Are you a Tough Mudder?



A couple of months ago one of my friends asked me if I wanted to enter Tough Mudder with him and a few of his friends.  This was the second time I had been asked by a friend if I wanted to take part, I couldn’t make it the first time as it clashed with my trip to Thailand so this time round I didn’t hesitate in saying yes – I was in!

If you haven’t heard of the event it is a 12 mile assault course devised by the Special Forces to test your all round strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie (taken from their website).  I’ve heard lots of crazy things about Tough Mudder, their strapline is ‘Probably the toughest event on the planet’ and they have crazy obstacles with names like arctic enema, ball shrinker, boa constrictor, fire walker and one of my least favourites electroshock therapy where you have to run through a wall of electric wires.  I should have probably researched the site first before jumping head first into agreeing to doing the event, but it’s too late now – it’s on!

For those of you who know me or follow me on Twitter you will already know that training plays a really important part in my life.  I spend most of my free time training and I am also a REPS2 qualified fitness trainer so this is an opportunity for me to really test how strong and fit I am.  I decided if I was going to prepare myself for Tough Mudder I would need to switch up my training which has always been predominantly martial arts/combat sports focused.  I was going to have to spend less time hitting bags, pads and people and more time working on my cardio and strength & conditioning.  It was time to call in the big guns for some help!

At my gym where I train there is only one Personal Trainer that I would ever consider training with and that is Toby Mayers.  I have been to some of Toby’s Olympic Fit weight classes and Boot camp sessions at my gym and I absolutely loved them because he will push you to your limits and beyond.  I have also seen Toby muller his clients in the gym and he works you hard, so hard that I’m sure I’ve seen grown men cry after his sessions! This has been the start of a beautiful (but tough) training relationship.

I had some very specific goals for Toby.  I wanted to lose around 8-10% body fat and needed to work on strength (I want to be able to do pull ups, something I have struggled with for countless years) and just generally prepare myself for what would be the toughest fitness challenge I have ever given myself.  I decided that in addition to working with Toby I needed to sort out my nutrition. I have always eaten healthy, but I also have a sweet tooth and one of the reasons why I train so much is so I can eat what I like.  As luck would have it I saw a Facebook post from one of my favourite WMMA fighters Rosi Sexton talking about working with a nutritionist called Mike Leng from Unorthodox Nutrition.  This was it, when I put my mind to doing something I don’t ever go half way, I commit myself 100%.  So here I am, getting my ass kicked on a regular basis and having to eat my way through endless chicken breasts, fish, veg and all other kinds of good stuff and taking loads of supplements that I have never taken before.

I have also been running with an awesome group called Run Dem Crew which is headed up by Charlie Dark.  I have never been a fan of running, it was something I did out of necessity but my neighbour has been running with them for a long while now and he has been making amazing progress and regularly enters half marathons and is now training for a marathon.  Thanks to running with RDC I have begun to enjoy running and I really look forward to my sessions with them and it’s given me the confidence to run longer distances on my own. 

Due to an often hectic work schedule I mostly train in the mornings before work.  This often means I am up at 4.30am to get to the gym for my 6.30am starts with Toby, at first getting up so early was incredibly difficult but now I am used to it and can’t wait to get to the gym.  During the last two months I have seen my strength go up quite considerably and I have lost half a stone, my body fat has gone down by 4% and I have put on additional muscle.  This week especially I have hit some new milestones in my training which I am incredibly happy with.  There have been some tears and frustrations along the way and at times I did actually feel like giving up, I could never get beyond being able to do one pull up and this really annoyed me.  This week I managed to do 3 sets of 3 reps, this may not seem like a lot to many of you but for me who has struggled for so long to even do 1 I am incredibly happy with this and will keep going.  My kettlebell weights also went up this week and from the work I have been doing with Toby it has also paid dividends in my martial arts training.  My kicks are much better as my hamstrings and glutes have become a lot stronger (these have always been weak areas of mine). Thanks to the combination of my training & nutrition plan I can also see my abs and obliques starting to show. A few people have also commented on my ‘henchness’ recently, to say I am happy is a huge understatement.  I am currently the strongest and fittest I have ever been in my many years of training.

So for those of you who are also on your own fitness challenges, I hope my post inspires you to keep going.  Or if you are considering entering an event of some kind to go for it.  My big day is 8th June where I will be on that course with around 5,000 other crazy people.  I’m going to conquer my fears and just go for it, in the words of Big Daddy Kane “Ain’t no half steppin”.



  1. sounds like your training hard i hope you kick some ass girl!!

  2. Wow what a magnificent undertaking. Best of luck. I am looking forward to reading your updates, and pleased that Toby is part of your team. I am a little biased – he is my brother 🙂

  3. Thank you. I’m trying to figure out if Toby is trying to make me stronger or just wants to kill me! 🙂

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