Maniac Monday Workout: The “45-45”

A few things inspired this workout…During the week, I typically substitute my lunch hour for a mud run training session at NYSC, which means I have to get-in, hit my workout, and get-out and back to work in under an hour. I’m also in my final weeks leading up to my first GORUCK Challenge on December 10 and the World’s Toughest Mudder event on December 17th. To prepare for these challenges, I’ve been trying to push the envelope with both the physical and mental elements of my training.

In many ways the “45-45” is more of a challenge than a workout. The idea is simple, balanced, adaptable, and focused on three main goals…

The “45-45”

In many ways the “45-45” is more of a challenge than a workout. The idea is simple, balanced, adaptable, and focused on three main goals:

  • Challenge your body.
  • Challenge your mind.
  • Get in-and-out of the gym in under an hour.

What you need:

  • 45-pound gripper plate
  • 45 minutes

To complete the workout:

  • Set your timer for 45 minutes.
  • Pick up your 45-pound plate and start your timer.
  • Complete as many exercises/reps as possible for the entire 45 minutes without letting the plate hit the ground.

Easy, right? Sure, the concept is a piece of cake, but within simplicity there is depth. Repeating the same exercise is boring and will wear your muscles out fast. To complete this workout successfully, you will need to mix things up by working different muscle groups. To really get the benefits of the 45-45, be sure to work-in explosive movements such as swings, squat presses, and box jumps, and cardiovascular exercises like sprints, crab-walks and step-ups. Stick to the goals to challenge your body and mind by getting creative with your exercise variety. When you hit an exercise, use proper form and hit your reps hard. Whatever you do, don’t stop…keep moving. If you get stumped for an exercise, do some single-hand farmer’s carries to give your grip strength some extra work or raise the plate over your head and pace the floor while you figure out what to do next.  And, at all costs…do not let the plate hit the ground!

Here’s a list of exercises that I use, but feel free to add your own as you see fit:

  • bench jumps
  • bench press
  • bent-over rows
  • bicep curls
  • box jumps
  • crab walks (rest plate on thighs)
  • deadlifts
  • double-hand plate swings
  • incline press
  • jump lunges
  • leg extensions (rest plate on shins over towel)
  • long jumps
  • overhead press
  • shoulder raises
  • shrugs
  • side-bends
  • single-hand plate swings
  • single-hand rows
  • single-leg deadlifts
  • sit-ups
  • sprints
  • squat press
  • squat/shoulder raise combo
  • squats
  • step-ups
  • tricep extensions (standing skull-crushers)
  • twists
  • walking lunges

Kettle bell variation: “44-44” = 20kg (44-pound) kettle bell for 44 minutes

Easier variation: “35-35” = 35 pound plate for 35 minutes

Need a more maniacal workout?

For an added challenge with each set aim to hit 45 reps or hold your position for 45 seconds.

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

How did you mix up your 45/45 workout? What exercises did you use? How many exercises/reps did you complete? Any other thoughts or variations?


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.

5 comments… add one
  • Dennis Dec 5, 2011, 7:54 am

    I suffer from the same time crunch for my workouts. I like doing the total body circuit training style of workouts to fit everything in. I’ll be giving this a shot. Thanks!

    • Mud Run Maniac Mud Run Maniac Dec 6, 2011, 7:44 am

      Hey Dennis,

      Thanks for the comments. Try this with kettle bells also, which make it a little easier to transition between exercises and will give you a greater range. 18kg is about 40lbs…so try 40lbs/40 mins.

      Keep Mudding!

  • Dean Dec 5, 2011, 7:29 pm

    Hi Paul,
    I’m just getting back to the gym so I adapted and diid a 25/25 version combo with a 10 min stretch and 10 min abs. The nonstop pace out felt great, thank for the suggestions.

    • Mud Run Maniac Mud Run Maniac Dec 6, 2011, 7:55 am

      Hi Dean,

      I totally agree on the pace…and you can really kick it up or turn it down depending on your time constraints and conditioning. If you only have 20 min or so, you might consider adapting this into a Tabata workout without putting the plate down:

      Do the following 4 times (4 different exercises):
      X8 of 20 sec interval as hard as you can/10 sec interval rest (hold plate)
      Rest 2 min (hold plate above head)

      This should take you 24 minutes.


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