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How to train for the Spartan Race tire flip!

During my time in Infantry Training at Fort Benning, GA, most of our physical training has been done in the mornings and the cadre decides what training event everyone will do together. The level/difficulty of training is not the same standard that I had before coming to Basic Training, so myself, and other motivated individuals use our free time in the evenings to do more workouts. One tool we have access to is a tire and it reminded me of the tire flip at Spartan Race.

I know I'm not the only one, not by a long shot, who has failed the tire flip. We saw the majority of the top male OCR athletes in the world fail the tire earlier this year in Jacksonville, FL. Usually the excuse is "it was muddy/wet" or "I couldn't get a grip" or "normally I could get it but I was just too tired". The reality is that you won't fail the tire if you train correctly.

One of the most beneficial exercises you can perform is the deadlift. You can do deadlifts with a straight bar or hex bar, but a straight bar will be much more practical for the tire flip. The tire for the Men is 400lbs and for the Women is 200lbs. When doing the tire flip obstacle, you aren't actually lifting the entire 400 or 200lbs so when you are training your deadlifts, you don't actually have to be able to life that total weight. I'd suggest aiming to be able to deadlift 3 reps of 3/5th of the total tire weight.

Another extremely beneficial exercise for the tire flip is chin-ups/inverted rows with a palms up grip. The tire flip, unlike traditional deadlifts, requires a palms up grip and often times you aren't able to get much of your hand under the tire so you have to rely a lot more on your finger/grip strength. Chin-ups replicate the same type of bicep/forearm/finger strength needed to be able to get the tire moving, especially within the first 6-12 inches from the ground because that's the most difficult part of the lift.

BONUS!! Remember, the majority of any OCR is running, so you need to train to be able to lift on tired legs and while out of breathe. Add in some running intervals between deadlift/chin-up sets and you'll be much better prepared to crush the tire flip! #nomoreburpees

If you have any questions about the training info in this article, please feel free to reach out to us! Email us at

Also, check out our OCR Training Programs! Our programs are customized to fit your specific race goals, current fitness level, and equipment/time availability!

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