Toughman 2012: The Results


In the spirit of the 2012 Olympics, I am going to give the results of the 2012 Advanced Training Toughman in the fashion of bronze, silver and gold medalists.


For a full review of each of the 4 events in the Toughman, CLICK HERE.

Bronze Metal



The Bronze Metal is awarded to Arthur Kuyan, who finished all 4 events in 2 minutes and 26 seconds.




This 3rd place finish is a HUGE improvement for Kuyan, as he finished 12th overall in the 2011 Toughman.

To put things in perspective, in 2011 he finished dead last (18th out of 18) in Sliders and 14th in the Prowler Shuttle.

He took longer to finish both of those events in 2011, then he did to complete all 4 events in 2012.

He even went so far as to buy his own pair of sliders to train for this year's Toughman.

Silver Metal




The Silver Medal is awarded to Rob Mulligan, who finished all 4 events in 2 minutes and 13 seconds.



To say this was a HUGE improvement for Rob would be an understatement.

In 2011, Rob actually tapped out of the competition.

Despite finishing 5th overall on The Prowler Shuttle, he was so drained he could not move on to the next event.

Rob was so humiliated by his 2011 performance, he actually went out and bought a prowler of his own.



I am not sure how true this is, but there are rumors floating around that he made his girlfriend train with him on The Prowler the day before the event. To make it worse, they were actually on vacation at the Jersey Shore.


This is not the way to a girl's heart

(This is not actually Rob's girlfriend. Nevertheless, it still bothers me that she is pushing almost the same weight we were.)

Gold Metal



The Gold Medal is awarded to Eric Heedles, who finished with the fastest time of 2 minutes and 12 seconds for all 4 events.


2012 Toughman Champ

Heedles' victory in 2012 should not come as a surprise to too many people.

He finished 5th overall in 2011, and was projected to finish 1st in 2012 during a formalized poll taken by the athletes in Advanced Training.

In addition, he consistently displayed his ability to compete by going 8-0 in the 2012 Challenge.

Unfortunately, I do not have any crazy stories of Eric forcing his grandmother to do farmer's walks or of him performing Sled Drags on Ocean Ave in Belmar.

Simply put, he just worked real hard.

As he puts it,  "It took me 21 years to get this body."

Coach's Note:
If you are any good at math, you will see that Heedles and Mulligan were separated by less than 2 seconds.

Had Heedles paused to take one more breath, we would all be forcing our girlfriends to push The Prowler with us at the Jersey Shore.

Honorable Mention

  • Ryne Reyes - Ryne finished 4th overall, falling less than 2 seconds short of the 3rd place finisher - Arthur Kuyan. The first day I ever met Ryne, we had an intense Prowler session. He performed so poorly, I honestly thought I would never, ever see him again. Coincidentally, when he came back to train with us again this year (after more than a year away from the program), the first thing we did was another Prowler session.  I guess all of those sessions paid off.




  • Ralph Zerilli - Ralph finished 1 second behind Ryne, putting him in 5th place overall. If I had to describe Ralph with one word, that word would be "BEAST". With some more formalized training, I believe he can move into a top 3 spot in next year's competition.





Purple Heart

My Sled
The ring which holds the chains on my sled broke during the competition.

Fortunately, the sled is also a fierce competitor and refused to give up without a fight.

We "taped it up" and had it back on the field in a matter of minutes.


All the Stats

16 men were tough enough to compete in the 2012 Advanced Training Toughman.
It goes without saying that this is not for everybody.

To see each of their overall times, CLICK HERE.







Toughman 2012: The Events

As always, the Toughman Competition lived up to its name.




Only 7 of the 16 competitors finished in under 3 minutes and one tapped out.

What made this year different from the previous years is that there was no break between events.

Sled Drag and Pull

Each athlete had to start by dragging 170lb sled 20 yards.


After 20 yards, they would have to turn and backpedal another 20.



The intent of this event was to focus on both speed in dexterity.

For one, how fast could you run while dragging 170lbs behind you.

And secondly, how skilled are you to turn around, reset the chains, and pull it another 20 yards.

40 Yard Farmer's Walk

After finishing the first event, the athlete immediately moved to the 40 yard farmer's walk.

A traditional farmer's walk is performed with only one hand carrying the loaded device, but we gave the athlete the option to use two hands if they wanted to.  (It should be noted that any athlete who used two hands did not finish in the top ten. From my experience, using two hands does not allow you to move at optimal speed in this event.)




The focus of this event was on both hand strength and stabilization.

The hand strength portion is obvious. If don't have strong hands, you have no shot of carrying this thing across a field.

As for stabilization, this is really tested by only using one farmer's walk bar. By having only one side of your body loaded, you have to stabilize your entire core to keep from tipping over.

To make it worse, you have to maintain this stabilization while moving the farmer's walk from one side of the field to the other.

(If you ever had sore obliques after performing heavy farmer's walks, now you know why).


The Prowler Shuttle

Traditionally, "The Prowler" (aka "The Predator") has always been the most feared event during the Toughman.

In the past, we loaded The Prowler with 90lbs and performed a 100 yard shuttle in increments of 25 yards.

This year, we loaded it with 100lbs and performed an 80 yard shuttle.

Given that we had no breaks, I wanted to trim some yardage off the shuttle. (which is why we only went 80 yards)

Having said that, I added some extra weight to keep our guys honest. (which is why we made it 100lbs as opposed to 90)




As you can see from the picture above The Prowler has two sets of handles - the high handles and the low handles.

We went 20 yards with the high handles, returned 20 yards with the low handles, then went back another 40 with the high handles.

The high handles are traditionally much easier for the athlete to push.

It is the low handles that usually destroy the athlete.

If you don't get low enough, your body weight actually starts to press down on The Prowler.

Now you have to push the 100lbs, The Prowler, and whatever weight your body is forcing downward.
Clearly, this is where the fun stops.



40 Yard Reverse Sliders

Yes ... these are the things you use to move furniture.



In this event, the athlete places the sliders under his feet and uses his hands to push himself 40 yards across the field.



This event requires extreme upper body and core strength.

In addition, you have to maintain control or the sliders will slip out from under your feet.

The worst thing you can ever do in this event is stop.

Once you lose momentum, it is very, very hard to get started again.

If you asked our athletes, almost all of them would say this was the toughest part of the competition.
(So much for "The Predator")

Wrap-Up

In the next post, I will share the actual results of the competition.

Until then, enjoy the highlight video.



Toughman 2012: The Preview

For the first time ever, I am revealing the Toughman Format before the actual Event.

There are 4 Events:

  • 1 Arm Farmer's Walk
  • Sled Drag and Pull
  • Prowler Shuttle 
  • Reverse Sliders
There are NO breaks between events.


The person with the lowest time wins.

It's that simple.

Or is it ....



Actual 2012 Toughman Event



Here are how the guys ranked each other.

Who Will Win?