With temperatures starting to meet our seasonal expectations, some of us might be itching to take our exercise outdoors. And, don't forget, with the change in seasons comes an abundance of race opportunities.
For Roger Dickerman, co-owner of Relentless Fitness, training for an obstacle course race is a guaranteed way to energize his clients and staff.
"I think it's a lot about community and camaraderie," he said. "You see it bring the best out of people and it's a lot about challenge and competition as well."
Whether you're a former All-American looking for a chance to reignite your internal fire and go against other top athletes or an intrinsic competitor only concerned with being better than you were yesterday, obstacle courses can appeal to all fitness levels.
With this particular workout Roger recommended using it as a compliment to an already existing strength training routine, mentioning he'll often send clients home with this challenge. Training this way allows you to be time efficient and serves as a great baseline model to easily track your progress.
"You're gonna be sore. It's gonna be tough," he said. "It's a good workout for body composition. It will push you in a different way than you're used to, and one of the ways to get your body to adapt is to push it to a place it hasn't been."
Roger wasn't always the fitness guru. He always enjoyed playing neighborhood sports, but remembers spending summer days hesitant to remove his shirt at the pool. As he got older and began working out, that embarrassment slowly dissipated.
He became a bond trader, but continued learning everything he could about fitness and nutrition. Finally, the time came to move on from his career in finance.
"It wasn't a lifestyle that I gravitated towards. I just wanted to be a little more active, a little more independent," he said.
In March 2010, Relentless Fitness opened, and over the past five years, has steadily grown to meet the individual needs of both adult and children clients.
"One thing I never liked was when you see a program that's a little too cookie cutter, you know, you go to some place and it's the same programming that's being resurfaced for literally everyone and that just doesn't make sense to me. It can become disingenuous. It's like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole and making promises that can't be delivered on," he said.
While that mentality is surely a key contributor to his success, he credits seeing the client's big picture as his most valuable asset.
"I like to build exercise programming into their lifestyle not try to force their lifestyle into the exercise programming," he said. "Just staying reasonable and understanding that in most cases someone's lifestyle comes first. Someone's family and job come first, the exercise comes second. As long as we operate within that framework then we can build the most efficient exercise programming possible."
Roger has also developed a 12-week transformation program focused on establishing a healthy balance between five essential pillars: exercise, nutrition, stress management, sleep and mindset. He has been constantly perfecting his self-described passion project for about six years, helping over 300 people.
This flexible toolset is designed to keep you going a lot longer than a typical rigid routine. By creating a community among the participants through live coaching calls, Facebook groups, daily tips, and other motivational tools, Roger hopes to develop fitness sustainability among his pupils.
Check it out here.
Without further ado, Roger explains his Relentless 5K workout:
This is a mock obstacle course race that combines the popular distance of a 5K (3.11 miles) with bodyweight strength exercises. Performed in conjunction these will test your fitness level and prepare you for your next Spartan Race.
Start your 1/4-mile runs on the slow end and slightly up the pace each time you return to running. If you don't have access to a pull-up bar, you can substitute the pull-ups for something like step-ups or dips. Make sure to empty out the gas tank on the closing sprint to the finish line!
Repeat the following circuit three times:
Closing 0.11-mile sprint
If you have any questions or comments, you can always reach Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org.