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A Week of Workouts for Obstacle Athletes

by Joe Vennare, co-founder of The Hybrid Athlete and co-creator of Race Day Domination

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So you have signed up for an obstacle course race and are starting to second-guess your decision.

The libations enjoyed during happy hour combined with peer pressure from friends – wimp, weakling, wuss – got you to agree to take on Tough Mudder, Spartan Race or another one of these insane adventures.

Don’t back down from the challenge, step-up, and start training.

An obstacle race training plan should include strength, cardio, and hybrid workouts that are used to build functional muscle, speed, and overall fitness.

Body weight exercises, compound movements, and kettlebell exercises create the type of relative strength needed to navigate tricky obstacles.

Interval – based cardio, hill sprints, and tempo runs prepare you for the start and stop nature of the race.

Then, hybrid workouts that mix strength and cardio with a weighted vest, sled or backpack develop race specific skills that will come in handy on race day.

Create a well-rounded training plan using this template for your workouts.  Remember to warm-up before each session and scale weights and reps based on your personal ability.


Monday – Strength

5 Rounds

Pull-up @ max repetition


4 Rounds

12x Suspended row/lat pull-down


5 Rounds

6x DB Push-up + plank row

6x DB Military press

6x DB Goblet squat

6x DB Upright row

6x DB Thruster

Rest up to 60 seconds and repeat


Tuesday – Run

Run 3-5 miles at an up-tempo pace


Wednesday – Strength

Work up to 3 Rep Max Front Squat

10 Rounds
2x Front Squat every minute, on the minute (Select a challenging load, but get all reps with perfect form)

Rest 3-5 minutes, then


(i.e. 25 reps of each of the following exercises for the first set, 20 on the second set, and so on.)

KB Swing

Walking Lunge

KB Goblet Squat


Thursday – Run

Hill sprints or track intervals

For example, 8-10 x 90 second hill repeats


Friday – Rest


Saturday – Hybrid Workout or Long Run

Run longer than you did Wednesday and maintain a conversational pace


Get creative and challenge yourself to a hybrid workout

400m (about 1/4 mile) Burpees


4 Rounds

Farmers Walk @ 50 yards

Bear Crawl @ 50 yards

Weighted sled push @ 50 yards


Sunday – Rest



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