Reaping the rewards
“Reaper was set up in 2011. I had been doing obstacle races for some time and my business partner Colin was looking for a way to get fit. We looked around but one night, over a few pints, we decided to launch our own brand and our own course.
“People are looking to do something that has more of a challenge and OCR takes people out of their comfort zone, whether by climbing, crawling or whatever. It’s functional fitness. It’s body weight, it’s hauling yourself up and over stuff, it’s climbing, crawling, running… you get a good mix of all-over body exercise, plus a nice bit of cardio as well.
“People get an adrenalin rush doing Reaper and the races enable them to challenge themselves in a social way. The main thing is that people are outdoors, running and having fun.”
Reaper Obstacle gym
“Our obstacle gym is a great training facility. Previously, it had been used as an outward-bound centre for kids and is basically a shortened obstacle course, 900m, with 30 obstacles plus a selection of other training equipment.
“The difference between coming to the gym and signing up for an event is that the gym enables you to do whatever you like. You can bring your family – we have kids as young as six coming around with their parents – or you might want to spend two or three hours simply running laps while practising for another event. We cater for both and everything in between. It’s a relaxed way of getting into OCR without the pressure of signing up for an event.”
Get Obstacle fit
You’ve read the background, now try it for yourself. Tim Spittle is the co-founder and head trainer at Freestyle360 based in the Cotswolds, with years of experience in personal and group training indoors and out. Here, he provides an obstacle workout he says will “revolutionize your training, build your endurance and get mud strong.”
Warm-up and prep
Get prepped, warm-up and mobilize. Preparation is key! Ensure you’re fully hydrated and fuel your workout with a protein-rich, carbohydrate meal 90 minutes before you train. Grab a backpack, water, towel and timer, then head off to your local OCR training facility or park and get ready to sweat.
Run a 10-minute circuit at 60-70% of your maximum heart rate to get warm and increase blood flow. Then, two minutes of high knees, side lunges, deep squats and windmills (rotating arms), which will loosen your muscles and reduce the risk of injury.
Select one exercise from Group A, one from B and one from C, then carry out each of them for 60 seconds in succession with good form and maximum intensity, rest for 90 seconds and repeat. Work down the list keeping the groups in order, but mix up the sequences of exercises to prevent boredom.
Perform 1 of each set (4 sets in total).
Repeat each set twice.
Repeat each set three times and try and reduce recovery time between sets.