Obstacle Course Training – OCR Rigs – Train to Beat Them at your Local Park

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One of the more popular obstacle trends in OCR this season has been the increased use of the multiple grip traverse rigs, also know as the Platinum Rig; I’ll just call them rigs for ease of reference. They have been seen at the Obstacle Course Racing’s World Championship (OCRWC), Spartan Race Canada, Battlefrog, and the American Spartan Race series-Spartan has even given their Rig its own Facebook page. These rigs have gained notoriety as of late as many people struggle to complete them, and the rigs boast a high difficulty and failure rate. With mandatory obstacle completion at Battlefrog and the OCRWC, training for the rig should be a major focus for every athlete. Unfortunately, not many people can afford to purchase their own personal rig nor have the skills to build one from scratch. This leaves many people training only on monkey bars or simply training their grip strength. While that should absolutely still be a part of your training, getting some practice on a rig is extremely important. Well, I’m here to tell you that, with a pretty small budget, there are some great ways to create your own personal rig. Today’s post will focus on getting the right gear and showing you how to turn your playground monkey bars into your own personal “Rig”.

GET THE GEAR:

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This is the most difficult and most important part. Getting the right equipment is important, because it will allow you to have a more versatile choice of training options, as well as make sure you are training safely. For my setup, you will need the following equipment:

I cannot stress the importance of not skipping any steps in this process as hanging weight can be dangerous if not set up correctly. DO NOT sub out the Nylon Runners for something similar in your home, as your substitution is probably not rated for the proper weight. In the case of the recommended Black Diamond nylon runners, they are rated up to 4,946 lbs. The quick links are used to connect the Bombs and Pipes to the Runners and are also rated for high weight loads. You can sub out the quick links for climbing carabiners, however the carabiners are more expensive.

HANG THE GEAR:
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This is probably the most exciting part, because once you are finished, it’s forearm business time! For the playground set up, you will want to find a solid set of monkey bars. I opted for a more traditional monkey bar set up for my example pictures, but any type will work. To hang the Bombs and  Pipes, loop the nylon runners (30cm) onto the rungs of the monkey bars – as shown. You will then connect the Bombs and Pipes to the nylon runner with the 5/16 Quick Links.  You can loop the nylon runner directly through the Bombs and Pipes, however,  you will start to lose hanging length and the ability to quickly change your route set up, so stick with the Quick Links. For the Rings, you will loop the nylon runner (60cm) around the ring – as shown – first, and then loop the nylon runner around the monkey bars – this will require you to slide the ring through the loop as well. To hang the Rope, you will simply knot it on the rung, and tug on it with all your weight to make sure it is secure before you start training.

Rig Complete

Once you get the hang of hanging (too many hangings, baby?) your nylon runners, you can play around with the placement of each attachment. For me, the pipes are the most difficult and having them closer together makes for a tougher route.

DESTROY YOUR FOREARMS WHILE PLAYING ON THE GEAR:
Rig PracticeWell, your set up is done and it’s time to start training. The obvious course of action is to complete the route from left to right and right to left. You should also utilize the outside bar that frames the rungs as your parallel bar to simulate the hanging parallel bar often seen on Rigs.  You will also want to mix in dead hangs from multiple grips, pull ups, toe touches, and L-Hangs. This is extremely addicting and will help your grip strength immensely, however if you are new to this type of training, I would stress that you ease into it slowly, as your joints and tendons may need some time to get used to this new type of pressure.

Warning: While adults training on playground monkey bars can sometimes seem strange, this set up will become an instant kid magnet and endear you to your neighborhood as you help train their children to be the future Kacy Catanzaros or Brent Steffensens – the NEXT American Ninja Warriors are born!

Stay tuned for how to safely and properly turn your home into a Rig training facility…

Keith Allen

Keith Allen is an Air Conditioning Salesman and an exhausted father of two. When not carrying his children around in Baby Bjorns he is often found cooking delicious homemade quesadillas to fuel his hunger from running OCR's

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