Stop Chasing Skinny Episode #4

Getting Serious About Athletic Training for PERFORMANCE with Marshall Crown

Marshall Crown is a Charleston-based athletic trainer focused on creating strength and conditioning programs for competitive athletes. Marshall is a competitive weight lifter himself and understands the demands placed on the body, the importance of having a strategically programmed training routine to maximize athletic performance, and the mindset required for athletes to achieve their goals.

Join me as we dive deeper into his training style, techniques, and philosophies. I love his no-excuses approach to coaching his clients. This interview was so much fun to do and perfectly timed within my Spartan Race schedule.

I once read that athletes don’t “exercise and diet,” we “train and fuel.” Marshall is 100% coach covering training, fueling, and getting it done.

stop chasing skinny podcast



Show Notes

Training For Obstacle Course Races (OCR)

Whether you are just starting out or have been racing for years and taking over the most dominating courses, the main reason for running in OCR if for FUN! This approach is paramount when it comes to keeping training fun and progress steady.  However, not everyone has the same goal. Some of us run for fun (recreationally), some to challenge ourselves in a longer race with more advanced preparation (intermediate), and lastly the Elite runner who is competitively trying to win or land a spot on the podium. Each of these populations need to prepare for success, but that preparation looks very different in each group.


Firstly, pick a race that isn’t too long.  This will keep the fun factor high and the training demand low.  I would start with a Spartan Sprint race.  This 5K will challenge you and be a great amount of fun at the same time! To prepare begin with basic body weight movements: Air Squats, Push-ups, Pull-ups, abdominal work. Running is important but remember that in the 3.2 miles you will run, there will typically be 15-25 obstacles in that distance.  This means that you should train to be fast for short durations of 400m-600m as you will not be running for extended periods of time as you would in a 5K road race. Consider doing interval sprints of 1:1 ratio. This means sprint 400m and then rest for the same amount of time that it took to run.  Do this 4-10 times 1 to 2 times per week, building up over the course of a 6-8 weeks out from your race. This should not only help you reach your general fitness goals but will also help make you prepared to have a great time at the race!


So now you’ve been to a few shorter races.  You caught the bug and want to keep pursuing OCR.  What’s next?  You should look to take on a longer race! The next level up would be a Spartan Beast or any OCR race that is around 10K in length.  This will be a good challenge for anyone but will require more additional strength than that of the recreational racer.  Begin by getting on a basic strength training program.  This program should have basic elements of barbell training mixed with a varied and fun conditioning program.  Defiance Strength offers two programs that will be great for that. Defiance OCR and Common Strength are two online group training programs that we offer that would be great starts.  These programs utilize basic strength training principles to get people strong.

If those don’t seem quite your style, utilizing a basic 5×5 strength system working off of the Squat, Press and Deadlift will work well.  This means to start with a weight that would be challenging, but that you can maintain technical proficiency over for 5 repetitions and then do 5 sets of this.  Add in complimentary accessory work to support this basic style program.  You should train three days a week with the fourth day to again do longer runs and sprinting intervals.  Each week for the next 12 weeks add 5-10lbs to your lifts.  This works well if you have very training experience and will produce good requisite strength without making you bulky (remember you still are an endurance racer!)


This is where we separate ourselves from the pack.  The Elite runner has two qualities that make them Elite. First is an undying desire to win.  This fire burns all the time and never quits!  Secondly, is the ability to exist in the hurt locker. How much pain can you tolerate? If you go down this road it will change your life and you will learn things about yourself and your character that will strengthen you mentally and physically more than anything else you have ever done before.  Defiance Strength specializes in working with Elite level athletes and we have become a leader in developing techniques that will help condition the Elite racer and prepare them for the rigors of long OCR races in all weather conditions.  The Defiance OCR online group program would also be a good training program for successfully getting your body ready for a longer 15K style race.  The main focus in preparation should also be where you will be racing.  Be ready mentally.  Will there be hills? Will it be cold and wet? Will it be hot and dry? All these are factors that you will need to prepare your body for and condition your stress responses to.  The better that you can handle this, the better you will be able to compete at a high level.  Defiance Strength also offers motivational coaching which works on helping the athlete to use visualization to be successful.

The Defiance Strength Difference:

At Defiance Strength we are committed to more than just building strong bodies.  The first question asked of every athlete is “Who are you?”  I want to know what other facets that make up that athlete.  We feel that to leave a lasting legacy and have a positive impact on our community, we must be about developing athletes who are also strong mentally and spiritually and have other areas in their life that they can have impact and draw strength from.

Defiance takes all of our athlete’s goals seriously and we take ownership of these goals. This is important because when the athlete struggles we need to believe in what they are capable of and help them achieve their goals. This is the true essence and art of coaching. Anybody can be a trainer, but a true coach can illicit a response from their athletes that will help them not only be great, but phenomenal!

Our Passion for greatness and helping motivated, hardworking, and dedicated individuals of all athletic backgrounds, sports and training histories is our difference.  We produce complete PEOPLE and change our global community one athlete at a time!

How do I become a TEAM Defiance Member?

You can reach Defiance Strength and Conditioning on the web at, which is where all of our information on our Online Training Programs, Team Defiance opportunities, Olympic Weightlifting, Sport Specific training, and Motivational Coaching is offered.  There are also bi weekly blog posts and motivational videos loaded to help with your training and help educate you further.  We can also be found on Facebook at as well as on Instagram and Twitter at @DefianceSC.

For more information on everything new and exciting going on at Defiance please be sure to sign up for our newsletter and “Like” us on Facebook.

Until next time, Prepare For Battle…