Strength Training Workout For Mud Runs

As I mentioned yesterday, I ran a mud run/obstacle course race this past weekend…and it was awesome! It was the Rugged Maniac in New Jersey, but they have locations all over the country and in Canada as well. If you find one near you, definitely try it out. I’m going to go into a detailed recap later this week and add in reasons why you should do it. I noticed yesterday a lot of you said you’re nervous about injuries…so was I! But still…you should do one ;)

The day after my race I was actually surprised at how sore I was. I consider myself in decent shape, though I know I’ve lost muscle and strength in the past few months. My arms were really sore after the race and my quads. Weird! So today I wanted to share a strength training workout specifically for those who might be training for a mud run.

These races are a lot of pulling yourself up and over things, squatting, crawling, etc. So those are the types of moves I focused on.

Try this workout if you're training for a mud run or obstacle course race!

As always, do A1, A2 first, then move on. Perform each exercise for 3 sets of 15 reps. So do A1 15 times, then A2 15 times, then repeat 2 more times before moving on to the B exercises. Okay here we go:

  • A1: Lat pull downs (Reason? Strength for pulling yourself up on obstacles like wall climbs)
  • A2: Push ups (Reason? Chest and shoulder strenght for those barbed wire crawls)
  • B1: Squat hold (Hold for 60 sec. Reason? Some obstacles require you to go through it in a crouched or squatting position…talk about quad burn!)
  • B2: Negative pulls ups (Reason? Monkey bar or rings – where you need to use upper body strength to cross. Negative pull ups help build up strength so you can do unassisted pull ups. Start at the top of the bar, and take 3-5 seconds to lower yourself down SLOWLY. Use a box to boost yourself up to the top of the bar, repeat)
  • C1: Walking lunges (Reason? You need quad and glute strength for all that hill running you’ll be doing!)
  • C2: Inverted row (Reason? More upper body/pull strength)
  • CORE: Planks, walking planks, any type of moving planks. (Reason? A lot of crawling is involved in mud runs, so planks/moving planks are good practice)

I was so tired during the barbed wire crawls because I know my core strength is lacking. I ended up rolling myself under them instead of crawling LOL.

What exercises would you add? 

If injury wasn’t an issue, would you try a mud run? 


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  1. I think you definitely need to be strong to compete in these kinds of runs and events. Good workout! Thanks for posting it.
    Elle recently posted…Compression Core Band from Tommie CopperMy Profile

  2. Some day I’ll do one of these mud/obstacle run things. :-) I’d thinking anything that helps you work on grip strength would be super helpful. Doesn’t matter how strong your shoulders are if your hands can’t hang on! Gah!
    Coach Henness recently posted…5 Dollar 5K?My Profile

  3. So could have used this before my Spartan Race! haha
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…Help! My Motivation Mojo’s Gone MissingMy Profile

  4. Great tips! I am running my first mud run on August 1st, I can’t wait!!!
    Stephanie recently posted…Conquering My Fears With My Daughter By My SideMy Profile

  5. Mud runs, and obstacle races in general, are definitely a full body workout. That being said, they also scare me to death!
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…Who Wants to Be a Road Shark?My Profile

  6. I’ve never done a mud run, so I’m not sure what strength training exercises should be done to prepare! One of the owners of the CF box I go to has done and placed in a few Spartan Races, next time I see him, I’ll ask!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Book review: Running Like a Girl by Alexandra HeminsleyMy Profile

  7. is it okay that i kind of chuckled picturing you rolling yourself under that obstacle? i’d probably do the same thing!
    Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC recently posted…A Blogging Break?My Profile

  8. Awesome workout Patty! When I ran my first mud/obstacle event a few years ago it was humbling to realize how little upper body strength I had.
    jill conyers recently posted…10 Things To Do With Purpose In 10 MinutesMy Profile

  9. Yes, yes, and yes. Great list and I agree wholeheartedly with every workout. After running my first tough mudder I realized how much chest/back you need throughout!
    Jessica recently posted…WIW with Lolly Clothing and a Coupon Code!My Profile

  10. Great workout!! :)
    Rachel recently posted…Fun Way to Make Homemade Frozen YogurtMy Profile


  1. […] you may recall, I ran the Rugged Maniac 5k last month, which was a mud run/obstacle course race (and really fun!). I never wrote a full recap […]

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