Are You Tough Enough?

Signed up for a Tough Mudder, Spartan or Mud Run?  Here are some training tips to help prepare you for these amazing endurance obsticals.  These races are not only physically challenging but also mentaly chalanging as you stad uptop of a piramid pumping your self up to jump into a ice bath or run through a line of live wires that can potencialy zap you back into elementry school.  Train hard, train smart and in this case train dirty if you want to succeed.  These workouts will increase your endurance, strength and fit into whatever training regimen you're already doing.
You don't have to scrap your entire training program to conquer the course. combining your weight training and your cardiovascular workouts so that they map more closely to the course; others are exercises and movements that you can add to your existing routine to tailor your strength and conditioning for the rigors of an obstacle course.
Obstacle races feature a lot of barriers that require forearm and grip strength. Out on the course, you're often hanging from your hands, pulling yourself up and over walls, or carrying heavy loads.  Monkey bars, rope climbs, wall climbs, and various haul and carry obstacles all require grip and forearm strength. Although each of these individual obstacles is relatively easy to complete individually, doing them one after another can really take its toll on your arms and hands. Factor in chilly or sweaty conditions, or mud- and grease-slicked surfaces, and you can see why so many people are unable to overcome obstacles that, on their own, seem like a piece of cake.  You need to improve your grip strength.  For grip strength, you really can't beat hanging on a rope.  1-inch-thick rope and hang it over a pull-up bar, branch, or goal post.  Hang onto the rope for as long as you can a couple of times per week. Also, just holding heavy dumbbells in each hand works great to improve grip strength.
Go get yourself a weighted vest!  In obstacle races, you should expect to run through mud, water and sand along with completing 10-to-30 obstacles. That means your pace is going to be slower and strength will play a large role in your success. A weight vest provides functional skeletal and muscular resistance without altering your biomechanics. It also helps to increase your speed and endurance. Sure, you can also do heavy squats to build skeletal and muscular strength, but heavy squats don't convert to the type of endurance you'll need to do well. Try these moves on for size and make sure you log in your progress.  Not only will these help you keep track of what type and how many workout you do per session but its also an awesome motivational builder as you flip though it and note your progress. 
  • Vest Treadmill running
  • Stepmill 
  • Lunges
  • Burpees

 Do this workout at race intensity with no rest breaks and strive for an even intensity throughout the workout.

Once you get accustomed to the work, add a weight vest or increase the intensity. Gauge the intensity of your workouts by how well you recover. If you're not feeling recovered within a couple days, you're pushing yourself too hard.

"Get Fit or Die Trying"

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