The popularity of Spartan and Tough Mudder races has continually been growing, and it seems more and more people are turning to CrossFit for training help. The downside to this situation is buying obstacle course equipment is expensive and can take up a good chunk of space in your gym.
According to Jonathan Jones, the head Coach at CrossFit Torva in Carrolton, Texas, hosting a specialty class for obstacle course training doesn’t necessarily mean you will be breaking your bank. By using found materials, Torva has created a thriving program without spending much money.
“How do you prep people for an entire obstacle course out of a CrossFit gym?” asked Jones. “What we did was grabbed some pallets that were around the dumpster from the nearby kitchen store and we started building. I built an A-frame obstacle and a tall wall obstacle. We set benches up to crawl under. We got really creative and it was fun.”
Outside of the class designed for obstacle course training, the equipment Torva built is still being used in everyday WODs. Jones explained during a shorter workout day, like when the gym does Fran, the Coaches like to get the equipment out and let the members try their luck at it.
“A warmup is a great time to use this stuff during an everyday class,” said Jones. “Make the warmup be climbing over the obstacle wall. Pulling out new things you have made is fun. It’ll spark interest for taking that specialty class.”
That sparked interest members have when they try out new equipment is worth its weight in gold, explained Jones. The more fitness opportunities you can offer your members, the less likely they will be to seek out a program designed for this elsewhere.
“People get excited about working on something new, without having to leave your gym, which is amazing,” said Jones. “But no Affiliate has the kind of money it takes to buy all the equipment needed for an obstacle course race. See what you can do with found materials and let your imagination and creativity explode.”
Not everyone is an experienced carpenter, however. Thankfully, multiple locations online offer up detailed instructions to building training walls for obstacle courses. Check out a few examples on Nobody Ever Drowned in Sweat or Mud Run Guide to get plans on building your own climbing and training walls.