Tyler Robbins Fitness

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

Filtering by Category: "Tough Mudder"

Day 324 - Tough Mudder Training 2013

Yes, it is true, I am running Tough Mudder Toronto again this year. Since I competed in the World's Toughest Mudder 2012, I automatically qualify for the 2013 event. Because of this, I am using this event as less of a 'qualifier', and more of a 'prep' or 'tune-up' race. Plus, I am running the event with my wife, Nicole, who is a Tough Mudder newbie, so I will be helping her with some of the obstacles along the way. I hope I don't slow her down too much, as she is a fantastic runner!

My training for this year's event is scheduled to begin on Monday March 11th. That gives me 7 weeks of training, followed by a lighter week prior to the May 11th race date. I have changed my training strategy this time around, to go for less runs, but longer runs, working on my aerobic metabolism.

I am coming off Body Beast, so I have been resistance training for the past 3 months. My strength and endurance levels are actually quite high, so I should be able to make a relatively efficient transition to perform better and increase stamina.

One of my primary objectives during my training, as it was last year, is to improve my core strength/stability while also increasing my upper body strength/endurance. There are a lot of obstacles requiring upper body strength in Tough Mudder, so I want to be ready for them. Let me know if you have any questions/comments/concerns. If so, you can e-mail me here.

Weeks 1-3 (Strength/Preparation Phase)

P90X2 Chest, Back & Balance and additional core work
P90X2 Plyocide
P90X MC2 1on1: Shoulders & Arms MC2
Yoga & Core
P90X2 Base & Back
Off/Recovery
Run

Weeks 4-8 (Performance Phase)

Asylum Speed & Agility
Asylum Strength
Yoga & Core
P90X2 P.A.P. Lower
P90X2 P.A.P. Upper
Off/Recovery
Run

Yoga and core days will be used as I see fit. I have a plethora of both yoga and core workouts to use, so I will be subbing in what I see fit.

Quote of the day:
"Failures do what is tension relieving, while winners do what is goal achieving."
~Dennis Waitley

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com





Day 273 - Motivation Saturday


Quote of the day:
"My suggestion would be to walk away from the 90% who don’t and join the 10% who do."
~ Jim Rohn

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Day 255 - World's Toughest Mudder Recruitment


World's Toughest Mudder 2012 is an easy choice for one of my proudest moments of 2012. I trained all year long, first for Tough Mudder Toronto back in August, and then for the World's Toughest Mudder in November.

Although I am proud of my performance at World's Toughest Mudder, I can't help but feel as though I want to go back and compete again, to do even better than last year. Since I have never competed in an event like this before, I definitely learned a thing or two, which should allow me to prepare for 2013's event!

The goal of this blog is to not only announce my *very early* plans to compete in the 2013 World's Toughest Mudder, but I also want to throw out the word to all of readers and friends online, to see if anyone is willing to come along for this life-changing journey with me, and compete alongside one another in true Mudder spirit!

So, the question you have to ask yourself is, do you want to make 2013 your most memorable year yet? Here is how you get started:

Here is the eligibility requirements from this year's event:

WTM 2012 Eligibility

Before you consider entering World’s Toughest Mudder, you must understand that only those in extreme PHYSICAL and MENTAL condition should even think about this. Not only will you need to be mentally prepared for what you’re signing up for, but you also must earn an entry code by qualifying in one of the ways outlined below.
  1. 2012 Tough Mudder Participants – Complete a 2012 Tough Mudder course (or Florida 2011) in the top 5% of participants on that day. You can report your course time in the first week after the event you run to see if you qualify. Of course, this is self-timed since normal Tough Mudder events are not races, but real Mudders know that lying about something like this is lame.
  2. Wildcard Applicants – Submit a wildcard application to enter on this form. Wildcard applicants are chosen and given an entry code to compete based on eligibility and space available. Tough Mudder reserves the right to only release entry codes to wildcard entrants that we believe have earned it.
  3. 2011 WTM Participants – Anyone badass enough to have participated in WTM 2011 will be given an entry code and treated with utmost respect for returning in 2012.
Probably the easiest (or hardest) way to qualify is to sign up for a regular Tough Mudder event, train for it, succeed at it, and enter your time following the event. Hopefully you will then be a part of the top 5%. I am also here to help you train and be prepared to finish in that top 5%.

Once you have qualified for the 2013 World's Toughest Mudder, let me know, and we can work together to train and prepare for this year's event.

Ideally, I would like to have a team of 4 participants (male or female). 4 is the minimum number of participants to be considered a "team", but more than that may become cumbersome. I may allow 5 or 6 teammates, but 4 is ideal.

Please be forewarned, the World's Toughest Mudder is not for the faint of heart. It requires some serious dedication and determination to succeed and survive.

"World’s Toughest Mudder is the culminating event of the 2012 Tough Mudder Event calendar and takes the concept of being a Tough Mudder to a whole new level. This extreme competition puts the world’s most hardcore Mudders℠ through a grueling 24-hour challenge designed to find the toughest man, woman, and 4-person team on the planet. When the mud settles on November 18th, a select few winners will have bested 500,000 other Mudders worldwide for the right to call themselves the World’s Toughest Mudders!"

So, if you are interested, e-mail me as soon as possible to let me know you are interested, tell me what 2013 Tough Mudder event you are planning on competing in, and what your early plans are to achieve your goal of qualifying for the World's Toughest Mudder. We will then work together from there!

2013 is the year...

Quote of the day:
"There is no royal, flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it. For if I have accomplished anything in life, it is because I have been willing to work hard."
~ C.J. Walker

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com





Day 252 - Motivation Saturday


I know what motivates me; getting ready for NEXT year's event...

Quote of the day:
"A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier."
~ Anonymous
Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com





Day 213 - World's Toughest Mudder 2012 Video



Quote of the day:
"We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort."
- Jesse Owens

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Day 203 - Motivational Saturday


One week today, World's Toughest Mudder!

Quote of the day:
"The person who says something is impossible should not interrupt the person who is doing it."
~ Unknown

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Day 196 - Motivation Saturday


World's Toughest Mudder is 2 weeks today, HOO-RAH!

Quote of the day:
"Men do less than they ought, unless they do all they can."
~ Thomas Carlyle
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Day 191 - World's Toughest Mudder Equipment/Gear


Equipment (all prices are in Canadian Dollars):

VibraFive Finger "Flow" Shoes = $72
Humboldt SQ 3mm Gloves = $20
Pelican m 2130 Mini Flasher = $12
Petzl "Tikka Plus" 70 Lumens Headlamp = $37
BARE 5mm Sport Full Wetsuit = $249.95
BARE Elastek Coldwater hood = $59.95
Total = $509.52 (including 13% tax)

Quote of the day:
"The start is what stops most people."
~ Don Shula

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Day 162 - We're Moving!


We're moving! I mean literally, not in a sense that I am starting a new website or anything.

For those of you who follow me consistently, my wife is finishing up her PhD at the end of October, so she has taken a great new position starting at the beginning of 2013. This means that we, as a family, are moving to be closer to her new job. What this means for the rest of you, is that I will be filming my videos from a brand-new location!

We are moving into a brand-new house on December 13th 2012. This lines up fairly well with my schedule as I will be taking a bit of time off after the World's Toughest Mudder on November 17/18th.

I have a list of fitness goals and programs I wish to try, including Insanity: The Asylum Volume 2, as well as Beachbody's bulking program Body Beast, but all of that will be dependent on how the move goes and how I wish to set my training schedule for my next Tough Mudder.

Yes, you heard that correctly, I am going to be doing the Toronto Tough Mudder in May 2013. My wife was really inspired by my last Tough Mudder outing, so she wishes to do it this time, so we are going to do it together.

So, I will need to get that home gym up and running in no time at the new house!

That is fine, however, since it is a new house, the gym will be in the basement...the unfinished basement! I have been pondering what I wish to do with the basement once I move in, but in reality, I am probably just going to set up a temporary workout dojo for now, so my wife and I can train, and then set out plans to finish it sometime next year.

My dad is a basement-finishing guru, so, I am hoping he is going to help me not only finish my basement, but also lend me his tools. Dad, if you are reading this, thanks in advance!

So, what this also means for all of you, is that you get to see my full thought process as I design and implement my home gym plans. I have some pretty good ideas already, and will continue to brainstorm over the next few months, but if any of you have any suggestions, feel free to throw them my way.

I will be documenting my thought process as I go, with plenty of updates right here on my written blog, and of course on my Youtube channel. I am not a carpenter, nor do I wish for my blog/vlog to turn into a "home makeover" type theme, but it should at least be of some interest to some of you who are looking for ideas on how to design a home gym, so stay tuned!

Quote of the day:
"You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one."
~ Henry David Thoreau



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Day 160 - World's Toughest Mudder Training Week 1


Schedule here.

Quote of the day:
"Believe you can and you're halfway there."
~ Theodore Roosevelt



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Day 156 - Giving Thanks!


Well, my World's Toughest Mudder training is underway. I feel as though I need to take the time and thank all who have gotten me to this point.

It has been a crazy year. If you told me at the beginning of 2012, just weeks after my first son was born, that I would compete in Tough Mudder Toronto, qualify for World's Toughest Mudder, train for it, and have tremendous support along the way from friends, family, and the community, I would've called you crazy.

Ever since I made mention of this event to my family, and how I was just sort of thinking about doing it, they have all jumped on board to make sure that this happens!

My sister is the one who initially got the ball rolling by arranging the newspaper article. My parents have helped me with some of my costs associated with WTM, not to mention traveling all the way up to Barrie to cheer me on with my wife Nicole as I competed in Tough Mudder Toronto.

And of course my wife, who has supported me all year long during all of my training. She hasn't complained at all when our grocery bills went up thanks to my increased calorie consumption. Or the many days when my alarm would go off at 4:45am so that I would be up in time to train that day. She has even been there to try and massage my sore muscles when I have been too damn sore to even sit in a chair comfortably.

The support I have received from my family has been absolutely amazing, and has really helped push me along to train a little bit harder, and compete a little bit further. But I have to admit, one thing that has surprised me tremendously, is the support I have received from folks that are essential strangers to me.

I would like to thank Ken F., Mark G., Bruce S., and Bayne U. who, at the time I am writing this blog, have donated money to me yet I have never even met them in person!

I also need to give a very special shout-out to Kreator Equipment and Services. They are a business located here in my home town of Orangeville. I learned about their tremendous amount of support that they have given back to the community around them when I went in to meet with them regarding a sponsorship for myself. They have been incredibly supportive of me and my efforts/interests to compete in the World's Toughest Mudder. Their sponsorship has open up many new doors for me in terms of properly preparing for this event. So I thank them!

From the family members, names, and businesses listed above, to the other supporters that have offered a helping hand from my home town, I am forever grateful of the support I have received, and will continue to receive leading up to WTM.

All I can hope to do, is to represent my home town of Orangeville, and those who have supported me, by training and competing as well as I can. Now if you excuse me, I have some training to get to!

Quote of the day:
"My strength lies solely in my tenacity."
~ Louis Pasture



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Day 155 - World's Toughest Mudder Training Day 1 and Other News


Quote of the day:
"There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream!"
~Author Unknown



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Day 153 - Tough Mudder Tactics: Electroshock Therapy


The pinnacle obstacle at any Tough Mudder event. It is not the most physically demanding, but this one tests you mentally. Are you ready to get shocked?

Sprint through a field of live wires — some carrying as much as 10,000 volts of electric shock. Watch out for hay bales and deep mud, or you will face-plant into some electrifying mud. Some Mudders try to stealthily wind their way through the wires without getting shocked, while others barrel forward to get through as quickly as possible. Either way, you are guaranteed to get zapped with as much as 10,000 volts of electricity and it does NOT tickle. This is typically the last obstacle Mudders must overcome before they cross the finish line.

To be honest, I wasn't really sure what to expect with the "live" obstacles at Tough Mudder. I have been 'shocked' a few times in the past, when I have gotten my finger too close to a light socket or other similar misadventures, but nothing could prepare me for the sensation you get from Electroshock Therapy!

I wouldn't necessarily say that getting shocked like this 'hurts', at least not in the way getting kicked or punched does. It is unlike any other sensation I have felt before. At least when you are being punched or kicked, you usually see the object coming towards you and then striking you, and you have that external soreness localized to the spot you are struck.

In this case, when being shocked, it's almost as if you feel it from the inside, out. It's like having all of your muscles suddenly tense up at once. Your vision goes a bit blurry, and you feel like you're going to fall down...or maybe you do fall down.

(My experience with Electroshock Therapy can be seen starting at the 4:41 mark)

I wouldn't say there is anything you can do or train to prepare you for this obstacle, unless of course you want to go grab a cow fence (not recommended). Just come into the event mentally ready to do anything it takes to get you to that finish line!


Quote of the day:
"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."
~ Winston Churchill





Day 152 - Tough Mudder Tactics: Everest


Everest is arguably one of Tough Mudder's most notorious obstacles.

Snowboarders and skate boarders have the half-pipe. Mudders have a real obstacle: Everest. A quarter-pipe that you’ll have to sprint up and enlist the help of other Mudders to hurl you over this beastly summit. Everest is coated in mud and grease, a combination which will likely send you right back from where you came. Call upon other Mudders to catch you as you run up the quarter-pipe or work together to form a human chain so that you can scale someone’s shoulders to finally summit Everest.

I just want to put out a disclaimer now, that I am not deliberately trying to brag about my success in this event, just trying to give my readers perspective.

This obstacle, will no doubt give some folks trouble getting up. It requires a combination of speed, power, and upper body strength to conquer. I was able to make it up and over on my own, on my first try, but not everyone will have the same success.

(You can see me conquering Everest at the 4:24 mark of this video)

The difficult part about Everest, is that at Tough Mudder Toronto, this obstacles was placed near the end of the race. For those that competed in this event know that there were plenty of ski hills to climb, so by the time you got to Everest, your legs were shot...at least mine were. That is why you see me take a second to catch my breath before attempting this.

You need a bit of speed and lower body explosiveness (and timing) to get some momentum running up the quarter pipe, and jumping at the right time to get your hands on the ledge. For me personally, once I was able to get my hands on the ledge, I was able to pull myself up with little problem at all. Again, as I have said in previous blogs, my training helped me with an obstacle like this specifically as I used lower body plyometrics combined with upper body training (pull-ups/chinups).

To train for an event like this, make sure to include some lower body plyometrics to improve your 'springiness' and explosiveness so that you can not only generate some speed up the ramp, but to also get a good jump. Whether or not you are then able to pull yourself up will be dependant on your upper body strength and/or help from others.

Other factors involved here include the timing of this obstacle. If this comes soon after an obstacle where you get wet and muddy, then this may become significantly more difficult as you would then have to try and combat a lack of footing.


Quote of the day:
"Success does not consist in never making blunders, but in never making the same one a second time."
~ Josh Billings





Day 151 - Tough Mudder Tactics: Hold Your Wood


Hold Your Wood is a physically-demanding obstacle on the Tough Mudder course. Pretty simple though, pick up a piece of wood, on your own or with a friend, and carry it for a desired amount of time!

Make like a lumberjack and carry a heavy log through a section of the Tough Mudder course. If the course is flat, expect to be lugging your log for at least 1/2 mile. If the area is hilly or mountainous, get friendly with your wood because you’ll be hauling it up a steep and challenging ascent.

This obstacle requires total-body strength and conditioning as you are required to lug a heavy log around. You may be required to carry the log uphill, through water, through mud, etc. so some upper body strength, as well as core strength will by beneficial.

Quote of the day:
"What the mind can conceive, it can achieve!"
~ Napoleon Hill





Day 150 - Tough Mudder Tactics: Greased Lightning


Greased Lightning is definitely one of the more 'fun' obstacles on the course, unless of course the climate you are competing in is cold, then you may not want to be sliding into ice cold water.

Have some fun sliding down this massive slippery slope into a frigid, muddy pool of water at the bottom. On some courses, Greased Lightning is built on a snowy hill making for some literally cold-ass Mudders. Inflatable inner-tubes and pool toys are welcome! Real Mudders go head first.

There is not a whole lot to this obstacle. Essentially it is a large slip and slide for adults! Tough Mudder Toronto participants were lucky enough to have this obstacle towards the end of the course. I remember getting really excited when I saw it, as the race was held in August, so I was pretty hot towards the end, so it was nice to be able to dunk in some water to cool off.

There really is nothing you can do to prepare for this event, unless you wish to set up a large slip and slide in your backyard to get used to sliding into a pool of water!

Quote of the day:
"Stop thinking about what could go wrong and think about what could go right!"
~ Unknown





Day 149 - Tough Mudder Tactics: Log Jammin'


Tough Mudder Toronto had this event titled as "Log Jammin'", although the Tough Mudder website has it listed as "Log Bog Jog". Either way, this obstacle may surprise a few people with its difficulty.

Jump over and crawl under large logs strewn across the course. This may not sound very difficult, but with fatigued muscles and logs placed at varying heights, the Log Bog Jog has proven to be a challenge for Mudders. To prepare for this obstacle, find a bunch of fallen trees to scale & crawl underneath. If you don’t have an abundance of fallen trees nearby to train with, belly-bombers (also known as burpees) will suffice.
Although this is not the most physically demanding obstacle on the course, some folks may still have troubles getting up and over some of these logs.

The obstacle is designed to be a somewhat structured pile of logs where you must either climb up and over, under, or even through. There are arrows on the logs pointing you in the direction the organizers wish for you to travel.

This obstacle was towards the end of the Toronto course, so I was actually fairly winded and ready for a break. I made my way through the logs with virtually no problem, but it definitely took some extra effort to get up and over some of these log piles.

To train for this event, I would recommend some total-body strength training as you will need leg, core, and upper body strength to get through this one. You should be fine completing it on your own, but a helping hand here or there never hurts!

Quote of the day:
"Success as I see it, is a result, not a goal."
~ Gustave Flaubert





Day 148 - World's Toughest Mudder Training Follow-Up


The purpose of this blog is to clear a few things up regarding my World's Toughest Mudder training schedule. I have had a few questions from folks regarding the finer details of my training, plus I wanted to add a few details, so here goes.

Repetition Goals

I just finished a 'strength phase', where my goal was simply that - to try and maximize the strength of the muscles. To achieve this, I increased my resistance and aimed for lower reps. Three weeks for a strength phase could've been a bit longer, but I am sort of on a limited time-frame now, so I made due with what I had.

The three weeks was still productive, as I was able to reach some personal bests in many different exercises, so I am arguably at the strongest point I have been at. So now, my goal is to make my strength 'functional'.

All of my resistance routines will be aiming for a 12-15+ repetition range. Pushups and pullups will naturally reach these repetition goals, as with bodyweight exercises, you are aiming for maximum reps. "Assistance" exercises (bicep curls, triceps extensions, etc.) are a bit of a trickier breed because you really have to focus-in on an ideal resistance to hit your desired rep goal. Trickier, but doable!

There shouldn't be too much strength loss (if any) during the 7 weeks I will be training in the higher repetition range. Not only that, but my goal is to train my muscles in that 'endurance' range so that they can be more efficient at producing energy by aerobic means.

Also, since I will be using P90X2, virtually ALL exercises aim to involve multiple joints, along multiple planes at once. This improves the overall total-body coordination as well as improve core stability and joint stability. All of this will not only improve performance, but will also reduce risk of injury.

Double Runs

On my original schedule, I don't have more than one workout scheduled for any given day. This, more than likely, will not stay this way. I am leaving my double workouts up to how I feel on any given day. If there is a day when I feel great and have some extra energy to burn, I will head out for a second run.

One of the best tips I received from last year's World's Toughest Mudder winner, however, is that the most momentum and progress can sometimes be gained from those workouts when you "just aren't feeling it!" So, there will be some days when it will be cold, rainy, and I am in no mood to workout, but I will head out anyways because those are the mental battles that I must also train, and win, in order to do well at the WTM.

Quote of the day:
"Quality is not an act, it is a habit."
~ Aristotle





Day 146 - Tough Mudder Tactics: Electric Eel


I can honestly say, there is nothing that can really prepare you for the "live" obstacles at Tough Mudder...unless you have been electrocuted before that is!

Mudders frequently forget about this obstacle since they’re so focused on Electroshock Therapy – but they shouldn’t. Slide on your belly through frigid water or, even worse, a layer of ice and beware of the shocks overhead. Should you try to crawl on your knees, you’ll be smacked with live wires and your body will compulsively contort. Be sure to protect your head, otherwise you might experience what Big Mudder calls a brain reboot.

I personally found Electric Eel to be just as bad/crazy, if not more crazy than Electroshock Therapy. I felt like at least with Electroshock Therapy, if you feel yourself getting zapped, you can try and get the hell out of there faster. On the other hand, Electric Eel forces you to slowly slide along your belly under these live wires, so it is a much 'slower' experience!

When I ran the Tough Mudder Toronto event, this obstacle was not a pool of ice water, rather just a pool of water. To be honest, I think I would've actually preferred ice water, as it may have taken my mind away from the zapping a bit.

When you approach this obstacle, you have to climb into the water, on your belly, and pull yourself under these rows of live wires through the water. I think I must've hit a live wire from every single row, as I got zapped at least 6 or 7 times on this obstacle. Hopefully the folks watching weren't too disappointed with the language spewing from my mouth...

There really isn't anything in particular you can do to train for this event, unless of course you wish to go pee on a cow fence or something. But seriously, this is one of the obstacles on the course to test your mental grit. Sure, the shocks feel 'weird', but I wouldn't necessarily say they are painful, at least not painful in the same way it would feel getting kicked in the face.

The sensation you get is unlike anything I have ever experienced. You just get this instant 'pulse' from your inside, out. Actually, the very first shock I received, I remember thinking, "Oh, so that's what that feels like!"

Jump in the water and embrace the electricity, you'll feel like one badass tough guy/girl once you are done!

Quote of the day:
"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog."
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower





Day 144 - Tough Mudder Tactics: Funky Monkey


Remember playing on the monkey bars as a kid? Well, it's time to bring out your inner child, because Funky Monkey is here!

Sure monkey bars were easy when you were 5 years old, but you’ll need to hold on extra tight to these. Some have been greased with our finest mixture of mud and butter and if you slip you’ll fall into an icy pond below. Bars are spaced 1.5 feet apart and you will be on an incline upward for the first half of the Monkey and then descending downward for the second portion. Seasoned Mudders keep their arms bent at a 90-degree angle and bicycle-kick their legs to gain momentum.
The explanation above sums things up fairly well. You need to climb your way along the monkey bars, on an incline for the first half of the obstacle, then a decline the second half.

Some folks may find the bars slippery, especially if this obstacle comes soon enough after a muddy one. Having said that, I didn't really have any problems getting through this one at all.

Upper body strength, along with a good amount of core strength are the keys here. If you can, practice your pullups and chinups to build some upper body and grip strength. If you can't do pullups, that isn't necessarily a deal-breaker here, but I would work on your grip strength by doing exercises like "Farmer's Walks"as well as practice some monkey bar work at your local playground.

Also, if you feel like you may fall from the bars while doing this obstacle, have your wits about you, you do not want to land funny in the pool below. I overheard some folks talking about the broken/sprained ankles that occurred from folks landing funny in the water.

Quote of the day:
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great makes you feel that you, too, can become great."
~ Mark Twain