• Kick Your OCR Training Up A Notch With This WOD From Spartan Pro Team Athlete Rebecca Hammond

OCR Spartan Pro Team Athlete Rebecca Hammond

Exercises Contributed By: Rebecca Hammond
Article Compiled By: Fierce Gear OCR



Obstacle Course Race training: maybe one of the most difficult concepts to nail down, and that's not just because it's a relatively new sport. With events varying wildly between venues, obstacles, distances and brands, it requires a new kind of "holistic" approach to fitness. Training can be as unique and tailored to the individual as the different races are from each other but one thing is for sure: just having good endurance or just being strong or just being fast isn't going to cut it.

Ever wondered what the most elite of the elite OCR athletes are doing at the gym to prep for their next race? We caught up with Spartan Pro Team athlete Rebecca Hammond who allowed us to publish what SHE does in a typical workout! For those of you who don't (yet) know her, Rebecca you will soon enough! Rebecca popped onto the OCR scene in 2018 and never looked back: taking several podium spots including taking second place at the 2018 Spartan Race North American Regional Championship and second place at the 2018 Spartan World Championships. OH YEAH - did we mention that when she's not crushing it on the course or being a badass on the CBS show Million Dollar Mile (**premiering Wednesday, March 27 at 9/8c!) she's a freaking medical student at Harvard University? If you're looking for some great insider info and tips for how to prepare for YOUR next race, this is definitely a good place to start.

This workout, comprised of four main exercises, is meant to be a strength session done a couple times per week as a supplement to your regular running workouts. Hammond claims it could be finished in about 30 minutes if needed, but probably more enjoyable to complete with other people and at a slower pace. The exercises, explanations, and videos below are reposted directly from Rebecca's Instagram page. We left her commentary and hashtags, because they're hilarious. Enjoy!  

Exercise 1 of 4: Back Squats


I'm generally too lazy to lift, but if it's quick and efficient I can force myself to do it. This season I'm incorporating a high-yield 2x/wk routine into my training.
The first (of 5) exercises is back squats: 10 reps, starting with barbell and increasing in 20lb increments until you can't go anymore. Rest while your buddies go, or for 30-90s if you're a loser with no friends (...who put your phone on the floor to film and ended up with this masterpiece 😂)


Exercise 2 of 4: Lunges 

6 reps each leg (all 6 one leg then straight into the other). Start with barbell and increase in 10lb. increments. Rest while your partners go, or for 30-60s.

You don't have to go very heavy if you focus on the upward explosion, which ensures high intensity while keeping risk of injury low. I went up to 80lb. and it felt awesome after exercise #1 (squats). In the second video you can see Thorleif, the mastermind behind the routine and also quite strong, is getting plenty of intensity without too much weight. He is also using the momentum of the weight to increase intensity - see how he almost throws himself forward before exploding back up? Try this if the weight feels light. It's a game changer! 

#lowriskhighbenefit #ocrtraining#spartanracetraining #weightlifting


Exercise 3 of 4: Incline Dumbbell Press   

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Rebecca Hammond (@becchamm) on Essential exercise #3: Better than bench - Incline dumbbell press (video 2 no comment).

3-4 sets of 8 reps at pretty much max effort. With each set make the bench one setting more horizontal and increase the weight by 5lbs. per dumbbell (it works out!). Dumbbells give you more bang for your buck for pretty much any purpose other than benching itself. It may seem counter intuitive, but this exercise is also lower risk - with bench press, the bar forces your shoulder to track a certain way, and you have to move a lot more weight to get the same intensity. High intensity, low risk is what we want!

Video 3: starting is the hardest part if you're not used to dumbbells: if you're doing this alone, you may have to go lighter in order to start without assistance. Video 4 demonstrates proper starting technique (weights to chest, then out). You should be able to start on your own by using your muscles' stretch reflex at the bottom of the lift with a tiny bounce (subtle in video 4, but he does it). It takes getting comfortable with it, tho.

#ihateupperbodybuthereiam #ocrtraining#spartanracetraining #weightlifting#dumbbells

Exercise 4 of 4: Pull-ups Variations 


 A. Side to side, try to straighten your arm by pushing with that arm

B. Kick through 
C. L sit pull-up. Get those legs as straight as you can! 
D. Side to side with legs. This is the lowest risk version - you can do window wipers for a slightly harder exercise

5 reps of each...Rest for 30-60sec between each

If it's too easy: Add weight, use fewer fingers
If it's too hard: Jump up to each one, or step into an elastic band to reduce the weight

This is the 4th of a simple 4 exercise circuit (good for any type of athlete!) I'm implementing 2x/week this season. It's this exercise (C, the L sit pullup) that reveals the weakness in my athletic form - my lower abdomen! I used a video of Thorleif doing it because it was a better demo. You can bet I'll be working on this one! 

#ocrtraining #spartanracetraining #pulluos#ocrwc #spartanrace

Finisher: Core Work

This one is Athlete's Choice, as Rebecca did not post a video for it! Says Hammond,

"What matters most is that you do something and do it regularly. I like yoga ball jack knives, planks, flutter kicks, etc. If you're with people it's nice to get a circle going and present the number of rounds and time you'll do so you don't slack off!"

 ...While we doubt that this a-mazing athlete would ever really do anything we could consider to be "slacking off," we appreciate the sentiment and dig the suggestion of group exercise for accountability! 



There you have it! Give this workout a try and let us know what you think. What did you like? What would you change? Good luck, and happy training!




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May 03, 2022


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