Gym workouts getting tired? Shock your body and spark new excitement for exercise with a bootcamp or obstacle course!
Just when I thought boot camps and military style training couldn’t get any more popular the Tough Mudder on the weekend north of Toronto has brought it to a new level! The previous week I was busy preparing 15 patients to go to war (well … not quite) but Tough Mudder is an endurance race of 25 obstacles spread out over 10-12 miles designed by British Special Forces. Their tagline is “Probably the toughest event on the planet”.
My patients were coming in prior to the race to get injuries looked after, muscles stretched out and certain body parts taped up with kinesiotape. I couldn’t help but feel excitement for their immense challenge. In fact – I started really wishing I had signed up. This year I did my first triathlon and although it was no easy feat – not participating in the Tough Mudder is making me feel inadequate!
It has been fascinating to watch the evolution of fitness over the past decade with bootcamps and more recently obstacle course training increasing in popularity. It seems new races are popping up all the time with Warrior Dash, Spartan Race, Dirty Girl, and Run for Your Lives in addition to Tough Mudder. As the trend continues so will other race companies.
Although most of these races are more individual feats of athleticism my patients have reported that the Tough Mudder has a much more team feel about it. I’ve been told that there is an unbelievable rush of camaraderie with everyone helping each other through the obstacles. Your finish time isn’t that important as completing the grueling event – I’ve heard times range from 2.5-6+hrs depending on how large a team you have. An event like this can be life-changing as some people are pushed to overcome fears of height, claustrophobia, and swimming in addition to mental and physical tests of endurance. Participants report the amazing sense of accomplishment that if you can conquer this event – you can do anything!
It is no doubt that this fitness trend will continue to gain in popularity and become a more mainstream way of exercising. Maybe the increasing popularity of these extreme races is a backlash to our increasing levels of sitting and computing.
Now that the positive word of mouth is spreading like wildfire I have been inspired to do one of these events. I will be undertaking Fit Factory Fitness‘ Obstacle Course in Toronto next month to challenge my mind and body. If you are looking at changing up your exercise routine this might be a great way to do it!
Have you participated in any of these obstacle course races? Please share your experience below – I’d love to hear about it!
This article is also featured on The GoodLife Fitness Blog.