Obstacle Race Training Advice

Training/Preparation Advice from Personal Best

Advice on how to prepare for Bing Blazer 2015 obstacle course in May next year from training partner Personal Best.

Baboon Bars Obstacle

What better place to start than the classic Baboon Bars obstacle which will be in the next Bing Blazer obstacle course race event.

The Baboon Bars is the nemesis of many obstacle course racers and usually ends up in a wet and muddy dip if you don’t make it to the end.

So how do you conquer the Baboon Bars challenge?

Baboon Bars are all about GRIP STRENGTH!

If you can keep your hand closed around the bar then you ain’t falling off! You also know you are going to have some hang time if to survive to the end, so you will need endurance.

Key exercises for grip strength

Pulling exercisesDead-lifts, pull-ups, rows, tug of war, rock climbing

Holding exercisesFarmers walk, pull-up hang, weight hold

Forearm isolationWrist curls, wrist extension


Time your exercise set. You need to be holding the weights for long enough to make it across the Baboon Bars.

Be realistic! 

If you can’t hold your own body weight then start with a dumbbell farmers walk.  As your grip improves, increase the weight until you can hold body weight.

Build lot’s of pulling exercises into your programme.  They will help you with most obstacles.

Try holding your weights for some extra time at the end of your set.  This will fully fatigue your grip.

But, make sure you are training safely!

When working grip strength to it’s maximum it is best to be in an area, where you can drop the weight safely. When grip strength is fatigued your hand will open.

For more information or a one-to-one training session contact training partner Personal Best's website

Written by Michael Smith, Personal Best, ACSM Health and Fitness Specialist.