• OCR Office Fitness

 Office Fitness at work for "Obstacle Course Race" training

Written By: Mike Crimmins
Office life vs. fit life: do they have to compete?

The office can be a place where fitness goals go to die. A place where you sit all day, staring at a computer screen while fighting bad posture. That birthday cake that some well-intentioned manager brought in for a coworker's birthday doesn't help. Or even worse, the fancy donuts that another coworker brought in "just because." Just because they wanted you to gain a few pounds?

Or the office could be a place to supplement your obstacle course race training. A place where instead of hurting your fitness, you’re keeping your workouts going all day to give a little extra attention to your core or to get your heart rate raised a few beats.

And dare I say it, the office might even be a place where you can lure a coworker or two to join you out on the race course, crawling through mud and jumping over fire. After all, that's not much different than dealing with upset clients or angry bosses, right?

If you’re lucky enough to have a gym at your workplace, this article isn’t for you. Plus, I’m kind of jealous. This article is for the people who don’t have a lot of extra time, but are willing to sneak in a few minutes of exercise here and there.

 Office Fitness at work for "Obstacle Course Race" training

Some of these ideas are not new. Maybe a little obvious. However, I’m sure that whether you’re brand new to obstacle course racing or a seasoned veteran, if you go to work in an office, these are for you. Plus, they can be done without breaking a serious sweat that might draw unwanted attention in afternoon meetings.

I’ve divided fitness opportunities into options you can do by yourself and things you can do as a team, department, etc. Ready? Here goes!

Office Fitness at work for "Obstacle Course Race" training

Individual: Before Work 
  • If you live close enough to work and the weather is reasonable, I hope you’re biking or walking to work. It may take a few minutes longer than driving, but your body will thank you.
  • If you have to drive, at least don’t take the parking spot closest to the door. Instead, park as far away in the parking lot as you can. Or better yet, park a block or two away. It's not the same as walking all the way to work, but it will give you more time on your feet.
  • If your office is on the second floor or higher and you’re training for an obstacle course race, you’re no longer allowed to take the elevator. I live in New Orleans and hills are hard to come by. The walk up the stairs to my fifth floor office has officially become part of my hill training.
Individual: At Work
  • Sitting is the new smoking. Standing on your feet for eight hours will give you a good feeling of what your legs will feel like after conquering an obstacle course...minus the mud of course. I recommend starting with an hour of standing and working your way up to standing the majority of your day if possible. Desk stands, even adjustable ones, can start at under $100. You may even be able to talk the accounting department into paying for it!
  • There are lots of exercises that you can sneak in at your desk without attracting attention. Push-ups are an easy one, and probably my favorite. Planks are another popular option, and squats are great idea too. Wall sits are great if you’re stuck on a conference call and can just put the phone on speaker.
  • Even if you’re not using a standing desk or sneaking in exercises, stretching should be on your list. It’s a good way to keep your back happy and to stay loose in general, and is even more beneficial if you've done a morning workout before work. Plus, no one is going to walk by your cubicle and look at you like you’re crazy if you’re stretching...unless maybe you’re doing downward dog.
  • For grip strength work, I’ve also bought a hand gripper to the office. This is my go-to when I’m on a long call or when I need to think. Not only is it effective, but it's a lot more acceptable than bringing a pull-up bar to the office.
**Bonus points for carrying anything heavy around the office for your coworkers. This includes, but is not limited to, the water jug in the break room or office supply deliveries. 

You can also do exercises with a partner! I’m an introvert, but I’ll admit at times working out with someone is more fun. I’ve done a variety of monthly challenges with coworkers with great results.

The idea is that you start out with a low number of reps for an exercise and increase it every day for a month. This is perfect for push-ups, wall sits, planks, etc.

With A Team:

At my last office, we did monthly fitness challenges. Similar to the above, we started at a low number of reps and increased that number every workday.

Recommended exercises include planks, push-ups and wall sits, all exercises that everyone can do and do in dress or professional clothes.

At the end of the month, we had a contest to see who could do the most reps or hold the position for the longest (in the case of planks and wall sits). Management was even nice enough to give gift cards to the winners!

Fierce Gear OCR workplace fitness challenge for "obstacle course race" training


Those are a few of my favorite ways to stay fit and obstacle course ready at work. But don’t think you’re limited to just these things...take these ideas as inspiration and run with it! What are some tactics that you use to keep up with your fitness in the workplace?



Bonus: Check Out These Simple Desk-side Stretches Published By Consumer Health Digest!

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