Tough Mudder training - Week 1 - Standby Productions

Tough Mudder training – Week 1

“We’re here for four week training. Or beat up, as we used to call it in the forces.”

Beat-up definitely seems a very fitting turn of phrase if the past week has been anything to go by! On the weekend of the 17th and 18th November, Tough Mudder will be taking place in Cholmondeley, Cheshire. Having filmed the previous UK event up in Scotland earlier this year, Director Simon felt compelled to get his hands dirty, and jump on the other side of the assault course. Billed as “probably the toughest event on the planet”, Tough Mudder is a hardcore 12 mile-long obstacle course designed by the Special Forces. No simple walk in the park! There was of course a much more charitable reason for getting involved, with the event being sponsored by Help For Heroes, and the opportunity to raise both funds and awareness for a great cause.

With this in mind, Simon began talking to Chris Clarke, personal trainer and owner of F2K Health and Fitness in Didsbury. Having already worked together on a number of projects (some of which can be seen here on the Standby website: training film), they decided to not only enlist themselves into the event, but also put together a team that would train for the event, before eventually taking part together. Thus, team Didsbury Virgin Mudders (#DidsburyVirginMudders) was born, and the Virgin Mudder’s Training Diary began.

The idea behind it was simple, to each week film the team as they trained together in the early hours of the morning. With the decision made that the sessions would begin at half 6, everyone would have to drag themselves out of bed long before the sun rose. At the first training session, everyone’s face seemed to be showing the strain of the early start, with baggy eyes and craggy faces across the board (which extended to the standby crew who were there to film). The first session had Chris putting everyone through their paces, easing them into what is sure to be a much more punishing routine in the weeks to come. In a move possibly designed to inspire, but more likely designed to terrify, Chris arrived decked out as a drill sergeant (which is generally not how he dresses when training at the gym). From there a twenty minute session began, which involved a lot of getting down low on the ground and in the mud. Even cameraman Ashley’s jeans were caked in it come the end.

A second session followed at the end of the first week, taking place in the F2K gym. With the workload increased, everybody found the going much more tough. It’s clear now that the honeymoon period is over, and that the real work is just beginning. At least there’s always breakfast, as the Virgin Mudder crew have gone for breakfast and coffee together in Didsbury following the first two sessions. The perfect way to recover from a busy morning, to prepare for an even busier day ahead!

Graphic designer Tom Davies, another member of team Didsbury Virgin Mudder has been working closely with Chris Clarke over the past few months in designing a new website for Chris as a Personal Trainer. A dedicated page on this is called The Wall, where people will be able to upload photos, films and tweets of themselves training and pushing themselves through ‘the wall’, all done via Twitter.


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