We at OCRAddict have been successful by looking at things differently and by doing so, we have helped bring new Ultra Beasts to the racer. In 2017, Colorado, Texas, and the UB Championships have all been introduced due, in part, to our interaction with Joe DeSena and Team. On that note, and wanting to bring things to the next level, here is another take on Ultra Beast training. Our first training plan was designed to address two areas. First, ‘what is the true obstacle of completing an Ultra Beast?’ which is embracing the suck and learning to tell that voice in your head saying that you cannot do it to go to hell. The next is if you are already beast length ready, but only have a commercial/basic gym to work with and how you can prepare for an Ultra Beast. The idea for that plan was to get you to a buckle, glow in the dark medal, or one time only high-five for your efforts. The idea for this guide is if you’ve been DNF’ing due to a lack of physical preparation causing; this article will help in getting you to that finish line. If you have been finishing, hopefully, we can help move you up to the top 50% or 25% of finishers.
As we start to get into this, please remember this approach is meant to be more advanced. First and foremost, your nutrition and physique need to be as on point as possible for your goals. That does not mean I’m saying you need to be shredded or have a six pack, but you want to be conditioned, and the kitchen is a major player in this piece. I use Marc Lobliner as my meal coach, and he has helped me tremendously as the kitchen has always been a needed area of improvement for me. I recommend him, but that does not mean you have to use him, or anyone, but it won’t hurt you. Next, I am making the assumption this is not your first rodeo, some things that I follow may be perfect fits for you, others may not. Take what you need and leave out what you think adds no value to your training. Some people, for example, may be short on the % Body-weight strength, grip strength, etc. and they’ll prefer my original plan because it has some intense strength training components. Others may be great on obstacles already and care more about the cardio and completely ignore my strength recommendations from either plan. Some of you might be stagnating in your current progress, and this may be the change of pace you have been looking for. Everyone is different, so no worries.
During my first article, I talked about staying fresh during the season, and that is very important. If you truly feel dead, a day or 3 off is not the worst idea. As I’ve developed more and more, I’ve learned that if your nutrition is clean and on point, even while on a cut, you can keep the train moving. Yes, you may not be crushing PRs, but proper fuel will enable you to continue making progress.
My current format is 2 Upper Body Days, 1 Leg Day and 1 Conditioning Day. I let my schedule dictate how I get all four days in, but I find that I am almost always able to get it done, and if for some reason I can’t, I think of the day off as recovery time.
Before any strength or cardio session, we heavily recommend a thorough stretching and warm-up to get ready. Also, the team at OCRAddict are not physicians; please consult a physician before starting any training regimen.
- Superset: 4 by 15 Dumbbell Curls and Chest Flys
- 4 by 12 Rack pulls or Rows
- 4 by 15 Shoulder or Dumbbell Presses
- 4 by 15 off Lateral Pull-downs (The Catch here is I go lighter but I use a Tricep Rope and make sure to spread the rope out as much as I can) or Pull-ups
- 4 by 15 set flat bench, or dumbbell (4 by 10 or 8 if I go heavy)
- Superset: 4 by 20 Chest Flys and Delt Flys
- 100 Back extensions
- 100 Leg Raises
- 100 Crunches
- 100 Back Extensions
In my first training plan, I changed things leg day wise because I knew of the impending death march and needed to ramp up. While still applicable since now we are talking months of prep plus a baseline, leg day is back while still probably different than what people are accustomed to.
- Half Mile, Jog Dynamic and Static stretching
- 50 Calf Raises/Extensions (Full Stretch)
- Lunges (300 total, farmers carry or load a barbell and do them in the squat rack)
- 50 Calf Raises/Extensions (Full Stretch)
- Squats 30 rep Body-weight or Bare Bar, 20 reps 135, 15 reps 185, 10 reps 205 8 reps 255 back down to 10,15,20,30 (I work under the philosophy of being stronger with endurance, but I’m not trying to build new PRs until the off season). Adjust weights to your current strength levels; this is my split its okay for you to differ.
- 100 Calf Raises/Extensions (Full Stretch)
Murph Challenge plus 100 Burpees or 8-Count Bodybuilders
- Farmers Carries: Log Carry, Bucket Brigade, and Grip
- Pull Downs: Grip and Walls, Tyrolean Traverse, Tarzan Swing, Rigs
- Rows: Hercules Hoist, Rope Climb, Grip, Tyrolean Traverse, Tire, and Plate Drag
- Bench: Tire Flip, Burpees, and Crawls
- Presses: Burpees, Carries and Spear Throw
- Delt Flys: Hoist, Spear Throw
- Super Sets: Everything
- Leg Day: Death March, Bucket Brigade, and Log Carry
In true UB Spirit, I am trying to keep moving. If I’m not going to have to cops called on me (like at the Mall) I’m walking with my ruck with a 50 lbs. sandbag packed inside. When I’m out walking the dog or have the baby in the stroller, mowing the lawn, etc. are times I slip the ruck on.
- 1-2: long run 13.1-20 miles (Depending on how much time I have free), 75% pace
- 2: Hill Days (Depending on free time available I aim for 5 to 7 miles but will toss in some ten milers as well) You can also do intervals on the treadmill if you don’t have hills available or if it’s a rainy day.
- 1: Death March (Stairmaster/Devil’s Staircase/Incline Trainer) for 1 hour (Start at 30 minutes and build up) at the fastest pace you can do without grabbing any bars or mechanical supports) I also wear my ruck for this one. I typically burn 15-1600 calories during these sessions at 190 lbs.
- 2-3: 5.5-8 miles, 85% pace (mixing in an Elliptical especially post death match day is an excellent way to get work in but help your legs actively recover.)
Cardio prep, like the strength piece, is personal to the athlete. I know people that won’t run for weeks or months, all they need is three weeks and they are back in the flow. I take a week off, and I need a month to get back to where I was… usually. Yancy Camp is an excellent resource if you want a more personal approach or Amie Booth (Death Race Winner and the only Back to Back Days BFX Winner) is a fantastic (and my own) coach as well.
Take from where you may be lagging and don’t be afraid to stick with something if it is working for you. As always feel free to contact the team with questions, we love to help get more buckles out there! Aroo!