Maniac Monday Workout: Four-Sport Tabata

Need a mud run training change?

Tired of bear crawls, burpees and pull-ups? Looking for a fresh way to hit your sprints away from the treadmill? In today’s Maniac Monday Mud Run Training Workout, we’re going to shake things up a bit by borrowing some drills from a few different sports, all of which you can do on your own without weights or kettle bells. Really, you can mimic virtually any drill from any sport and build it into an exciting interval mud run training session. Today we’ll borrow from four – wrestling, football, baseball and kickboxing – for a killer Tabata workout.

The Tabata Method:

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is great for burning fat and building endurance through short, intense cardiovascular workouts. One highly regarded HIIT method is known as the Tabata Method or Tabata Interval Training. Generally, Tabata intervals follow this structure:

  • 20 seconds (sprint interval) – as hard as you can
  • 10 seconds – rest or low-intensity
  • Repeat 8 times.

There’s no secret to gaining the benefits from a Tabata workout. When it comes right down to it, you just have to push your body as hard as you can for the 20 second sprint interval. If you are doing reps, the same idea applies, just hit as many reps as you can muster in the 20 second period. Remember, it’s only 4 minutes of each exercise, so hit your sprint intervals hard!

Check out this site for more info on the Tabata Protocol.

The Four-Sport Tabata

What you need:

Not much…

  • A stopwatch or Tabata timer app.
  • An open field of some kind.
  • A mat or grass.
  • A bench or step is great, but not totally necessary.

The Workout:

Complete 8 repetitions of 20 seconds on/10 seconds rest of each exercise.

  • Wrestling: Sprawl Drill (left hip/right hip)
  • Football: Running Back Stumble Drill (left hand touch/right hand touch)
  • Baseball: Round the Bases Drill (start first-base line/start third-base line)
  • Kickboxing: Knee-Hook-Uppercut Drill (left side/right side)
Maniac Bonus: Add 3-5 mile trail run.

How to:

  • Wrestling – Sprawl Drill: AKA: the “Up-Down”. The Up-Down is probably one of the most practiced drills by wrestlers throughout the world. The idea is to protect your leg when your opponent is about to reach for it by shooting it back behind you or “sprawling.” Start by jogging in place. Drop to your right hip, then explosively push-off the ground with both hands to recover to the starting position. Repeat with your left hip and continue to alternate for 20 seconds.
  • Football – Running Back Stumble Drill: This is a great way to learn to maintain your balance on the mud run trail. The idea is to keep yourself upright by posting a hand while you switch the ball to the opposite hand. You can do this with or without a football. Start by carrying your imaginary rock in your right hand, step forward and post your left hand to the ground. As you take your next step, switch the football to your right left hand and post your right hand on the ground. As you perfect the movement, increase your speed. Repeat this for 20 seconds – around 80-100 yards.
  • Baseball – Round the Bases: This is a really fun way to practice sprints and the sharp constant turning is sure to give your legs and lungs a solid burn. Pretty self-explanatory, just remember to widen your turns before you hit each base. Change direction for each 20 second interval.
  • Kickboxing – Knee-Hook-Uppercut: Hopefully you won’t be throwing knees, hooks and uppercuts at your next mud run, but using martial arts in your interval training is a fun way to mix things up. I borrowed this one from Tony Horton’s P90X workout and tossed in a step for an added level of difficulty. To perform: step-up with your right foot, lean back and draw your left knee up then plant your left leg on the ground, step your right foot down, then throw a left hook followed by a right uppercut. Switch feet and repeat.

Mud Run Maniac wants to know what you think of this workout…

Do you practice the Tabata Method or another form of HIIT and/or do you mix in other sports in your mud run training?

Meet the Author

Mud Run Maniac
Mud Run Maniac

I'm the proud owner of, specializing in mud run training and tips! The mud run community is growing fast and I’ve made it my responsibility to keep you up-to-date on the latest and greatest mud running topics.

4 comments… add one
  • Trey Crowe of Trey Nov 22, 2011, 9:26 pm

    Sounds like the longest 16 minutes of my life….I love it! I’m definitely going to give it a try soon.

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