For those of you who haven’t heard of the Tough Mudder obstacle courses before, I must warn you, they are intense! According to toughmudder.com, “Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. Tough Mudder has already challenged half a million inspiring participants worldwide and raised more than $2 million dollars for the Wounded Warrior Project. But Tough Mudder is more than an event, it’s a way of thinking. By running a Tough Mudder challenge, you’ll unlock a true sense of accomplishment, have a great time, and discover a camaraderie with your fellow participants that’s experienced all too rarely these days.”
The Tough Mudder obstacle courses aren’t just something you can show up for and expect to complete it. You have to train hard to get in shape. Enter the Tough Mudder workout program. First take a look at Mustache Man in the video below. It is not necessary to be in quite as good of shape as he is, but you will need to train hard.
Below is the Tough Mudder workout designed by Tough Mudder themselves. You can see a lot of the training exercises in the video above.
Exercise 1 – Running Man
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 between jogging and sprinting for 35 minutes. Build up to 1 hr.
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. Again, build up to running 3-4 times a week and increasing your distance gradually until you can comfortably run 5+ miles.
Exercise 2 – TM PUSH-UP
Start out in a regular pushup position with two dumb bells in each hand. As you push your body upwards, rotate your torso at peak height and bring your right hand up behind you so that your hands are in a vertical line. Lower the weight so that you are once again in push up position. Do a push up, repeating with your left hand.
Exercise 3 – THE FIST AND THE FURY
Grab a dumbbell, kettle bell, or anything heavy with a handle, in one hand 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 eye level in a fully upright position. With control, do this as many times as
you can, spending about 45 seconds on each arm.
Exercise 4 – SCISSOR KICK
From a regular standing position, take one big step forward and lower yourself into a forward stepping lunge. This is the
start position. From there, 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.
Exercise 5 – BACK ROW
Grab a pair of dumbbells or kettle bells and bend over, holding them in each hand, making sure your back is parallel to
the ground. Keep your core steady and pull the weights in a controlled manner up to your chest, hold at the top for the
rep, pause, and repeat.
Exercise 6 – DUMBBELL SIDE LUNGE
Grab your dumbbells and let them hang by your sides. Take a lateral step with your right leg, completely straightening
your left leg. From there, bend forward at your hips, and touch the dumbbells to the floor by your right foot. Push off
your right leg and make the same lateral lunge on your left leg. That’s one rep.
Exercise 7 – PUSH UP plus ROW
Grab two 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 chest.
Lower your arm and descend back ot the start position. Repeat with the other arm. That’s one rep.
Exercise 8 – 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 the weight, 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.
Exercise 9 – SHOULDER PRESS
Grab some dumbbells or small kettle bells 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.
Exercise 10 – 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.
Exercise 11 – Quick Feet
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.
Exercise 12 – 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.
Exercise 13 – Superman Plank
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.
Exercise 14 – 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.
Exercise 15 – Angelina Jolie
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 yourself completely off. Be sure to start out slowly until you get used to jumping off and regaining control of the bars.
Exercise 16 – THE TOUGH SQUAT
Take a dumbbell, kettle bell, or large stone, anything you can find, and hold it in front of your chest. Stick your hips out behind you, bend your knees, and lower yourself until you’re in a full squat position. Pause for a second for the burn to really set in and then push back to the start position.