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Tough Mudder-inspired workouts

Whether you’re ready to put your body to the test and start training for the latest fitness craze — Tough Mudder — or you just want to have the killer bod that goes with the training, here is a list of Tough Mudder-inspired workouts to get your heart racing and your muscles burning.

Woman competiting in Tough Mudder event

Tough Mudder is arguably one of the toughest tests of physical and mental strength on the planet.

Not only is the competition about physical strength and endurance, it’s also about facing your fears and overcoming them. With that in mind, here’s a look at some exercises and workouts inspired by Tough Mudder.

According to the organisers of Tough Mudder, you can’t complete the course without the following attributes: strength, the ability to overcome your fears, camaraderie and a sense of humour. So here’s how you can incorporate these attributes into your Tough Mudder-inspired fitness regimen.


During the Tough Mudder course, there are a whole host of climbing obstacles, including one called Everest. A great workout inspired by this part of the course includes doing either indoor or outdoor rock climbing. This will build your core as well as your upper and lower body strength. Christie Parrish, 29, from Brisbane is competing in Tough Mudder this year and suggests strengthening key areas. “I do a Jillian Michaels core/strength/weights video every day through the week and have been going for a run, bike ride or laps in the pool on the weekends,” Christie says. “Getting closer to the day I have been focusing on mainly my strength and stamina. To do this I have been doing a lot of floor exercises like push-ups and planks.”

Fear factor

Tough Mudder is all about conquering your fears, so why not do a workout that really tests you? Do something you’re afraid of — it will get your heart rate up and your adrenaline pumping and it’ll give you the confidence to push through when you need to. Christie tested her fears by doing a high ropes course. “A few weeks ago I did a ropes course at Mt Tambourine. It took me three hours but I did complete the green, red and black course,” Christie said.

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Team work

One core belief of the Tough Mudder event organisers is team work. According to the Tough Mudder website, “Tough Mudders are team players who make sure no one gets left behind. To that end, all Mudders are expected to uphold our ideals and exhibit teamwork and camaraderie both on the course and off it.” So, what better way to exercise teamwork than by playing a team sport? Join your local netball, basketball or indoor soccer team to test your teamwork skills.

A sense of humour

Tough Mudder may be an intense event, but that doesn’t mean contestants take themselves too seriously. “It’s pretty hard to take yourself seriously when you’re covered in mud and have just finished an obstacle called ‘Just The Tip’, so please don’t show up at a Tough Mudder without a sense of humour,” organisers of the event say. Change up your workout and keep things fun. Try something different — why not head along to an aqua aerobics class? Or a Zumba class? Or workout with your friends to keep your workouts fun.

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Cardio exercises

Circuit training involves the perfect exercises to get your heart rate pumping. Incorporate running, jumping, burpees and squats in your next workout to really feel the burn. More cardio ideas:

  • Spin classes
  • Join a running group
  • Dance classes
  • Cycling
  • Bootcamp

Upper body strength exercises

It’s not just about cardiovascular strength so make sure you are incorporating strength exercises into your workout too. Include weights, push-ups, planks and pull-ups to really focus on your upper body strength.

Lower body strength exercises

Don’t forget your lower body strength because you want your legs to keep up with the rest of you, so work on doing squats to target your legs. Combine your cardio, and strengthening exercises by heading to a bootcamp near you. More upper and lower body strengthening ideas:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • CrossFit
  • Pump classes
  • Circuit training

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