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The R.E.P.S. Method...The Only Method You Should be Using for Obstacle Course Training

I play a game with myself at the beginning of every race where I try to pick out the person I think is the one to pace with in order to win.


My oh my sweet apple pie how that person has changed over time as I have run more and more races.


At first it was the CROSSFITTERS.

The big muscle bound, magazine cover terminator lookin folks.

Let's be real. They look freakin badass with their cut off tees and muscles rippling. It is impossible to think that anyone other than these poster children for beasting an OCR would be the ones to beat.


While these astounding, badass, hardworking humans are universally gifted at the strength obstacles and all things monkey bar challenge, by the time I hit the 2nd mile I had generally pulled ahead of who I had my eye on.


My ability to continue running and not loose time walking, mixed with my ease in mobility through certain obstacles, brought me to the forefront.


So the take away here...

HELL YASSS they were strong and darn right enviable as they breezed through the rings.


BUT!


Without coupling strength training with running practice, their cardiovascular endurance gave out. Also, to be fair, muscles are heavy, so they are also carrying around extra weight.


AND!


Being muscle bound often means lacking range of motion (mobility) especially when it comes to obstacles that have you crawling, belly to ground, under barbed wire or crouching under a net duck walking down a hill.


SO THEN...

I decided it must be those gloriously lean, whip fast runners I had to keep my eye on. 5ks are candy to these human cheetahs. They were gonna chew this up and spit this puppy out, and then go bang out another 10 miles before lunch time.


Ya know what? They had me convinced too. Often times I'd catch a flash of the runner I'd eyed earlier looping around a corner 1/2 a mile or more ahead of me. Oof...I was screwed.


HOWEVER...


Usually around 2/3 - 3/4 of the way through the race...

I would pull ahead.


BECAUSE!


These incredibly gifted athletes had spent all of their time running, so by the time they were a few strength obstacles deep they were burning out. It was a combination of fatigue in muscles they weren't accustomed to using (the same way crossfitters burned out on running) and having to waste time and energy on penalties.


Let's be clear... I am not braggin.

I do not think I am stronger than a crossfit athlete or faster than a runner.

I am not even saying I work harder...

In fact? I train less.


So why was I able to place first in the Spartan 10k and DEKA Fit Age Group events?


Because I trained the R.E.P.S. Method.


I created this method as a result of watching what everyone was doing right and then paying attention to what they were missing.


The R.E.P.S. Method is a mixed modality training method that focuses on


R - esistance Training

E - ndurance Training

P - erseverance Training

S - tretch & Mobility Training


It is a holistic training plan that builds strength while increasing endurance and maximizing mobility, all the while developing mental toughness.


Before we get into the 2 options for how to build a R.E.P.S. training plan, I want to pause and chat Perseverance


Why did that make our model?

This is a life skill that I have come to value deeply over the past few years.


The ability to come up against hardship and embrace it.

To trust that by taking the right next action one step or task at a time we can and will get through anything.


At the end of every storm comes the sun.


There is no better place to practice this than on the course.


Time and time again we are pushed beyond our comfort zone and asked to try something we wouldn't normally do - that we may even be afraid of.


For some of us perseverance means asking ourselves to keep running when we would be more comfortable walking. For others, we may have a fear of tight spaces or crawling through the dark towards the unknown. Others still may have a terrible fear of heights.


During my first obstacle course a teammate had a shattering fear of heights. She had been crushing the course and having a great time until she got to the last obstacle: a 30 foot cargo net climb. We paused and took around 5 minutes deciding if she would go through with it.


Finally, she told me, she came here to push herself. Until this moment she thought it would all be physical, but now she was faced with a mental obstacle : Fear.


She said that if she left the course without having at least tried she knew she would regret it. Next she did the bravest thing I had ever seen a person do to that date. She walked up to the net, knowing she was terrified of heights, and asked to be lifted to the climb.


Perseverance does not mean that it was a walk in the park for her. Every rung she grabbed and foot hold she found was a fight against every instinct in her body that was telling her to stop. At the top of the A-Frame, was not relief, but tears, fear reignited by having to climb down.


All along she was accompanied by our team surrounding her and cheering her on, in absolute awe of her courage.


At the bottom of the frame we were all overcome by her perseverance and bravery, and we all started crying and hugging.


So many moments of OCR, upon recall, bring chills to my body and this is one of them.


If you have never seen a person overcome something so deep or felt it yourself - let me tell you. There is nothing like it.


To this day, I carry the inspiration of my friend overcoming her obstacle with me as I come up against daily things that bring me fear and anxiety. I remember the joy and pride on the other side. The happy tears and the hugs. It's always there waiting for us after the climb down - we just have to be brave enough to find the next foothold.


In a way, I would say Perseverance is the most important and beneficial practice of the R.E.P.S. model. Chances are that puppy gets its own blog post...

But for now, shall we get back to Training Plans?


You've got 2 options for this:

  1. Alternating Day - to - Day

  2. Mixed Modality in the Same Workout

Day to Day

Schedule your training so that each day of the week you are alternating between one of the R.E.P.S.

Example:

Monday: Resistance Training

Tuesday: Endurance Training (Run or HIIT)

Wednesday: Mobility Training

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Resistance Training Saturday: Endurance Training

Sunday: Recovery Mobility (i.e. gentle yoga flow)


Mixed Modality in the Same Workout:

Build a workout that incorporates all of the R.E.P.S.


EXAMPLE:

10 - 20 Minutes Mobility

20 - 30 Minutes Resistance

10 - 20 Minutes Endurance (Cardio Machine / Running / HIIT)



To Wrap It Up:

The R.E.P.S. Model mixes Resistance Training, Endurance Training, Perseverance & Stretch/Mobility into one optimal training plan.


This holistic methodology is a big picture program that emphasizes maximum OCR results, longevity of our bodies so we can keep moving forever and ever, and keeping it interesting so we don't drop out due to boredom.


However it shakes out in your planning - I promise you the benefits of the R.E.P.S. Method start showing up right away.


If you are still unsure of how to start?

Feel free to reach out to hop on a Discovery Call with me so we can chat goals, hold ups and strategies - reach out through the website with Chat Now.

Join my newsletter for more tips and tricks for training.


Or give it a try on your own with the 30 Day #CouchToCourseRaider Workout Plan. 30 Days of R.E.P.S. with at home workouts 30-minutes or less to fit into your busy schedule.


As always, I am CHEERIN YOU ON!


AROOOO!


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