How an endurance athlete prepares for extreme assault course race Tough Mudder: CrossCore180

Balance Performance has worked with the people of Clapham, Stockwell, Brixton, Balham and Tooting for over a decade now. We have developed an affinity with the endurance athlete community based on our expertise dealing with their avoidable overuse injuries and also with combat athletes, dancers and other performance artists based on our awareness and teaching of quality movement programmes to increase resilience, performance and prevent injury.

Written below you will find how one ultramarathon runner, Warren Pole, had to add strength and powerful movement abilities to his endurance to complete the Tough Mudder: extreme assault course race for Men’s Fitness:

Warren Pole competing in Mudder Extreme Assault Course Race


As an ultramarathon runner and long distance triathlete I’m fine with endurance but as weak as a kitten when it comes to explosive speed or upper body strength, so when Men’s Fitness asked me to race the Tough Mudder (a 12-mile extreme assault course race in the US) for a feature I knew I had some training to do!

Traveling extensively for work and having an irregular schedule to say the least, the gym is not an ideal solution for me. Also, I wanted functional, agile strength rather than just muscle – 50-100 mile mountain ultramarathons are still my key focus so bulking up was not what I wanted.

Then I stumbled across the War Machine [also known as CrossCore180]. It looked absolutely perfect. Small enough to travel with, simple enough to fit in my garage for use any time I had half an hour spare. Jonathan at Balance was brilliant in teaching me how to use the kit, and for the next six weeks before the Tough Mudder I set to work.

It was a revelation, building the functional, flexible strength I lacked and being really enjoyable into the bargain thanks to Jonathan’s inspiring instruction. Combined with circuit training in the local park (hill sprints, burpees, bench dips, etc) this was the ideal training set up for what I needed.

The result was I left for the Tough Mudder feeling better physically than I ever have.

Now the War Machine is an integral part of my fitness, helping me build a stronger, more flexible and more resilient platform for this year’s programme of mountain ultras. As well as this, taking up so little space it also means there’s plenty of room in my garage for the drum kit my wife has been wanting for years. All I need now is some earplugs.

To find out more about the CrossCore180 and how Rotational Bodyweight Training can benefit you contact Jonathan at Balance Performance and discover where and with who in the UK/Ireland you can try it out with. 02076272308.

For more on the Tough Mudder Race series, created by former British Soldiers, which you can now run in the UK go to

To see stacks of videos and understand what CrossCore® Rotational Bodyweight Training™ is about go to the CrossCore USA YouTube Channel. I suggest you start here though as Brendan Cosso, creator of the War Machine, demonstrates some of the possibilities using CrossCore180.

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