As a romantic valentine’s day gift my boyfriend and I decided to buy each other’s entry to an 8-12 mile mud obstacle course that boasts that it is, “Probably the Toughest Event on the planet”. Lovely. I think we may be crazy. However we both enjoy pushing each other whether its our weekly Crossfit saturday workouts, or class 3-4 11 mile 14er hikes, sounds romantic doesn’t it? ha. So here is a description of the event…
“Tough Mudder is not your average lame-ass mud run or spirit-crushing ‘endurance’ road race. It’s Ironman meets Burning Man, and it is coming to a city near you. Our 10-12 mile obstacle courses are designed by British Special Forces to test all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. Forget finish times. Simply completing a Tough Mudder is a badge of honor. All Tough Mudder sponsorship proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project.
WARNING: A Tough Mudder is 3-4 times longer and much tougher than a typical mud run such as Warrior Dash. Only 78% of participants at our last Tri-State event in New Jersey finished. Only those in reasonable physical condition should enter.”
I might die.
Needless to say, even though it isn’t until the end of June, I am NERVOUS. I started thinking the other day, how are people supposed to train for this event? Obviously there are many many different ways one could train but then I stumbled upon a workout designed specifically for the event. How convenient! I looked through it and its great, a lot of things I already do and have my clients do, but the way it is formatted is nice. and tough, too!
I thought posting it on here and challenging you to see how tough you are, might be a good idea. So… here it is! HOW TOUGH ARE YOU???
The Tough Mudder Workout consists of 16 exercises that collectively work every part of your body. You’re a busy person, so each exercise is a 60-second station designed to challenge your heart and lungs as well as your muscles. The final product is a high-intensity circuit designed to torch everything from your chest and legs to your abs and arms, sending your fitness to an elite Tough Mudder level. You’ll sculpt a rugged, gritty, and classically athletic body that’s built Mudder Tough.
Do the Get Fit circuit 3 days a week and perform each exercise once, one right after the other, and spend no more than a minute on each one. Do as many reps as you can in that time, then move on to the next station, limiting yourself to 15 seconds of rest in between. Build your endurance to the point where you can comfortably do the circuit twice in one week before Tough Mudder. Make sure to use a weight that’s challenging for the 20 or so reps you’ll be doing for each exercise.
You can use dumbbells, kettlebells, or anything heavy with a handle for most if not all of the exercises below.
To get yourself in peak cardio condition, you can either:
1) Get on a treadmill. Start jogging at a slow comfortable pace for the first 5 minutes, then increase the speed to a full sprint for a full minute before reducing the speed back down to a jog for a minute or two. Alternate speeds every minute between jogging and sprinting for 35 minutes.
2) Free run. As you head outside for a jog, choose a point or landmark in the distance that’s reasonably far and sprint to it. Do this 10 or so times throughout the course of your run, paying attention to mixing in jogging and sprinting equally.
Related Obstacle: The Braveheart Challenge
Start out in a regular pushup position, arms straight, with two dumb bells in each hand. As you push your body upwards, rotate slightly at peak height and bring one hand up behind you so that your hands are in a vertical line.
Related Obstacle: Boa Constrictor
THE FIST AND THE FURY
Grab a dumbbell, kettlebell, or anything heavy with a handle, and let it hang in front of you. Lower the weight below your hips and let it swing between your knees and legs. Try to keep your core sturdy and straight, explode upwards and swing the weight up to about eyelevel in a fully upright position. With control, do this as many times as you can, spending about 45 seconds on each arm.
Related Obstacle: Berlin Walls
From a regular standing position, take one big step forward and lower yourself into a forward stepping lunge. This is the start position – jump and explode off the ground, getting enough air under you to scissor kick your legs and land with your opposite leg forward and ready to crouch down to the lunge position. Keep doing this, alternating your legs on each jump/repetition for 60 seconds.
Related Obstacle: Fire Walker
Grab a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells, hold them in front, and bend over, keeping your back perfectly parallel to the ground with your weights hanging below you at each side. Keep your core steady and begin to pull the weights in a controlled manner up to your chest, hold at the top fo the rep, pause, and repeat.
Related Obstacle: Hold Your Wood
DUMBBELL SIDE LUNGE
Grab your dumbbells and let them hang by your sides. Take a lateral step, stretching your leg all the way to your right, bend forward at your hips, and touch the dumbbells to the floor of the foot at finish position of your lunge.
Related Obstacle: Swamp Stomp
PUSH UP + ROW
Grab some dumbbells and assume a pushup position, with your arms straight. Perform a regular pushup, but as you fully extend your arms at the height of the push up, take one dumbbell and bring it all the way to the side of your torso. Lower your arm and descend back ot the start position. Repeat with the other arm. That’s one rep.
Related Obstacle: Devil’s Beard
LUNGE + TWIST
Grab a heavy object and clutch it tight to the middle of your chest as you stand with feet shoulder length apart. Take a step forward as you would with a normal lunge, but as you lower your body with weight in hand, twist your torso to the right, pause, and return to a full upright position. Do the same with the opposite leg. That’s one rep.
Related Obstacle: Sweati Yeti
Grab some dumbbells or small kettlebells in each hand and spread your feet shoulder length apart as you would for a squat. Bring the dumbbells up to your shoulders as if you were doing a shoulder press. Lower yourself as you keep the weights cocked at the shoulder, as you explode upward from the squat position, push the weights up and above your head.
Related Obstacle: Cliffhanger
DECLINE PUSH UP
Simple, quick, and easy. Get into a normal pushup position, but put your feet on top of an elevated park bench or box, arms extended out in front of you so that your body is perfectly parallel to the floor above the ground. Begin to do as many pushups as you can in the next 60 seconds.
Related Obstacle: Kiss of Mud
Staying in the pushup position, rapidly bring each knee towards your chest, as if you were sprinting in place or pedaling a ridiculously small bike.
Related Obstacle: The Bastard
Tough Chin Up
Just like your old man used to do, hang from a bar with either an overhand or underhand grip and pull yourself up – be sure to try and touch your chest to the bar, or get as close as you can. This will get progressively harder as the set wears on. Remember to do as many as you can for the full 60 seconds. Even if you have to take a slight break, be sure to finish the set.
Related Obstacle: Underwater Tunnels
Get back into the pushup position you’ve grown accustomed to, placing your forearms on the ground and keeping your core – abs and hips – tight as possible. Hold this position for a full 60 seconds.
Related Obstacle: Greased Lightening
Drunk Superman Side Planks
Get on your side and hold yourself up by left forearm, creating a half triangle between your lats, forearm, and ground. Like a regular plank, keep your core tight – flex if you have to – and hold the position for 60 seconds, then alternate with your right side and repeat for another 60.
Related Obstacle – Walk the Plank
Get in between two chairs, bars, or if at a gym, a dip machine. Grab each bar or handle with each arm and lower yourself slowly and with control, as you push up with your arms try to explode up, lifting your self completely off. Be sure to start out slow until you get used to jumping off and regaining control fo the bars.
Related Obstacle: Ball Shrinker
THE TOUGH SQUAT
Take a dumbbell, kettlebell, or large stone, anything you can find, hold it in front of your chest, stick your hips out behind you, bend the knees, and lower yourself until you’re in a full squat position, take a second and then push yourself back to the start position.
Related Obstacle: Death March