At the top of my Healthy Bucket List sits my desire to run a Tough Mudder. For those of you not familiar with a mudder, it’s a 12+ mile obstacle course (in the mud) designed by former British Special Forces dudes. Around 30% of the folks who try fail to complete it. The more I read about the mudders, the more I realize I need to kick my training into high gear before attempting this puppy.
I’ve decided that I’m going to try a Spartan Sprint first. Spartan races are similar to the Tough Mudder, but they have 3 levels: Sprint, Super, and Beast. The Sprints are about 3 miles and have 15 obstacles. The Sprint seems much more doable for this first timer.
The Super Spartan focuses on strength and includes 20 obstacles over 8 miles. The Spartan Beast is comparable to the Tough Mudder – 12 miles and 25 obstacles.
Fear not. My ultimate fitness test is a Tough Mudder. Working my way through the Spartan trio will prepare me for that future challenge. The trio might be easier on the surface. But with all Spartan races you have to do 20 burpees if you are unable to do an obstacle. Crap!
To help me prepare for the Sprint (and burpee penalties), plus improve my overall fitness and strength this year, I’m taking on some challenges.
With my knee feeling great, I’ve restarted my 5k training as of this month. On New Year’s Day I ran a 5K…not in a race, but I still ran that far. Weather permitting, I’m planning on running 3 times a week. I also plan to join a local runner’s club.
This week I start registering for upcoming races. The first one is on Valentines Day (Nothing says love like huffing and puffing across a finish line)!
2015 Gold’s Gym Challenge
For the 2nd year in a row, I’ve entered the Gold’s Gym Challenge. And for the 2nd year in a row, I don’t expect to win my gym’s top prize. This year I’m using the 12 weeks to compete with myself. I have 3 specific exercises I’m using to test my progress: Push-ups, sit-ups, and planks. At the end of 12 weeks, I want to see how many push-ups and sit-ups I can do in a minute. I also want to see how long I can hold the plank the position. At the start of the challenge, I can do:
GG Challenge Benchmark (January 5, 2015)
I’ve got 11 more weeks to improve. My hope is that by the end of this challenge I’ll not only beat my fitness benchmarks, but lose inches and get closer to my goal weight (I lost 9.5 inches and 22 lbs. during last year’s challenge).
But the Gold’s Gym Challenge isn’t all I’m doing.
Monthly Fitness Challenges
I love the 30-Day Fitness Challenges. I just wish some of those challenges would love me back — I’m talking about you 30-Day Burpee Challenge! As part of my morning stretching routine, I’m planning to do these challenges each month. While you can’t pick spots on your body to lose weight, you can work on strengthening and building muscle.
January is the Abs Challenge. I’m starting late on this challenge, so I’m doing an abbreviated version. But I’ve got the rest of the challenges planned out for the year.
February – Little Black Dress Challenge
March – Arms Challenge
April – Ab & Squat Challenge
May – Push Up Challenge
June – Crunch Challenge
July – Butt Challenge
August – Tricep Dips Challenge
September – Plank Challenge
October – Wall Sit Challenge
November – Burpee Challenge
December – Sit Up Challenge
I’m going to talk with my trainer and see if I can add dumbbells into some of these workouts. It’s not that I’m so awesome (Oh, but I am!) I need more of a challenge. I’m just looking to improve my strength and build muscle. Building strength will help me with my Spartan and Tough Mudder training. I also need to build muscle to help with my growing loose skin problem. I’m not going to bulk out into She-Hulk mode, but anything to reduce floppy skin is a plus.
I’ve downloaded the Tough Mudder’s Mudderling Bootcamp guide. Basically it provides a 40 minutes of circuit training to help you with specific obstacles. Many of the exercises I’m doing with my trainer or through the 30-Day Challenges. I don’t want to over do it and end up injuring myself (again!). I’m thinking I’ll use this workout once a month to gauge how I’m doing and where I need to improve.