10 Tips for Building a Tough Mudder Training Plan

Tough mudder trainingWhether you’re a first time mudder or repeat racer, you should be following a Tough Mudder training plan to maximize your performance. Sure, strength and cardio are part of the equation. But, if you are looking to get the most out of your workouts, make these 10 tips part of your Tough Mudder training plan.

Strength With Cardio – for most, weight-training and cardio exercise are two separate events. However, since the Tough Mudder combines elements of strength and cardio, your workouts should too. Plan to complete workouts that combine strength based moves with sprints, burpees, or box jumps.

Go Compound - multi-joint or compound exercises that engage multiple muscle groups at the same time are best for Tough Mudders training. Replace isolated exercises, which only focus on one muscle group at a time, with compound movements like the squat or deadlift.

Train Like An Athlete - huge biceps look great, but are useless during the Tough Mudder training. Instead of exercising like a bodybuilder try training like an athlete. Include plyometrics, kettlebell swings and sprints in your Tough Mudder training plan to add intensity and variety to workouts while improving overall fitness.

Do More Work - Are you planning on taking long water breaks throughout Tough Mudder? Then cut out the socializing and chit-chatting at the gym. Tough Mudder training session should include more work than rest, not the other way around. Put yourself on the clock, keeping rest between sets under 90 seconds to maximize the amount of work you are doing.

Go Heavy - lifting heavier weights for less repetitions helps to build strength and shed fat. Start with a weight that is manageable for 15 reps. Then, add weight over time to find a weight that is doable for eight to 10 repetitions. Remember, you’re an athlete not a bodybuilder. So skip the bench press and do some squats instead.

Team Up - working out with a partner or group improves performance. Having a partner to provide encouragement during workouts can help you get the most out of a workout. And, with someone relying on you to do the same makes you accountable and more likely to show up for workouts.

Don’t Train, Compete - Turn workouts into a competition with yourself or your team. Push each yourself to complete new challenges in the gym by completing a circuit workout as fast as possible, pushing the pace and intensity.

More Kettlebell - The kettlebell is the ultimate training tool for the tough mudder. When completing a kettlebell swing all of the muscles of the lower body, as well as the core and low back, are called into action. You will also be developing explosive hip drive used during athletic movements.

Get a grip – ready to a climb rope, scale a wall or traverse monkey bars? You might have the upper body strength, but how is your grip? Strengthen all of the muscles from your fingertips to your elbows by performing rope climbs, farmers walk, pull-ups and kettlebell swings.

HIIT it – as in, High Intensity Interval Training. Cardio sessions should alternate between periods of maximum effort or intensity with brief periods of recovery at a moderate or low effort. You can sprint, run hills, or scale stadium stairs. Start with 30 seconds of work followed by 90 seconds rest for 15 minutes. Then, build up to 90 seconds of work and 90 seconds of rest for 20 minutes.