The 10th Annual Men’s Health URBANATHLON® is a bi coastal event that combines a traditional road race with muscle-burning challenges designed to test your endurance, strength, mobility and pure toughness. This is not the kind of event that any out of shape person can show up for and expect to easily complete. If you’re thinking about entering this, make sure you use these six exercises to train your body to compete at the URBANATHLON®!
Dips are an amazing upper-body exercise that trains your shoulders, chest and triceps while also engaging your core muscles for stabilization. Not only does this exercise build highly transferable upper-body strength, it will specifically help you with the Arm-Ageddon obstacle. By practicing your bodyweight dips, you will be able to move through this obstacle with ease.
Stand between a set of parallel bars. Place a hand on each bar, and then take a small jump to help you get into the starting position with your arms locked out. Start by bending the elbow and lowering your body until your arms break 90 degrees. Avoid swinging, and maintain good posture throughout the movement while keeping your core tight. Once all the way at 90 degrees, extend your elbows and push yourself back up into the starting position.
2. BEAR CRAWL
The bear crawl is a great total-body movement that will allow you to move your bodyweight through space while maintaining a low center of gravity. Training this movement will be useful for a variety of obstacles including Fenced-In and Six Star Sponsored Over-Under-Through.
Bend down so that your hands are on the ground. Your back should be flat and knees bent. This is your starting position. Begin by driving with your legs, alternating left and right. Use your hands to maintain balance and to help propel yourself forward. Try to keep your back flat as you move over a given distance in order to avoid back pain – this isn’t the hunchback crawl!
3. PULL-UPS + TIMED HANGS
There is no better upper-body pulling movement than the classic pull-up. If you need help learning the pull-up, check this out –> Mastering the Pull-Up. The problem with the traditional pull-up is it will not challenge your grip enough to be able to handle the Monkey Bars obstacle which requires grip endurance. At the end of your workouts, before you bolt back to the locker room to mix up a shake of Whey Protein Plus, make a stop at the pull-up bar and do some timed hangs.
Simply jump up and grip the pull-up bar with an overhand grip (palms facing away from you) and let your entire weight hang off of the bar. Hold on for as long as you can, then rest for a minute to a minute and a half and repeat for multiple sets. Try to time yourself so you can see how you progress as your grip gets stronger. Doing this at the end of your workout also stretches out your back and shoulders nicely while decompressing your spine.
A great product to support your training for this race is Six Star® Pre-Workout Explosion. This product contains beta-alanine, which has been shown to increase muscle carnosine levels which in turn has been reported to have lactic acid buffering effects. Helping to keep your lactic acid levels in check will help improve muscle endurance, so you can train longer and harder!
4. BOX JUMP
The box jump will give you that explosive leg power needed to propel yourself up over obstacles like The Wall and Marine Hurdles.
Assume a relaxed stance facing the box or platform approximately an arm’s length away. Arms should be down at the sides and legs slightly bent. Crouch down and simultaneously swing your arms up while jumping upward and forward, landing with both feet on top of the box or platform. Immediately drop back down to the original starting place and then repeat the sequence.
No one likes to do burpees. They’re exhausting, especially when done for high repetitions. However they are a great exercise to condition your body for doing obstacles that involve changing levels from a standing position to down on your belly quickly. Being proficient at burpees will aid you in many of the URBANATHLON® obstacles, like the Trailer Slalom and the Over-Under-Through.
Begin standing with your legs shoulder-width apart. Drop down, place your hands on the floor and kick your legs back so you end up with your stomach and legs on the floor like the bottom of a push-up position. Then press up like you’re doing a push-up and pull your knees forward so your feet are under your hips. From this crouched position explode straight upwards in a jump while extending your arms overhead.
6. ENDURANCE WORK
This may seem like a no brainer, but make sure to get your road work in for this race. By training your body’s aerobic energy system (what you need for low-intensity endurance work), you will make sure your body will be able to handle the long distance running portion of the race. The more you are taxed from the endurance portion of the race, the less energy and coordination you will have to complete the obstacles, which can make even a simple obstacle very difficult.