Obstacle Course Demolition: OCD!
07July/2014

Obstacle Course Demolition: OCD!

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Obstacle Course Demolition: OCD!

Eight-week running and bodyweight training program

By Marcus Bondi

So you want to boost your running to an intense new level and take on an outdoor obstacle race? Awesome! But know this: it will be tough; it will be muddy; it will be hilly, slippery and rocky. It will be nothing like a run in the park, on rubberised track or a nice smooth road. No, there will be obstacles. And you must defeat them!

To win against the course (and your inner demons), you will need to become dedicated to maximising your fitness, strength and endurance to demolish the race.  Obstacle. Course. Demolition – OCD!

Okay, if you are still reading this you have cemented a rock-hard commitment to extend all of your physical and mental abilities to the highest level! Congratulate yourself. Good for you. Now, stop congratulating yourself. It’s time to train your brain to train your body to win against your body’s toughest adversary – YOU! Let's go!

Simply step up and crunch this eight-week program and you will achieve total mind and muscle synchronicity welded by your new-found laser-beam willpower. You will embark on an unstoppable collision course with destiny and you will be ready to smash any obstacle in your way.

This functional, incremental and rewarding program requires minimal equipment but focuses on the purest forms of interval running and compound bodyweight training to an acute point, giving you the running, jumping, climbing, crawling and fighting edge to avoid the agony (and tears) of personal defeat. You can complete this program as an inspired individual or with your teammates. Feel free to adjust the number of sets and reps specified to suit your progress.

But beware: such a serious program is brutally unforgiving. It quickly exposes and mercilessly punishes any weak points in your pretty body. Beginners may experience tendon and joint pain (that can last for weeks) as their body parts struggle to adapt to a totally new, multi-dimensional power-shred. But the priceless reward is triumph over the toughest adversary in the world: you! Amazing.

Total functional strength ensures that all your bones, tendons, ligaments, joints, muscles and cardio are seamlessly fused and as strong as each other with no weak links. Therefore, your fingers will become as strong as your forearms. Your biceps, triceps and deltoids must follow suit, and so must your traps and lats, right down to your lower back, butt and powerfully explosive legs. Your lungs must be strong enough to pump extra oxygenated blood to your muscles for strength and brain for tactics.

It’s a fact that many ‘strong’ guys can bench press huge weight yet can barely move when attempting dynamic, multi-functional training. That’s because high-tech ergonomic machines don’t force you to quickly grip, re-grip, jump, hold and heave your body weight many times, over and over like your life depends on it. It’s the ‘next level’ and you will be on it, so let’s get started ...

Eight-week timetable

To get the most from this program, be sure to practise running on a wide variety of surfaces to simulate the acutely variable geometry of the many and varied obstacle courses. Explore your local neighbourhood for tough locations to run. Endeavour to find a wide variety of surfaces, inclines and terrain. Scientific athletic research shows that running training on a vast cross-section of surfaces (bumpy, hilly, smooth, sandy, mushy,  hard and soft) engages and activates many more intricate muscle fibres in your legs, and if done gradually will make your legs tougher, stronger and more resilient, improving your speed, endurance and power while minimising your chances of injury. 

The crucial key to optimising your obstacle racing fitness is continuous and multi-dimensional movement. Simply running ‘flat-out’ won't allow you to strategically maximise your fitness in the intense aerobic way that this program is designed to, so let’s get cracking! 

 

Advanced eight-week training program (8km course)

Week 1
Day 1 – Run 15 min, walk 2 min, run 15 min

Day 2 - 5x 8 pull-ups, 5x 10 clap push-ups,  3x 20 sit-ups

Day 3 – Run 15 min, walk 2 min, run 15min

Day 4 – 5x 8 pull-ups, 5x 10 clap push-ups,  3x 20 sit-ups, 3x15 double-leg jump squats

Day 5 – Run 5 min, sprint 1 min, walk 2 min, run 15 min, walk 2 min, sprint 1min

Day 6 – 6x 8 pull-ups,  6x 10 clap push-ups,  4x 20 sit-ups

Day 7 – 4x 15 double-leg jump squats, 3x 25 sit-ups

Week 2
Day 1 – Run 18 min, walk 2 min, run 18 min

Day 2 – 6x 10 pull-ups, 5x 12 clap push-ups,  3x 25 sit-ups
Day 3 – Run 18 min, walk 2 min, run 18 min

Day 4 – 7x 8 pull-ups,  6x 10 clap push-ups, 3x 25 push-ups, 3x 20 double-leg jump squats
Day 5 – Run 7 min, sprint 1 min, walk 2 min, run 18 min, walk 2 min, sprint 1 min

Day 6 – 8x 8 pull-ups, 10x 10 clap push-ups, 4x 25  sit-ups

Day 7 – 4x 20 double-leg jump squats / 5x 20 sit-ups
 

Week 3
Day 1 – Run 28 min continuously, walk 2 min, sprint 1 min

Day 2 – 7x 10 pull-ups, 6x 12 clap push-ups,  4x 25 sit-ups
Day 3 – Run 28 min continuously, walk 2 min, sprint 1 min

Day 4 – 7x 12 pull-ups,  6x 15 clap push-ups, 4x 25 sit-ups, 4x 20 double-leg jump squats
Day 5 – Run 28 min continuously, walk 2 min, 30 regular push-ups, sprint 1 min

Day 6 – 8x 5 towel pull-ups, 10x 15 regular push-ups, 4x 25 sit-ups

Day 7 – 8x 10 one-legged jump squats, 5x 20  sit-ups

Week 4
Day 1 – Slow run 5 min (60% max pace) then sprint 1 min. Repeat x5 (30 min total)

Day 2 – 7x 10 pull-ups, 6x 12 clap push-ups,  4x 25 sit-ups
Day 3 – Run 30 min continuously, walk 2 min, 30 regular push-ups, sprint 1 min
Day 4 – 7x 7 towel push-ups,  6x 20 regular push-ups, 5x 25 sit-ups, 5x 20 double-leg jump squats

Day 5 – Run 30 min continuously, walk 2 min, 30 regular push-ups, sprint 1 min, 30 regular push-ups

Day 6 – 5x 12 pull-ups, 6x 25 regular push-ups, 4x 25 sit-ups

Day 7 -  10x 10 one-legged jump squats, 7x 20  sit-ups, 40 push-ups

 

Week 5 (At this stage you are an unstoppable tough beast, so keep going!)
Day 1 – Slow run 6 min (70% max pace) then sprint 1 min. Repeat for 30 min

Day 2 – 10x 10 pull-ups, 6x 15 clap push-ups,  5x 25 sit-ups
Day 3 – Run 30 min continuously, walk 2 min, 40 regular push-ups, sprint 1 min

Day 4 – 8x 7 towel pull-ups,  5x 25 regular push-ups, 5x 25 sit-ups, 5x 20 double-leg jump squats
Day 5 – Run 30 min continuously, walk 2 min, 30 regular push-ups, sprint 1 min, 30 regular push-ups

Day 6 – 6x 12 pull-ups, 7x 25 regular push-ups, 5x 25 sit-ups

Day 7 – 10x 10 one-legged jump squats, 7x 20  sit-ups, 5x 20 double-leg jump squats, 2x 30 push-ups

Week 6
Day 1 – Run 35 min continuously, walk 2 min, 40 regular push-ups, sprint 1 min

Day 2 – 12x 10 pull-ups, 6x 25 regular push-ups,  6x 25 sit-ups
Day 3 – Medium run 8 min (80% max pace) then sprint 1 min. Repeat for 30 min

Day 4 – 6x 8 towel pull-ups,  5x 30 regular push-ups, 5x 30 sit-ups, 5x 25 double-leg jump squats

Day 5 – Run 35 min continuously, walk 2 min, 30 regular push-ups, sprint 1 min, 30 regular push-ups

Day 6 – 5x 15 pull-ups, 6x 30 regular push-ups, 4x 40  sit-ups

Day 7 – 8x 12 one-legged jump squats, 7x 20 sit-ups, 5x 25 double-leg jump squats, 2x 30 push-ups

 

Week 7
Day 1 – Slow run 2 min (70% max pace) then sprint 1 min. Repeat x10 (30 min total)

Day 2 – 4x 15 pull-ups, 6x 30 regular push-ups,  6x 25 sit-ups
Day 3 – Run 40 min continuously, walk 2 min, 30 regular push-ups, sprint 1 min, 30 regular push-ups

Day 4 – 6x 8 towel pull-ups,  5x 15 clap push-ups, 5x 30 sit-ups, 5 x 25 double-leg jump squats
Day 5 – Run 40 min continuously, walk 2 min, 30 regular push-ups, sprint 1 min, 30 regular push-ups

Day 6 – 5x 15 pull-ups, 6x 30 regular push-ups, 4x 40 sit-ups

Day 7 – 8x 12 one-legged jump squats, 6x 30  sit-ups, 6x 25 double-leg jump squats, 2x 30 push-ups

Week 8
Day 1 – Run 40 min continuously, walk 2 min, 30 regular push-ups, sprint 1 min, 30 regular push-ups

Day 2 – 4x 15 pull-ups, 6x 30 regular push-ups,  6x 25 sit-ups
Day 3 – Run 30 min continuously, walk 2 min, 30 regular push-ups, sprint 1 min, 30 regular push-ups

Day 4 – Rest! Hydrate.

Day 5 – 4x 8 towel pull-ups,  3x 15 clap push-ups, 3x 30 sit-ups, 3x 25 double-leg jump squats

Day 6 – 40 push-ups, 20 double-leg jump squats

Day 7 – Rest! Hydrate.

 

Obstacle Race Day – GO FOR IT!

 

What you will need:

·         A plastic (or enviro) supermarket bag, weight-vest or backpack and ‘weight’ to load it with (water bottles/sand/dirt/cash)

·         A pull-up bar or a tree (with a sturdy horizontal-ish branch 150-180cm off the ground)

·         A beach towel

·         A friend (of any gender)

·         A pink fluffy pillow with the word ‘Mummy’ embroidered on it for crying on (optional)

Towel pull-ups

As a tough human being, you love to tell others how ‘awesome’ you are at chin-ups and pull-ups. Fair enough. Now let’s go to that ‘next level’ we were thinking about.

Roll a towel lengthways and then hang it over a pull-up bar (or tree branch/stair rail/rafter). Grab each end of the towel as tight and hard as you can imagine. Now bend your knees and hips so your thighs are parallel to the ground and hang with your arms in a full-extension position. Pull yourself up as high as you can go! Higher! Pull up so your chin is way above your hand position – this is NOT a ‘chin-up’ or ‘pull-up’; it’s a chest-up! Pull your chest up to the level that your hands are gripping the towel. Keep your knees/thighs in a fixed position throughout for core shredding. Explode up fast and then lower yourself slowly and then explode up again and again!

Start with 4 sets of 10 reps and build up until you can blast out 4x 20 reps smoothly. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Your grip strength will improve dramatically, as will your ‘wrist control’ and grabbing endurance over any previously ‘impossible’ obstacle. 

Pull-ups – pronated grip (palms facing away from face)

Grab the pull-up bar (or tree branch, scaffold or over-hanging pipe) with your palms facing forward (away from your pretty face) and commence pull-ups to max reps. When you can’t do any more full reps, proceed with partial reps. When you are trembling like a leaf and too weak to do partial reps, use your mind powers to hang on the bar for as long as you can – until your finger grip diminishes and you drop off. This is the training that enabled me to break (and hold) Guinness world records. It will work, if you do! Rest then move on to the next exercise.

Toe-touch sit-ups

Lie on your back and exhale to minimise the air in your lungs. Contract your core and lift your head and heels off the ground for a second then simultaneously reach your fingers up to meet your toes as you raise your straight legs off the ground as high as you can go.

Buddy-weighted push-ups – Optional hard-core extra

Because you are a beast, you already know how to do lots of push-ups. Wow. So now it’s time to progress to the next level and crank it up just a touch. This is where you’ll need a ‘friend’ (of either gender).

Hop down into a push-up position then ask your friend (nicely) to place their hands on your shoulders and lean on you while you bang out 20 push-ups for 5 sets with 30 seconds rest in between. This compound exercise trick really pumps all of your upper body muscles by tightly weaving in all your arm, shoulder and chest muscles. If this is too hard, order a de-caf chai soy-latté, find your pink fluffy pillow and have a good lie down, and start the push-ups again when you are good and ready.

High-intensity (weighted) squat jumps

Even if you have the strongest legs in the world, it’s not much good if you don’t have the oxygen in your muscles to activate them for multi-terrain endurance events. That’s why cardio is crucial for successful obstacle busting.

For advanced training, grab your weight-bag with both hands and hold it close against your chest with elbows bent. Squat down slowly – ass-to-the-grass – and perform vertical jumps on the spot as high as you can go. Be sure to bend your knees when you land smoothly on the balls of your feet.

Clapping push-ups

Clapping push-ups will develop incredible speed and reflex strength in your arms and upper body. Hop into the push-up position and place your hands shoulder-width apart. Lower you chest down, then explode up as high as you can, straightening your arms as you clap your hands above the ground.

Tip: The closer you place your hands prior to the push-up, the easier it is to hit the clap. Widen your hand position as you become stronger and faster.

One-legged jump squats

These are easy to do but it’s hard to maintain strong, full, high reps – but you can and you will. Just stand on one leg, lower your butt down and then jump as high as you can before landing smoothly by bending at the knee, using it as a ‘shock-absorber’. Repeat until your leg muscles are creating furnace-like temperatures and you reach the required reps. Keep pumping that thigh, even if you are doing partial reps and moving like a discombobulated drunk! But you are not a drunk – you are a strong beast! Rest then move on to the next exercise.

Tip: Feel free to add weight to your body as required. You can alternate between single sets of pull-ups and push-ups. Drink water throughout as required. We are committed to your optimum success, so please feel free to contact Marcus Bondi at Ultra FITNESS anytime for training questions, advice, tips or specialised information.

The Obstacle Racer’s Credo

Of all the things in our lives we have no control over, our minds and bodies remain ours. Take control. Achieve your toughest, strongest, fastest and most agile body ever. No-one can stop you. You can and you will do it.

This exercise program is for informational purposes only. Consult a physician before performing this or any exercise program. It is your responsibility to evaluate your own medical and physical condition and to independently determine whether to perform, use or adapt any of the information or content on this web site. Any exercise program may result in injury. By voluntarily undertaking any exercise, you assume the risk of any resulting injury.

 

At 44 years of age and 83kg MARCUSBONDI broke the Official Guinness World Record for the 5m rope climb – 27.8 metres in 60 seconds. MARCUSBONDI’s strength training techniques have been utilised by Olympic gymnasts and special forces units all over the world. His key training elements focus on extreme outdoor training with high intensity and high endurance tolerances. MARCUSBONDI is an Ambassador for Aussie Bodies and trains at the spectacular Bondi Beach cliffs with a top team of Olympic wrestlers, MMA fighters and boxers. For more information, visit www.marcusbondi.com

 


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