What’s the one thing that can get me out of this slump I’ve been in since October? A new obstacle course training facility of course.
Going into the winter season here in Canada I was a little worried that being on leg rest and with the cooler weather at hand I was going to have a difficult time finding the motivation to train for the upcoming OCR season, until I heard about Alpha Obstacle Training.
There isn’t any other place in Toronto that offers sessions with a strong focus on obstacle course training and no other facility in Toronto that offers the use of the one obstacle that challenged me and many others during the Canadian Spartan Race season, that obstacle known as “The Rig”, so of course when I heard that Premium Rig was putting up an obstacle for a new training centre here in Toronto I was beyond excited and looking forward to the grand unveiling.
Alpha Obstacle Training is located in the heart of downtown Toronto, in the Polson Pier area. It is the brain child of Jesse Bruce and Marisol Brown. Both are Certified Personal Trainers and both have ran numerous OCR’s. Jesse was on the podium in 2013 during the Toronto Spartan Beast, Marisol is the Brand Ambassador for Under Armour and also a Spartan, that’s where they met and this grand idea was born. They both wanted to create a facility that creates a sense of community for OCR enthusiasts like themselves by providing ultimate training geared to those interested in bringing OCR to another level and that is open to people of all physical fitness levels, from the beginner OCR to the elite athlete.
I couldn’t wait to go check it out, train and play.
Alpha opened it’s doors to the public on Monday, December 2nd with an inaugural session that took place at 7:30pm. When I got there I was greeted by both co-founders. Myself along with 23 other individuals came out that evening for the first opening session and to support Alpha. After introductions and some welcoming words we were taken through a warm up session that was divided between Jesse and Marisol, with the focus being on everyone from all fitness levels to work as a team and to strive to improve ourselves. The warm up lasted about 20 minutes, afterwards we were divided into two even groups, half with Jesse to work on the stations in 30 second intervals and the other half with Marisol, where you worked on core and conditioning. Once we were done we switched. It was a great balance between the two.
I went back on Wednesday to take in the evening class lead by Jesse. This time we had a much smaller class but it was a very intense class. We went through a nice warm up that led into a workout followed by hitting the stations in pairs. 30 second intervals first and the second round 20 second intervals.
After each session we got the opportunity to practice on the Rig, with Jesse and Marisol going through techniques to help us get better on each obstacle.
On Saturday I attended their first Alpha Warrior session. It is a 90 minute circuit that included a warm up, workout, then we got to choose to either run a 2.5k or a 5k outside by the lake and back to the gym for a mini obstacle course run, timed! Because I am still on leg rest and have only ran one other time since October I choose the 2.5k. Got checked in for time and off to do the obstacles. This included the rig, rope climb, box jumps, lunges, burpees and pushups. The purpose of this is to time ourselves and to improve every week. I have a lot of work to put in and a lot of improving to do!!
Alpha Obstacle Training is a fairly big and spacious facility that is not yet complete however they have many great plans for the rest of the space. Currently they have the main attraction set up, The Rig, rope climb, row machines, pull up bars, weighted balls, box jumps and weights. Lots of space for push ups, planking, jumping rope, squatting and lunging and a peg pull up board. There is space upstairs that is still under construction but which will eventually hold other workout stations as there are plans to put up a traverse wall and for some kind of balance station and maybe a cargo net along with showers and change rooms. There is plenty of outside space to work on other important things such as barb wire crawling during the warmer seasons.
This week was their open house but they have decided to extend it for the entire month of December so all classes are complimentary for the whole month and I intend to make the most out of it.
Alpha offers classes throughout the week. There are morning, lunch and evening sessions and they are also open on Saturday’s. They offer open gym time during those days as well.
Alpha is inviting, from the atmosphere inside the warehouse facility, the people who I have met while attending the sessions to the trainers. Most importantly it exudes the sense of OCR community which is very important to me and what I have been looking for here in the city. I am super stoked about this place. I look forward to seeing it grow and to hopefully working with Jesse and Marisol and learn how to conquer my nemesis The Rig and prepare for a stellar upcoming 2014 Spartan Race season.
So if you are planning on running any Canadian Spartan Races or any other OCR in 2014 or if you ever find yourself in Toronto I suggest you make sure to come out and check Alpha Obstacle Training. I guarantee it will be worth it.
Now get out there and get dirty!
Jesse is a certified trainer and was a podium finisher at the Spartan Beast in 2013 along with 19 other first place OCR races including Warrior Dash, Mudhero, Crucible, Urban WArrior.
Marisol is a certified trainer and Brand Ambassador for Under Armour.
Alpha Obstacle Training, you can find them on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/alphaOT. Their website will be launched soon – http://www.alphaobstacletraining.com/
The Rig is a creation of Premium Rig, https://www.facebook.com/premiumrig?ref=stream&hc_location=timeline. This obstacle is essentially made of 3 obstacles….a never ending monkey bar, followed by rings and a rope climb. However, the obstacles are usually switched around to keep you challenged. Sometimes they add chains to the rings or substitute some rings with bars.