Written By: Coach Joel Hayes, Trio Fitness OCR 


But First: (Who is Trio Fitness?)



Pretty much every single obstacle course race takes place outside. While there are a few companies like City Challenge Race and Terrain Race that put on events on road/mostly paved courses, most OCRs are dirt courses. For a lot of people living in very urban locations, it can be hard to replicate the type of running and training needed for OCR. That’s why I’m writing this article...for all of you in the city areas without much access to trails and sandbags and grass hills.

I’m going to be giving you the 4 best things you can be doing inside a gym that will improve your OCR skills the most to help your performance on race day. Let’s do this!

Exercise 1 of 4: High Resistance Biking/Cycling

It doesn’t matter if it’s a spin bike or stationary bike, what matters is the resistance. I frequently see people using the bike for cardio, and that’s good! However, if you really want to build up some cardiovascular ability, you can’t just sit on the bike for 30 minutes at a very low resistance. What you should do instead is set at least 45 minutes aside for your bike workout. After you’ve warmed up for a few minutes, CRANK THAT RESISTANCE UP! “Hard” is a relative term, so I’m not going to give you any concrete numbers, but your personal goal should be to take the resistance high enough that you can sustain it, but also high enough that it feels like you’re trying to peddle through drying honey. Not only will you strengthen your legs considerably by doing this, but you’ll be working on your cardiovascular ability at the same time!


Exercise 2 of 4: Treadmill Farmer Carries

Yeah, you’ll probably look weird to everyone else in the gym. No matter! The best way to go about this is to get on a treadmill with an “emergency stop” cord. Simply attach it to you for safety. Crank the incline on the treadmill up to 7-8%. Now, grab a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand, and walk. Do your very best to keep your shoulders up, not slumped. Keep your core engaged and don’t slouch forward. Just walk. You’ll build tons of grip, trap, quad, glute, and calf strength while doing this exercise. It’ll help prepare you for all of the heavy carries as well as for hills!


Exercise 3 of 4: Rope Pull-Downs On The Cable Machine      


 No doubt, every time you go to the gym, you see people doing tricep extensions with the rope attachment on the cable machines. You’re going to use those. However, we’re working on pulling strength here to help prepare you for the Spartan Race Hercules Hoist! Attach the rope at the top of the pulley machine, lower yourself to a seated position on the floor (just like most people do for the Hercules Hoist) and pull your elbows down all the way to your sides. You can do this with as much weight as you can handle for 3-5 reps, and that’ll help you build up the strength needed for the Herc Hoist...and many other heavy obstacles. (*Bonus: If you want to level up, try using one arm at a time!)

Exercise 4 of 4: Hanging Knee Raises  

Dead Hangs are awesome for developing grip strength for OCR. However, a very important part of body control during running or while attempting an obstacle is core strength. Double your efforts by doing knee raises while dead hanging from a bar. You get the best of both worlds PLUS some because you’ll get used to controlling movement as you dead hang. (*Bonus: Similar exercises include: Hanging Bicycles, Hanging Leg Raises, and Hanging Oblique Knee Raises.) 


"Never stop. That’s how I train and that’s how I expect my clients to train. You give it everything you have each time because that is the measure of success" - Coach Joel Hayes




Incorporate these into your OCR training when you’re in the gym, and I think you’ll be quite pleased with the results you get back! Good luck training!

-Coach Joel


Where Can I Find More Trio Fitness? Links:





If you love this article, scroll down to see the exciting announcement of Trio Fitness' new launch!! 


A Message From Trio Fitness OCR:

 Welcome to the Global Coliseum. Trio Fitness OCR has created an exciting new opportunity for OCR athletes to win prize money with just a few minutes of working out.

Here’s the deal: Each month, we will be releasing two unique competitions. Competitors will have three days to upload their video submission. Our officials will review all the videos and announce the winners. Each athlete will also receive an Age Group and Gender ranking.

The challenges will cover a large spectrum of strength, speed, and endurances exercises that are pivotal in OCR training.

Want more info? Click the link here!





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