To date OCR Academy has seen over 24k people ranging in ages from 6-66 years old plays on our course. We have seen people with all sorts of personal obstacle overcome see huge growth in themselves after overcoming some of our obstacles.
Our Kids camp has continued to grow over the past 4 years, and our kids dept as a whole supersedes our adult dept. We aren't experts by any means as every week we are faced with some variation of a problem that gets us thinking on how we can become better. Our views on competition is that you either Win or you learn. No one loses, we just learn how not to do something, and how we can become better.
Thats the message we want to pass on to our youth. Our after school program is designed like our very popular and kid approved kids camp, just condensed to the hrs of 3-6pm Monday to Friday. Your child will get time too play on the course (isn't that what we should be doing after school, playing on a obstacle course?) followed by a structured kids class, and then more time on the course to play followed by 30 mins of homework time in the cafe. Snacks will be provided when they arrive and yes they will be nutritionist approved.
Not every child is the same or has the same needs, but what seems evident, is that every child wants to be the best that they can be, and our obstacle guards strive to make a positive difference in your Childs life.
If you are interested in learning more about our Kids dept, here is a link to our site, but also feel free to give us a call 613-726-0909 and one of our awesome staff will be glad to answer any questions you may have.
Have you heard of the newest and most fun way to get in the best shape of your life? It’s called Obstacle Fit and OCR Academy in Ottawa is the birth place of this new form of training.
It all started when co-owner and founder Joshua Styles was working for the popular obstacle race company Spartan Race, traveling Eastern Canada, building the courses. Every race day he would ask the racers how they liked it, and almost everyone had great things to say but almost always said “I wish there was a place where I could go to train for this”.. Well 5 years later, OCR Academy was born. Joshua saw a trend, he saw that these types of races were popping up everywhere and the Ottawa-Montreal area saw the most crowds. This was a seasonal event, something had to be done to bring this to everyone to enjoy all year round. With the rising popularity of Ninja Warrior, Obstacle Course Races (OCR), and his interest in Cross fit, he hired one of the best cross fit trainers in the city, Mike and after a few short months of him training Joshua, they had a quick talk and decided to change how people get in shape and that is when Obstacle Fit was born.
After their first year, they are already looking to expand, and they recently teamed up with a technology based company who like them wants to change how people learn. “2016 was a great learning curve for us, we were able to see what worked, what didn’t, how people can progress through our classes and accomplish all of their goals and set some new ones” says Co-Founder Joshua. They have a variety of different options for you, if you like a bootcamp aspect, they have that, group classes, personal training, yoga, cafe (with the world’s best cup of coffee), open gym time for families to play, Krav Maga, and the kids program as well We were told that even the kids who don’t like camp, love this camp.
According to the ParticipACTION report card on physical activity for Children and youth they found that Canadian kids are inactive and they may be losing sleep over it.
Kids should have the freedom to be kids, unfortunately they are just to darn structured. They have pre school, School, After school, sport training, learning a new language, learning an instrument, swimming classes, gymnastics, the list goes on and on.. When can kids just be kids? Remember the good old days when we could simply get up, watch morning cartoons, eat breakfast (haha k maybe not always eat breakfast), head to school, have gym class every day, go home, do homework and then go play till street lights come on or mom yells its dinner time? Those nights we slept like champs. Its no secret, when kids run and play till exhaustion they sleep better, and those who sleep better (ie get to stage ¾ deep rem sleep where our body produces a growth hormone called testastorone which helps us build muscle and burn fat) have more energy to run around.
Here is some facts:
The good news is, when kids get the right amount of exercise good things happen.
Remember less can be more, we think we are doing the right thing by filling their schedules with activities but in fact when we do this we push back dinner, homework, and eventually sleep. Its time for a wake up call, and OCRA kids camp is that call. Get your kids off the couch and into the best kids camp this city has to offer.
For more on the report card, you can find the 76 page report at www.particpaction.com/reportcard
Do you even squat bro? Squats are one of the best exercises to help build that lower body, engaging almost every muscle in the body. If you aren’t squatting, you need to add it into your training. But which squats should you do? There are two squats you need to do to help get the most out of leg day: Back and Front squats.
Back Squats place more of the load onto the posterior half: the glutes and hamstrings. The bar is placed across the traps/rear delts, loading the spine. It places compressive forces down the vertebra forcing the core to work hard to protect your lower back. When performing the movement, we must make sure that your back is straight, tight, and upright.
Front Squats on the other hand place the load onto anterior half: the quads. The bar is placed across the front of your shoulders. Because the weight is in front, your lower back is working hard to keep your body upright. To protect the lower back from taking all the work, keep that core engaged to help keep your chest up nice and tall.
Whatever your fitness journey is, add both of these into your training. You’ll see results not only in your quads, glutes and hamstrings, but also helping develop a solid core.
Not sure how to perform the movement correctly? There are a lot of things to think about when doing a squat: foot placement, knees out, hips back, back straight, chest up. Go see a Coach (like myself) and get the guidance you need to help perform the movements safely and effectively.
By James Drew
SGX certified coach
I would like to sincerely thank you for giving my boys a wonderful experience at OCR Academy. It's something they will never forget.
When I first heard about you and the kids camp I was quite nervous. Being a stay at home mom my kids don't attend too many camps. They rarely attend full day camps, we like to use our money to do fun activities around the city. When I showed Raihan your website and the video you have posted he immediately asked if he could go. He even offered to pay his own way. Jordan was a little hesitant and said he would try it out for a day.
Needless to say my boys have loved it.
Raihan is completely in his element. He has made new friends, climbed obstacles he could only dream of doing before, from the time we leave the camp until he finally goes to sleep he talks about the camp and what he did, what he conquered and what his goal is for the next day. Raihan is going to be very sad today this being his last day of camp. I did promise him I would bring him back in the spring for the kids spartan boot camp and register him for summer camp next year.
Jordan was so anxious. He proved to himself he could do anything he put his mind to. Although he has not made friends, he climbed walls, ran obstacles, and conquered his fear of laser tag.
I cannot thank you and your camp leaders enough. This has been a wonderful and exciting experience for both my boys in very different ways.
We have witnessed the birth of a new sport, OCR. Many still ask me what it is. Is it some kind of mud run?
OCR stands for Obstacle Course Racing, and it is primarily responsible for many of your friends epic Facebook profile pics. It’s the sport that gets us away from our ordinary days, and for that one day you are an action hero jumping over fire, scaling walls, and conquering things you never thought possible. But unfortunately these races are few and far between and after a short season, you are left wanting more. You are not sure how to train for these events, and are testing your creative juices at some of the local parks, or join a bootcamp for some HIIT training.
Insert the future of training, we call it Obstacle Training, and only a handful of places in Canada that offer you a facility that can fulfill your OCR needs. OCR Academy is one of those places, so far it is the only place in Canada that offers you classes that include actual obstacles that you find in today's top races. Its 2 signature classes Century ( a strength and conditioning class that is geared to those who already have experience in weight training and OCR's) and the Origins class is designed for those new to obstacle course races and looking to train for their first race or are looking for a new fun way to train.
Now why would you want to do Obstacle Training?
We present the 8 reasons to jump on the Obstacle Training bandwagon:
1- Respect: Picture a teenage son or daughter, watching mom or dad jump over walls, climb a 24' rope and do some heavy deadlifts. Their voices now carry more weight when telling them to do chores, eat their veggies and do their homework.
2 - Confidence: Imagine the confidence you will get when you accomplish something that you perceived you couldn’t? You would take that and apply that to the rest of your life. Hence our moto "Overcome life's challenges one obstacle at a time."
3 - T.E.A.M work: Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM) and that is extremely true when it comes to Obstacle Training. When someone triumphs over the 12' Athena warped wall and the gym erupts in cheer, or when someone PR's a lift and rings the bell, its very magical. This is something that you can't get at a typical gym. You develop lifelong friendships with healthy like minded people.
4- Focus: Fitness is one of the few things where you get back what you put in. In the gym nothing else matters, your boss, your partner in life, your kids, bills.. All of these things are details that don’t matter when you are alone staring at the 8' wall. But when set aside all of the distractions and apply your focus on the task at hand, its amazing the results that come from it. Remember divided focus can paralyze you. Take that same concept to the rest of your life and watch the stress disappear.
5- Core Values: We teach our members to engage their core in just about everything they do. After a month of doing this, you will find yourself out of pure instinct engaging your core while sitting at your desk, walking to the corner store, carrying garbage to end of the street, or, let's not forget the project around the house you have been putting off for some time now, because of lower back issues. A stronger core means goodbye to lower back pain.
6- Functional and Practical Training: How many exercises at the local corporate gym, or exercises you do in general have any relevance to real life situations? How often have you heard someone hurting their back bending over to pick up a set of car keys, or playing with their children. Doing Obstacle Training can and will translate to practical and functional strength.
7- Mobility: We offer Yoga classes and our programs include dynamic warm up and cool downs, with so many toe touches you lose count. But what you won't lose is your flexibility, as now you are healthier and more flexible than those your age and even younger.
8- Reflection: After a few months at the OCR Academy, take a look in the mirror.. Yeah that’s what we thought. You're welcome.
August 28th 2014 at 9pm I was doing a 51inch box jump, I made it but fell backwards directly onto my wrist. For 6 months I could not do anything with my wrist, it wasn’t till June 2015 when I could final do a push up, and till this day I still struggle in the push up position ( I am now at 30 consecutive pus ups before I have to stop). Also with starting a new business and being a step dad, making the time to log in the klms is very difficult. Not having a set schedule and random pop up meetings throughout the day made it very difficult to put in the klms needed to bring your “EH” game come race day.
Now this blog is not about excuses, its about determination and setting a Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Goal (S.M.A.R.T) and accomplishing it. Spartan Race has become famous for leaving its races to the imagination and telling us that we must train for the worst so we can give our best, but a “smart” athlete knows what she or he is getting themselves into so they can prepare for the worst. So let’s through a few stats out there, 48.67k (more like 50 when you add the obstacles such as log, jerry can, tractor pull and atlas carries) and an Elevation gain of 11,456 feet and an elevation loss of 11,483 feet. We talk a lot about the gain, which sucks, but a real kick to the ovaries and or bean bag, is the loss. We all know races are won on the downhill, but that’s where knees are truly tested as well.
This race tested us all physically, but also mentally as well. Let me tell you when I was at the 75% mark of the first loop, when I was going around the lake, that’s when I was really questioning my life choice of going into this race, but then came the water, and that my friend was a morale booster. I was feeling alive and ready to tackle anything that came my way (I also thought there was no more hill climbs) I think the Race Director Dan Luzzi aka the Luzzinator knew this would be the case so that’s why he decided to add the mile loop of hell, which included a nice stroll back up the mountain, and we were greeted with Atlas lift, sled drag, and the slap on the back log carry, followed by the tire carry. That was a roller coaster of emotions right there, I legit went from hating life, to loving it, to hating it all in a span of 45 mins, but that’s what Spartan Race is supposed to do.
Volunteers, you all stepped your eh game for this race, you were all tough as nails when it came to the obstacles, some concerns though, on the first loop for the rig, I got through the second lane but I dint have 2 hands on the final ring, I was not aware that I had to as no one expressed that rule to me. I held onto the last ring with one hand and was in control and I was about to high five the volunteer as I completed it, but she broke my heart and told me I had to do burpees, I recall on the rest of the obstacles that when I got to the end I made it clear that I had both hands on the final bar. Also if you are a volunteer, and someone obviously fails, and they know it, please take caution when telling us we have to do burpees, as we know what we have to do, we like salt in our bodies, not on our wounds ;) But ultimately thank you to all the volunteers who are at the top of the mountain for 8,10,13 hrs its not easy, I remember my first year as a volunteer and doing the water at the finish line, being hunched over on the floor (they weren’t on stands like they are now) struggling to keep up with the water demand.
Some new things that I experienced on this race were as following WARNING going to get personal: Toe nails, make sure they are clipped, I’m usually really good at keeping nails modest (gf will be first to let me know that I’m letting my nails go) but my pinky toe was a bit too long and on that down hill I was hearing my pancake telling me to clip my nails. Also chaffing in the rear region, that sh!t is not fun (no pun intended) not entirely too sure where I’m going with this but yeah it was not fun. Also urination, sorry to the racer who went the wrong way and ended up getting an eye full of some man parts, we all know that runners while in a race become the dumbest people on the planet, we are focusing on so much things, keep back straight, shoulders back, breath, and keep hydrated. We get to a wall and ask what do we have to do here? You get over it you nincompoop, its not rocket science, but like I said us runners become pretty held back when it comes to common sense stuff. So yeah follow the flags or else you might see something you could have gone without.
What saved me this race? When I asked a lot of people what they were bringing with them as they plan to be on course for 7,10,13 hrs, and not one person mentioned salt tablets. We need on a daily Carbs, fats, protein and MINERALS. The loss of salt is also connected to cramping and hyponatremia, a rare and potentially fatal condition in which over hydration leads to low blood sodium levels. I also noticed early in the race that my urine was not clear so I focused on hydration and set a goal, it felt great to yell VICTORY, my pee is clear, the medics were jacked to hear that. My fuel for the run was mostly vegan inspired, mashed sweet potatoes with organic honey (no bees were harmed in supplying me the sweet, sweet goodness of that organic honey), avocado chocolate pudding, that I placed in zip lock bags. And finally sticking to my plan, we told ourselves what our pace should be and our watch (well not all of us, our fellow runners Garmin crapped out) helped keep us on track. The Fenix 3 was worth the price tag when it came to this event. Support crew, having someone there to keep you motivated, distract you from the pain, and have everything ready for you so when you tell yourself you can’t do something, they are there to remind you that yes you can. Finally what helped keep us going is that on the 2nd lap little things kept our moral up, things like the sand bag was only one bag, the rig was only one section, the mile from hell was only for the first loop, so no log carry, tractor pull or tire carry, and the jerry can carry loop was shortened (it still sucked but like I said it’s the little things).
In conclusion I’m here to tell everyone that if you set a SMART goal, you can achieve anything, we left at 8:15am we power walked up the mountains, kept hydrated and eat when we should, and on downhill we jogged, on some flat terrain we lightly jogged and beat the first cut off by 1hr, on the 2nd lap we didn’t run at all, kept our average klm at 12 mins (goal was anything below 15), with this plan we were able to beat every cut off by at least an hr. Our goal was just to finish it and that we did. Thank you to the build crew of the race, our support team, and my fellow runners who helped us stay focused on our goal. Some say run your own race, but if you have others with same plan, and use safe words, anything is possible. Our safe word for when we wanted to jog was Leonidas, and when we wanted to cool down was Batman, we didn’t judge each other when we needed to batman, as we knew our pace and we knew when we should go and when we need to rest.
So surround yourself with like-minded individuals and you can accomplish anything.
Set a SMART goal. Don’t let excuses define you.
Blogging thoughts from OCRA Team