OCR – Obstacle Course Training Part 2


    Part 1 on Obstacle Course Racing here…

    Where are O.C.R.’s held?

    O.C.R. races can be held in a myriad of settings. While each OCR organization favors a type of venue, they can be done almost anywhere. Some of the most common areas they’re held are at Ski Slopes and Ski Parks, Public Parks, Specialized OCR Parks, Military or Police training facilities, Farms, County Fairgrounds and I’ve even seen the most unlikely venues hold an Inflatables course. What all this is to say, is that you don’t have to live in Southern California or similar to experience these races.

    OCR’s can vary from fun to intense military style courses. Pick one that suits your abilities!

    Course Selection & Preparation…

    While participants in OCR’s don’t “need” sport specific training, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the event and obstacles you are committing to. 

    Typically, race organizers will require you meet a minimum age requirement and sign off that you are physically able to complete the course, you should ensure that you have some level of baseline fitness that will allow you to safely participate and finish the race.

    You should keep in mind that you need not cause others risk of injury by needing come to your aid if you are physically incapable of basic strength and fortitude to complete basic tasks like climbing a ladder, getting up after a fall or jogging at a reasonable pace for a few hundred yards at a time.

    OCR Organizations…

    Here’s a short list of just some of the most popular races.  

    There are literally hundreds of organizations and races across the US and even more across the globe…  

    OCR Field of Obstacles at the Battle Frog Ohio Race

    What kind of obstacles will I encounter?

    So what exactly should you expect to encounter on course and what should I be training for? Fact is, unless you’ve got all the time in the world to dedicate to training for it, you’ll not be able to plan to train for them all.  It’s good to know about the possibilities, but it’d take a lifetime to master them all.

    Going in knowing that there will be challenges is half the battle.  The other half is tackling it.  Give it your best and see what happens.  If you can’t overcome the obstacle, no worries, at least you tried.  Often times in OCR’s, the organization will offer a “makeup exercise” for skipping an obstacle.  Sometimes it’s burpees, sometimes it’s jumping jacks…it’s all up to the race organizers.

    Fact is that if you sign up for an obstacle race, you should expect to attempt every obstacle, except for those that may endanger you or others. If you know you can’t swim, don’t try on race day.  Skip it.

    There is no shame in failing; but there is plenty of shame in deliberately skipping an 8-foot wall climb because you don’t want to try it out of fear of failure.

    The OCR community is a very supportive one.  If you are willing to muster up the guts to try, there’ll be a 20 people behind you, ready to hoist your muddy butt up the wall should you fail on your own.  Even if it means six people have to form a human staircase.  They’ll be there for you.

    What’s more, they’ll congratulate you for trying.  If it’s unsurmountable, well then do the penalty for not completing the obstacle.  You’ll know you gave full effort and expended energy to “earn” the right to pass.

    The reason you sign up for an obstacle race to begin with it to “overcome obstacles” so get on with it and give them a go!

    Most race websites provide a list of obstacles that have been seen in the past and some even give you a full out course description with everything laid out for you.  Do some research once you decide on a race/organization and be prepared.

    Youtube and Google are your friends if you don’t know what a mud pit death wall is… 😉

    Here’s a quick list of some of the basics you’ll see on many courses…

    OCR Obstacle Photos

    • Julie Lohre completes the Cargo Net Climb

      Julie Lohre completes the Cargo Net Climb

    • Julie Lohre OCR Sand Bag Carry

      Julie Lohre completes the OCR Sand Bag Carry

    • Julie Lohre completes the Rope Wall Climb

      Julie Lohre completes the Rope Wall Climb

    • Julie Lohre completes the spear toss

      Julie Lohre completes the spear toss

    • Julie Lohre completes the Wall Climb

      Julie Lohre completes the Wall Climb

    • Julie Lohre completes the Ring Cross

      Julie Lohre completes the Ring Cross

    • Julie Lohre completes the Chest Bumper

      Julie Lohre completes the Chest Bumper

    • Julie Lohre completes the Rope & Ring Swing

      Julie Lohre completes the Rope & Ring Swing

    Some course websites have a list of obstacles and some even have photos and video demonstrations of them!!

    Here are a few:

    Tough Mudder Obstacles
    Spartan Race Obstacles
    Warrior Dash Obstacles

    Cargo Net Climb


    Fire Jump

    Spear Throw

    High Knee Run (Tire Run, Agility Course, etc.)

    Balance Beam/Logs

    Incline Wall

    Rope Climb


    Inverted Wall

    Monkey Bars

    Wall Traverse

    Tube Crawl


    Swim, depending on location

    Barbed Wire Crawl

    Sandbag Carry

    Bucket Carry

    Object Carry (log, etc.)

    Tire Drag

    Tractor Pull

    Tire Flip


    Mud Pit(s)

    Tyrolean Traverse

    Fire in Your Hole (Cargo Net, Slide)

    Pyramid Scheme (Incline Wall, Teamwork Needed)

    Family Feud (Balance Beam)

    Pole Dancer (Parallel Bars)

    Underwater Tunnels (Swim)

    Boa Constrictor (Tube Crawl)

    Ladder to Hell (Walls)

    Hangin’ Tough (Monkey Bars with Rings)

    Balls to the Wall (Wall/Rope Climb)

    Island Hopping (Balance Logs/Platforms)

    Dirty Ballerina (Muddy Terrain)

    Cliffhanger (Muddy Terrain)

    Trench Warfare (Tunnel Crawl)

    Log Jammin’ (Over/Under/Through, Logs instead of Walls)

    Glory Blades (Inverted Wall)

    Dong Dangler (Rope Traverse)

    Phoenix (Fire Jump)

    Cage Crawl

    Hold Your Wood (Object Carry)

    Electric Eel (Barbed Wire Crawl, Electric Shock)

    Twinkle Toes (Balance Beam)

    Lumberjacked (Walls, Logs instead of actual Walls)

    King of the Mountain

    Just the Tip (Traverse Wall)

    Walk the Plank (Platform Jump)

    Mud Mile (Muddy Terrain)

    Kiss of Mud (Barbed Wire Crawl)

    Funky Monkey (Monkey Bars)

    Everest (Quarter-Pipe)

    Electroshock Therapy (Electric Shock)

    Berlin Walls (Walls)

    Arctic Enema (Ice Water Plunge)

    Obstacle Examples…
    Don’t let the names scare you!

    Steep Hills

    Dirt & Mud


    Water Pools







    Monkey Bars

    Zip Lines

    Rope Hill Climbs



    Creek Walks

    Barbed Wire Crawls

    Warped Walls

    Fire Jump

    and many more.

    Looking for a program to get you in shape to race an OCR?
    My FITBODY Lifestyle plan is a perfect fit!

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