How to Train Like an ELITE Obstacle Athlete

High-intensity interval training is a fitness phenomenon that more and more people are beginning to get into. Also known as HIIT, this approach to fitness involves intense bursts of activity followed by rest or fixed periods of gentle exercise. High-intensity interval training is efficient, metabolism boosting, fat torching, and seriously intense. It asks us to train harder and push our bodies significantly further than we ever thought possible. It also encourages us to quite literally overcome any obstacle life throws our way.

As an elite obstacle athlete and an elite level Spartan champion, Alex Nicolas is an expert in that arena. He is also the founder of a thriving high-intensity circuit fitness program called EPIC Interval Training, who’s Washington, D.C. location is owned and operated by David Fuller.  This is where individuals have the opportunity to find their own inner champion. Borne out of the Spartan Race series, EPIC Interval Training is here to change the game in modern fitness, incorporating bodyweight exercises with kettlebell conditioning, monkey bars, ropes, and mobility and skill work. Created by elite obstacle athletes, D.C-based EPIC Interval Training aims to complement every aspect of their member’s lives, improving mental and physical toughness both in and outside of the gym.

Work on Progressive Levels

For D.C. owner, David Fuller, the goal is simple, to meet our own potential. “It is important to note that here at EPIC we can make anybody and any body type reach their potential,” he says. “We do that by teaching each station at three levels. That means two completely different body types can be working side-by-side at the same station and each is doing it to their respective max. So that might mean person A is more flexible than person B and therefore has a greater range of motion. Conversely, person B might have superior grip strength to person A and can spend an entire interval in an inverted hang, for example.” Based on a progressive level system, this circuit-style fitness program meets you where you are and gives you opportunities for growth over time. But at EPIC, time works a little differently. Working buzzer to buzzer, everyone starts together, everyone works together, and everyone ends together.

Become Your Own Machine

Another unique aspect of this style of fitness is that you are the machine. No treadmills, no rowers, no mechanical devices will be found here because you have the power within yourself. Beginning on the MMA mat, EPIC will train you to strengthen your feet, ankles, knees, all the way to your fingertips, leading you to the next level of training and the next and the next until you discover how truly powerful you can be.

Switch Up Your Daily Workouts

Another word of advice? Switch up your regular workout regimen. At EPIC, every day of the week is a different class, each with its specific focus. Whether it’s core or cardio, your workout will be ever changing to keep your brain and your body stimulated and to avoid the monotony of the average workout plan. While it is standard that each class is eight stations, the stations and the interval levels differ per the focus of the day. And although each day is different, you’ll have the same classes throughout the month so you can track improvement week after week. On the weekends, athletes can also find special classes that get even more creative. The mobility class is one such experience, combining a yoga flow class with an EPIC interval run class in the great outdoors.

Learn from the Experts

Honoring its roots, EPIC offers Spartan workshops to support those who wish to compete in the race themselves. These classes focus on technique for the specific obstacles and come replete with pro tips from the coaches that have crawled, climbed, run, and jumped their way through the course before.  For those that don’t want to pursue Spartan training, there are other training options at EPIC.

Join a Positive Community

We are always stronger together and with a supportive atmosphere to guide us, we will find ourselves even closer to our goals. It is for this reason why EPIC prioritizes its team above all else. “In hiring coaches I did not look for just group fitness trainers, but coaches. Meaning, the mission of each of my staff is to improve the live’s of the people that come in the door. Each is a certified group exercise trainer, CPR certified etc. but most importantly, they are people persons. They can relate to our clients and make personal connections,” Fuller adds. Because at the end of the day, EPIC is here to create a safe, fun, and effective way to both exercise and find belonging. “In short, we are not in the fitness business. We are in the people business,” Fuller concludes. I want people to know that fitness can be fun. If you enjoy your workout and the people you are working out with, then it’s a win-win-win.”

Whether it’s winning an elite level trophy, or winning a whole new mindset, high-intensity training could be just the push you need to get you where you want to go and become the champion of your own life.