Are you interested in taking part in one of the Tough Mudder events but you have no idea how to go about training and preparing for one?
A series of endurance obstacle racing events, the Tough Mudder events take place on courses that are between 16km to 19km long – with each featuring about 20 to 25 obstacles, testing both mental and physical strength – including those that involve fire, water, electricity and heights.
Four Tough Mudder classes available at Virgin Active Singapore
And for prospective Tough Mudder participants who would like an insight into what is needed to prepare and train for such a Tough Mudder event, the Virgin Active Gym in Singapore is currently partnering local company TMDSports, which is currently training a contingent of Singaporeans to take part in a Tough Mudder race in Queensland, Australia next month.
At Virgin Active Singapore, there are four Tough Mudder classes available. These are the Mudder Maker Active, Mudder Maker Lean, Mudder Maker Fit and Mudder Maker Strong and they work on different aspects of a person’s conditioning and strength elements.
Said Zuhayr Azman, 26, a Fitness Professional who takes the Mudder Maker classes at Virgin Active, “Mudder Maker Active tests endurance and extreme conditioning. The Mudder Maker Lean and Fit classes are more about getting your endurance levels up. For instance, Lean breaks down from cardio and focuses on working on the muscles that really need to function at a Tough Mudder event. Mudder Maker Strong consists of strength conditioning, and targets people who cannot even do a single pull-up, through exercises such as monkey bars, deadlifts and heavy-duty clean & jerk exercises to build their strength.”
Had the chance to try out a Mudder Maker Active session
Thanks to Virgin Active, I recently had the chance to try out a 30-minute Mudder Maker Active class – and it was definitely an intense session! We completed reps of exercises such as goblet squats and Spiderman Push-Ups, using bodyweight as well as equipment such as KettleBells and DumbBells.
The first part of the class was quite okay and I wasn’t that short of breath yet. But by the halfway mark of the class, I found myself getting so exhausted by the speed and intensity of the session, that I was panting and perspiring profusely – and kept on wondering when the class would finish! At this stage, one minute was, quite literally, beginning to feel like one hour.
Then the final 15 minutes of the session were completely mental, simply trying to push myself to carry on without stopping, though my movements seemed to be getting more and more lethargic. This sort of training was really quite different to the cardio-based exercises that I am normally used to, such as running and cycling.
And when the intensive session was over – and it was time for some relaxing cool-down stretches, it was the part that my tired body had been looking forward to!
Compound exercises that work on the full body
Added Zuhayr, “The exercises that we did today were compound exercises, for example, the goblet squats works on the legs as well as the upper body – some people simply do not have the upper body strength to lift the KettleBell. For the Spiderman Push-Ups, this also works the core muscles as well as the upper body, unlike a standard Push-Up.”
And he explained, “What is good about these Mudder Maker classes compared to other gym exercises we offer, is that it focuses not only on strength but also mentality – most of the members are dying in the second half of the session so they have to push themselves mentally as well as physically.”
Online tutorials are also useful
But apart from these classes, you can also look towards online tutorials to prepare yourself for a Tough Mudder event though, according to Zuhayr. He explained, “other than these classes, there are also a few tutorials that you can find on YouTube to get yourself prepared for such an event.”
He continued “For example these will teach you to work on strength and endurance through High Intensity Interval Training whereby you would typically work to your maximum heart rate with little rest. So this means that you may do a push-up and then immediately follow this up with a sit-up. This increases your conditioning and your body strength over time.”
Open to all Virgin Active gym members
The Mudder Maker classes are open to all Virgin Active Singapore gym members who would like to experience what it is like to train for a Tough Mudder event.
Explained Zuhayr, “Members who want the exercise can also sign up for the class even though they are not actually taking part in Tough Mudder.”