Challenge 6.3 – The Push Up Party

20160725_172004-01.jpgOCRGUYCHALLENGE Volume 6.3 begins TOMORROW!

The #ocrguy63 will take one month, ending on Feburary 28th I hope we can build some pecs and triceps together!

Regular push up challenges are boring so you will see variation most days. Some days aren’t even real push ups! I will post instructions for it as we go. The full calendar will be available in the group files on on the OCRGUYCHALLENGE blog.



ENTRY: Just play along and try the push up variation each day. Take rest days.

ACCOUNTABILITY: Keep a tally of the total number of push ups you have completed! As ever… by participating in this challenge you are subject to the terms and conditions found at this link. 

SHARING: Photo and video sharing is optional. You can just participate offline if you want (if you are offline, I’d love to hear from you in a private message to just confirm numbers of people doing the challenge). Share photos and or videos but don’t stress about sharing and there is no need to overload. Just so you know, posting within the FACEBOOK group doesn’t clog up your social feeds elsewhere.

ANTICS – I want this to be fun as usual. So please feel free to make your challenge story unique, bring friends, beer, food, backgrounds, props, but no clowns. Please no clowns.🤡 🚫. Pineapple on pizza is banned.

PROGRESS PICS 📸 – For those who feel comfortable doing so, you are invited to share a progress photo if you wish at the beginning and end of the challenge to see if you’ve made any progress by the end of the month.

IT’S TOO HARD 😭 – Don’t worry about that! Please attempt as much of the challenge on each day as you can. Modify the whole experience if you need to. Don’t push through pain or injury. It’s ok to just do this your way – just kinda follow the schedule. You do you.

I DON’T HAVE TIME 🙄 – This will take less than 5 minutes of your day and you get the gift of upper body strength. You have time! 



Tag is #ocrguy63

I will be posting variations each day on the day before. Watch instagram and facebook for those.





The 10 Day Ultra January 2018 Winners

Thanks for joining me for this OCR Guy Challenge. Thank you to our very generous sponsors for this 10 Day Ultra!

Makers of award winning Zero Drop running shoes.

The world’s most advanced compression clothing.

Now down to business!

This project has been such a labour of love for me. It’s been a lot of work getting everyone up and running (see what I did there) but it has been worth it. Every day has been rewarding. It has been a privilege to run with you again. Your responses to my form were hilarious. Thank you! Thanks to @2xu_canada and @altrarunning for making this possible. Here are the awards!

Overall Winner !!!!

The overall winner was selected at random by Deanna (MY WIFE) who is basically the guardian of all things important and the best person to trust with such a process. It was very complicated. I put all of your entries into a spreadsheet and asked her to pick a number.



New phone selfie! 📱 #iphonex #selfie

A post shared by i AM fitness (@iamfitnessyeg) on

Congratulations Christy. You win a gift card for 2XU socks (or other merch you might want) and a pair of Altra King MT OCR/Trail running shoes! You also get the winner’s coaster and the virtual winners badge to display on your social media should you wish to do so.

Mini Challenges!

Speed Demon award

The fastest overall pace for the distance submitted within the 10 days was Dylan Pollman with a time of  3 hours and 40 minutes for the entire 50K challenge! That’s an average pace of 4:14 per kilometer or 6:49 per mile. That’s a 41:10 10k pace….


The Climber Award

The person who gained the most elevation during the challenge award goes to Peter Kranenburg who ran 96 kilometers over the 10 days, and gained a total of 9753m in the process. That is almost 2000m more than Everest!


Photographer Award

There were a lot of great photos submitted for the challenge. After a long and difficult selection process. It was determined that one photo captured the spirit and feel of the challenge best. The photographer award was selected by a representative from Altra and it goes to Nancy Loranger.

The Artist

This Award is given to the person who drew the best GPS art – or at least the favorite picked by one of my esteemed collaborators. This was a really tough decision, not as tough as a two dollar steak. After a bit of debate a final decision was made. The award goes to Kody O’Brien. The maple leaf intentionally planned into the run was a nice touch.

And one special final award

Given to the youngest runner of the challenge. Judah Kaufmann, just 8 years old, ran the entire 50 kilometers with his Dad. You amazed us all with your running ability Judah. Nice job buddy!

We will contact each of you directly for addresses!


Gear Review: Merrell Agility Peak Flex

My favourite shoe from Merrell so far has been the All Out Peak. This shoe was made primarily for the USA market, and difficult to find in Canada where I live. I picked up a pair last year ago on a visit to the USA and promptly threw them into circulation on my training and racing schedule. While it isn’t an obstacle racing shoe specifically, I took them through hell and back and they are still going strong.

The follow up to that shoe is the Agility Peak Flex from Merrell. It really isn’t a revision of the All Out Peak at all. Instead it’s a complete replacement for the all out peak. This is the new top of the line trail runner model.

Looking at the Agility Peak Flex, you may find yourself intrigued by the appearance of the shoe more than anything at first. It looks almost organic – the anthropoid midsole design references some of the natural structures of the foot, as does the outsole itself, which is ridged and divided to mimic the natural flex points and musculature between tarsals and metatarsals. It’s a distinctive and seemingly intuitive look. The shoe comes in a range of attractive colours, and I’m a sucker for the Merrell red. I personally love the design.


When in use, it’s a shoe of two very distinct halves.

Flexibility and Agility are things that are both referenced in the name and design of the shoe, however in reality I found the shoe to be fairly stiff. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I found the All Out Peak to be similar in stiffness through the forefoot and I loved that shoe to death.

The Agility Peak is not a brick – but there seems to be more flexibility in the forefoot along the length of the shoe rather than across it, and less flexibility than you might be expecting overall given the name. It’s a fairly firm ride on the toe off. This means that they climb well, delivering good energy return, and the forefoot also comes to life on faster, more technical downhill sections.

The firmly cushioned heel stack provides good control and shock absorption. It’s a 6mm drop shoe, with a smaller stack height than Salomon Speedcross 4 (11mm), but just slightly more than Saucony Perigrine 7 (4mm). It’s not the height that feels so different though. It’s the firmness of the cushioning that makes this such a different ride. Less height, but denser foam.

Grip is excellent, with a tonne of bone shaped skeletonish lugs across the forefoot. It leaves cool looking footprints! The compound is Merrells M+ select rubber, which seems to deliver the promised traction on lots of different surfaces, but it is wearing just a little quicker than the seemingly invincible Vibram Megagrip compound seen in other Merrell trail shoes. The tightly spaced, shallow 5mm lugs would better suit this shoe to drier runs, but they do shed mud well when required due to the flexible nature of the front end.

There’s a lot of complex things happening here, and it takes some time to get used to, but I see what Merrell have tried to do. I found myself trusting it more and more and using these features on my long training runs. It’s a fusion of a few rationales. The Agility Peak Flex seems to offers a rewarding blend of adequate heel cushioning and responsive, flexible forefoot control, with the stiffness contributing to good energy return for longer slower trail runs, and a protective rock plate that does the job well. These things can take you to the top of a mountain and back without a problem.

The upper mesh is breathable and comfortable, with a rubber bumper covering some of the more vulnerable flex points on the upper. There is quite a lot of TPU shielding around the arch and outside of the foot as you would expect from a trail shoe made for the mountains. This adds weight, but is very protective. Throw in a rubber toe cap and the shoe weighs in at 11oz per shoe, so it’s not super light.

Merrell Omni-Fit™ lacing system: provides a good fit. The lacing system works nicely and the flat laces pull through strings that are attached to the tongue and the upper.  Ingress of debris is pretty minimal, and I haven’t had problems with them coming undone mid run, or undoing them when muddy or wet. The Hyperlock™ molded TPU heel counter seems to be more open than that found on the All Out Peak – which is supposed to improve ankle mobility during sharp turns. I did initially have some issues with the heel slipping upwards out of the shoe, but engaging the extra ankle lock eyelets fixed the problem.

Drainage is excellent on the shoe, should you get them wet. I wore them through a Spartan Race in Montana which was extremely wet and muddy. They held up incredibly well through that course, which basically had everything from wet singletrack, muddy pits, rocky climbs and steep descents. Full immersion to drained out occurs within 200m or so. There’s a lot of mesh that lets water out, without needing any specific drainage holes.

I did initially have some issues with some of the outsole pushing through into the shoe and digging into the arch area of my foot just behind the ball of my foot, however this issue seems to be mostly unique to myself, as many people I have spoken to have not had this issue. For me, the issue gradually went away as I broke them in. Now that I’ve put over 50 miles on this shoe I can confirm that they seem to run true to size and I have no blisters or hotspots on longer runs with them.


Great for trail running in the mountains, cross training outdoors or trail running in loose dusty or dry conditions. They grip well in the wet and drain well. They offer a stable, but firm ride – which may be too stiff for some, but provide good energy return for me. They are a little heavier than some other options out there, but these offer a superior balance of cushioning and control over a range of conditions.




Welcome to treadmill hell….

Print this sucker out and get ready to push some buttons. You’ll need an incline treadmill with 15% incline, 750mls of water, the safety line connected to your body, and an unbreakable attitude. Read through the article and get the flow of it before you start.

  • 0-2:00 – Jog at 5 mph
  • 2:10-10:00 – Alternate running each .2 mile interval at 7 mph and 10 mph. 
  • 10:10-12:00 – Lower speed to 3.5 mph, perform walking lunges, alternating legs.
  • 12:10-13:00 – Run at 11.5 mph
  • 13:10-15:00 – Lower speed to 5 mph
  • 15:10-23:00 – Alternate running each .2 mile interval at 7 mph and 10 mph.
  • 23:10-25:00 – Lower speed to 5 mph, perform side shuffles BE CAREFUL AND TRANSITION SLOWLY (think defensive stance in basketball)
  • 25:10-27:00 – Turn around and shuffle, leading with the opposite foot. BE CAREFUL AND TRANSITION SLOWLY
  • 27:10-30:00 – Alternate running each .1 mile interval at 7 mph and 10 mph. 

30:00-40:00 – PLYO TIME!  Hop off the treadmill and get ready to burn it out with some explosive jumping movements.  I want you to perform the following circuit for 5 minutes total:

10 squat jumps/8 Russian lunges/rest 30 seconds.

For the next 5 minutes you’ll be doing this circuit:

10 twist jumps/8  mule kicks/rest 30 seconds

Get back on the treadmill.

  • 40:10-42:00 – Set speed to 5 mph, perform side shuffles
  • 42:10-44:00 – Turn around and shuffle, leading with the opposite foot.
  • 44:10-50:00 – Lower speed to 3.5 mph run/jog backwards
  • 50:10-60:00 – Increase incline to 15%, run/jog at 4mph

Warning: This is an unsupervised workout that I have taken from this website

By using this workout you agree to the terms and conditions on this page

Fitness Breakdown for Spartan

Today I’ve looked at the elements of fitness you might want to concentrate on for the spartan sprint.

Cardiovascular endurance
Endurance training involves cardiovascular training at a slightly faster pace than you find comfortable for a sustained amount of time. Running is the main activity of the spartan sprint, do endurance sessions should be geared towards running further than the distance being raced: 5-10K, running at a level that feels only just sustainable for that distance. This is hard, but, you can increase your speed with time. Whatever distance you end up running when doing your endurance training, keep going for at least 40 minutes, no matter what. Go longer if you wish.

In order to develop your cardiovascular response to high levels of physical effort, you will need to do some speed intervals. Any training that repeatedly requires your heart rate to rapidly climb, and then to gradually recover is called interval training; in fact recovery to a lower heart rate level before starting the next speed interval is critical to the expansion and development of the cardiovascular response to strenuous activity. Exposure to unpredictable conditions created by interval training means the development maximum capacity of the system to meet those possibilities. Measuring and controlling intervals is easier with a heart rate monitor, but can be done by measuring your pulse, or by getting to know how it feels to recover after effort.

Maximum effort activities such as 100m sprints can develop speed, however great care should be taken to make sure you do not spend too much time near maximum heart rate levels. Remember that decreased recovery time is a sign of increasing fitness.

A typical sprint workout would consist of a 5 minute warm-up, followed by 10 X 100m sprints at maximum effort, walking back to the start line after every sprint. Once all the intervals are done, a 5 minute cool down jog and stretching routine should be done. There are lots of different ways to run intervals. Google it.

For the spartan race, you will eventually need to learn to sprint uphill too.

Plyometric/Sudden Burst power
A Spartan race involves jumping, climbing, throwing, and hopping over
obstacles. In order to perform well on these obstacles, and not be completely drained by them, you will need to develop your ability to contract your muscles very quickly and and powerfully.

Fast twitch muscle fibres are developed through performing exercises like box jumps, hurdles, clapping push ups, boxing, javelin throwing, olympic lifts, medicine ball slams, martial arts, soccer, basketball and any other activity that requires fast reactions or jumping.

Other examples:

  • P90X Plyometrics and P90X2 Plyocide
  • Insanity
  • Air attack – Basketball drills

Deceleration control and negatives
What goes up, must come down. Controlling falls, descents down hills, and drop-off type obstacles is an essential skill that doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Landing softly from these movements allows you to develop the strength needed to maintain control and stay injury free. Most running injuries happen when going downhill too fast.

One way to develop this kind of deceleration control is to practice box jumps. Hop off a wall or a box and control your landing by softening your knees and lowering yourself slowly into a squat. You can also make this move harder by dropping off the platform into a low squat, before immediately jumping up from the lowest point of the squat.

When running downhill, keep the core tight and keep your knees and hips flexible and responsive to the terrain, rather than attacking the decline with speed. Try and let gravity do most of the work, but stay in control. You will run downhill many times during this race, and will have to slow yourself down to stop falling over. Stay controlled and calm on the way down to make it an efficient recovery that retains energy for the next hill climb.

The same principle can apply in a different way to strength training. For example if you cannot do pull ups, you can start by using a chair to step on to get up to the bar, and lower yourself to the straight arm position as slowly as possible. With one arm on a preacher bench or leaning over a gym ball, you could try slowly resisting and lowering a dumbbell that is too heavy for you to curl with one arm, resetting the weight with both arms. These kind of movements are called negatives, and can develop strength very quickly, but require supervision to achieve safe form.

Getting your leg over the high wall, ducking under the barbed wire, raising your knees high above the mud as you run through it, stretching out across the horizontal wall traverse, will all require a lot of flexibility. You will need to do yoga or some form of stretching routine in order to gain the flexibility and range of motion you need to make it through this thing injury free. Seriously, yoga is the best way to do this. There are plenty of free yoga routines on YouTube.


Good balance is key to completing some of the obstacles without a penalty of 30 burpees. Performing strength training on one foot (like curls with one foot off the ground) will force you to learn to balance. Yoga standing poses, like warrior 3, half moon, shoulder stands, and standing splits etc, all force your centre of gravity to shift away from it’s normal position, and force you to use tiny accessory muscles to maintain balance. Walking on your tip toes, or on your heels, jumping side to side only landing on one foot at a time, or walking along a balance beam will also develop balance and coordination.


This might seem obvious, but you need to build a solid platform of upper body and lower body strength for the race. Being able to lift, push or pull your own bodyweight in a number of different directions would be a huge advantage when it comes to scaling the high wall, or the rope climb. It’s not all that simple though, and when you look more closely at athletic ability, what you really need to develop is a good strength to weight ratio: muscles weigh more than fat, but are infinitely more useful for climbing monkey-bars. You don’t have to be as strong as the next man or woman to do this race, you just need to be strong enough for your own bodyweight.

Bodyweight training, free-weight and tension band training will each give you a really great ways of developing strength. I say ‘and’ because you should probably do them all at some point, but this is fairly obvious stuff that you already know. Make sure you use the right form for any kind of strength exercise.

Another slightly different strength element of the race is moving with weight. You have to carry, pull, roll and lift a few different objects in this race. Try doing farmers walks (holding dumbbells at your side and walking in a straight line), or carrying a heavy rock, water bottle, or backpack up a hill and back down again. These movements use compound strength (groups of muscles together), rather than isolated strength (one muscle at a time).

Isometric strength

Isometric strength is the ability to hold yourself in one position. Wall squats, low planks, side planks, other core work, and nearly all of the yoga moves require you hold yourself in a controlled position and breath through the pain while keeping good form. These compound movements don’t burn a lot of calories, but I have seen huge functional fitness gains by using these methods.

Extra weight and diet
Obviously if you work out 5-6 days a week, you will find that you will safely lose weight and become leaner and fitter. If you want to perform well in this event, what you eat and how you view food can either help you win, or be your worst obstacle and the hardest exercise of all. The exercise of self control and sacrifice. If you are interested in getting some really great looking fitness results, (and lets be honest, you wouldn’t mind getting a 6 pack this year) you need to complete the whole equation and think about your food intake. If that’s not your goal, then fine, and I agree that long term fitness is the greater purpose in all of this.

But… I’ll be honest. Egg whites, cottage cheese, 0% fat greek yoghurt, skimmed milk, protein shakes… I don’t really enjoy these high protein foods much, but if you can view them as fuel, or as diversions from the crisps/potato chips/crackers that are sitting in the pantry, then you will find that they are excellent tools for making you feel fuller and less likely to snack on the bad stuff. My tip would be to concentrate on training, and use some general common sense when it comes to food. Avoid obvious traps like thinking that you’ve somehow earned yourself the right to eat whatever you want after a hard workout. You haven’t. Absent mindedly snacking between mealtimes is another major problem for people – breaking that habit can be hard. Eating larger portions than you really require is another big mistake, and an easy one to make.

For info on how I am trying to eat when training this year. See my next blog post.

Day 6: Chest and Back

Today’s workout was P90X Chest and back.

The numbers show a mild improvement in some of my max-rep exercises compared to last week, although other reps seem to have just been borrowed earlier on, not to be replaced later in the workout. I’ve lined the two workouts up below, so you can see what I mean, understandably get bored very quickly, and move on to my other posts before heading back to the Facebooks.

Step Exercise Week 1 Week 2
Reps Weight (lbs) Reps Weight (lbs)
Standard Push-ups
22 30
16 13
Wide Front Pull-ups
8 9
4 5
Military Push-ups
13 16
9 5
Reverse Grip Chin-ups
7 7
3 4
Wide Fly Push-ups
20 22
12 10
Closed Grip Overhand Pull-ups
6 7
3 3
Decline Push-ups
13 12
8 6
Heavy Pants
10 35 10 35
10 35 10 35
Diamond Push-ups
10 11
5 4
8 40 10 40
8 40 10 40
Dive-bomber Push-ups
6 7
5 6
Back Flys
10 25 10 25
10 25 10 25

You may be interested to see that on some of the exercises, I did less than I did the previous week. However on balance, I did achieve more reps, which makes me happy. I was quite sore today, but not as sore as I was this time last

2014 Season – Two Races

I’m entering two races this year. On the 31st of May I will be taking part in the first ever mud run to be held in Lethbridge called Mud and Sweat: Operation Lethbridge. I am entering the 12:00 noon heat. It’s also a 5K race, and I’m expecting it to be much like the Spartan Race, but held in the incredibly steep coulees of the Old Man river.


Then on the 16th of August, I will be entering the Calgary Spartan Sprint for the third year in a row.

The Goal

Obviously, the goal of my training plan will be completely race-fit by May this year, and then to maintain my fitness level over the summer. I want to achieve at least a top 30 time in the Lethbridge race, and a top 50 time in the Calgary race. I also want to stay injury free as much as possible.

Starting Fitness Level

My fitness has taken a hit this winter, having injured myself fairly badly while snowboarding just after Christmas. I thought I was getting the hang of carving, having finally made it to the bottom of one of the runs without falling down on my first run. On my second run, I decided to try going a little faster and turning a little harder. I caught my heel edge and launched into the air, landing fully on my left flank. I winded myself badly and was in a huge amount of pain for the following two weeks.

I’m not sure if I broke a rib, or tore an intercostal muscle, but either way – the day was pretty much over for me at that point and it’s taken this long for it to heal and to regain my full range of motion.

I haven’t been able to do any real fitness training since before Christmas, and it’s nearly February. I’m not in terrible shape, but I’m suspecting I’ve lost a fair amount of my cardiovascular fitness, and it’s time to regain it.

There is another possible break in training that might happen during April, as I am going to the UK to visit my family. It’s likely that I will have some time to exercise, but then again, I might want to spend most of the time with my family. We will have to manage that two week period when I get to it.

The Plan

This year instead of writing out a full training plan like last time, I’m going to try and provide anyone who wants to read this with a weekly outline of my training plan, the rationale behind the workouts I am using, and my progress at the end of each week.