• Coach Rob

Why You Should Sign Up For An Obstacle Course Race Before The Year Is Over

As a Type A Personal Trainer (Most of us are :), I value my routine. My food, my rest, my recovery, my workouts, my weekly trip to the grocery create a routine that supports my fitness goals. All of us love a routine, it’s what keeps us safe. But every now and then we’ve got to break it up so that we can move forward.

Signing up for an obstacle course race will break up a routine. You’ll have to travel for the race, usually an hour or so, then again everything in LA is, right? You’ll have to pack and plan. You’ll get dirty. The normal Saturday routine of the Farmers Market followed by Movie Night will take a week off. I guarantee when you return to your routine the following week, you’ll be even more appreciative of the safety you have.

You’ll Get Your Butt In Shape

No seriously, your butt will actually get in shape. Ever done a burpee before? There is a reason why your trainer loves them. Burpees work your entire body, they torch fat, and they condition your cardiovascular capacity. Prior to my first Spartan race, I could barely do 10 Burpees without feeling like I was going to throw up. But then something happened, knowing that I’d have 30 Burpees waiting for me at any obstacle I could not complete during the race, I had no choice, I had to learn how to do them. So I kept pushing myself by doing them at the park, the gym, the stairwell at work, the airport and any other opportunity I found. Sure enough over the course of my 8 week pre race training, they got a little bit easier. Now don’t get me wrong, burpees suck, they do. I’m with you. But as I went into that race I knew my butt was in the best shape of it’s life because I had conquered Burpees.

You’ll Stop Sweating The Small Stuff

There is nothing like having to bear crawl under 200 yards of barbed wire…up a 35% incline of a hill…to force you to examine your mental toughness. It’s in these moments that our resolve is tested. It’s in the being tested that we are then able to overcome obstacles in our every day lives. In our modern world we are rarely ever tested. Our patience might be tested by a family member or friend. Our energy might be tested by our boss who’s making us work overtime, and our endurance might be tested by our personal trainer during a very reasonably priced 50 minute session at The Resort :). However, we aren’t tested on a primal or survival level. It’s once we’ve passed these tests on the obstacle course and we return home that the small things don’t seem so big. Suddenly, the jerk in front of us who missed the green arrow doesn’t seem as big of a jerk. The heat of a sweltering summer in the non air conditioned gorgeous Resort gym isn’t as hot, and the baby crying in the row in front of us on the redeye flight to New York doesn’t seem quite as loud. Why? You harnessed your inner primal self and carried a bucket full of gravel up an inclined hill when your legs were on fire and your lungs were burning.

You’ll Have A Blast

I know some of the scenarios I’ve described may not seem like it, but trust me, YOU WILL HAVE A BLAST. When it’s all said and done, when you’ve taken your post race shower, you’ve got your finisher’s medal hanging around your neck, you’ll feel exhausted. But you’ll be sitting with your friends, the ones you came with and the new ones you made, drinking your free beer and stuffing your face with fast digesting carbohydrates to help fuel your recovery per your trainer Rob’s recommendation and you’ll smile. You’ll smile really big. Because you accomplished an event. While others slept in, while others went to brunch, you pushed yourself. You tackled the unknown and you lived to have your friends ask you all about it at work on Monday morning, because your instagram account was on fire due to the awesome action shots of you on the course!

You’ll Fall In Love With Yourself

Not in the “I’m so amazing look at me” way, but in the “I’m damn proud of myself” way. The way that gives yourself permission to pull your shoulders back a little further, hold your head up a little higher and generally just be a happier person. Why does this happen? Because you committed to something, you signed yourself up, told people you were going to do it and then you did it. You accomplished a task that most fear, you got over yourself, your fears and you just did it. You are a changed person post race. You are a new you.

As I say to my clients all the time, “If you want to change your body, you’ve got to change your routine.” Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, Rugged Maniac. It doesn’t matter. Sign Up. Change your routine. Change your body. You’ll have a blast.

Rob Hardin is a Certified Personal Trainer, Spartan Race Competitor and Coach. He’ll be completing his 2018 Spartan Trifecta with the SoCal Beast October 20th in Lebec, CA. He’d love it if you joined him. You can follow him on Twitter & Instagram @RobertHardin where he posts workout & nutritional advice.

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