A 30-Minute Challenging Workout Designed to Get You in Shape Fast – “The Mini Tough Mudder”

(This embarrassing video was inspired by Casey Neistat. The editing was completed by my talented daughter, Hannah Minton.)

A few years ago, I did a Tough Mudder race. It was a complete blast!

To prepare for this race, I put together a training plan that combined running with our 30-minute bootcamp workouts. At the time, I owned a business offering bootcamp workout classes. The basic plan was to alternate between running and bootcamp classes. The plan was designed to build up to the following long workout for the race:

Run for 45-minutes
Bootcamp workout for 30-minutes
Run for 30-minutes
Bootcamp workout for 30-minutes
Run for 45-minutes

This plan worked extremely well. We finished 12-mile Tough Mudder race in a little over 2 hours. More  importantly, I was in the best shape of my life.

Since the Tough Mudder, I have condensed this workout plan into a 30-minute home workout. You can also do this workout in any gym, or while traveling using the hotel workout room.

This home workout will use dumbbells and a treadmill. You can modify this workout if you don’t have a treadmill or dumbbells. (See #5 and #6 below for a few ideas on how to do this.)

Before every workout, I strongly recommend that you warm up. Google “warm-up” videos on YouTube if you’re not sure how to properly warm-up! A proper warm-up will help get your body ready for exercise and will help prevent injury.

We will be alternating between the dumbbells and the treadmill for a full-body accelerated fat loss workout. Once you’re warmed up properly, follow this workout:

3 Minutes – Treadmill (something challenging for you – walk/incline/jog/sprint – see #3 below)
12 Squat Presses with Dumbbells
3 Minutes – Treadmill
12 Forward Lunges with Dumbbell Curls
3 Minutes – Treadmill
12 Back Rows with Dumbbells
3 Minutes – Treadmill
Hip Raise with 12 Tricep Extensions
3 Minutes – Treadmill
12 Push Ups with Row (Renegade Rows) with Dumbbells, or 12 Chest Presses on Floor with Dumbbells, or Push Ups
3 Minutes – Treadmill
12 Side Lateral Raises with Dumbbells
3 Minutes – Treadmill
50 Ab Crunches/Ab Bicycles

As you can see, this is a full-body 30-minute workout, which combines cardio and strength training intervals. You will be dripping sweat after this workout and will be ready to conquer the
world. This little workout can be a character builder… if you really push yourself!

After completing this 30-minute workout, take an ice cold shower! The “ice bath” is one of the obstacles of the Tough Mudder and it will feel good after your workout!

A few pointers on this workout:

1. Rest as needed throughout the workout. If you are feeling winded, stop and rest until you catch your breath. Start back where you left off and continue the workout when you’re ready.

2. For the dumbbell exercises select a weight that is challenging. If you can’t do all 12 repetitions at once, stop and rest. Start back when you’re ready and finish the 20 repetitions.

3. For the treadmill intervals, you can walk, run, or challenge yourself with a steep incline. My suggestion is to use a setting that is somewhat challenging for you depending on your
fitness level. If you’ve been exercising for a while, set the pace at 6 miles per hour with slight incline. If you’re just starting out, set the pace at 3.5 miles per hour. Adjust your incline, as needed
depending on how you feel.

4. When it comes to transitioning between the treadmill and the dumbbell exercises, you have two choices:

The safest way to transition is to stop, or pause the treadmill and move to your dumbbell exercises. Complete the dumbbell exercise and resume the treadmill slowly. This
transition will be a little slower, but will insure your safety on the treadmill.

The other option is to leave the treadmill running the entire workout. This can be dangerous because you’ll have to adjust your speed quickly when you step back on the treadmill after each
round of dumbbell exercises. This choice will make your workout more challenging as you reduce the transition time because the treadmill will not have to increase it’s speed after the pause. This
option is really for those who are advanced and have more treadmill experience. (You don’t to end
up on America’s Funniest Videos with a face plant on your treadmill!)

5. If you don’t have a treadmill, you can walk/run steps in your house. Or you can do jumping jacks, speed skaters, run in place, or do burpees. The goal is to elevate your heart rate with the cardio intervals.

6. You can do the same workout without dumbbells with a few modifications. You can do lunges and squats using your own body weight. My suggestion is to increase the number
of repetitions from 20 to 40. Instead of dumbbell chest presses, you can do pushups!

7. The number #1 goal with every workout is to avoid injury. The idea is to push yourself and work hard, but don’t do something crazy and end up sidelined on the couch for weeks nursing a pulled muscle, or sprained ankle. An injury will set you back a great deal and definitely isn’t worth it.

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