Tough Mudder Training Obstacles

According to the Tough Mudder website, “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.”


The question still remains – “Can you do this?”.  Sure you can, with the right training.  Welcome to Tough Mudder Training 101.  I am your professor, Mike Whitfield.  Take a seat at your desk (you’re already doing that – reading about the Tough Mudder at work – tisk, tisk) or better yet, lets’ gather around in a big circle.

Lesson # 1 – Understand that the Tough Mudder is a brutal course and will take a commitment to training and preparation.  It’s not a stroll outside while getting your shoes a little muddy.  It’s more than that.  This is your guide on how to prepare for the big day.  You will discover how to train for each obstacle (except for the mystery ones… how to train for that remains … well… a mystery).

Let’s rock this.

The Braveheart Charge

This is the beginning.  This where all the race participants “go to war”, much like the movie, “Braveheart”.  You charge out at the beginning packed full of adrenaline.  This is the start and where your body is so jacked up on adrenaline, you can pretty much conquer this one without training.  But then reality sets in…

How to Train for It

Your Mudder High alone will geek you up enough for the charge.  But you’re going to need stamina and conditioning to get you through the beast that lies ahead.  Since you’ll be doing a lot of running, incorporate interval training ASAP.  You will go hard for 30 seconds (9/10 effort) followed by a minute of recovery (3/10).  That’s just one way.  You can also use adrenaline style of interval training like 10 seconds on, and 20 seconds off.  You will also need to pick up running a long distance once a week.  Bonus tip – use hills in your training.

Bale Bonds

This is where you have to hurl yourself over huge bales of hay.  This means you will need to pull your own weight over an obstacle.

How to Train for It

Incorporate Pull-ups into your program.  If you can’t perform Pull-ups, than you can use Pull-up negatives.  If you want to be knocking out Pull-ups in no time, check out Shawna’s Challenge Workouts.

The Log Bog Jog

Brilliant name… but this where you will need to run through and hurdle fallen trees.

How to Train for It

Low Box Jumps can get you ready for these.  Another strategy to use to prepare for the Log Bog Jog is lateral barrier jumps.  Simply set up a platform or any obstacle and jump laterally over it side-to-side.

Nettles to Nipples

Seriously?  Who comes up with this?  This is insane… but awesome.  Don’t let the name fear you.  Ha, I’m kidding.  This is going to be rough.  This is where you have to crawl belly down through a patch of Stinging Nettles, and if that wasn’t enough, it’s underneath a net laden with nettle stocks.  Ask yourself why you’re doing this, then continue to read…

How to Train for It

How do you train for something absurd like this?  Well, you take away the nettles and practice using your core strength.  So incorporate the Alligator Crawl and the Spiderman Climb into your program.

Greased Lightning

This is a fun “obstacle” where you slide down into a pond.  You can slide on your butt or you can get a better view by sliding down head first.

How to Train for It

If you plan on going head first, you can use the plank for core endurance.  But other than, relax and enjoy the ride.

And since you’re now at a spot where you are enjoying it, we’ll talk about more obstacles later.  This is certainly enough to get you started.

Train safe,
Mike Whitfield
Certified Turbulence Trainer