OCEANSIDE — If loving what you do is the key to success, Mike Confer is set to hit it big. His recently opened specialty training facility, MROC Training, was conceived out of a passion for fitness that began more than a decade ago.
Mud Run & Obstacle Course Training is a hybrid fitness program at an adult obstacle park. “Our entire facility has been fitted from wall to wall with custom-fabricated functional equipment,” Confer said. “We don’t have cable machines or bench presses, but we have monkey bars and climbing ropes. We don’t have Thigh Masters or step machines, but we have squat racks, cargo nets and spears.” The facility also has military-themed and “as seen on TV” obstacles like the Warped Wall and Double Salmon Ladder. “There are literally infinite possibilities to how many workouts and mini-obstacle courses we can create here,” he said. “That is what makes it so fun.”
Confer describes MROC Training as “American Ninja Warrior” meets “The CrossFit Games.” Those who know what that means will be excited at the prospect. Those who don’t might be intimidated. But Confer says his program can help anyone. “We coach a roster of athletes ranging from those who have never run a 5K to podium-finishing elite Spartan racers,” he said.
“Although our gym is built for obstacle course racing, our program is suited for everyone,” he said. “From your first race to your 50th, we’re here to guide you with expert instruction on fundamental, functional human movement. We’ll teach you to sprint, climb and crawl both fast and efficiently.” He said these skills are transferable to racing, living — even surviving the Zombie Apocalypse. “That, ultimately, is what this type of training boils down to. Being prepared for the unexpected and having the ability to conquer any obstacle, anytime, anywhere.”
Confer has intimate knowledge about what it takes to be prepared. He served from 2002 to 2007 from Okinawa to Africa, including a deployment to Iraq where he trained troops as a Marine Corps martial arts instructor. When his tour ended he settled in Southern California and began studying kinesiology and working as a personal trainer.
It was during this time that he participated in his first Tough Mudder race. “Most people are missing something, and sometimes they don’t even know what it is until they’ve tried it,” Confer said. “For me, it was obstacle course racing.”
The feeling he got from obstacle course racing is one that he wants to share with his clients. “I want everyone to experience that, to know that they are training for something bigger than themselves and that anything is possible,” Confer said. “I want to rip people off the couch and remind them how great it feels to be alive … really alive.”
Confer started MROC Training as a specialty class and outdoor boot camp, but a few months later suffered a major ankle injury that took him out of competition and forced his business into a temporary hiatus. “I struggled recovering from surgery and contemplated whether I would be able to continue racing, or if I should focus my energy on building a place where anyone could train for these types of events,” Confer said.
He chose the latter, and he’s not looking back. “I want to build balanced bodies, from the ground up and the inside out, which includes a harmony of speed, power and endurance,” he said. “I want the people who come here to leave stronger, more flexible.”
Confer has designed a program he calls Hybrid SGX. “It’s a blend of CrossFit Endurance, Spartan Group-X and High Intensity Interval Training,” he said. “It’s a program that allows each of our members to realize their true athletic potential, because we all have a competitor inside somewhere.”
MROC Training will be featured on an upcoming episode of a new television series called “Saving Heroes” on the American Heroes Channel in a segment about military entrepreneurs.
To learn more about MROC Training’s offering and schedules, visit mroctraining.com.