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Training For The GORUCK GAMES

Instagram: @joelsphayes

I was recently invited to participate in the first ever GORUCK Games. I was out for work during the acceptance period (Army stuff), so it was a nice surprise to see the email and invite roster (below) when I had my phone again. As long as my work schedule allows, I'll be there to compete.

So how am I going to train for these games without exactly knowing what weights, distances, or obstacles to expect? The event seems to be broken down into 3 categories:

1: Obstacle Race

2: "Functional Strength"

3: Rucking

Obstacles: For obstacle course racing, that's already what I spend the majority of my time working on. Last year was different for me because of work, but I have maintained a good bit of my fitness for OCR and placed 4th at the only OCR I could attend in 2021 (NC Spartan Sprint Elite). I'm working on building back up to competitive-level OCR Ultras with my eyes on a few Spartan Ultras including the Ultra WC (work schedule dependent) in 2022. As far as obstacle training, I have access to some obstacle setups in the gyms I go to, so it won't be a problem to sharpen my skills.

Savage Race is the company building the obstacle course for this event, and I've always loved Savage, so it should be awesome. I'm sure part of my acceptance had to do with multiple podiums at Savage Pro events. For the OCR portion though, I'll be working on my endurance with trail running, biking, and incorporating obstacles into my workouts at least once per week.

Functional Strength: ORM did an interview with the owner of GORUCK, Jason McCarthy. He talked about the event and said (I'm paraphrasing) that it wouldn't be barbells and such Crossfit-esque workout styles for the functional strength portion of the event. I'm taking his word for it. I'm expecting things like sand bags, sleds, med balls, heavy carries etc. for this portion of the event.

Unless more specific information comes out, I plan to train with those tools. Normally I only program enough strength work in my training to be very proficient at OCR and Deka Strong/Mile events. This seems like it's going to take more to be competitive, so I'm going to have to get stronger for this event.

Rucking: Due to the route(s) I've taken in the Army thus far, I've spent over 200 hours with a ruck on (ranging from 45lbs to 70lbs) since October. I'm not a big fan of that type of extra stress on my body, but it's what I had to do to get where I wanted to be. With that in mind, I'm feeling solid on my rucking capabilities and current training level. I don't know what the weight will be for the GORUCK Games, or how long a distance we'll need to travel, but I certainly have a solid base for rucking right now.


5 Training Days Per Week

Although Psychological Operations Assessment & Selection only lasts 10 days, those 10 days are packed full of physically demanding events. You will spend countless hours on your feet moving with a ruck on, and you'll need to be in the best shape of your life to perform at a high level and to be able to help the candidates around you.


I'm really excited for this event. I haven't been a part of this style of competition before, and I think it will be extremely fun. Obviously I want to perform to the best of my ability, but I think it will be enjoyable no matter what happens. Being a coach for Trio Fitness Training also makes this an important event for me because we train athletes for OCR, Hybrid, and Tactical events and challenges. These games should be a great way to perform all three capabilities in a short period of time.


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Mar 02, 2022

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