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
So this weekend marks the first OCR of 2017 for most of us. Kicking off the year with Course Polar Hero Race. I'm here to give you guys a few tips on how to be successful in this race.
1 - The main reason people are afraid to sign up, and the question I get asked a lot, is it's too cold and how would I dress for it. Yes, it's cold, welcome to Canada lol But running in the winter does have it's advantages.
- Breathing in cold air makes the lungs work harder, which will make summer running that much easier.
- Running in snow is great resistance training.
- And having your face/beard all frosted up makes you look badass!
Dress like it's 10 degrees warmer. We all dress for the temperature, but when we'll be running and jumping over obstacles, we're going to get warm.
This weekend will be around -10 Celsius. Start with a base layer. If you're really worried about the cold, throw some track pants or windbreaker pants over top. Otherwise, just throw some shorts over top of the base layer pants. On the top layer, add a long sleeve. Something that can let you breathe, but also protects you from any wind. If you really want, throw a hoodie over top, or a t-shirt. As for gloves, I never use gloves in my races, but I will be wearing them in between obstacles. I trust my grip strength more than gloves any day. But if you're set on wearing gloves, people have used Football gloves. Just remember though that they aren't built for winter. For shoes, you want to make sure they're comfortable, and grip in the snow. A good pair of trail shoes and warm socks will do the trick. Studded shoes are not recommended due to the fact you're running in the stadium and some of the stairs are metal so chances of you slipping are greater with studs. Be wary of where you are placing your feet. Look at the runners ahead of you so you can see where you'd have to avoid.
2 - How's your hydration? With the race only 5 days away, your water intake should be on point. We want to make sure we're all consuming at least 2-4L a day, depending on what you do all day. If you're job is very intense and you're sweating and moving all day, you want to be drinking more water than someone who sits at a desk all day. You can bring hydration packs with you on course if that makes you comfortable. Just remember that it'll be -10 and the possibility of it freezing is high.
3 - How's your nutrition? We want to make sure we are feeding our bodies the proper nutrition to make sure we perform our best. If you feed your body junk, you won't perform at your best. Everyone has their own rituals and journey, so do what works for you.
4 - Practice obstacles. Where would you do that? OCR Academy of course! We have classes where we combine strength training and obstacles in a great workout, or come in for open gym to get practice on any of the obstacles. Looking for help on techniques? Send me a message!
If you have your own tricks you use, feel free to share! If you'd like more information, send me a message and let's get you all ready!
See you all this Saturday! I'll be one of the crazies running unlimited!
By James Drew
SGX certified coach
#obstaclefit #training #OCR #gym #bootcamp #grouptraining
Today's post is my #MedalMonday. Hopefully people use it as #MotivationMonday to help push themselves, and #NeverMissAMonday to push through their workout to get wherre they need to be! Stay tuned for tomorrow as I dive in a little to how to run and build that ankle stability in those conditions!
I took on the Course Polar Hero Race Ottawa this past Saturday.
It was -10 when we started, and it was perfect. Since I was running unlimited laps, I was dressed for distance rather than speed. Kept the heat in and the cold out.
If I remember correctly there was 21 obstacles per lap. A few required more upper body strength than others, along with technique. And I can proudly say that I didn't fail anything!
Even though my quads cramped up on lap 4, I got them sorted out and completed 5 laps, finishing 3rd in unlimited.
Thank you to Gary Pillu and Kevin Pillu for putting on a great race. Thank you to Force5 Equipment for an awesome rig and toys for us to build our grip strength. Thank you to OCR Academy for helping us build our confidence and strength on these obstacles. Thank you to Reebok for keeping me warm. Thank you to Crossfuel for keeping me fuelled. Thank you to my Capital OCR Team teammates for cheering me on and encouraging everyone. Thank you to all of the volunteers who braved the cold.
Congrats to everyone who took on this awesome course. Can't wait to see you all at Ragnarok in March!!
If you're looking for a coach to help you get you where you want to be, come visit me at the Academy or send me an email at email@example.com!
By James Drew
SGX certified coach
#OCRAcademy #OCRStrong #OCR #PolarHero #SpartanSGX #SGX #Winter #ReebokOCR #ReebokCanada #Crossfuel #CapitalOCR #OCRWC #obstacletraining
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.
The last 2 years have been the craziest 2 years of my life. My grandma who I was not very close with but was the last living member that I knew on my dad’s side to passed away in September of 2014. My time with her when I was young was a very happy time, she had such a zest for life that I think she passed down to me. After her passing I started to learn new things about her and everyone said she lived each life to the fullest, she loved doing yoga and was a Tai Chi instructor. Because of her my fiancee and I traveled to Iceland for our first trip, somewhere non of our friends have been but i knew that my grammy loved to travel and she encouraged me to try new things.
Fast forward to October 2015 when my Father lost his long 10 year battle with cancer. Any death is hard on someone, but when they are a local celebrity it was hard to find closure as it seemed almost like a circus. He never wanted it to be like this, he wanted it to be small and intimate but because he touched so many peoples lives, we told him that others needed a chance to grieve as well. I remember that he taught me to try and make my community a better place to live for not only myself but for future generations, to not be a consumer of this world but to be producer, and of course to make a difference in the life of a child (his signature sign off after every news casts on friday’s) He was not there when I was born (adopted father) but I was there when he took his last breath. Let me tell you something, there is no harder, but more honourable feeling in the world but to stand there and watch the strongest man you know take his final breath surrounded by the people he loved most. To me, nothing else compares to that, as it not only breaks you down, but if used properly it can build you back up to be a stronger human being.
January 2016, 2 days before her 57th birthday my mom passed away from a massive heart attack. I got a call from the hospital, I didn't even know she was there and when I arrive I am told I have to make a decision (well basically the decision was already made but non the less), a decision that no son should ever make but as I learned that Death is the only thing that is guaranteed in life, I also new the life that she lived was not easy and that she was done with the suffering. When I arrived to the hospital I already knew that she was gone and that the machines were doing there thing, but I used that few minutes I had to grab her hand, whisper in her ear that I am grateful that she brought me into this world, and that I knew that this life was not easy for her, and that I was sorry that I could not be stronger for her.
People have told me that I did everything, and that it was not my fault but I know how strong I am and I know that I could have done more. Watching her take her final breaths knowing that she was there when I took my first was a feeling that consumed me, it consumes me now as I write this, still struggling to hold back the tears. I am not sure what that feeling is just yet, honour, knowing that I was there to witness that. Anger, as I felt I could have done more to pro long this. Fear, as she did not get to see the academy and be apart of my success, Fear that perhaps she didn't get to see her baby boy evolve from the delinquent I once was to the man I am today. I don't know, and as I continue this journey through life, I hope that I can find those answers.
Watching your parents take their final breaths is an honor, being able to hold their hands, connect with them one final time before they exit this world and continue onto the next is privileged that I will never forget.
In a world filled with so much hate, I hope that I can teach my son that the world is a much better place when you bring joy to others. I tell him to make good choices every day, to make others laugh, to make others feel important, empowered, to never knock someone down unless you plan to help bring them back up. As no matter what you believe in the Bible has a pretty good saying “Slow to anger, and quick to forgive” all the magic aside, thats a pretty good message and I hope notably him but our community will realize that you cannot control others, but you can control how treat others.
Make good choices, as death is only the beginning. Thank you Grammy, Pops, and Mom.
In June of 2015 I went into this new journey with excitement and fear. I had noticed that this fitness competition thing was becoming quite the new popular thing to do and that mostly anybody could do it. All the stories I read were success stories on how amazing this experience was and how it changed peoples’ lives forever. For me all I wanted to do was get on stage. That was my initial goal. I have to admit though that I also wanted abs. Yep, I said it. I wanted to look smoking hot and have that body that most women dream about. Then as I researched it a bit more I became interested in the nutrition aspect of it and how it affects your body. I decided this would be my year to challenge myself to do something so out of my comfort zone that I had butterflies just thinking about it. I found THE BEST coach around and sat down with her to discuss my goals and see if I would be a good fit for this competition. Not everybody is able to do these competitions. You have to be doing it for the right reasons. I for one wanted to improve my self-confidence and prove to myself that I could do something that seemed almost impossible to me at that moment. I soon learned that most women that enter these competitions have some issue they want to resolve, some kind of insecurity or trying to regain control of their lives somehow by taking control of their body. I am a very dedicated person when I want to do something and I couldn’t get it out of my head so I was determined to go through with it to the end. My goal was to get on that stage. It wasn’t to come first, second or 10th…no it was just to step on that stage and show my family, friends and myself that I had done it.
After speaking with my coach I now had a better idea of what I was getting myself into. I thought at first that I would be deprived of a lot of foods and be starving all the time. Well, let me tell you that was not the case at all. I had to eat so much friggin food I had a hard time finishing my meals for the first two weeks! I ate a copious amount of veggies, rice, potatoes, chicken, turkey and fish. That was the extent of my diet for the first couple weeks just to gauge my base line. I was shocked but I was happy to have all that food. The next couple months my diet changed with my body slowly but surely. I couldn’t really notice the changes to my body but my partner and my coach would tell me that I was definitely changing. It was depressing for me because I was working so hard and eating so clean all the time but not really seeing the difference in my body.
The “before and after” pics as well as progress pics came and went but I was still self conscious of my body and worried that I wouldn't be ready for the competition.
During the whole process I was very focused, determined and dedicated. I hardly cheated on my diet (maybe a few times with crackers or a piece of dark chocolate). I did have cheat meals which was a life saver and I always looked forward and planned them carefully. I was tested many times and it was very difficult. It can be a very lonely time especially when it comes to food. You feel as though people are judging you, you feel like you are missing out at times. It's also hard when your 8 year old wants burger and fries and you have to watch him eat it while you have rice and fish. It was challenging to say the least but I did it. People constantly asking you what you are eating, why you are eating that, thinking you should eat more not knowing that was my 4th meal of the day while they only had breakfast. It was a constant obsession with food. Let's not forget the constant looking in the mirror, measuring, weighing and pictures. I was becoming obsessed with myself that is not in my nature. I only really noticed changes in the week before my competition and the day before, when I had my tan done, then I could really see my hard work. I was also deprived, dehydrated and tanned to the extreme. The next day I stepped on stage. I had accomplished what I had set to do and I loved it. It was one of the most rewarding experiences in my life and I felt I was on top of the world until it all came crashing down the week after the competition. That's what they don't tell you when you start this process. These are the hidden demons of competition life. The fact that you can't look stage-ready forever as it's not healthy or realistic.
Now I am aware of all this but even now, 4 months after my competition I still struggle with my body image and insecurities. I would say that I've been more obsessed with my body in the last 4 months than before my comp or even ever for that matter. I was warned about the post comp depression and it is a real thing. I didn't realize however that it would last so long. I thought I’d get over it after a couple weeks of going back to the gym and eating "normally" but no, it has not. Every day I compare myself to others I see on some kind of social media. I say to myself..."why does she have abs all year round, why can't I? Why can't I look cut like her all the time? Why does my butt look like this and not like that? Why can't I have her arms, her shoulders, her.....etc etc etc. Now I do realize that I am not out of shape, obese or flabby. I have always been active and in shape. Then why am I thinking these thoughts on a regular basis? Why am I so consumed with how I should look? I've always been one to compare myself to others but it was never this bad. I feel like this comp made me see a side of me that was beyond the reach of most people and I lived it and now I’m back down to earth and I have to accept that I can't and shouldn't look like that all the time. I am relentlessly working on trying to avoid social media (easier said than done) and talking to myself. I am still very active at the gym, going 4 times a week and eating clean 95% of the time. I am never happy with my results and I’m impatient, wanting to see more results faster. My goal is to gain muscle and that is not an easy task. For me it would probably take at least 1 year to grow 5-10lbs of muscle to be able to compete in nationals naturally.
Now I could continue this journey and always follow that same path but I think I’ve come to realize that it's not necessarily what I want. I want to be fit and healthy, yes, but I don't think I want to go through the ups and downs of competition just because of the aftermath and what's it’s done to me. Maybe one day I’ll learn to accept my body the way it is and be ok with not having abs 365 days a year but for now, I’m still dealing with the post comp blues and it's going to take a while for me to get out of it. I'm not saying NO to more competition but I’m saying NO for right now, at least until I get back to being me and being ok with it.
It's this drink that you put down your word hole that makes everything work at the elite level, and you just feel totally awesome afterwards.
Its ingredients include:
-Espresso shot from Happy Goat Coffee that is locally roasted right here in Ottawa, not Seattle or at Timmies' work shop, right here in Little Italy.
-Salted Grass Fed butter
-Unsweetened Almond Milk
-Pure 100% Coconut Oil
Now why all these ingredients? Let's break it down shall we?
Happy Goat Coffee:
They promote fair trade, encourage small scale farmers and their beans
are overall awesome! Here is a link to their website, go check them out!
Grass Fed Butter:
Can’t tell you how many times people look at me like I have 2 heads when I say it has grass fed butter in it. Trust me, once you have tried it, that mocka chacka bullshit you have had in the past will never taste the same. But why OCR Academy? Why Butter?
Cows are made to eat grass, not factory farm lot feed. Grass-fed cows are healthier than factory-farmed or grain-fed cows and the butter they produce reflects their good health. Here is a recap from this infographic that has all the information that has the scientific sources backing them.
Salted Grass-fed butter is higher than grain-fed butter in omega-3 fatty acids, CLA, beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin D, vitamin E, and antioxidants. You can actually see the difference in the butter: Salted grass-fed butter is a sunny yellow colour, while grain-fed/factory-farmed butter is almost white. The lack of colour is a sign that the butter is coming from sick, nutrient-depleted cows.
Salted grass-fed butter is high in butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid. Studies show that butyrate can both prevent and decrease inflammation in humans. In rodents, studies have shown butyrate to protect against mental illness, improve body composition, increase metabolism, and improve gut health. Why Salted? Mineralization, when we have a good work out our body needs sodium and salt can be good in healthy doses. Ideally, himalayan salt is your go to for anything but unfortunately the butter doesn't have it.
Butter is nutrient-dense. A single tablespoon of butter contains:
-500 IU vitamin A
-More carotenes than carrots
-High amounts of vitamin K2, vitamin D, and vitamin E
-Grass-fed butter is a superfood. It’s also much easier to come by than yak butter is. We buy ours from Farm boy or Whole Foods.
Why Coconut oil and not MCT oil?
Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood.” Its unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health. This includes fat loss, better brain function and various other amazing benefits. Coconut oil in nature contains all four MCTs (medium chain triglyceride) In addition, it contains a small percentage of longer chain fatty acids.
MCT oil, on the other hand, is not an oil found in nature, but is manufactured by machine to separate out the medium chain fatty acids from the rest of the oil. The fatty acids are extracted through an industrial process of “fractionation”.
The logic is that since MCTs are healthy, the more the better. Therefore, it is a popular belief that MCT oil is healthier than coconut oil. But is this true?
What is MCT Oil?
Where the logic fails in comparing MCT oil to coconut oil, is in the assumption that all four MCTs are present in MCT oil, and only the longer chain fatty acids from coconut oil are removed. This assumption is false.
MCT oils generally contain only the capra fatty acids. Lauric acid is either missing, or present in minuscule amounts. Therefore, to assume that MCT oil is a fractionation of coconut oil, where the longer chain fatty acids have been removed, leaving all of the MCTs from coconut oil, is false. Lauric acid is the star component in coconut oil, but missing in MCT oil. If MCT oil was the fractionation of all of the MCTs in coconut oil, it would be about 80% lauric acid. But it is not. It is zero percent lauric acid.
This is not surprising if you think about it. Lauric acid is the most valuable component of coconut oil, and as we saw above, the most actively traded MCT fatty acid in the world market.
So what does one do with the remaining capra MCTs after removing the valuable lauric acid? Market it as MCT oil of course!
Is MCT Oil better than Coconut Oil?
No, of course not. How can a product that has the most famous and most dominant fatty acid removed from the original product be considered “better”? Reference: by Brian Shilhavy
If you were able to process that information, congrats, I still don't really understand it as I referenced a lot of big words that I don't really understand but what I do know is that when I have a Bullet Proof Coffee I feel better, I perform better during my workouts and I overall just feel better. One of these a day with all of these super foods, why wouldn’t you want one? Come on by to the Goat Berry Cafe located in the OCR Academy and try one for yourself. Team it up with a Pure Strength Bar and you got yourself a recipe for success my friends.
We here at OCR Academy, your number 1 obstacle training destination has a few questions for the individuals putting on this Canadian Ninja Warrior thing.
Your website looks like a high school computer student designed it. Check out the difference in quality between the ANW and CNW sites..
Nowhere in the Canadian version does it state requirements, legal age, citizenships, or make reference to the production company hosting the event (a little something that adds legitimacy). For instance the company that is producing ANW is http://www.adeignco.com/about/ and the company that puts on Amazing race Canada (a franchise) is Insight Productions.
Sponsors, where is the $100 grand prize coming from? Generally speaking if a company is putting that much money up for grabs they would want a little ROI (return on investment). The event is scheduled to take place July of this year so the stage should be set. Personally I believe the promotion of the final stage should be shared so athletes know what to prepare for. I think the promoters of this event are relying solely on the popularity and hard work done by the American show.
Check this out.
If you click on the link above you can see this is a facility that a company in Ontario called Adventure Solutions (the one and only company that provides the ANW obstacles and also the one who does a lot of the other facilities in North America) states that this is a picture of a facility in the UK, not Toronto. The picture above is also the same picture that is featured on the Canadian Warrior Ninja IG account and they state
“canadianninjawarriorDo you have what it takes to concur the ultimate challenge Test your physical limits at canadian ninja warrior Toronto 2016 #toronto #canada”
This post on their IG account misleads people to think that this is the structure that they will be competing on when in fact its a facility in the United Kingdom.
Now with my final thoughts. If this event is truly happening, that is awesome and great job on the end of the organizers by making this possible with very little marketing and piss poor structure. I believe that this is not the case and the individual(s) is just testing the waters to see if it could be profitable. To the people in charge you are playing with peoples vulnerabilities and acting extremely irresponsible with peoples passions and that my friend is not cool. When you dangle $100k in peoples face you create false hope.
What I can tell you is that OCR Academy is working on a very exciting project. It's too early to divulge too much information but I can tell you this, it will be epic and something that Ottawa and Canada would be proud of.
Watch out 2017, its not only the year that Canada turns 150, but also the year that the Academy goes BIG.
Blogging thoughts from OCRA Team