Updated: Nov 8, 2021
Working out at home can save a lot of time and money. For OCR training, a gym membership may not be necessary. This article is especially important in a time when gyms may still be closed or have varying regulations due to the whole virus thing.
Here is a list of items we personally have found helpful in our OCR training and that won't cost you a lot of money to purchase or time to set up.
These straps can be attached to almost anything, and they are a great tool for training - especially grip strength. You can perform innumerable exercises using these straps: Rows, Pullups, Hangs, Slides, Triceps Extensions, Advanced Planks, etc. Check out Coach Luke's Instagram and you'll see plenty of videos that show how Grip Sling Straps can be used for tons of different exercises. To save 20% on a set of straps, you can use code TRIOOCR20.
Some more videos of how you can train with Grip Sling Straps:
Another awesome tool for grip strength, a gym climbing rope will help you build up all the muscles you need for any and all grip and pulling obstacles at an OCR. Becoming proficient on a rope will almost certainly get you past: Hercules Hoist, Rope Climb, Monkey Bars and other bar obstacles, rigs of all natures, and simply help you get stronger overall. These types of ropes can be hung from a sturdy tree branch, a bracket in a ceiling, or pretty much anything that's strong and higher off the ground.
Price: $130 - $250
TRX is a little bit more pricey compared to other items on this list. However, there are a few things I'd like to point out as to why TRX belongs here. 1: They are worth it. There are hundreds of different exercises and exercise combinations that can be done with a single TRX. 2: You don't have to buy one brand new. I bought my own TRX about four years ago, and I got the highest-end edition they had at the time (cost $250 brand new). However, I shopped around. I found a brand new, unopened TRX on Craigslist (do people still use craigslist???) for $125. There were cheaper, used options, but I wanted mine brand new...cause I'm picky. I have no doubt you can find a used TRX on FB Marketplace (just looked it up, there are some on there for as low as $50), Craigslist, or somewhere else and save a lot of money and still get all the training.
Don't know how to use TRX? Check out our TRX For OCR program to learn how to perform 50 different exercises properly, and get a jump start with 10 different TRX workouts!
Price: Around $40 for 20lbs
I can't recommend weight vests enough. OCR training is far more about long term strength-endurance than it is about pure/raw strength, but sometimes doing bodyweight work just isn't enough for our goals. Sometimes we need to get stronger. Enter the weight vest. Weight vests will go up over 100lbs (not cheap at that point), but even adding 20lbs of weight to your basic exercises like pushups, pullups, dips, planks, lunges, squats, etc. can mean reaching a whole new level of fitness and ability at an OCR. There are tons of brands and shapes and varieties to choose from, but I personally own and use 20lb and 40lb RUNmax weight vests. Also, I never run while wearing them. Never. I use them for the exercises like the ones I listed above.
Price: $8 - $15
Why do you want a jump rope as an OCR athlete? Jump ropes are great for cardio, but more specifically for OCR, they are great for building up calf strength and endurance. Inevitably, while participating in OCR, you are going to hit a race that is on hills at least and huge mountains at worst (or best, depending on how you look at it). If you live in a flat area, or don't have much time to go on runs in the mountains, a jump rope can help you prepare your calves for a lot of the stresses of race day. Also, they are super inexpensive, so it's a no-brainer.
Price: $30 - $40 (weight dependent)
Slam Balls have direct application to Spartan Stadion Races, so that's an easy excuse to buy one. Beside that though, you can use a slam ball for dynamic movements during interval and circuit training. Slam Balls are great for developing power and conditioning. There are dozens of core exercises you can add them into for an extra challenge, and they are one of the cheaper ways to acquire a training tool that's 15lb-20lbs for less than $40.
That's all for our list today! There are tons of other inexpensive tools you can get for your home to improve your OCR training, so look for future articles like this one.
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