One of the great benesfits of the CORE Boot Camp program in Newton, Ma. is that it is built (unintentionally at first) to prepare anyone for an obstacle course race.  The energy system and muscular demands of both the race and the CORE Boot Camp program are similar.  This makes this program one of the best in the Boston area for preparing for Spartan Fenway, and any Spartan or obstacle course race now offered on the circuit.

Participants preparing for an obstacle course race, specifically a Spartan Race who are using running as their primary training modality are in for a big surprise.  What makes the explosion in popularity of obstacle course races is the variety each race offers.  Traditional road races can be boring for many and boredom can lead to a higher drop out rate in participation for certain personalities and populations of exercisers.  A variety in the actual race and from a fitness standpoint the variety in energy systems and muscles worked are what some need to stay interested enough to continuously participate.  Running a 5k will use the same muscular and joint movement pattern over and over.  An obstacle course race will train the body in many more different planes of motion than a traditional 5k.  The CORE Boot Camp program was designed to train muscles in all of the major movement planes.

*  Sagittal plane – straight ahead movements ( i.e running a road race).

* Frontal plane – lateral movements.

* Transverse plane – rotational movements.

Total body strength and grip strength are two components that are essential for successful completion of an obstacle course race.  Add anaerobic energy system challenges and it is clear why traditional running isn’t enough to prepare for a Spartan Race.

1.  Outdoors – CORE Boot Camp in Newton, Ma. is an outdoor program.  The program will run outdoors until daylight allows it to.  In the fall the entire workout is held outdoors rain or shine until the end of September.  Once October rolls around the start of the workout moves indoors, but the workout will transition outdoors once the sun rises.  Spartan Fenway is in the month of November, so being acclimated to exercising outdoors is important when preparing to participate in an outdoor event like this.

2.  Heavy carrying exercises – CORE Boot Camp utilizes a lot of heavy carrying exercises such as the farmer’s carry and variations there of.   Heavy dumb bells, sand bags, barbells, buckets filled with bricks all have been used to train both grip strength and anaerobic energy system.  Most obstacle course races, including Spartan, involve a minimum of one heavy carry for distance.  The Spartan Race can have a log, sand bag, bucket of rocks or even a 5 gallon water jug carry in it’s course design.  The more specific the training the better prepared for successful completion.  Many racers focus on running and burpees when training; which are important but there is so much more to an obstacle course race than cardiovascular endurance.

3.  Dynamic core stability is trained – the plank is arguably a ” good ” exercise to train torso stability.  But, in the realm of preparing for an event such as the Spartan Race series it is critical that dynamic torso (or core) stability is trained.  What is dynamic torso stability?  A plank is a stabilizing exercise where there is no movement of the body at all.  This is great in very few applications in the real world or for performance.  At no time during a Spartan Race or any race will you ever be completely still in a plank like position.  Beginners are started in the traditional plank exercise position but once the ability to demonstrate good stability through the torso they are quickly progressed up to plank exercises while the body is moving.  For example, the TRX front roll out.  The bear crawl exercise which is very Spartan race specific.  This exercise requires keeping steady through the midsection while traveling forward on all fours, hands and knees.  One of the staple Spartan obstacles is a low crawl of some kind whether it be under barbed wire or another barrier.

In conclusion, if you are registered for the Spartan Fenway race and are primarily running on the street to prepare, please sign up for a one workout trial on our homepage to get the race specific training your body needs to conquer the great challenge that is a Spartan Race.

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