Our Bell OCR program, from an athlete’s perspective
If you’ve ever participated in an obstacle course race, whether for competition or for fun, you may agree that there’s something pretty special in the energy and spirit of the event. So many people from different walks of life come together to participate in a variety of obstacles that can be both rewarding and challenging. I wasn’t particularly excited during my first obstacle course race due to nerves and a fear of heights, but it turned out to be a fantastic experience for me. It was great to overcome obstacles that made me want to puke and meet so many people who were willing to help me with anything I needed. The compassion and kindness I experienced from others to stay focused was simply amazing.
Our program is one that is constantly evolving to incorporate different elements of stamina, power, speed, strength, and endurance. It will prepare you for those moments when you may be faced with flipping heavy tractor tires followed by long mountain runs, climbing ropes or swinging through monkey bars after carrying heavy loads up hill, or making it through a 30 burpee penalty with mental focus even though you have been on the course for 6 hours and you’re tired and covered in mud! It is sport specific for OCR. Expectations should not be to place first in a power lifting competition or a marathon race. What it can do, if you allow it to, will help give you an amazing combination of all the elements listed above so that you can handle short or long distances and your body can adapt to numerous physical and mental challenges during any race. Whether you are training for a sprint of 3+ miles, an ultra beast of 26+ miles, or an overnight 15 hour go-ruck challenge, the programming is designed to help you achieve the best results possible. Even just a fun drop in or participating to stay active will be sure to add a spicy twist to your routine.
It is tough because it is programmed for the elite and always modified for anyone who needs it. It is in my opinion that the best training programs in the world will always focus on the most advanced athletes in mind so that individuals can always have something to strive to be better for. There is no shame in scaling or modifying workouts so that one can safely make progressions as they improve their fitness level. I feel like an amazing coach will always be able to help you make safe and smart decisions to help you elevate yourself.
I remember when I first walked into my first OCR training session with Coach Andy and couldn’t believe what was written on the white board. Mind you, it was a difficult transition of my life where I had gained weight and let myself go a bit, so even scaling the workouts heavily was extremely challenging. My coach was professional, positive and very helpful in advising me of how to target the workout in a way that worked for me. From then on, I was hooked. All I had to do was show up, be consistent, and give my best with a good attitude (haha, not every day was rainbows and unicorns, but I managed for the most part). Slowly but surely, as time went on, I dropped over 30 lbs. and my fitness level steadily increased to where I could keep up and slowly increase modifications. I improved my overall strength and increased my stamina and conditioning level to one that made me feel alive again. Even through numerous injuries, my coach always had this amazing sense of patience that helped give me a positive attitude during any recovery process.
In retrospect, the thing that I love most about the OCR programming is the mental challenge I have to face during any given workout. It is a time where I can let go of any personal or professional obstacles I may be having in life and just take some time out of my day to focus on something that I know will be humbling and fun. The workouts are designed to take me off auto pilot since there is constant variety in the training and I always have to take a moment to see how I can approach the workout in a safe but challenging manner according to how my body feels that day. How do I need to pace myself? What parts do I need to give an extra push to to get me towards a certain time cap? Where should I take my breaks to help me recover properly for the following section of the workout? How can I improve for the next time around? There’s always that fine line where I teeter between pushing my limits and having to knock my ego down a notch. With time, I have learned to understand when working on something I am not particularly fond of is an opportunity to grow and when I need to dig deep to break mental barriers. It is a constant journey of challenging to myself to see what I am capable of and where I strive to be as time progresses. And in a beautiful way, this has translated into many things on how I approach life. How I show up in one place is a reflection of how I show up in others, good or bad. I’m human and constantly learning from my mistakes, but I embrace growth and will always be willing to put in the work to become a better version of myself.
While I do enjoy including other avenues of fitness in my life, it’s always so much fun to still maintain some degree of OCR training in my arsenal. I have met and worked out with so many awesome individuals that have had a lasting impact on me. My years of OCR training will always have a very special place in my heart, so thank you for pushing me in the best ways possible. I am forever grateful.