“Here we go Mudder Nation, let’s crush it!”
Those are the words that jumpstart every single Tough Mudder T-Minus 30 workout on Openfit, spoken by The Sheriff himself, Hunter McIntyre.
I was approached by Openfit, the subscription application that provides a trove of workouts, ranging from yoga and Pilates, to HIIT and strength training, to try out the Tough Mudder-focused T-Minus 30 program, hosted by OCR/CrossFit/Bulk Pony/Reality Show star, McIntyre. The four-week series of training videos takes you right into the 30-minute workouts, with varying concentrations of strength, endurance, flexibility and obstacle proficiency, to prepare you for a Tough Mudder.
I went through the 30-day program, mostly waking up early to start my day with a nice morning sweat, occasionally firing up one of the challenges if I was unable to hit the gym in the afternoon, or was traveling without access to a gym.
The great thing about the T-Minus 30 program is that it’s available to you at all times of day, whether you’re streaming directly on your web browser, or taking Hunter along with you on the mobile app. When I was home, my Roku fired up in no time to get these workouts going. Hunter doesn’t waste any time when the clock starts. He gets right into the work, and yes, you’re going to work when you start this program.
Workouts are never the same, day-to-day, and they vary in difficulty throughout the 30 days. Week one starts a bit easier when looking through the eyes of a more seasoned fitness enthusiast. The great aspect behind T-Minus 30 is that every move has a modifier, which one of the athletes participating in the video leads. Hunter encourages participants to work hard but listen to their body. There’s no pressure to follow the workout 100% if you’re unable.
As stated earlier in the review, the main goal behind this series is to prepare your body for some of the experiences you’ll have when on the Tough Mudder course. Whether you’re running in place, simulating a kiss of mud crawl, or working your grips and back muscles, Hunter always puts the focus of the workout on where it would help you on the course. It’s a great motivation for those who haven’t run a Tough Mudder before.
Workouts are endurance and/or strength-focused, and alternate daily. On some days, dumbbells will be prescribed, and others, all you’ll need is your body weight. When I initially told Hunter I was going to review this program, he told me to use 25lbs dumbbells. I was skeptical, but the burn was there! Not going to lie… I occasionally dropped down in weight for some of the higher rep portions.
The workouts progress to become more intense as you advance. Yes, week one is more basic, but you’ll still feel accomplished after 30 minutes of Hunter inspiring you with “free high fives,” or other inspiring/odd quotes. “Loose hips sink ships,” “Squeeze it, work it,” and the trademark, “Biceps win races” all make appearances.
Week three definitely makes you think about skipping that afternoon workout, but when week four comes along, Hunter puts it all out there. That’s challenge week, and you learn how functional your few weeks on the program can be. Of course, I won’t go into all of the gritty details, but I can say with confidence, that the Sheriff Abs challenge is one of the more challenging videos, and it’s only 15 minutes! It’s actually in my core workout rotation at least once a week, post-T-Minus 30 graduation.
All in all, it’s a fun program that’s challenging enough to serve as someone’s sole means of working out or something to supplement your OCR training. The cast of supporting athletes featured on the program are all good sports, the entire series has a light and fun attitude, and the program itself is strong and effective.
One aspect to note, however:
There is a concern that the program has overlooked an issue that many Tough Mudder and OCR participants may be dealing with. Throughout many workouts, Hunter references food, as in what he’s going to eat after a race or workout, or what we earned after finishing a 30-minute session “you can eat anything you want after that workout.”
Of course, it is not the intention of the athletes or Hunter to trigger eating disorder anxiety, but there are plenty of people doing this workout who may be suffering from an eating disorder. They’re not working out to earn a cinnamon bun. Truthfully, I wasn’t aware he was doing this until it was brought to my attention by an athlete who has suffered from an eating disorder for more than a decade. This person still did the workouts and has competed in multiple Tough Mudders, but made the suggestion to have future programs consider its audience, especially if they’re going to concentrate on getting new Tough Mudders off the couch!