Introducing a partnership: Palmer Shape programs

Palmer Shape doing a static push-up

How (and why) the partnership between Palmer Shape and OCR Racers formed to bring you Palmer Shape programs.

Written by: Eddie D.

The Backstory:

I met Steven Palmer, the founder and genius behind Palmer Shape, in August of 2016, shortly after completing my first OCR race.  During our conversation, I happened to mention to him how much fun I thought it was, that I would like to do more races, and that I know we lose muscle as we get older.  I felt I also needed to find motivation to build muscular endurance and strength, but I had no idea how to do that.  At the time I was mainly into mountain biking and would play 6v6 soccer once a week.  I started doing the Spartan WODs and when I felt like it, I would go run.

After completing that Spartan Sprint in Colorado, I felt a competitive fire light up in me that I hadn’t felt since my old track and field days.  Being a financial planner by day, I had no clue how to go about training my body for the obstacles.  After consulting with Palmer Shape, we devised a plan where I would rely on my running background to get my running back in order and he would provide the strength and conditioning my body would need to perform at its highest level.  Considering I could not even do more than 1 pull-up at the time, he sure had his work cut out for him.

We went over the multitude of obstacles that one would face in an OCR race and what muscles and types of strength would be needed to not only complete obstacles, but complete them efficiently and not have my heart rate get out of whack.  First things first- I had to build a solid foundation by essentially breaking the body down to build it back up.

My experience with Palmer Shape programs started in January of 2017, and as I sit here writing this, I can honestly say I am stronger today at 40 years young than I have ever been in my entire life.  Have I gained weight? No. As a matter of fact, I am almost as lean as I was when I was running the 800-meter at a sub 1:50.  And now when I show up to a race, I know I can run with the best Age Grouper’s in the business.

When you’re completing a Palmer Shape program, the looks and stares you get at the gym range from bewilderment, awe, and what in the world are they doing? (Even from the trainers!) It’s actually quite satisfying because we know deep down that we are conditioning our bodies and mind for the upcoming battles we will face in the realm of OCR racing.

As we kept getting deeper into this process, my wife (who actually thought we were crazy at first) decided to run her first OCR race.  She fell in love with it and the people involved, and decided to start OCR Racers: a community of likeminded folks not defined by which Obstacle Course Race you do, but the fact that like us, love the SPORT of OCR racing and want to better yourself.

In developing this community, we knew in our hearts that we could change the fitness and programming world.  We believe that the programs one could be offered should ultimately empower the individual with knowledge to better him/herself to become the best version of an athlete they can become.  We don’t believe that you should have to be rich or be a professional athlete to have access to elite training programs.  Palmer Shape programs are inexpensive, and written in a way so that anyone from a beginner to an elite will benefit if they put the work in.

We offer our protocol test for FREE (and always will). Take the test, see what level you place at, and then pick the corresponding level of program (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced).

In offering these programs, we wanted to buck the trend.  Here’s why.

We don’t want to offer subscriptions.

When you subscribe to something, are you really getting your money’s worth? Not usually. Subscriptions are meant for you to forget about and make someone else rich.  There’s a reason that subscriptions have exploded in popularity for everything you can think of under the sun.

During the offseason, family vacations, while you’re dealing with an injury, or really any down time- do you cancel your subscription when you are not using it?  Not likely.  And, if you do,  it’s typically months later after you have already lost hundreds of dollars (I use lost purposefully,  because if you are not maximizing your subscriptions so that the people offering them are getting the worse deal, then you are losing out on that hard-earned money you show up to work for).

Hence the downloadable program.  You download it and use it, and once you are done, whether it be 8 weeks or 10 weeks, (depending on your real life and races) you then start another program and so on.  If you want to take a few weeks off, that’s fine. You will always know you are getting your money’s worth with our programs because once you pay for it, you own it forever.  Years from now, you can go back to it if you want.  Even if you don’t need to re-complete the whole program; in a few years, you’ll have an array of ass-kicking workouts to choose from (trust me, you’ll go back to them for fun and to see your improvements).


We also wanted to buck the trend with super-duper expensive programs. Let’s compare some basic (average) costs.  A personal trainer at a typical, big-box gym can run $50+ per session.  We don’t take into account the actual gym membership because we’ll assume you’ll have one even with our programs.  Some online fitness programs, plans, or WOD’s cost even more than this (subscription or not) per month.

The programs themselves. 

These are NOT a bunch of Workout of the Day’s (“WOD’s”).  While WOD’s are a good workout, they aren’t a plan.  There’s not typically a well-thought out plan behind them to build your foundation and maximize your potential.  We are offering legitimate training programs that a personal trainer would typically be paid hundreds of dollars to write for a client.

Any time you purchase a Palmer Shape program, you can be certain that extensive knowledge and experience have helped with the development of the programs.  The programs have now been battle-tested out on the OCR course by athletes for over two years, with tweaks made along the way to adjust for improvements, in addition to Palmer Shape having performed these exercise regiments time and time again to ensure the programs are solid.

Not only are these programs ridiculously inexpensive, you are also provided a schedule on how to maximize the benefits in the programming.  Our programming consists of Lifts, Flexes, and Cardio workouts.  Purchase all three as a set, or just one at a time if you don’t feel you need them all.  Regardless, they are all 8-10-week programs.

This was designed with you in mind, knowing that we are all different and seek different things.  You also get access to our private Facebook page to ask questions and get feedback and insight on how best you can prepare for the most incredible fitness journey you will embark on.  You also get first access to anything additional we may offer (free webinars, seminars, etc…).  Every program is also linked to a demo of Steven performing the exercise in the event you don’t know what something is.  No more Googling until you think you might have found what you’re supposed to be doing!

Supplemental Workouts:

In addition to offering the training programs, we asked Palmer Shape to come up with separate workouts in order to solve some problems we noticed as we traveled for races: the inability to get the high caliber workout we needed and were now used to, to stay on par with our training because of lack of equipment in most hotel gyms.  If you are taking our programs and working them into your schedule so that you’re peaking for your “A races,” you’re probably in a light week, or a taper or de-load week going into your A race.  But you still need to get your body moving so you aren’t stiff for race day. This is why we also offer our OCR Traveler workouts, which will keep your training on-point without overdoing it and make sure your body is good to go for the race.

We’ve got the Hotel Room workouts (3), Hotel Gym workouts (3), and Open Space workouts (3).  Get 3 for $9.99, or all 9 for $24.99.  That’s literally like $3 per workout that you can use when traveling (and it doesn’t have to be to a race).  Now you can pack recovery tools instead of gym equipment!

We invite you to give Palmer Shape programs a try, and get into #palmershape so you’re able to take on any OCR course with confidence and the ability to become your best version possible.  Sound too good to be true?  It’s really not.  Our why is simple: to help improve other people’s lives without having them break the bank.  We look forward to helping you get into Palmer Shape, and crush those obstacle courses!

When Can You Expect The Programs?

We currently offer In-Season, Off-Season, Post-Season multi-week strength training programs in addition to our travel workouts. You can buy them as one cohesive package, or purchase the lift, cardio, or flex programs individually.

If you have additional questions, see our list of FAQ’s here.

Read more about Palmer Shape.  Follow Palmer Shape on Instagram.



(Post updated 4/20/2020).



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