have mastered this, move onto the back pull technique – using your back muscles (lats) to drive you from one bar to the next, rather than just relying on arms.
To do this don’t just hang with arms straight and locked, engage your back muscles to take most of the strain.
Best technique: Use the back pull to move across the bars: pull up first to the bar you’re on and the momentum generated from this move will drive you forwards to the next bar.
Once you have your rhythm you can either use the Orangutan-swing movement, or some people prefer to use their whole body to leap from one bar to another with both hands at the same time.
Always ensure you have a good grip on the one hand before releasing the other. Try to get into a rhythm and again, try not to hesitate too much as this will affect your momentum.
The Barbed Wire Crawl
Training tip: A great crawl comes down to technique. To train, get in your garden or down the park and simply practice crawling. The more you do, the quicker and fitter you’ll get.
Coordination is also key, as your alternate leg and arm should be driving forwards at the same time. Core work will play a big part in training for this so get familiar with the plank.
Best technique: Don’t stop. The arms should remain bent throughout and bring your driving knees all the way up to your waist as you push forwards. As you move forwards your hips will come up off the ground but keep them low to save energy and escape getting caught on the wire.
Clinton will be back soon with advice on tackling three other common OCR obstacles!