If you want to challenge yourself physically and want something a bit different from the average marathon or workout routine, then the following exercise programs and challenges are for you. These extreme workout challenges are meant to bring even the most well conditioned athletes to the breaking point. Simply completing these athletic challenges is a feat, attracting athletes and workout enthusiasts from across the globe to participate in these extreme fitness challenges.
Most Extreme Workout Challenges In The World
We bring you 12 of the most extreme workout challenges that have humbled some of the best athletes for years. But you don’t have to be a pro athlete in order to partake, for a modest entry fee you can try these fitness challenges for yourself. See if you would have what it takes to compete with the best in the world!
12. The Suck
Named after the most popular phrase uttered by participants, “this sucks!” It is also said to be named The Suck after the famous US Marine cry of, “Suck it up Marine!” This event lasts between 24 and 48 hours, a brutal test of endurance, strength and mental strength. Pre-set tasks are laid out and run immediately one after another, non-stop for the entire duration.
Expect to carry heavy objects over extremely long distances, hiking for hours weighted down with gear, swimming fully clothed and much much more. You will be cold, wet and exhausted by the end of this challenge, if you make it. This extreme workout challenge goes above and beyond physical capabilities of the participants, testing them mentally as well.
11. The Goruck Challenge
The Goruck Challenge is hosted all across the United States and selected countries abroad. It is run by an elite team of military professionals who try to bestow a sense of what it is like to run an operation. Emphasizing teamwork above all else, regardless of your physical prowess, it is about the team and helping those around you strive to do their very best.
Extreme physical challenges that force teams to work together and unite as one, this fitness challenge is worthy of Special Op’s training and is rarely seen outside of the military. You will test your body in every way, and bond with your fellow crew members.
Let these military cadre’s push you to your limit, and then some. Their goal is to make you hate them and love them at the same time. By the end you will have a new sense of self and a group of 29 new family members who you will have shared an experience with that is found only in the most exclusive military groups.
10. The Spartan Death Race
This death race is said to be one of the most extreme challenges you will ever face. If you want to step it up another notch, you can sign up for the Spartan Death Race in the winter.
It is designed to be absolutely insane, throwing unexpected twists your way constantly over a 48 hour challenge. They say 90% of participants will not complete this test consisting of endurance races, mud runs, obstacle racing and trail racing. Testing you physically and mentally.
This is supposed to be among the most extreme workout challenges you could put yourself through. Designed to break you down and bring you to the brink of death by pushing your body and mind to the absolute limit. If this doesn’t sound extreme enough, give the Winter Death Race a shot, where you will be dropped into the middle of a Vermont winter to complete the Death Race.
9. The Furnace Creek 508
An extreme endurance bicycle race that has been put on since 1983. The Furnace Creek 508 is 48 hours of the toughest biking you will do. A 508 mile race over some of the toughest and most beautiful terrain. It has the reputation of being one of the toughest and most gratifying races you will ever come across.
Spanning 508 miles, the course has an elevation gain of 35,000 feet, spanning ten mountain passes and stretching across the mojave desert, through Death Valley National Park. You can choose to do this grueling endurance test solo or run a relay with a team of 2 or 4.
This ultra-endurance event is put on by AdventureCORPS, a group known for putting on some of the most extreme endurance tests in the world. Originally founded by John Marino, this great American bike race will push you to the absolute limit while offering some of the greatest scenery in a 508 mile span.
8. The Badwater Ultramarathon
Another event put on by AdventureCORPS, the Badwater Ultramarathon is 135 miles of non-stop running from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney. Said to be one of the most demanding and extreme running races anywhere on the planet. Starting 280 feet below sea level and finishing 8,300 feet above, this extreme workout challenge pits you against three mountain ranges which tests you with 13,000 feet of cumulative ascent and 4,700 feet of cumulative descent.
Not only is this one of the most extreme running challenges available anywhere in the world, it is one of the most scenic and gratifying experiences if you are an extreme runner. Truly a world class event that attracts marathon runners from across the world to participate in this illustrious race. Simply participating in the Badwater Ultramarathon puts you in an elite class that few people are in. You will be rewarded with breathtaking scenery and numerous landmarks that makes this Death Valley stretch so attractive.
7. The Race Across America
Having been around for over 30 years, the Race Across America is an event that puts cyclists to the test. A 3000 mile race starting in Oceanside, California, and ending in Annapolis, Maryland. You can participate in the Race Across America solo or join as a team.
This epic and extreme cycling challenge is an international attraction and has become one of the best platforms to raise money for charitable causes. Spanning across 12 states, with approximately 170,000 feet of climbing, this cycling event is no doubt among the most prestigious in the world. Whether you are an amateur cyclist or a professional, running solo or in a relay team of up to 8 people, everyone can participate and test their endurance by joining The Race Across America.
6. Tough Mudder
The Tough Mudder event is a hardcore obstacle course that raises money for the Wounded Warrior Project. Having raised over 6 million dollars for the cause so far, it is a great way to test yourself physically and mentally while raising money for a great cause.
Highlighting camaraderie and teamwork, Tough Mudder challenges athletes across the nation. A new challenge that was born out of the need for a new extreme workout challenge that wasn’t boring like a marathon, not too serious like most extreme challenges and to provide a solo event that still placed an importance of teamwork.
Tough Mudder workout challenges are found in countless cities across the globe, raising money for a great cause and becoming a household name in fitness challenges. It is more than a fitness challenge, it is a fun event that will ensure you will be smiling from ear to ear the entire time while pushing your body to the limit.
5. Ragnar Relays
You can join the “Ragnar Nation” by participating in the overnight relay running challenge known as the Ragnar Relay. In a team of 12 or a “Ultra Team” of 6, you will be running approximately 200 miles day and night relay style.
Each participant runs a total of 3 times, each leg ranges between 3 miles and 8 miles. Whether you are a novice running or a professional, this is a great race for anyone to bring together either 5 or 11 friends and cheer each other on and test your endurance. Each team needs 2 van’s to carry runners between legs. Think of it as an extreme relay combined with a small road trip for you and your team. Started in 2004, this 24+ hour relay will put you to the test and bring your team together with a fun event you will remember forever.
4. Devil Dash
Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride. The 7 deadly sins that this extreme workout challenge is modeled after. A 5 kilometer running race that pits the participants against elaborate obstacles that test them physically and mentally.
This fitness challenge is as fun and exciting as it is difficult. Crawl through the mud, conquer cargo net obstacles and even jump over a river of fire. The Devil Dash is an all day event that concludes with a party complete with beer and live music.
A workout event that combines showmanship with an extreme physical test. One of the most elaborate physical events in America, whether you participate or simply spectate, the Devil Dash is a must see for any workout enthusiast.
3. Pike’s Peak Ascent
A run that starts like any other. After the first turn however it becomes a grueling marathon that brings even the most accomplished runners to their knees. In 10 miles you will have climbed about 6,000 vertical feet. Putting your muscles, lungs, heart and mind to the test. Another 2,000 vertical feet over 3 miles really puts the participants to the test though. It is one of America’s ultimate challenges.
Nearing the end of the run most people only cover about a mile in 30 minutes, many take much longer than this. The lack of oxygen leaves the runners staggering along the track gasping for air and struggling through each and every step.
Pike’s Peak Ascent is the ultimate challenge for runners. If you do manage to reach the top, you then get to turn back and begin the second half of this marathon. Leaving the desolate oxygen depleted peaks, through the sprinkling of snow back down to the warmer temperatures of the starting line. No matter how prepared you think you may be for this run, it will most certainly put you to the test, only the most dedicated will finish. Can you make the ascent?
2. Rugged Maniac
Men’s Journal calls Rugged Maniac “one of the best obstacles races in the country.” A perfect balance between fun and fitness. Proved to participants upon entry, where they will get a t-shirt, race photo’s and a beer (if their over 21).
A 5 kilometer obstacle race with 20+ obstacles that will test your physicality and leave you exhausted by the end. Climb 20 foot walls, slide down 100 foot water slides and crawl through tunnels of mud with thousands of other maniacs. Thousands of people enter this obstacle race, but they limit it to 300 people per wave to prevent overcrowding.
While you wait to enter the course you can enjoy the party they put on. Featuring live music, mechanical bulls, muddy tug-o-war and even an adult sized bouncy house. Enjoy the food, the drinks, the fun and finish it all off with a challenging and thrilling obstacle course. Release your inner maniac!
1. Adventure Xstream Series
Tired of marathon runs? Are mud runs and traditional obstacle courses just not extreme enough for you? Well this may be the most extreme workout challenge you could hope for. The Adventure Xstream Series is a multi-event course that will put you through either 25 or 50 miles of extreme fun and physical stress.
Going above and beyond running, cycling and other typical fitness challenge events. If you decide to participate in the Adventure Xstream Series you will be rappelling, kayaking through whitewater rapids, spelunking, river-boarding, mountain biking, and more. You will get lost, you will question whether you have what it takes to finish the course, and you will undergo an extreme test of physicality and mental strength.
Take your fitness to the next level and pit yourself against the elements. This is an unforgettable experience that only the most extreme fitness enthusiasts will complete. Take your fitness to the Xstream.
Do You Have What It Takes?
If you want to see if you have what it takes to complete some of the most extreme workout challenges the world has to offer, visit their websites and see where you can sign up.
Did we miss any fitness challenges or events that you think should have made the list? Let us know in the comments below. Let others know about these fitness events and we may highlight them in a future article.