How MMA Helps With OCR Racing

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How MMA Helps With OCR Racing, or “how I spent my summer vacation.” Really this post could be about either. With 4 races and two ultras in a 4 week span it was time for a much earned break before I defend my world title at the Spartan Ultra Beast in the fall. To prevent over training and burn out I took a bit of a break in June. This freed me up to do some fun things that I love like hiking, surfing and the highlight of the break, water sports when I went to visit the Original WarriorPak world head quarters and they took me out wake-boarding and some crazy thing where they drag a ski tube with 3 of us on it at an insane speed and we go flying through the air like bull riding but with the added fear of drowning, which, for the record, was the most awesome thing I have ever done. When I got home I did what I love to do, which was hit Radius Gym in Fairfield CT for some MMA fun, Muy Thai and Jujitsu. Here is what I got out of it:

  1. Much need grip strength: Grabbing a gi for that long and holding on for dear life while being tossed around like a rag doll have my wrists, hands and forearms burning. Perfect for OCR where grip strength is key.
  2. Leg strength: kicking and proper foot movement in Mui Thai builds strong legs from toes, to hip flexors. Its brutally wonderful.
  3. Stabilizers: Because both sports are barefoot you work all your stabilizer muscles. This is critical for off road running where those muscles are key to not falling and also running strong.
  4. Explosive cardio / vo2 max work. As a runner we often work out at 140bpm. In fact I can hang at 140 beats per minute for 9 hours +. But at 180 beats I die! The efforts in MMA are 2-5 minutes all out. This is critical as many of the obstacles require us to jack our heart rate then recover. Training MMA is perfect for that.
  5. Teamwork: Tough Mudder requires us to work together. Unless your elite so does all OCR racing. We train a lot solo and working with others is a skill. MMA requires that.

 

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