Tyler Robbins Fitness

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT/CF-L3), USA Weightlifting Level 1

Day 141 - World's Toughest Mudder Training Schedule

From Tough Mudder:

TMHQ is hard at work designing the obstacle course to end all obstacle courses. Competitors will run laps of an 8-10 mile course featuring a healthy dose of the world’s most challenging obstacles. The winner will be the Mudder that completes the greatest number of laps over a grueling 24-hour period. While WTM obstacles will remain a mystery until event weekend, it’s safe to assume that obstacles at previous Tough Mudder events will only scratch the surface of the trials WTM competitors will be subjected to. Qualifiers should expect the event to require cardiovascular stamina, brute strength, agility, dexterity, mental grit, and most of all a passion to prove oneself to be the Toughest Mudder on this good green earth.

Needless to say, I have put a lot of thought into this training schedule, and although it may still change, this at least gives me a starting point.

You can refer back to the training I did for Tough Mudder Toronto, although this schedule will be remarkably different. Regular Tough Mudder events run anywhere between 10-12 miles, and generally have around 20-25 obstacles. The goal in that event was to essentially get through the course as quickly as possible.

Now, I really do not want to brag, but I spent a lot of time strength training my entire body, so I really had no issues whatsoever with the obstacles at Tough Mudder Toronto. I completed every single obstacle, and did every single one on my own.

Having said that...

World's Toughest Mudder 2011, was an 8-mile course, with 40 obstacles. One of my first and foremost points of focus will be overall total-body strength. Although Tough Mudder is keeping the event a secret until event day, I think it will be fairly safe to assume things will be at least somewhat similar.

This means that since the goal is to complete as many laps in 24 hours as possible, combined with the fact that there are so many obstacles, increased in difficulty, I will be training 2 main energy systems.

Total-body strength will be needed to complete the numerous obstacles on the course. Not only that, but there will be endurance running involved...potentially lots of it. Sure, the course is only 8 miles, with plenty of obstacles along the way, making the course much more segmented, but I don't plan on doing just one lap, so I will want my endurance and stamina levels to be high so that I can compete well into the competition.

Finally, it is one thing to be strong, but it is something completely different to be functionally strong. What I mean by this is that, although you may be able to bench press a bunch of weight, or hurl weight up and over your head, unless your joints, ligaments, and tissues are ready for a number of variables, you increase your risk of injury.

For that reason, I am including many of the P90X2 workouts into my training schedule. P90X2, for those of you who are not familiar, takes basic resistance training to the next level, by introducing many new variables to challenge the body.

For example, pushups done on medicine balls create destabilized surfaces for your joints, forcing your body to adapt and stabilize best it can. This improves the overall athleticism, while also decreasing risk of injury.

Finally, I am currently in, and completing, my own strength phase, acting as both a bit of a recovery period from my training all year, but also maintaining/increasing my strength. I am not doing a lot of cardio right now, with more strength training to improve my overall total-body strength.

Once I then move into more functional training with P90X2, I will also increase my endurance training, and then the final push will be to tie everything together and really up my endurance.

From what I have seen of the course in New Jersey, where World's Toughest Mudder is being held, there shouldn't be hills like there were at the Tough Mudder Toronto event. I am sure there will be changes in elevation, but I don't believe they will have numerous Black Diamond ski hills to traverse like TM Toronto's course did.

Despite that, and adding to what I was discussing before, I will be adding in more endurance distance running this time around. LSD running (Long, Slow, Distance) is great for improving the body's aerobic metabolism efficiency. What this means, and may be especially important for an event like this, is that the longer my body burns stores of body fat, the less likely I will be to 'bonk' and run out of energy.

Also, the more efficient I can run through the course and not exhaust myself with the running alone, the more energy stores I will have available to me to complete the obstacles.

I actually found a blog post created by the winner of 2011's WTM. His blog has prompted me to consider a few variables while creating my schedule. Firstly, distance running will be key. As I said before, the greater my running efficiency is, running between obstacles, the more strength/energy I will have available to me to complete each obstacle. The winner from last year has competed in the Boston Marathon a number of times, so he is no stranger to distance running.

Secondly, recovery is also key. Rather than trying to cram a long workout into every single day of the week, I am going to intensify each workout yet also take scheduled days of recovery to allow my body to heal correctly. Remember, the growth, change, repair, and improvement of the body happens during the recovery periods.

Finally, one cannot discount the involvement the core has in an event like this. The winner from last year explicitly said that core strength is crucial to succeeding in this event. So, you will see my schedule is essentially broken up into three types of training days. Running, total-body resistance, and recovery.

So without further ado, here is the schedule:


9 - Chest & Back
10 - Plyo Legs
11 - Shoulders & Arms
12 - Core/Recovery
13 - Chest & Shoulders
14 - 5.5km run
15 - Off

16 - 7km run
17 - Yoga/Recovery
18 - 7km run
19 - Yoga/Recovery
20 - 7km run
21 - Yoga/Recovery

Functional Strength Phase 1 (September 22nd - October 12th)

Emphasis on functional, strength-based movements. Some plyometric leg work. Ramping up endurance work.

Day 1 - P90X2 V Sculpt and X2 Core
Day 2 - 8km run (week 1), 10km run (week 2), 12km run (week 3)
Day 3 - UBX (Chest, Shoulders & Triceps) and P90X+ Abs/Core+
Day 4 - Yoga/Recovery
Day 5 - 8km run (week 1), 10km run (week 2), 12km run (week 3)
Day 6 - P90X2 Base & Back and X2 Ab Ripper
Day 7 - Off

Recovery Week (October 13th - 19th)

Recovery week will consist of some light cardio training, along with some light resistance training.

Functional Strength Phase 2 (October 20th - November 9th)

Emphasis on functional, strength-based movements. No more lower-body plyometrics, but more endurance training.

Day 1 - Run: October 20 - 12km, October 27 - 13km, November 3 - 14km
Day 2 - P90X2 Chest, Back and Balance and P90X2 X2 Core
Day 3 - Run: October 22 - 14km, October 29 - 16km, November 5 - 18km
Day 4 - Shoulders & Arms and P90X2 X2 Ab Ripper
Day 5 - Yoga/Recovery
Day 6 - Run: October 25 - 12km, November 1 - 14km, November 8 - 10km
Day 7 - Off

Quote of the day:
"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out."
~ Robert Collier