An Interview with Tough Mudder’s Andy ‘Mustache Man’ Thom.
In preparation for the epic Tough Mudder Whistler Race, Briefed caught up with Tough Mudder badass Andy ‘Mustache Man’ Thom, famous for his Tough Mudder training video which has over a million and a half views on Youtube. Andy shared his thoughts on why Tough Mudder is so damn cool, how Bruce Lee would approach the race and what today’s guys could learn from men of his generation; hint, grow a nice stache.
Q: How many Tough Mudder races have you participated in and how many times have you been zapped by electrical wires and/or burnt by a raging fire?
A: I’ve done 8 Mudders and I’ve been zapped in six events. I was at the unveiling of Electroshock Therapy in New Jersey when it was the “Mystery Obstacle”. There are times when you run through the obstacle and make it without getting shocked at all, but that’s very rare. Mostly you get blasted 3-5 times. So, you could probably multiply that number “8″ by around four and you’d be closer to the actual amount of times I’ve been shocked.
Q: What is it about TM that has made it such a huge phenomenon and set it apart from some of the other extreme races out there?
A: I think Tough Mudder promotes an element of fun along with the “extreme” aspects which is appealing. There are a few races out there that like to “chest pound” and boast about how extreme their event is. There are also other smaller runs that hardly take themselves seriously and my 13 year old daughter could do them without breaking a sweat. Tough Mudder covers all the bases; it’s super tough and super fun.
Q: Your mustache: aerodynamic helper or hinderer?
A: I’m not a very fast runner so I wouldn’t even notice either way. But, to help promote the growth of cookie dusters around the world I will state emphatically and without hesitation: aerodynamic helper.
Q: Besides mustache wearing prowess, in what other ways are guys today less manly than those of the 1970′s and what can they do about it?
A: Wow, the list is endless. Quit looking at your stupid phone every two minutes and chill out with the manscaping would be a good start. If guys like Clint Eastwood and Bruce Lee were young men today I doubt they would be video game junkies – oh, excuse me, “Gamers”.
Q: You’ve had a lot of experience with martial arts. Would Bruce Lee have been into TM? What advice would he give TM first timers?
A: Bruce Lee is actually my SiGung (Grandfather), my teacher’s teacher. I’m almost certain he would have loved Tough Mudder. His advice for taking on the event would most likely be his “Be water” speech. Water can crash and it can flow. It can wear through stone and be gentle and still. It can also adapt, put it into a teacup – it becomes the teacup. “Be water, my friend”, he would say.
Q: What separates those who persevere through TM and those who give up?
A: There are some people that have no understanding of their human capability. They doubt themselves and will most likely go to their graves doubting themselves and accomplishing very little with their lives. I strongly believe that ANYONE can complete a Tough Mudder. It’s far less about physical strength and more about mental toughness. So, if you have a mind, you should be able to complete a Tough Mudder.
Q: With just three months until the Vancouver TM, what kind of exercises should people concentrate on and should these exercises involve occasionally grabbing an electric fence?
A: Like I said earlier, get your mind straight first. After that it’s all about cardio and what muscles you want to work so you are not sore as hell the next day. Try and build your mileage up to around 8-10 miles. Throw in some wind sprints and hill climbs. Any upper and lower body strength resistance drills will help. Core work is also something I advise. Personally I try to emulate the exact elements of Tough Mudder events for my training. For instance, to prepare for “Hold Your Wood” I do log carries. For “Death March” I do long hill runs. You get the idea.
Q: On the one hand, you’ve said your wife hates the mustache, on the other, you’ve become the face of the toughest race on the planet – who will eventually win out, your wife or your mustache’s ego?
A: Without a doubt, I will be victorious. If there is any concession in this debate, I will have my wife stop her bleaching and plucking and grow her own “Burt Reynolds”.
Q: Any other advice you’d give TM first timers?
A: Quit whining and thinking that you can’t do it and that you are not ready. Tell yourself that you are going to kick this course’s ass so hard the ground will shake. With that mindset you will dominate, I promise.
Q: Any advice for growing such a kick ass stache?
A: Yes. Go look at yourself in your bathroom mirror. Play any song by Jerry Reed, preferably from the soundtrack of Smokey and the Bandit 2. Stare at your upper lip and hold your breath and squeeze really hard. Do that every day and you will start to notice stubble eventually. Good luck!
Original article can be found HERE.