Hard Work, Persistence & Training
Staminade: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. You are certainly a great example of how hard work, persistence and training can give fantastic results! We’ve been watching your journey on Instagram @og.commandrew and are in awe at what you have achieved! When people ask you what you do, how do you explain?
Andrew: What I do is OCR style events, specifically Spartan Race. Fortunately, these days most people have heard, seen or even done some kind of obstacle course style event and we are lucky that there has been a wide variety here in Australia over the past few years. So its not a completely obscure sport.
What most people don’t know is that it many events now have a serious competitive element to them. If there is an “elite division” people will be racing for podium places, prize money, trophies, right up to trying to qualifying for world championships – either for the OCRWC or Spartan Race.
However, I more often get asked why.
Why do you do those races? Why do you train so much? Why do you push yourself so hard? Why are all your holidays based around events and racing? Why do you do such big events?
Reason being, about 4 years ago I was really overweight. I don’t know exactly how big I got to as I most likely didn’t care or more importantly didn’t want to know, but the scales had been over 143kg more than once. At one point my doctor actually offered to put me forward for government funded surgery. I declined. I had a lot of back issues (have some permanent damage now because of it all) as well as knee issues, health issues, self issues.
But the night is always darkest before dawn. So fast forward through a couple of hit & miss starts/attempts and I was slowly making progress. Not being happy, I made a major change in my life, got rid of the negativity, joined a gym, got a trainer, started eating A LOT better and slowly got addicted to the continuous, steady progress of becoming a better version of me.
Eventually signed up to a one off Spartan Race (thanks to my now wife & a broken thumb) and I was hooked! The combination of everything physically required to do all the obstacles and the mentally fortitude to always pick yourself up was what I never knew I had been looking for.
OCR events combine everything: strength, cardio and gymnastics. Events range from 5km up to 42km as well as 24hr non-stop events. Obstacles on an event can include dead balls (55kg), sandbags (30Kkg), rope climbs, monkey bars with rings & floating bars, cliffhanger style rock climbing walls etc. Along with the mental game to be strong through it all as anything and everything usually happens.
I eventually teamed up racing with Crossfit & managed to awaken this sleeping monster inside me that seems to thrive on suffering in training and the painfully pleasurable addiction of crossing that finish line with a smile on my face, and never settling with what I have achieved so far & all I want is more.
Staminade: Tell us a bit more about some of the different events you have done this year.
Andrew: All but one of the events I have participated in this year have been Obstacle Course Races, with the majority been Spartan Race. I have been fortunate enough (to convince my wife) to race in Malaysia back in March – finished 6th (14km/30 obstacles) and recently multiple races over one weekend in Hawaii last month – finished 4th in Ultra Beast (42km/70 obstacles) as well as all Spartan Races throughout Australia as well.
The “other” event I have done this year was the Brisbane Marathon – my first ever crack at that distance on road. Plus, I am competing in my first Crossfit comp next month as well.
Staminade: You train heaps! How does a normal training week look for you?
Andrew: I am fortunate that there is never anything as a “normal” training week. The only consistent part of my schedule is that I will be at Crossfit 4178 5 to 6 days a week. I generally follow the programming that they run there, but at times modifying some movements depending on how the body is feeling or recovering, especially once the training is getting very heavy leading into events.
I do like to get in an hour earlier however do “extra” work on top of the strength & conditioning sessions daily – a lot of mobility & stretching plus work on weaknesses or areas that need more work. Personally, my strength is good in regards for what is required for OCR but my gymnastics is easily the weaker link in my arsenal.
It might seem weird to use Crossfit for OCR but it works. The current man to beat in Australia (hasn’t lost this year) uses Crossfit & a lot of others do as well. Speaks volumes in my opinion.
I try and get out on the trails once during the week to blow the cobwebs out of the legs as well as once on the weekend with the wife and other like minded people.
Despite all that, I try and keep it simple and smile. If I love what I am doing, then I will want to keep doing more. My current favourite quote is “I do not have an addiction to suffering. I have an addiction to what the product of suffering is” – Matt Fraser.
Staminade: Where is your favourite place to train and why?
Andrew: I do love being at Crossfit 4178 as everyone there embraces what you want to do. Plus, I have everything at my disposal from big ass tires, ropes, kettle bells and sleds through to barbells, pull-up rigs and rowers and assault bikes. I can cover all possible strength and strict skill work, nice long chipper style workouts and everything else – basically I am only limited by what I can dream up.
But the flipside is, there is something magically about being out on the trails as the sun is peaking through the trees with the wildlife everywhere.
Either way, I find them both a great place to forget the world for a brief moment and recharge the mind and soul as well.
Staminade: How does Staminade help you with both your training and when competing at the events? What do you most love about Staminade?
Andrew: Previously to using Staminade, I tried a few different products similar to Staminade along with other recovery specific supplement drinks.
Sean, the owner of Crossfit 4178 started stocking Staminade one day and so it was easily accessible. Wasn’t a fan of the pre-mixed but just loved the lemon lime powder. Tasted great and wasn’t sweet.
Since using Staminade I have found that when training, running or most importantly, racing it sits well and doesn’t turn in my stomach. I’ve noticed less cramping & to me it still tastes great after 6 or 7 hours out on the trails. That’s the winner for me. Being solely using it for over a year and have no plans of swapping out my green staminade for anything – or as I like to call it, my hulk juice.