Arctic Enema is the marmite of Tough Mudder obstacles. It’s the one people love to hate. This obstacle doesn’t care if you have all the upper body strength of an olympic gymnast, or the power in your legs of a professional rugby player. This one is all about personal courage and being mentally prepared as you plunge into the biggest ice bath you’ll ever come across. You may be wondering how we can help you prepare for this and how to train for Arctic Enema. Well, it’s not quite the home workout you might be expecting but check out these tips and tricks that will make you the envy of Mudder Nation when you style out that obstacle photo.
PREPARATION IS KEY
Ever been in the shower and just stood under the hot running water for 5 minutes without moving? It feels good right? Well, next time try turning down that temperature gauge and doing the same thing with cold water. Don’t worry we aren’t expecting you to use freezing cold water for the full 5 minutes, but try gradually turning down the dial so you get used to it as you go.
As well as good preparation for Arctic Enema, there’s also scientifically proven benefits for doing this. Taking a cold shower can make a person feel more alert and increase metabolism so gets the body set up for the day ahead. It can boost your mood as it activates endorphin transmitters, and studies have also proven that cold showers can help with muscle recovery and pain reduction.
WHAT THE F…UDGE?
Believe it or not, dropping the ‘F-bomb’ might actually help with your performance in Arctic Enema. We’re not even joking. There is actual science that proves it.
A study by Keele University determined that swearing has a ‘pain-lessening effect’ and can increase physical performance. In one study they asked 64 volunteers to submerge their hand in, yep you’ve guessed it, ice water for as long as possible whilst repeating a swear word of their choice. They repeated the experiment without using a swear word and results showed that the volunteers were able to keep their hand submerged for longer when swearing. Too f*cking right.
We suggest you find a quiet space, away from sensitive ears and let it rip. Practise all those swear words ready for taking the plunge into Arctic Enema.
ICE ICE BABY
You can’t prepare for Arctic Enema without ice making an appearance somewhere. This is where you need to channel your inner obstacle design guru, get creative and get cracking (that is unless you have an empty skip somewhere).
First of all, you need to think about what vessels you have available. It could be as simple as filling up the bath, or slightly more adventurous; why not clean your wheelie bin and use that?
For those with outside space, do you have a slide and paddling pool to recreate the entire obstacle experience?
Now that’s solved, we need to think about how to fill your obstacle:
Option one: If you’re anything like us during lockdown, you’ll have made approximately 15 billion more trips than normal to the fridge and freezer every day in an attempt to find snacks to keep you going. With this increase in activity, you’re probably looking at an excessive ice build up too. Not only can you use this to your Arctic Enema training advantage, you can also tick off a household chore at the same time. Win-win. Time to defrost that freezer, but save those mini icebergs and water to put to good use.
Option two: Get all those novelty ice-cube trays you’ve randomly collected over the years, fill them up and get them in the freezer pronto.
Time to fill your chosen vessel. Don’t be tempted by the hot tap, you’ll only be cheating yourself. Add anything that comes from the freezer and once sufficiently full get ready to take the plunge. Take a deep breath, count to three and go for it. All or nothing, no second thoughts. You’re welcome.