The 20-Minute Workout That Will Get You Ready For TMX

By mark barroso | September 19, 2017


This Summer in the Twin Cities, we pushed tough to it’s limits. We paired 10 obstacles with 10 workouts, and then contained the 20 fitness challenges into a single mile. The Inaugural Tough Mudder X event was an invite-only fitness spectacle that was probably the most insane race of Summer (if not, ever). Created to disrupt the competitive sports industry we matched functional fitness fanatics against endurance race athletes for a pulse-pounding, one-mile competition.

But in 2018, Tough Mudder will be offering the same challenging 1-mile course you saw aired on CBS, to Mudder Nation throughout the U.S. Tough Mudder X Open is your chance to test your mettle against The Toughest Mile on the Planet. This open event is for any Mudder tough enough (and crazy enough) to tackle a mixture of epic obstacles, workout zones, and a one-mile course so wild it pushed The Toughest Athletes on the Planet to their limits.

Think you’ve got what it takes to pass the Ultimate Test of Fitness? Try this 20-minute full body high intensity interval training workout that’ll mimic the demands you’ll see at TMX in 2018. And don’t forget to sign up for TMX HERE to test your true obstacle course racing skills before slots fill up.


Directions: Perform all exercises as a circuit. Do each of the 6 exercise for 40 seconds, then rest 30 seconds. After all 6 exercises have been performed, rest 60 seconds, and repeat. The total workout time is 21 minutes including rest.

Exercise 1: Squat and Press

Equipment needed: Two dumbbells, two kettlebells, or a sandbag. 

How to Do It:

  1. Stand with one dumbbell in each hand, holding them with palms facing each other on top of your shoulders.

  2. Keeping elbows bent and dumbbells on top of your shoulders, squat down until your thighs are below parallel.

  3. When you break parallel, press heels into the floor and explode up towards the starting position. As you stand, press the weights overhead.  

  4. You should be standing with both arms extended overhead after pressing the weights up.

  5. Bring weights down back to shoulders like in starting position before and going immediately into the squat again.

  6. This is one fluid motion. There are no pauses between reps.

Exercise 2: Squat Jump

Equipment needed: None

How to Do It:

  1. Stand with your legs straight and feet hip width apart. Be sure to keep the weight in your heels. Interlock your fingers and place your hands behind your head.

  2. To begin the movement, squat until your legs are parallel to the floor.

  3. Then, without using your arms, push off your feet and jump as high and as straight as possible.

  4. When you land, make sure to absorb the impact of the jump by pushing your hips back and flexing your knees.

  5. Immediately repeat the jump. 

Exercise 3: Burpees

Equipment needed: None

How to Do It:

  1. Clear at least 5 feet in front of and behind you. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and hands at your sides.

  2. Next, reach forward and drop your hands to the floor. As your hands reach for the floor, sit your hips back so that your legs are bending and moving with you.

  3. Kick your feet back to a plank as your palm remains pressed to the floor.

  4. Release your hands from the floor completely and allow your body to drop the body to the floor.

  5. Re-place your palms on the ground. Then press against the ground with your palms as your push your body into a straight-arm plank.

  6. Jump both feet forward, close to your your hands. The goal is to have both feet landing at the same time.

  7. Once your feet land by your hands, immediately jump explosively towards the ceiling.

  8. That’s one rep. Repeat for 40 seconds.

Exercise 4: Dumbbell Farmer’s Carry

Equipment needed: Two dumbbell or kettlebells. 

How to Do It:

  1. Stand tall holding one dumbbell in each hand.

  2. Keeping your back straight, walk forward.

  3. Keep walking without letting go of the weights for 40 seconds.

Exercise 5: Bear Crawl

Equipment needed: None

How to Do It:

  1. To begin bear crawling, get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your feet under your knees.

  2. Crawl forward by taking small steps with your right arm and left leg, and then left arm and right leg.

  3. With each step move your opposite arm and leg in small 6-10 inch increments. Once you get the form down, you can move with larger, quicker steps.

  4. Continue this for 50 yards.

Exercise 6: Dumbbell Deadlift

Equipment needed: Two dumbbells or kettlebells. 

How to Do It:

  1. Holding one dumbbell in each hand in an overhand grip, stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart.

  2. The dumbbells should be in front of the middle of your thighs as if they are making a shelf that is parrallel to the floor. 

  3. Shoulders should be back and chest should be out. Your core should be engaged, and your back should be straight.

  4. Drive your hips back to lower the weight down towards the floor. The dumbbells should stay tight to your shins and go as low as the front of your ankles.

  5. Now, drive heels into floor, lift chest and hips at the same time, and keep back and arms straight as you lift the weight back to start.

  6. That’s one rep.