9 High Intensity Workouts You Can Do At The Beach

By Gabrielle Kassel | August 22, 2017


The perfect beach trip includes kicking back with some Guinness, slurping down an ice-cold lemonade, building a sandcastle, and talking about The Blockness Monster or Kong with teammates. But as much as you love lounging and chugging, you don’t want to stop making progress, you’re training for our next Tough Mudder, after all.

Good news is that when it come to training for a Tough Mudder, you don’t need a fancy gym membership hours to train, or even any equipment to work on your conditioning.  We tapped some sun-lovin’ fitness coaches for 9 workouts you can do at the beach.

Workout #1: Beach-Bum. 5 Rounds, For Time

100 m Beach Run

10 Boardwalk bench jumps

30 reverse lunges

What you do: Mark off a two end points roughly 50 meters apart with seashells or water bottles. Find a bench or rock that you can perform “bench jumps” on. Then, start your timer and cycle through the run-jump-lunge combo five times, as quickly as possible. Record your time.

Why it works: This workout is perfect for an outdoor sweat and can be easily adjusted for any environment. “Running in sand, like running in mud, is more challenging than running on flat ground because it recruits more calf strength and requires overall stability. If you want some extra drag or resistance, do it in knee deep water… Just be careful of your foot placement, no one likes to step on a sharp shell or piece of debris in salt water” says Coach at CrossFit Bowery, Lindsey Cormack Ph.D. “Similarly reverse lunges in the sand require a little more stability than the lunges you’d typically do in the box or gym. Also, after the bench jumps, the lunges will burn so good” say Coach Cormack. Plus, this workout is super scalable: the burpees can be modified by not dropping your torso all the way to the sand, the reverse lunges can be adjusted to reverse step backs or front lunges, and the run can be paced according to the athlete's current endurance level. You’ll be glad for the extra resistance running practice when you’re trudging through Quagmire and Mud Mile 2.0.  

Workout #2: 5 Rounds, For Time

25 foot lunges

1 minute plank

25 foot lunges

20 push-ups

What you do: Mark of 25 feet with either a water-bottle, stick, or seashells. Then, lunge-walk 25 feet in one direction, drop and do a 1-minute plank, and then lunge-walk back 25 feet to where you came from. After the second lunge-walk complete 20 push-ups in the sand. If you need to scale the push-ups, do them on a cooler, chair, or nearby rock, suggests  Bryce Tolbert, CrossFit Coach at Bowery CrossFit NYC.

Why it works: This workout is simple, but full-body. You’ll especially feel it in your chest and quadriceps, says Tolbert. It’s the perfect beach workout for a quick burn and good sweat. You’ll be glad you worked on your endurance by the time you get to mile 7.0 on the course. 

Workout #3: ‘Riley’, For Time

1.5 mile run

150 burpees

1.5 mile run

What You Do: Set a timer, and perform the above sequence one time for a great World's Toughest Mudder prep-workout. For Tough Mudder Full or Half training, scale the workout to 1 mile run, 75 burpees, 1 mile run. 

Why It Works: “Most people hate burpees and understandably so… they are mentally and physically very challenging” says Coach Tolbert  Between running 3 miles and performing 150 burpees, you are working your entire body and cardiovascular system, which makes it the perfect workout for World's Toughest Mudder training. When you’re running and doing burpees in the sand you will feel extra-fatigued from the required stability. Tolbert reminds us, "You’ll be working out in the sun, which can easily dehydrate you, so be sure to drink plenty of water and lather on that sunscreen”. This workout will help you master the mental toughness you’ll need on event day. Escaping the ordinary takes a little courage, after all.

Workout #4: 5 Rounds, For Time

15 air squats

10 push ups,

Sprint 100 meters

10 burpees

15 tuck jumps

Run 100 meters back to original start-line. Run in the water and swim back to the first beach chair or original spot.

What you do: Mark off 100-meters (or a similar distance) before you start using either a brand, beach chair, or other object that you can easily see. Then, start the clock. Perform 15 air squats and 10 pushups before sprinting the marked distance. Then, perform 10 burpees, 15 tuck jumps (being careful to land on both feet) before running back to the start line. If you are completing the workout right against the body of water, run the second 100 meters in the water for an extra challenge, suggests Coach Nicolas Dromard, CrossFit Coach at ICE NYC and co-owner of Drovarfit.

Why it works:  “This is one of my favorite workouts to do on the beach because it incorporates running, a little bit of swimming (or swim-running), chest strength, leg strength, and cardiovascular endurance” says Dromard. Depending on your speed and if you use the ocean, this workout should take anywhere from 7 to 20 minutes, says Dromard. Do this workout once a week in the weeks leading up to your event and you’ll be start-line ready in no time.

Workout #5: For Time


Thrusters (with a decent sized tree trunk… 30-40#)

Burpees over the tree-trunk

*Perform a 100m Swim after every round

What you do: First find a decent sized tree-trunk or piece of driftwood, which are often around in abundance on the beach. If you can’t find a tree trunk, an empty cooler, or hefty rock will do, though will challenge your grip in a slightly different way. Once you have your 30-40 pound barbell-stand-in, complete thrusters and burpees in a 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 sequence, performing 100 meters swim after each round. That means, complete 21 thrusters with the object, do 21 burpees over the object, and finish the round with an 100 meter swim. Then, complete 18 thrusters, 18 burpees over the object, and then swim. And so on and so forth until you’ve completed the last 100 meter swim. 

Why it works: “This is effective because if it literally does not kill you, it made you stronger… “ jokes CJ Maldonado CrossFit Coach at ICE NYC. “This workout will make you sweaty, dirty, and then searching for air when you’re in the water. This is a workout that will favor athletes who are able to pace themselves” says Maldonado. Think 20-35 minutes of work, 10 minutes of stretching after, and a decent nap on a hammock or in the sun…”. Getting your hands on a log will make Hold Your Wood 2.0 a breeze, and burpee-ing over driftwood will have you well-prepared for your Everest 2.0 running jump-start.

Workout #6: For Time

400-Meters Of Walking Lunges

What you do: Perform walking lunges in the sand or 400 meters total. If you don’t have 400-meters-worth of space, pace your lunges back and forth in whatever space you have.

Why it works: “This workout is simple and surprisingly brutal,” says Maldonado. “It’s all quadriceps muscles. All. The. Time.” It’s the perfect quick burn when you’re crunched on time or without a gym or any equipment. If you’re somebody who likes to go on beach-runs, add this to the end of your run to guarantee that you’ll be feeling it tomorrow. You’ll be glad for the extra stores of stamina, determination, and strength this little beast builds come event day.

Workout #7: For Time

5 Mile Run

*Every mile perform 25 Burpees

What you do: Start your timer and begin a 5 mile run. At the end of each mile, perform 25 burpees as quickly as possible. Record your time.

Why it works: “By the time you reach a mile of running, your body falls into a good pace of movement and breathing. But the burpees throw that all into a tailspin and get more and more challenging by the mile” says Maldonado. The intention of the workout can be changed based on what your goal is.  You can either concentrate on keeping the burpees as quick as possible and using the run to store up the energy for the next set of burpees, or you can pace out the first mile and try to match every other mile after that, explains Maldonado. “This workout is as mental as it is physical. Five miles is a lot of time to question why you are doing this, and you WILL question it. Try to keep the mind clear and focus on the moment” he suggests. When all else fails, remember Mudder, pain doesn’t last forever, but glory does. 

Workout #8: 100 Degree, 100 Reps, For Time

Round 1:
25 Two-legged Hops
25 Walking Lunges (each leg)
25 Push-Ups
25 Bear Crawls (Counting Steps)
*rest 25 seconds*
Round 2:
25 Jumping Jacks
25 Side Lunges (each leg)
25 Hand Release Push-Ups
25 Spider-Man Crawls
*rest 25 seconds*
Round 3:
25 Seal Jacks
25 Single-Leg Glute Bridge
25 Push-Ups
25 Frog Hops
*rest 25 seconds*
Round  4:
25 Split Jacks
25 Reverse Lunge
25 Push-ups
25 Burpees

What you do: This is a workout with four rounds, each consisting of slightly different movements. By the end of the workout,  you will have completed 100 reps of a plyometric movement, 100 reps of a unilateral lower body movement, 100 reps of an upper body movement, and 100 reps of a full body movement. Between each round, rest 25 seconds. To begin, start your timer and move through the four rounds 25 reps at a time. Record your time.

Why it works:  Creator of this workout and Sports Performance Coach, Tyler Simmons, explains the workout, saying, “This workout is an effective way to incorporate multiple movements that require natural stability on an uneven surface (sand). This workout engages all major and minor muscle groups, and fatigues the entire body all the way through to the finish”. While this workout would be tough on a flat surface, like at the gym, the sand adds another layer of difficulty, which makes it great for athletes looking to get after it while on vacation. Plus, the sand will give Mudders a sneak-peek to what the mud will feel like beneath their feet on the course. 

Workout #9: 5 Rounds for Time:

5 Beach Towel Overhead Squats

10 Broad Jumps (5 in one direction and 5 back)

5 Beach Ball Pike ups

10 Beach Ball Pushups

 What you do: The only “equipment” you need for this workout are things you’d likely already have at the beach with you such as a beach ball and beach towel. Set a timer and cycle through the sequence 5 times. Once you finish your final beach ball pushup, check the timer for your “score”.  

Why it works: Ready to kick your Tough Mudder training up a notch? Using just body-weight movements and a fun rep-sequence, this workout will slowly get your heart rate going and test your endurance. CrossFit Coach, Pilates Instructor, and Co-owner of Drovarfit, Desiree Davar, recommends really focusing on form. “For the overhead squats, roll up a beach towel, grab each end and perform an overhead squat being sure to keep your torso straight even as your butt goes back. When you drop down into a squat, drop below parallel, keep your weight in your heels and then press your knees out as you stand back up. For the broad jumps, jump as far as you can landing softly in a squat. For the beach ball pike ups begin by placing your feet and shins on the ball behind you, then place your hands directly under your shoulders. Lift your hips into a pike position (or a V) using your abs and return to laying flat. Finally, for the bach ball pushups, you are going to place your feet and shins on the beach ball behind you, place your hands directly under your shoulders, and lower your chest to the sand”.