Tough Mudder Trainers
Meet the Mudder℠ trainers behind the madness. These trainers know the ins and outs (and ups and downs) of training for Tough Mudder. Whether it is climbing Mount Everest (literally) or lugging homemade sand bags down and around your neighborhood block, they have been there. Keep a look out for weekly training tips from these Tough Mudder vets and certified trainers. In the meantime, they suggest some Belly Bombers and Boot Camp.
Andy “Mustache Man” Thom
He goes by Andy, but he is better known by Mudders worldwide as Mustache Man.
You may have seen his “Tough Mudder Training” video. No, he is not related to Chuck Norris, or a viking and is not a Viltrumite (Google it). Andy just a normal, unapologetic 46-year-old father of two, who likes to train hard and get a little (very) muddy now and then.
Mustache Man joined the local YMCA when he was 12 years old (in 1978!) and has been physically active ever since. Above all else, he considers himself a martial artist. He is a certified instructor in five uniquely different martial arts – Jun Fan Gung Fu/Jeet Kune Do, Kali/Filipino Martial Arts, Muay Thai, Japanese Shoot Wrestling/Shooto and Savate, which means he can turn you into a pretzel no less than 5,987 ways. Mustache Man has trained and taught classes at the prestigious Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts in Los Angeles and competed in dozens of full-contact stickfighting, submission wrestling and MMA matches (back when the sport was still widely illegal, of course) on a local and national level. For a few years around the turn of the century, he owned and operated his own school of martial arts.
After becoming a Certified Personal Trainer, and under the tutelage of Obatala Roundtree, Mustache Man now concentrates mainly on one-on-one and small-group strength training sessions. For over a decade, he has trained professional and amatuer MMA fighters and aspiring Tough Mudders in preparation for the challenges they faced.
Who knows, with a little hard work, you too may be mistaken for a relative of Chuck Norris.
Michael Tremel has been conquering obstacles from a young age. Throughout the years, he has used himself for a training guinea pig and has brought these practices to aspiring Mudders.
At age 16, Mike fractured his hip while playing high school football. In true Mudder form, he ended up playing the entire season with his fractured hip and was subjected to surgery and a long, tortuous rehabilitation process. Nearly six months later, he was back on his feet with a thigh as thin as an ankle and the desire to beat the odds. For years, using trial and error, with no real basis for why he was doing anything he was doing at the gym, Mike made minimal progress.
In the years following his injury, Mike explored various theories on exercise physiology and human movement and eventually earned a degree in Exercise Science and Sport Studies from Rutgers University. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the NSCA. Mike loves working with weights and tools forged out of Home Depot products and is often the one at the gym turning a strange shade of purple, sweating profusely and loving it.
Mike knows that real fitness is not about how much you can bench. True fitness is the ability to perform athletic feats well without getting hurt. He believes that with proper attitude (OOH-RAH!) and information (training tips) you can do anything (like Tough Mudder).
Nigel Thomas is Tough Mudder’s Chief Training Officer and consults Big Mudder on all things tough. Nigel knows the ins and outs of everything from obstacle designs to our training program.
A proud Welshman by birth, Nigel is a keen sports enthusiast, motorcycle racer and the kind of all around badass that all Mudders aspire to become. He’s planning on climbing Everest (the real one) for his 50th birthday next year and is using the Tough Mudder training program to warm up for the adventure.
Nigel is also CEO of Blue Mountain Group, a high-end security, specialist driving and training company. He previously spent 14 years with the British Special Forces as a mountaineering specialist in the SAS.
As for the rest of his bio, he says he can’t tell us everything, and, frankly, we’re afraid to ask. (Note: We can’t even show a clear shot of his face on our website…talk about badass!)
Juliana “The Shark” Sproles
Juliana Sproles is The Shark. At age 42, she is the mother of two teenagers, the female winner of the inaugural World’s Toughest Mudder (2011) and a highly motivated extreme endurance and plant-based athlete.
The Shark has been a runner for 30 years, competed in triathlons for 23 years and is now one of the leading obstacle-endurance athletes in the country. She embraces the Mudder ethos with her strong desire for team synergy and camaraderie in all life situations, which she also brings to her intense training regimen.
The Shark’s a certified USA Triathlon Coach, personal trainer, group fitness instructor and guide. She emphasises spiritual transformation through daily physical life adventures, both large and small. Juliana knows first hand the mental grit needed to conquer Big Mudder’s mental and physical obstacles.
When she’s not attacking endurance obstacle course challenges, swimming, cycling or running, you can find the Shark doing her other favorite activities, including backpacking, sailing, horseback riding, geocaching, practicing yoga and honing in on her Mental Mudder practices by reading spiritual-based or philosophical books.