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Tough Mudder Training Plans



How much do you really know about yourself if you’ve never tried to run a 10-mile-long obstacle course, complete with mud pits, greased up monkey bars, live wires and hypothermia-inducing water? Most people would say they’re content without going through this kind of physical and mental anguish to acquire a deeper level of self-understanding, but we’ve got you prepared if you need the ultimate Tough Mudder training plan.

Those who enter the World’s Toughest Mudder competition held every year in late fall, unlike the faint of heart, need to push themselves to the brink over and over again and they wouldn’t rest until their work was done. Today, Nov. 16, marks 2012′s World’s Toughest Mudder, held in Raceway Park, New Jersey, which carries on to Nov. 18. For competitors and spectators, it’s sure to be a memorable day, no matter what life-threatening hurdles and odds-beating triumphs occur on its clock.

Given the intensity of World’s Toughest Mudder competitions, it’s no surprise that the event is by invitation only. In other words, if you’re not among the chosen few selected for participation, stay far, far away. You were passed over for a reason and it’s for your own good. According to the Tough Mudder website, there are only three ways you can enter this year’s competition. If you placed in the top 5% of participants in one of Tough Mudder’s less intense courses, you’ll snag a pass. If you competed in 2011′s World’s Toughest Mudder and you’re brave and/or crazy enough to come back, you’ll be allowed entry. Lastly, there are a small number of wild card spots open to applicants who don’t meet the previous two criteria, but those would-be Mudders must still prove their eligibility.

If you’re among those selected to prove yourself as the world’s toughest man, woman, or four-person team, then you’re probably already in pretty incredible shape. If competing in the World’s Toughest Mudder competition is something you aspire to, however, and you’re looking to get started off training for a Tough Mudder with one of the organization’s less menacing events or hoping for a wild card entry, you’re in luck. We’ve laid out three Tough Mudder training plans for you to sink your teeth into. Whichever you choose, please don’t slack. If you do, you’ll be very sorry come Tough Mudder time.

Tough Mudder Training  

Tough Mudder Official Training

The Official Tough Mudder Boot Camp Training program is broken up into three levels: Mudderling, Maybe Mudder and Tough Mudder. The one you choose should be based on how fit you are when you commence your Tough Mudder training routine. Each level consists of the exact same trio of exercise circuits, from push-ups to squats to to high knees to pull-ups, and is designed to exhaust your every muscle by making you switch rapid-fire from cardio work to obstacle course prep. For any football players out there, it’s basically your worst high school football conditioning nightmare. The difference between the three levels lies in the number of circuits: Maybe Mudder adds a fourth circuit with a unique routine and Tough Mudder adds a fifth, nearly impossible round of physical mayhem.

Tough Mudder Training Plan

3-Month Unofficial Training

For those of you who don’t quite trust your abilities to self-motivate and know that it’s going take a little more than downloading and printing an official routine from the Tough Mudder website, you may want to check out Outside Online‘s 12-week, Tough Mudder Training Plan developed by Full-Circle Fitness Training in Maryland. They’ve coached a ton of Mudders and are completely aware of what it takes to ensure their clients are not among that 20% or so who fail to make it across the Mudder finish line every year. The unofficial program involves vigorously switching between upper body workouts, running sessions and lower body workouts in the early weeks before quickly switching to total body workouts and plyometrics.

Finally, the remaining weeks consist entirely of Tabata training, an insanely concentrated and high-intensity workout that sharpens your body into a Tough Mudder weapon.

Training for a Tough Mudder

1-Month Unofficial Training

If you work out a lot already and don’t think you need to go through a multi-month Mudder-specific program, then Men’s Fitness has the definitive 1-Month Mudder guide for you. As they warn, however, make sure you’ve been working out a lot and are in tip-top shape before choosing this path (which consists of mostly the same exercises included in the Tough Mudder Official program). It’s by no means a shortcut to success. This tight, strict regime is made up of 5 workout routines that you constantly switch between over the course of four weeks. Workouts A and B consist of squats, push-ups and running. Workouts C and D consist of sandbell and dumbbell workouts. Finally, Workout E is a combination of pull-ups and lunges. During weeks three and four, these routines are jumbled up into a mix-matched recipe for success.

Know any other plans for Adrenalists that want to learn how to train for a Tough Mudder? Let us know in the comments below or @DegreeMen on Twitter.

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