ORM presents the series of stories on OCR Transformations. Runners and athletes whose mind, body, and spirit have been altered through obstacle racing.
THE FIGHT BEGINS
Todd started wrestling at age 14. With a lifelong background in wrestling, Todd wanted a different challenge and he eventually transitioned to Mixed Martial Arts. As an amateur and professional fighter, he competed in hundreds of wrestling/grappling matches and stepped inside the cage 30 times. He was also fortunate enough to enjoy many travels through his competitions. Todd competed in Japan, Argentina, headlined in Atlantic City 3 times, fought in Las Vegas 3 times, and every major city in Texas.
However, life as a fighter was starting to become un-appealing to him. More times than not, Todd began to feel like he was attracting more of the negative aspects of MMA than he wanted. In his late 20’s, Todd wanted a career change so he set his mind on college and earning his degree. Taking this step helped him realize more interests beyond fighting.
Being based in Houston, Todd wanted to try new challenges in the world of sports. He has known others to transition to triathlons or even cycling to shake up their routine. Unfortunately, cycling through the streets of Houston would be difficult due to the traffic. However, Todd wanted a new challenge and he knew he had the discipline to compete in a triathlon. Thus, his journey as an endurance athlete began.
Todd caught wind of Spartan Race throughout this journey. He did some research and was pleased to find that the sport was full of like-minded people who were very athletic and looking for an outlet to satisfy their competitive edge. He signed up for his first local obstacle race, The Mighty Mud Dash in Houston as a “test drive” into the world of OCR. Immediately after he signed up for his first Spartan Super in Austin; he was hooked. After his first OCR experiences, MMA quickly became like an old girlfriend to Todd. He would always care of his history of fighting, but his honey moon stages of OCR were way more intriguing.
DOWN FOR THE COUNT
Getting divorced in 2012 knocked Todd flat on his face in every aspect of his life. His eating habits fell through the cracks and after receiving two knee surgeries, Todd was literally hung up on the shelf until he was healed. After recovering from the stress of his divorce and the knee surgeries, he decided to throw down with a “Texas size comeback” fight. Training for the fight got the ball rolling for shedding pounds and engaging the intensity of his workouts. However, Todd was still binge eating during his training. In order to cut weight for his fights, he would have to drain the water out of his system by using plastic suits and dry saunas, fasting for days at a time, or by eating very little for weeks in order to cut back 10-15 pounds before a fight. After a fight, Todd would eat freely and go all out eating whatever he could. However, during this free time all Todd could think about was the torture of making weight for his fights. Thus, he would treat every meal as if it were his last…ultimately causing him to have a soft midsection for a fighter.
FORGET THE SCALE
It wasn’t until he started racing that Todd was able to put his focus on a cleaner and healthier diet. Putting fighting on the back burner also allowed him to ease the psychological tension of making weight and his binge eating routine could come to a halt. He was also able to do specific workouts and not just train for fights which allowed him to have muscle gains!
Once Todd stopped worrying about what the scale said he was able to focus more on how he looked in the mirror, this is when his progress really started to come together. The mental fight of looking at a scale for satisfaction was over for Todd. “I feel that we all make that mistake and use the scale as the end all, be all. Truth be told you can lose ten pounds, but what good is it if you still look like crap?” says Todd. He feels like he looks better now doing OCR than he did most of his MMA career.
Todd’s first obstacle race was the Mighty Mud Dash which was a sprint distance. His training at the time was intense enough to handle that distance without a problem and he finished top ten. It wasn’t until the Spartan Super that he realized he still had opportunities in his training. His new goal was to compete in a Spartan Beast and he realized he needed to revamp his training in order to be successful. Now anything can become an obstacle and his runs are much more fun, while being physically demanding. The stop and go format in OCR racing requires a lot of discipline because you always have to restart the engines as new obstacle approach. Todd’s biggest “oh crap” moment during a race was when he jumped into a mud pit with the mind-set that it was at least 5 feet deep. However, the pit was only 8-9 inches deep and the miss-calculation almost caused him to blow out his reconstructed knees!
Years and years of trial and error is what has helped him get where he is today. He has read health and fitness books, put every theory for fitness in to practice, prepared for world class competitions, and he has finally found a way to sculpt his body that he is proud of. Todd is not shy about his progress either; walking around shirtless is his norm because he likes to show off the work he has put in. He is continuing to grow and learn what his body can do and his transformation process is nowhere near complete. Throughout his MMA career, Professor Travis Tooke of Team Tooke Martial Arts has been the example he tries to follow as an athlete, coach, and all around standup guy. Through OCR, Coach James Wyatt of Iron Sports has taught Todd a lot on how to prepare for OCR races.
CURRENT WORKOUT PLAN
Todd’s typical training day consists of ½ hour cardio followed by an hour or so of weight training. The weight training normally consists of a split routine with different body parts each day for 5-7 days a week in the morning along with a workout concentrated for OCR in the evening. Usually the evening runs are tailored for which event is coming up. Normally the workout consists of a 4-6 mile trail run with 20-30 check points within the run. The check points will hit various exercises from burpees to muscle ups or chin ups. Other days he will do a 3-4 fast paced miles and then a mindless 6-10 mile run other times. This routine has changed drastically since his fighting day where he would spend day after day sparring.
During his fighting career, Todd was typically 185 pounds and fought as a welterweight which was 170 pounds and even fought as a lightweight which is 155 pounds. In 2012, Todd weighed in over 200 pounds after his divorce and knee surgeries. In 2014 he got down to 162 pounds and 3.5% body fat. This past June, Todd used the BodPod test and came in at 171 pounds with 5.7% body fat while still maintaining good definition.