With the ever rising popularity of challenge races and obstacle course events, clients often ask what they need to do to train for these adventures. We care about you at Public Body and we know that even after being covered in combination of crusty and drippy mud; after suffering the pains of near frostbite (and likely a  bit of shrinkage); and after submitting yourself to repeated mini spurts of electrocution, you still want to emerge as the sexy mother fu**er that you truly are!  So we are here to help lead you up a steep, mud-laced path to obstacle race domination! Like any sport, these types of races require event-specific conditioning. This is essential for maximal hotness and awesomeness during these types of challenges. Here are some things to think about and start doing now! As always be sure to consult your physician to be sure that you are healthy and able to complete this or any workout regimen.


1)      Work your back!  There are several obstacles that require you to engage your lats to either hoist yourself over walls or stabilize to grab from obstacle to obstacle like with rings, ropes or monkey bars.  Doing pullups 2-3 times each week is a necessity! There are several ways to progress to pullups using a barbell for inverted rows, TRX suspensions systems, and super bands to assist with typical pullups. In addition, be sure to include upright rows 2 times each week using either a barbell, dumbbells or resistance bands.


2)      Add variety to your running. Whether you are running indoors or outdoors, you must vary your speed and inclines. The incline and terrain during challenge races vary greatly throughout the courses. During the nice weather, grab your team and do a steep hike or a trail run. You won’t regret being outdoors for a great workout! If that’s not an option, see below for a 45 minute intermediate  treadmill circuit for you to try to get you ready for your race (To advance, increase speeds by 1-2. To adapt ,decrease speeds by 1-2)



Repeat this treadmill circuit twice:

000-1:00 jog 2% incline/speed between 5-7

1:00-3:00 5% Incline run/speed between 7-9

3:00-5:00 10% jog/speed between 5-7

6:00-7:00 0% jog/recovery

7:00-8:00 4% sprint/speed 9 or higher

8:00-9:00 4% jog/recovery

10:00-12:00 15% jog/speed between 4-6

12:00-13:00 12% incline jog/speed between 4-6

13:00-14:00 9% incline harder jog/speed between 5-7

14:00-15:00 6% run/speed between 7-9

15:00-16:00 6% jog/recovery

17:00-18:00 3% sprint/ speed 9 or higher

18:00-19:00 3% recovery

19:00-21:00 15% incline jog/ speed between 4-6

21:00-22:00 10% jog/ speed between 5-7


3)      Improve your grip strength!  You will be hanging from and grabbing onto a variety of bars, rings and objects during your race. We underestimate the importance of grip strength needed for these challenges. To improve your grip strength try some of these exercises:


-Hold tight!  Put together any combination of barbell plates. Squeeze them together, and hold for as long as you can. Walk around if you’d like JUST BE VERY CAREFUL TO NOT DROP THE PLATES ON  YOUR TOES!  Rest one minute, then repeat for a total of three sets.

-Grab onto a fat one! If your gym has a fat bar, a wider circumference barbell,  throw a couple of plates (or more) on the bar and see how long you can hold it. Rest one minute, then repeat for a total of three sets,  to hold the bar away from your body to avoid cheating.

-Be negative…slowly. While doing lat lull downs on a cable machine or pullups with body weight, use a 5 count negative. That means after the lat pull down, take 5 seconds to let the bar raise back up. When doing pull ups, explosively pull up but then lower your body for 5 full seconds.


As a final smooch from the Public Body team, we have developed four workout sequences  that you can add to your week or you training schedule. Each of them is only 12 minutes or less.

A)     10 burpees and ¼ mile  bonanza. Give yourself 10 minutes start with 10 burpees then run ¼ mile on the treadmill or track. If you are on the treadmill alternate your incline each round between a 4 % incline  and  8% incline. Intermediate runners should keep a run pace between 6.5-8.5 MPH. Do this sequence as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes.

B)     Travelling lunges and pullup party. Give yourself 10 minutes. Grab 2 heavy weights do 12-15 travelling lunges forward then backward then immediately do 8-12 pullups (see pullup progressions above) Repeat for 10 minutes

C)     7 minutes not in heaven. In 7 minutes do 12-15 upright rows. Then do burpee with  pushup and jump right up  into pullup. Do those pushup/pullups to failure. Rest for 40 seconds and repeat for 7 minutes.

D)     The “why did I agree to do this race” workout? In 12 minutes complete as many rounds as possible: Jog for 1 minute,  run ¼ mile, sprint for 45 seconds, 10 upright rows into shoulder press, 10 burpees with pushup. Repeat for 12 minutes


Now go DOMINATE!  Love, your Public Body Team! Ian, Emily, Maryanne and Chad