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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Get Pumped At The Gym

TGIF! I can’t believe the response I got to my running post yesterday…thanks everyone! :)

Are you heading to the gym today to kick off the weekend the right way? If you’re looking to try something new, here’s a workout I created that hits all major muscle groups and adds a cardio component. If you weren’t planning on going to the gym, I think you should go ;)


Do 10 sets of each exercises, and repeat 3-5x through depending on how much time you have/how challenging of a workout you want.

For pull-ups, use an assisted pull-up machine or band if necessary.

For the benchpress, use dumbbells if needed (if barbell is too heavy or not available at your gym).

For the kettlebell squat, hold the kettlebell up against your chest, elbows tucked in.

Use dumbbells for the “squat,curl,press.”

If you don’t need to do cardio today, or plan on doing it after, you can omit the burpees from the workout.

Let me know if you decide to try it! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Do you prefer to workout at the gym or at home?


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The Importance of Strength Training

We all know strength training is important…for so many reasons!


  • You will lose bodyfat and gain muscle.
  • Your clothes will fit better.
  • It’s so important for injury prevention. Doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete or not…lifting helps with joint and bone health for later in life!
  • You will gain confidence.
  • Lifting will help you if you do other sports as well, such as running, cycling, etc.

Well, I know all of this but have totally been slacking in the strength training department! It’s probably been over a month since I have strength trained. I have done core work but it’s been hard to balance running and strength training. The main issue I have is that after a run I am not really wanting to lift weights. But I plan on starting to lift again because I know how important it is. I DO miss squats, lunges, pull-ups…especially pull-ups! I was finally able to do unassisted pull-ups but probably lost all that strength.

This week, I plan on trying out a BodyPump class at my gym. I have never done one but I’ve seen Olive to Run‘s posts and instagram pictures which got my curious!

So, since I’m going to start strength training again, I wanted to leave you with my favorite exercises I love to do. I will list 1-2 for each major muscle group. Feel free to let me know if you have questions about form or technique!


Split Squat: One of the best lower body exercises, especially for those with knee issues or knee pain. Really hits the quads and glutes. Here’s a how-to video I made for this.

Back squats: Obviously. But only if you can do it with correct form! If you are trying it for the first time, ask a floor trainer to help you.

Romanian Deadlift: Really hits those hamstrings and lower back. Start with light dumbbells and work your way up. Always, always, ALWAYS maintain a flat back.

Swiss Ball Leg Curls: Another great hamstring, glute and core exercise. Once you master this, try single-legged.

Single-Leg Deadlift: If you’re a runner, this is a must! Hits hamstrings but you work on hip strength too because you are balancing.

Pull-ups (assisted or unassisted): I like neutral grip, because it hits both lats and biceps. For more biceps, you can do supinated grip (palms facing towards you), and for more lats, you can do palms facing out (hardest grip).

Single Arm Dumbbell Row: Great for back strength!

Pushups: no explanation needed. Basically a full-body exercise. Just always maintain a flat back and don’t let your hips sag!

Dumbbell Overhead Press: Hits chest but shoulders too. A lot of people have weak shoulders, and this is a great way to target them. You can do both arms or single arms.

You may have noticed I left out chest exercises like bench presses, or any time of press for that matter. I try to limit chest exercises because seeing as I (and most Americans) sit all day (and probably hunched over), there is no need to do an exercise that will end up shortening your pec muscles and make you appear even more hunched. Back and core strength are more important especially if you are sitting in an office all day.

What are your favorite strength training exercises? Do we share any of the same ones? Let me know what you think!

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