Tough Mudder Training and Obstacle Race Fitness

So you’ve decided that you are ready to attempt your first Tough Mudder. It is important to keep in mind that this event is not like any other marathon on the planet. In fact, it takes a very opposite approach than traditional marathons take.

This is not a running course but rather an intensive obstacle course race (well it’s not really a race, but more like a challenge) that has been carefully designed to test every part of your body, mind, spirit, and camaraderie abilities.

That’s right, camaraderie is a really big part of it, so if you don’t have the tendency to help and rely on others then you will need to learn it as you train!

Tough mudder training will require so much more than just running. For the rest of this piece, we will be examining what you should be working on.

Tough Mudder Training Motivation Video

Squats are Importanttough-mudder-training-squat

A classic high school weight lifting anecdote is the gym teacher telling the students that if they are stuck on an island, with only one barbell, that the squat is the single most important exercise the student can depend on.

Squats not only work your hamstrings and your quadriceps but they also work your glutes and your lower back.

These are the muscles that come in handy for an obstacle course that requires extensive climbing like the Tough Mudder does.


Plyometrics are also a type of exercise that will come into play quite heavily. Always ask a professional trainer at your gym when it comes to building a regimen of plyometrics.

The internet is full of information, but incorrect tutorials on plyometric exercises are common. The essence behind such exercises to get the muscles to exert their maximum possible amount of force in an extremely short period of time.

Plyometric regimens that work the legs will naturally increase one’s ability to be able to jump, not only much higher, but at much further distances as well. Plyometrics are a must for Tough Mudder training!

Non-Barbell Workouts

All of the classic, non-barbell based, exercises will also come into play extensively as you train. Doing push-ups and pull ups are an important part of the process, because being able to lift your own body weight is of a high level of importance when it comes to climbing very long distances.

You are also going to want to perform full range crunches on an exercise ball as well as laying (and suspended) ab planks.

When it comes to the tough things that will be required of you, as you complete the course, having a strong core (abs and lower back) will be a heavy determining factor on your success.

You will also be running, and this is important to not forget. The minimum recommended running sessions per week, when training for such a course, are four a week.

Training your cardiovascular system is not unlike training any of the other muscles that you have been training. The more you do it, the stronger the system will become. This means that you will be able to handle all those miles required of you during the Tough Mudder obstacle course.

Its All About the Fun

Let’s not forget that sense of camaraderie that was discussed earlier. When you enjoy that beer that is waiting for you at the finish line (as well as the live music,) you will not be enjoying them alone!

If camaraderie is not a strong suit, you will need to learn it! Also, last but not least, do not forget that mindset is more important than anything else.

The designers of the course knew this. You can do anything that you put your mind to. If you know you can complete a course then you can certainly complete it! Stay positive at all times.