Monday, April 15, 2013

How CrossFit Can Help You Train for a Mud Run

There are many different fitness crazes and fads that are constantly coming and going. Everybody has their own sort of routine whether it be running, pumping iron in the gym, or even utilizing the newest infomercial fitness gadget.  But which fitness routine will get you in the best possible shape for a mud run or obstacle course?  CrossFit!   

What is CrossFit? 
If you’re not familiar with CrossFit, it is most easily described as the sport of fitness. The workouts are constantly changing and challenging. CrossFit consists of many different pulling movements from a plethora of different sports and exercises to test your strength, cardiovascular system and flexibility (known as “mobility” in CrossFit lingo).  Overall, CrossFit focuses on improving an athlete’s overall level of fitness. A general CrossFit WOD (Workout of the Day) is no longer than 20 minutes. Twenty minutes may seem like a cakewalk, but the workouts are highly intense and physically exhausting. Daily WODs are available on the CrossFit website for free; all you need is the equipment.

Is CrossFit Popular? 
The intense and efficient workout program known as CrossFit has been widely adopted by people from all walks of life who have the desire to push themselves to the peak of their physical ability. In addition to over 5000 boxes (affiliate gyms), CrossFit WODs have been implemented by many fire department and first responders, law enforcement agencies, military and professional/university athletic programs.

How Serious Does Crossfit Get? 
For some CrossFitters, the WODs are just a way to stay in shape and get healthy. Then there is another level of CrossFitters known as elite level or “games” athletes.  The athletes train according to a rigorous schedule, often 2-3 times a day, in preparation of the CrossFit Games. The CrossFit Games were created in 2007 to find the “fittest athletes on earth”.  The games incorporate the mainstay movements of CrossFit along with plenty of curveballs so the athletes must be prepared for anything.

How Will Crossfit Help Me Train for a Mud Run?
Quite well, in fact.  Many of the movements in CrossFit are akin to obstacles in our course. With that in mind, it only makes sense that CrossFit is the premier way to get in Ruckus shape.
To help you prepare to dominate your next Ruckus race (or any other mud run!), we’ve broken down our obstacles to find the CrossFit movement that will be help you train: 
  • Barricade Boulevard:  For this obstacle, your upper body strength will be tested.  Train by using CrossFit movements like muscle ups to help get you up and over the barricades.
  • Air Loops: Swinging from rope to rope can take its toll on your forearms. Heavy kettlebell swings will give you lumberjack forearms to get you through this tough obstacle.
  • Gorilla Bars: Another upper body gasser! As long as you train with a few kipping pull ups, you’ll be eating bananas at the finish line in no time.
  • The Gr8 Walls of Ruckus: Yet again another obstacle to test your upper body. The Gr8 Wall of Ruckus is even higher than any of our Barricade Boulevards, but you have pegs and ropes to assist you. Train with weighted pull ups and you won’t even need the extra assistance.
  • Mt. Hay: By the time you hit this monstrous climb, your upper body might be tired. Combat this by using your legs. Nothing strengthens your core and legs like CrossFit’s front squats.
  • Awkward A-Frame: We don’t call it awkward for nothing!  The Awkward A-Frame will challenge your dexterity and your body as a whole. Clean and jerks will challenge you the same way while strengthening you in the process.
  • Mud Garden: If you don’t explode out of the mud, you’ll get stuck. Box jumps are great for training your quick twitch explosive muscles.
  • Ab Drags: You’re going to be dirty and your core will be challenged. You can’t do anything about the mud, but plank crawls will help prepare your core!
  • Nose Bleed Nets:  The rope net is your ally and enemy at the same time. Becoming friends with rope climbs beforehand will keep you on their good side.
  • Ranger Bars: Just as challenging as Ab Drags, only this time, you’re upside down...and on a pole.  CrossFit’s wall walks work your whole body and help with the inversion thing many people struggle with.
  • Normandy Spikes: Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack should train with CrossFit pistols to avoid sharp sticks!
  • Lobster Traps: Don’t think crustacean...think like a bear!
  • Down-n-Outs:  Getting out is the tricky part, but overhead lunges will teach you to take long and strong strides up and out.
  • Twisted Fences: The key is to jump and pull yourself over as quickly as possible.  Jumping pull ups will have you sliding down the other side with ease.
  • Tirefield: This obstacle has been designed to trip you up when you’re tired. Bar-facing burpees will have you ready to get back up in case you meet the rubber.
  • Mt. Ruckmore: The pièce de résistance of the Ruckus course—Mt. Ruckmore!  When you combine all the previous movements together, Mt. Ruckmore will be child's play.  Feel free to slide your chiseled body all the way down its slope and celebrate! 

CrossFit is a dynamite way to start your Ruckus training.  Combined with a few runs and jogs throughout the week, you’ll be in tip-top shape for Ruckus.  With proper training, both mentally and physically, the Ruckus course (or any other mud run for that matter) will feel like another day at the playground...only slightly muddier!  

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