Strength Training Program for Obstacle and Mud Races | STACK Fitness

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Training for Mud Runs, Part 2: Strength Workout

February 27, 2013 | Rob DeCillis

Must See Running Videos

In my previous article, I discussed the need to set up a training schedule for your obstacle course race. In this segment, I explain how to create a total-body strength workout that will prepare you for the rigors of obstacles and mud.

Before you start, you need to consider the different athletic attributes you will need to complete the race, including jumping, climbing, running, changing direction, crawling and others. You have to train each of these attributes in order to successfully complete the course—hopefully in a short time.

For the two strength training days on the schedule, exercise selection is critical. It's important to perform lifts that engage several muscles and joints at the same time, to build maximum strength in the movements you will use on the course. Great exercises include Deadlifts, Squats, Overhead Presses, Rows and Olympic lifts.

Also, you should perform bodyweight exercises so you learn how to control your own weight and build your muscular endurance. These include Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, Dips, Inverted Rows and Burpees, as well as animal movements like Bear Crawls and Frog Hops.

Full-Body Strength Workout for Obstacle Course Race

This workout will build your strength, improve your conditioning and help you perform at your peak in your obstacle course race.

Dynamic Warm-Up

Animal Movements

Trap Bar Deadlift: 5x3 and Push-Ups: 5x20

Single-Arm DB Press: 3x3 and Pull-Ups: 3x8-10

Kettlebell Front Squats: 3x8

Inverted Rows: 3x12 and Hanging Knee Raises: 3x10

Perform the grouped compound and bodyweight exercises in superset fashion. This not only will increase your strength, but will elevate your heart rate to improve your conditioning.


Rob DeCillis
- Rob DeCillis got his start in the strength and conditioning world in 2006, when he had the opportunity to train an IFL heavyweight fighter. After...
Rob DeCillis
- Rob DeCillis got his start in the strength and conditioning world in 2006, when he had the opportunity to train an IFL heavyweight fighter. After...
Must See
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 4,419,112
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,083,698
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,797,513

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 297,020
Add Core Power for Basketball With Damian Lillard's Med Ball Throws Views: 4,255,927
Path to the Pros 2015: The Journey Begins Views: 28,363
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Pick The Right Running Partner (The First Time)

The Most Effective Form of Endurance Training

How to Prepare for the Spartan Race and Other Mud Runs

The Obstacle Course Racer's Guide to Fixing Muscle Cramps

Tired of Tiring During Runs? Try These Jogging Pace Drills

Weight Training for Runners: 3 Full-Body Moves

How to Design a Running Schedule That Fits Your Life

How to Control Your Breathing During an Obstacle Race

The Exercise Every Runner Must Do

Be Ready to Run a 5K in 6-8 Weeks

Training for Mud Runs, Part 4: Long Trail Runs

How to Start Your Barefoot Leg Workout

Hunter McIntyre Rises Above the Competition

8-Week Spartan Beast Training Program

The Nature and Nurture of Running for Fitness

5 Keys and A Workout Plan for An Awesome 5K

Maximize Your Trail Running

Runners: Don't Overlook These 2 Types of Training

The Only 2 Running Diet Rules You Need to Know

3 Things You Must Do Before Trying Minimalist Running Shoes

Learn the Secrets of Tapering

Are You Ready for a Tough Mudder?

8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Ran My First Marathon

Running Away From GI Distress: Symptoms, Causes And Tips

You're Doing It Wrong: Running

Why Jogging Is Counterproductive

An Introduction to Strength Training for Runners

STACK Challenge: Army Two-Mile Run

Foolproof 20-Week Marathon Training Schedule

Get Geared Up for the Wall Jump Obstacle

7-Year Old Triathlete Sets 5K Record

Off-Season Triathlon Training Tips and Workout Program

Ultramarathon Runner Stephanie Howe's 7 Training Secrets

Guide to Common Running Terminology

7 Endurance Tips From Ultramarathon Runner Ian Sharman

Don't Choke on Race Day: Tips to Run a Better Race

4 Running Form Fixes for Beginners

4 Biggest 5K Training Mistakes

Running Tips for True Beginners

6 5K Tips for a Great Running Experience

7 Tips to Help First-Time Marathoners Avoid Common Mistakes

Are You Ready for the Arctic Enema?