You’ve heard of them. These crazy races involving crawling through mud, climbing rope walls, and jumping over fire all while swimming or running to the next crazy obstacle. Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, Spartan Race, just the name alone stirs up something primordial in you. Your inner beast starts scratching to get out just at the thought of them. Are you brave enough to step outside the gym and let your beast within attempt to conquer some unknown obstacles, while facing and embracing the elements of your natural environment? Are you BEAST enough?

These type of races have grown in popularity largely in part due to the variety of exercises they involve and the fact that the focus is not centered on one aspect or mode of fitness and of course because they are FUN! You are able to showcase your strengths in many areas. This also levels the playing field, so for example, even though you may not be a super fast runner, but you have beastly strength, so you may be able to make up ground on the obstacles. They are also full of many unpredictable factors to keep you on your toes during the race.

So how does a beast like me train for one of these races? I’m glad you asked! Well, you have to be ready for anything, so isolation and skill training will not help you here. You need to hit all 10 capacities of fitness: cardiovascular endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, accuracy, agility, balance, and co-ordination. While you can train for the running and swimming portions, some of the obstacles may be almost impossible to train for. This forces you to have a general physical preparedness so that you will be able to tackle any obstacle. Hmmm….sounds like another new sport I know of, CrossFit!

Due to the variety of training you will have to do, you are bound to see changes in your physique. Although a hot, sexy body may result from your training and preparation for one of these races, the appearance of your physique makes no difference in your placement on the award podium. Nutrition is only critical on how it affects your training and performance. No need to go super strict diet and count all your macros. Just make sure you are fueling your body properly so that you can be in full BEAST mode.

Alright, settle down you uncaged beast! You need to be aware that just like any other events involving speed and intensity, your risk for injury increases, so train and compete smart! You have to be smart and know when to push past your beastly limits and when to tuck your tail and pull back some.

How do I sign up? Check out the links below for some of the popular races and check your area for others. Some of them even allow you to sign up as a team, so grab some of your beast buddies and take your training outside. Your body and mind will thank you.


Now that you have tried your beastliness at one of these races, you can always take it to the next level by exploring CrossFit. I’m sure you’re familiar with the power-lifting portion, (back squats, deadlifts, bench press), but what about Olympic lifting, (snatches, push jerks, and cleans)? How about gymnastics? When’s the last time you tried handstand push-ups or muscle ups? This sport will truly test all your levels of beastliness. If you are interested in a new challenge, check out your local CrossFit or if you are familiar with CrossFit already, then you should sign up for the CrossFit Open. If you really are the Beast you think you are, you just might make it to the CrossFit Games and have a chance at being crowned the Fittest Man or Woman on earth.

Whichever path you decide to take, make sure you go all out in total BEAST Mode! Gggrrrr!!!

By Megan May

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