Training for Tough Mudder – Bronco’s Journey

Sarah MacLeod

· General

As some of you may have seen through our social channels, Bronco have put together a team to take part in the Yorkshire Tough Mudder Half on 29th of July. We’re doing this for a cause that, for us as a company, is really close to our hearts. We’ll be raising money for The Jett Pack and Muscular Dystrophy UK.

What is The Jett Pack?

Jett - The Jett Pack
Jett – The Jett Pack

Jett is 5 years old and a local Ripon lad. When he was 18 months old, he was diagnosed with Becker Muscular Dystrophy. He suffers pain and stiffness, with periods of excessive discomfort. Despite this, Jett is an incredibly fun little man who is full of life and giggles. We’ve had the pleasure of getting Jett over to the office for birthday and Christmas celebrations, where he entertained us with his singing and guitar twanging, making us all smile.

The Jett Pack raises funds for Muscular Dystrophy UK who tirelessly research Jett’s condition, whilst some funding is set aside to pay for specialist equipment Jett will need as his condition develops. In time, a motorised wheelchair will be required, as well as alterations to the family home to enable Jett to live with dignity and independence.

Bronco Mudders Training

When Becky suggested we entered the Tough Mudder Half, uptake was impressive, and the group now consists of 16 ‘Mudders’. The team consists not only of staff, but also friends of Bronco and kids too!

Mudder Becky Mastering the Art of Mountain Climbers
Mudder Becky Mastering the Art of Mountain Climbers

You’d be inclined to think that, because of the Bronco gym, the team taking part would find training a breeze…

Unfortunately, not.

From week 1 on the 22nd March, PT Dave ‘Robbo’ Robinson was truly ruthless, taking no prisoners in his quest to make us fit enough to survive the daunting obstacles that the team will face in July.

Week one’s work out consisted of 30 seconds of each exercise, back to back, completing a total if 4 rounds of the following:


Air Squats

High Knees


Jump Squats

Alternative Lunges

Mountain Climbers

It wasn’t just a challenge for the Mudders though. How did PT Robbo manage to transform a team of sedentary office dwellers into a group fit enough to conquer the course?

To turn I.T and media gurus, exceptional in their own field, into Tough Mudder Warriors was no mean feat! For me pushing them all through tough physical conditioning sessions was the biggest challenge, making them believe they can do another rep or another set when they were tired and hurting was a big challenge, in turn building trust in me as an instructor.

It would have been easy to make the fitness sessions too hard and risk losing them!

After the first session, days of extremely stiff legs followed, with Mudders undoubtedly questioning their commitment to the cause. As Mudder Matt ‘Baby Rhino’ Barnes recalls:

Matt 'Baby Rhino' Barnes Feels the Burn
Matt ‘Baby Rhino’ Barnes Feels the Burn

The plyometric work involved in week 1 left many legs in tatters and tested our aerobic ability. The transition to the second week therefore felt extremely daunting and had me questioning whether I would be able to keep up, bearing in mind my legs were still recovering from the previous session.

That said, I was well prepared for the second week mentally, knowing what to expect.

This workout was continued for the following 3 weeks, with rest between sets continuously dropping until the Mudders’ lungs were close to bursting.

A Change of Pace

PT Robbo, keen to keep us on our toes and push our fitness to another level, decided that after 4 of the above routine, it was time for a change. In mid April, the Mudders began a brutal lung buster of a body weight circuit, which consisted of 5 rounds of the following exercises, all lasting 30 seconds, back to back:

Jump Squats

Lay Push Up

Air Squats

High Knees

V Sit Ups

Alternative Lunges

Mountain Climbers

As the weeks went by, the team saw rest between sets drop from 1 short minute to 30 seconds. At this point, benefits were being reaped. Not only was our cardiovascular fitness improving, we were getting physically stronger, too – handy for all those obstacles that lie ahead in July!

Building Mudder Muscle

The Bronco Mudders Make Sure They Leave Enough Energy To Strike A Pose Post Workout
The Bronco Mudders Make Sure They Leave Enough Energy To Strike A Pose Post Workout

May brought another change of routine, with a bigger focus on strength to get us up and over the seemingly impossible obstacles such as The Block Ness Monster, The Pyramid Scheme, and of course, Everest 2.0. PT Robbo decided it was time to bring in stations to combine our cardio fitness with strength work:


Kettle Swings

Mountain Climbers


Dip Machine

Lat Pull Downs

Straight Leg Lift

Lay Down Row

These stations were to be completed in 40 seconds, with 20 seconds rest between each. In that 20 seconds, we were required to move onto the next station and set up our weights and positioning, ensuring that those seconds didn’t feel like much rest at all!

As the workouts show, the past 4 months have been no walk in the park. Of course, injuries came into play as 16 team members with varying levels of fitness tried to keep up with these gruelling workouts. Mudder Dave Naylor, and owner of Bronco, was struck down by a knee injury mid workout, which required 2 weeks rest:

I was pretty devastated when I popped my knee, mainly because the rate we’d been increasing the intensity of the sessions, I was worried that after coming back after 2 weeks out, I’d hold the team back or crash and burn spectacularly. I’m glad to say I didn’t crash and burn spectacularly.

So after months of intense training, how does PT Robbo think we’ve done?

PT Robbo Is All Smiles After Another Tough Session
PT Robbo Is All Smiles After Another Tough Session

Overall Team Bronco has risen to the challenge remarkably well and progression has been fantastic!

From humble fitness beginnings most of the group had moderate to low levels of strength and fitness. Early sessions were very challenging but as the weeks have progressed and the fitness has got tougher the team have coped brilliantly! I think everyone has made a real impact on their aerobic fitness and physical strength!

The team spirit and moral has been incredible! It’s so high! Nobody has moaned or complained about anything, I’m really surprised how week on week the team have been committed to each session. Numbers have remained consistent, I’ve seen a genuine enjoyment and appetite to improve and succeed. It’s getting better every week, moral is high the team is strong and I can’t wait to see how everyone will perform on the day!

We have prepared well, we are tight as a unit and I know we will all pull together and team Bronco will be inspired on the day!

How You Can Help?

Although the training has been a great way for the team to bond together through physical exhaustion and DOMS, we are of course doing this for a great cause: The Jett Pack and Muscular Dystrophy UK. Please spare what you can to our Just Giving page, all donations are very much appreciated!

Google Assistant - 2017

Although the last few months have been extremely difficult, with a lot of nerves leading up to each Wednesday session, the Bronco team aim to continue in order to maintain a strong level of fitness that we have been lucky enough to achieve, with the possibility of more grueling events in the future!

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