Training for a Tough Mudder: Update 1

This is the first update tracking our progress as my wife and I prepare for our first Tough Mudder event, a Tough Mudder Half at Mesa, Arizona in April.

In the recent post, Preparing for a Tough Mudder Half, I noted that while we have downloaded the suggested Tough Mudder training guide, and we may use it to some extent, at this point, we’ll likely stick to our regular workout routine, which for me and my wife, includes walking, running, yoga, weightlifting, and the occasional hike.

In researching the various obstacles we will encounter during the event, it’s clear upper body strength, and the ability to pull yourself across or up obstacles, will be key.

Tough Mudder – Berlin Wall

Accordingly, a key area of focus for us will be improving upper body strength. In the gym our weight lifting exercises of choice – focused on chest, triceps, biceps, shoulders, and back  – will be chest flys, tricep pushdowns, bicep curls, shoulder press, and lat pulldowns respectively.

Many of those same movements, sans weights, can be executed outdoors on parcourse fitness circuits. Most of us are familiar with parcourses, stations along paths or trails which provide bars, ropes, and benches in various shapes and configurations to perform different movements.

Such a course is available at one of our local city parks. Over the .6 mile path around the park, there are eight stations. A recent morning workout involved running one lap to warm up, running two laps where we stopped and completed some of the stations – those related to upper body exercises – and running a cool down lap.

While it was a chilly 40° morning, it felt good to get out in the fresh air and get in a good workout. After the parcouse at the park, it was back to the house for a 1-mile walk with the dogs. Three miles and some jumping, lifting, and pushing before 7:30 … not a bad way to start our day. Stay fit, my friends.

Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.


  1. James,
    Good luck to you and your wife.
    Great piece – highlights a variety of practical exercise options.
    I look forward to following the journey!
    Joe Casey

    • Thanks, Joe. It should be fun and quite the experience. We’ll keep the Tough Mudder updates coming.

      Next up, in July, is a half marathon in Newport Beach, California.

  2. Love the views on that course too! Can’t wait to hear what you think of the Tough Mudder!

    • Indeed. We are really looking forward to the challenge. Should be fun doing it with my wife and brother.

  3. Excellent, and convenient, “tweak” in your training. Love the approach, and the update! Keep us posted!

    • Will definitely keep you in the loop, my friend.

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