Everyone has their own goals when it comes to fitness. Some of us want to lose weight, some want to be as strong as possible, and some just want to focus on general health. For many of us, OCR has helped serve all of those purposes as our athletes need to be well rounded in order to finish a race. Just as in everyday fitness, racers come into each season with their own goals. A trainer or fitness coach can go a long way in helping you reach whatever you want to accomplish.

But how do you choose? Do you need a personal trainer or should you attend group classes? Is racing experience a necessity for your coach? Do you just go to your local gym and ask to be paired with a personal trainer?

Here is the boring answer. There is no right answer. It truly all depends on you and your goals.

Here is the still boring but more in-depth answer.

If you are fortunate enough to live in a place where you have the luxury of having an OCR specific gym, go there. Nothing prepares you for the feeling of climbing over an 8’ wall like actually doing it. Same goes for the majority of all obstacles you will find at a race. If you have an OCR gym in your community, chances are it is because the people who run it are OCR athletes themselves or have a very good understanding of the sport and the market it appeals to. They will be able to help you with technique and strategy, something you should not take for granted.

Having said that, if you are in the majority of racers’ shoes where you do not live near an OCR gym, this decision can be a little more complicated. When you are making this decision, you need to ask yourself “what is my goal and what will be the best way to get there”. If you are an elite OCR athlete, chances are you already have a coach or a program you follow strictly. If you are someone looking at living a healthier lifestyle, both group fitness and personal training would benefit you as your training likely will not be specific to OCR. Group fitness is a great avenue for people as it is cost-effective and a fun way to be active with your friends. Group fitness instructors are also very knowledgeable so they are happy to answer whatever questions you may have and will be excited to do so. And don't think group fitness is just scripted routines. You can do anything from Tabata work to a full on weight session in group fitness today.

If you are looking for an OCR specific program and you have a specific goal in mind for your race season, perhaps a personal trainer may be a path worth investing in. Finding a personal trainer with some OCR experience would be ideal as they will have first-hand knowledge of what the body will go through during a race. On the other hand, a competent personal trainer with good research skills should be able to evaluate the needs of an OCR athlete and build a program for you based on their studies. A custom program catered to your needs is the most effective way of reaching your goals. Personal trainers, while pricey, are able to focus in on just you and your needs. They will be a wealth of knowledge, a motivator, and often times a confidant.

At the end of the day, as long as you are doing something to promote a healthy lifestyle, you are making a good investment. There are thousands of trainers, so try your best to find one who fits your goals and your abilities.