Meet George Edwards, an obstacle racer enthusiast and VPT at Gymbox Farringdon. He shares with us the joys and pain of obstacle racing, and how working as VPT at Gymbox helps him to stay focussed.
"Who in their right mind would pay to run in the cold and wet crawling under barb wire throwing themselves over 10ft walls carrying sandbags in the name of health and fitness? Yes, that would be me.
This weekend I left for the for the OCR world championships in Toronto. It's a 16+km 50 obstacle race in the mountains, so I'm expecting a lot of pain and suffering to be honest, but then a huge buzz. This race is different to Tough Mudder, as it's much more Individual. You don't get any help from anyone if you can't do an obstacle. The obstacles are closer to Gymbox class Ninja Warrior than they are to Tough Mudder. The OCR is the best of the best in the world, so if you can run 10km in sub 30 mins then it's for you.
The right type of personality to take on such a hard race is not just fitness levels, but a sense of humour and a high threshold for pain! I took this on mainly because I stopped playing football and needed to focus on a new sport, so I chose obstacle racing. I love competing but mostly I love the buzz you get when you have to tackle what is coming at you so fast that you don't have time to think, so reaction time is key.
I love testing my body's limits, and it's fascinating working towards the perfect race where you most likely are gassed out of you're mind and comfort zone. But you have a huge adrenaline rush from the trails and the constant puzzle of putting your feet in the right spot to avoid injury.
Social media had helped with the bragging rights and selfies and I'm part of it but what I enjoy about this sport is the community and the positive vibes. Besides, you don't wanna be bragging too hard – someone, somewhere has done a much harder crazier race than you.
When I'm in the course, I think about so many things. For instance, when I'm in absolute agony I think about lost ones or friends and family, and how I can't let anyone down. Then i think about how lucky I am that my body can do all this amazing stuff. I really am truly grateful for that.
My most memorable experience of doing obstacle races so far is when I took on the Nuclear Oblivion, which is a marathon made up of 375 obstacles. I only did five weeks training for this. I finished 24 out of 175 and crossed the line with mild hyperthermia, a swollen ankle and a twisted knee.
To be honest, outside of these races I'm pretty boring. I avoid fast food, and my usual night in is with Netflix, and I go to bed early. My nickname is fast-becoming 'Grandpa George'. But that's just in the evenings. During the day I can't sit still, so I have to find time to rest.
I love working at a VPT at Gymbox as it's high energy, and the people are always interested in what races I'm doing. Some have even started to enter some too. We also have a VPT challenge, which at the moment I am on top of, so we always push each other in our training.
My training offers people a chance to better understand their body's strengths and weakness whilst testing it's practicalness"
George's weekly training includes:
2 x 10km runs
Deadlifts 130 5x5
Pull ups 25
Rope climbs x3
Dips 5/5 weighted
Tyre flip 2 mins
Burpees 2 Mins
Prowler heavy 160/180kg drop set
Take 20 off til 20kg
Follow George on Twitter
To train with him, don't be shy, drop him an email