Mud runner

5 gym exercises for Tough Mudder training


Keith Fairburn from Muddyraces highlights what you can do to prepare for your next obstacle race

Getting in some gym workouts are always necessary for improving performance in obstacle racing and they break up a long week of running. With this in mind, it is good to know what kind of exercises will benefit OCR training the most.

Squat and Press (Thrusters)

During any obstacle race you will be using your full body to get yourself round in one piece. Work on some serious power with this move to strengthen your legs, shoulders and core. Tip: lower into a squat and explode the barbell up and over your head to perform this move to full effect.

Kettlebell Swing

Adding kettlebell swings into your workout is a great way to work on the strength of your whole posterior chain while getting a cardio boost. Performing one or two handed kettlebell swings will improve your running economy as well as full body conditioning.

Pull-ups and Inverted Rows

Develop some serious pulling power with wide grip pull-ups and inverted rows – climbing over cargo nets, walls or anything that is thrown at you will be no problem at all and you’ll be speeding over any monkey bars.

Lunge Jumps

Need to drag your heavy legs out of a muddy pit or bog? Developing leg strength through this explosive move will give you the strength and balance to jump out and keep running!


Great not only for full body conditioning but with the amount of beams or logs to duck under and jump over, adding burpees into your workout routine will see you make short work of these obstacles.

Barbell Step-Up

As with the lunge jump, developing the leg strength to step out of a bog that is dragging you down is important to keep you from getting stuck. Stepping up onto a high platform with some added weight on your shoulders (barbell) will prepare your legs for this challenge! Step up onto the platform one foot at a time and then step back down again.

Give it a go!

Find a weight that is challenging, so the power will be coming from you lower body to get the weight overhead:

  • 5 reps Squat and Press

  • 5 reps Pull-ups

  • 4 reps Squat and Press

  • 4 reps Pull-ups

  • 3 reps Squat and Press

  • 3 reps Pull-ups

  • 2 reps Squat and Press

  • 2 reps Pull-ups

  • 1 rep Squat and Press

  • 1 rep Pull-up

(The more advanced can try 10 – 1)


  • 45 seconds – 1 minute Kettlebell Swings

  • 45 seconds – 1 minute Burpees

  • 20 seconds rest in between

Aim for 3 – 5 rounds


  • 20 reps Lunge Jumps

  • 10 reps each leg (so 20 total) Barbell Step-Ups

  • Inverted Rows to failure

Finish off with some full body stretches! features a full calendar of mud runs around the UK, to find your next challenge and for more articles geared towards training and nutrition for your mud run visit

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