Neelima Joshi is a fan of gyms featuring “boot camp” workouts that emphasize high-intensity interval training. She’s enjoyed great results, she prefers being led through workouts rather than figuring it out on her own in a weight-and-cardio gym, and the short-duration high-intensity workouts fit her busy schedule.
“I need a trainer to tell me what to do,” said Joshi, 41. “I have children, I have a husband, I work. It’s nice to have someone tell me what to do in 45 minutes, to get it done, I don’t have to think about it and I move on with my day.”
After moving to Denver recently from Chicago, she wasn’t crazy about the boot camp options she found here. Then she tried Denver’s new Tough Mudder Bootcamp gym, which had a soft opening a month ago and will have a grand opening on Saturday. She became a fan.
“This facility is beautiful,” Joshi said this week after a 45-minute workout at the facility on East Colfax near City Park. “In the middle of my workout I was looking out the windows. My other facility had very small windows, it was in a high rise, it was just a very urban facility. This is beautiful, it’s new, it’s clean, the colors are gorgeous, the bathrooms are really clean. They have everything you need.”
Millions of fitness-minded people who prefer to enhance their endurance challenges with camaraderie and fun have participated in Tough Mudder obstacle-course events around the world since 2010. Now Tough Mudder is diversifying by franchising boot camp gyms around the country. The Denver facility is the fourth, with others located in Boston, Las Vegas and Houston. Brian Anglin, who owns the Denver gym, said Tough Mudder envisions 12 locations across the metro area.
“We’re trying to bring the ethos of Tough Mudder — teamwork, camaraderie, everyone accomplishes something fun — inside the gym space,” Anglin said. “That teamwork aspect is one of the biggest things that sets us apart from others. We’re trying to get people working with each other, to interact with each other. It creates motivation and accountability.”
Tough Mudder events are endurance races with obstacles that include wall climbs, muddy crawls in tight spaces, electrical shocks, rope swings, hanging challenges and other features some might consider fiendish but Tough Mudders seem to enjoy. Colorado Tough Mudder events are scheduled Aug. 10-11 at Sterling Ranch near Chatfield Reservoir (three event types, offered both days), with events at 20 other U.S. locations this year.
Tough Mudder Bootcamps aren’t intended just for Tough Mudders, though. It’s spin-off business for Tough Mudder aimed at the same market segment that has made Orange Theory so prolific, with more than 30 Colorado locations and hundreds worldwide.
There are six “formats” in the standardized Tough Mudder Bootcamp regime, so members can go multiple times without doing the same workout. The emphasis is on functional fitness.
“We’re getting you fit for whatever you want to accomplish in life,” Anglin said. “We don’t care if you’re running a Tough Mudder or not. We just want to make sure that the fitness things you want to accomplish, we will help you do that.”
The goal is to increase strength, power, agility and endurance with short periods of high-intensity work punctuated by brief recoveries. Joe Pacheco tried it one day last month and said he’d been back every day since.
“I just like the high energy, the high intensity,” said Pacheco, 46. “It’s a lot in a small amount of time, but it’s a good full-body workout. And I like the group aspect of it. It gives you some more motivation. Like if I see someone doing something faster than me, or somebody who may not be as in shape do their best, and have a similar goal.”