Richard and Forrest Bouge are a father and son duo who participated in the Bodyweight Division during the Virtual Championships of Fitness. They have been members of the OCR community for years, but the VCF was their first ever HYROX event. After pushing themselves every week during every workout, Forrest holds the title for the Men's Bodyweight Division! I'm excited that both Bouge men are now a part of the HYROX Family for life, and I can't wait to watch them compete at a future live HYROX event!
CP: What are both of your experiences in the fitness industry, and how did you both start your journeys?
FB: I've been involved in all kinds of sports and outdoor activities since a very early age. My parents were both very supportive and encouraged us to be involved in every sport we could. Everything from soccer, baseball, karate, bmx, football and wrestling. My dad coached me in baseball and karate. He turned our garage into a Dojo and taught karate classes for most of my childhood. In 8th grade, I discovered wrestling and that became my focus for the next 10 years through college. I became a 3x Nevada State Champion in High School and 2x All-American in College. After college, I took a few years off and re-discovered my passion for fitness in the sport of OCR.
RB: My son did not mention he placed 10th in the world at the 2018 Spartans World Championship, and recently holds the 2nd world record behind Hunter in the 2020 Murph Challenge. He has podiumed as a men's Elite many times, and he has become a professional athlete. My fitness journey started at a very early age when I enlisted in the Marines during the Vietnam War and at the early age of 18, I could run 3 miles in 16 minutes. In 1983, I got involved in the martial arts and went on and acquired two black belts. I operated a Dojo, teaching shorin-ryu karate for 10 years. My son, Forrest, got me involved in Obstacle Course Racing in 2016. Since then, I've podiumed many times in my age group 60 plus- in 2017, at the 1st OCR US Championship, 2018 1st North American OCR Championship, and 2019 Spartan World Championship Qualifier and 3rd Mountain Series.
CP: How do you prepare for a competition?
FB: I keep a base layer of running and strength fitness that allows me to compete in many different kinds of competitions/races/challenges. I only need about 4-6 weeks of specific training to prepare for just about anything. I'll add 1-2 key workouts each week to develop the aerobic/anaerobic systems needed for the next competition.
For the VCF, I worked more plyometric exercises and explosive strength with a weight vest. Moving quickly during the challenge and transitioning from one exercise to the next, without hesitation was key. You have to be able to fill the ground and reduce reaction time so I either went barefoot or with my ultralight VJ X-Speed shoe.
CP: How did you both hear about the Virtual Championships of Fitness, and what inspired you both to compete in this virtual competition?
FB: With all races and live events being cancelled, I like to test myself in the virtual competitions and challenges to see how my training is coming along. I like to set short-term and long-term goals and signing up for these challenges to see how I perform is one way I can keep myself accountable. I got my dad interested in OCR about 4 years ago, and he goes ti mist if the races I do, so I knew he'd want to do the HYROX Virtual Championships of Fitness too!
"I found competing in the HYROX Virtual Championships on an international stage exciting and fun."
CP: Now that all the workouts have come to a close, have you both enjoyed the VCF?
FB: It was really cool to see all the videos and people from all over the world competing against each other. Very rarely do we get to compete against people from different parts of the world, so it was both innovative and fun!
RB: With all the Obstacle Course Racing schedules cancelled this year, I found competing in the HYROX Virtual Championships on an international stage exciting and fun. I would definitely do it again.
CP: As father and son, do you normally participate in fitness events together?
FB: When I was younger he coached my baseball teams and was my karate instructor for a number of years. Now we travel to Spartan and OCR races together at least 4-5x each year.
CP: Would you consider participating in the HYROX Men's DOUBLEs division together, when live events can finally be put on?
FB: Absolutely! I think my dad would really like that. I think we'd be a pretty formidable Father/Son duo!
RB: Absolutely. That is if my son can keep up with me. Hahah.
CP: In the spirit of our new campaign, #NeverStopCompeting, how do you two motivate and push each other?
FB: I find it inspiring that my dad, at the age of 67, is out there still competing and pushing himself to be the best he can be. He still gives guys half his age a run for their money! I think he inspires a lot of people by showing them you can still get after it and make improvements at any age and under any circumstance.
RB: My son has always encouraged me to keep pushing. He's my biggest fan and coach. I thought I knew how to run, boy was I mistaken. Forrest taught me the correct running form. Now I can run and compete obstacles for hours on end...AROO Baby.
At HYROX, we pride ourselves on the community we've created and the fitness family that we've become, so it is awesome when actual family members compete in our events! I can't wait to watch Forrest and Richard crush it at a live event as a HYROX Men's DOUBLEs team!