Jason and Kristina Todd are in the final stages of opening Arizona's first Tough Mudder Bootcamp. I sat down with Jason to discuss their family's exciting new adventure!
Jason, tell me a little bit about how you and your wife became interested in opening Arizona’s first tough mudder bootcamp:
Was actually mostly my wife….good lesson in life, just listen to your wife the first time ?
I had left teaching 7th grade math to go back to my previous career as a realtor so that I could take care of our little kids, two under 4 years old. My wife was, and still is working as a dermatologist PA and loves her job. As much as I miss teaching it was obvious based on the difference in our paychecks who needed to leave to take care of the family.
We met on the soccer field, and both of us enjoy fitness. We started to work out together, our own sweaty date night and we loved it. After a while at our old gym, I caught myself helping, guiding and instructing other members during our workouts. The coach in me (been coaching youth soccer since the late ’90s) started to come out. So much so that the owners of our gym started to ask me to become a trainer. As much as that idea seemed appealing Kristina had a better idea…we can do it better, let's open our own. We talked about it for a long time, wrote down how we’d want the ‘perfect’ gym to look, started to make plans on our own style when we (well Kristina) came across Tough Mudder Bootcamp Franchise. Had everything that we wanted in our own location and more. So instead of creating our own concept, we pursued owning the first Tough Mudder Bootcamp in AZ!
What makes a tough mudder bootcamp workout different from other studios?
Lots! First off it is backed by an established brand that already is one of the leaders in the fitness world. The Tough Mudder Live events are some of the most popular, but also fun! A lot of places will claim that you work out together, but it's just not true. If the class was just you, you could still do the workouts. Based on the live events side of Tough Mudder you see that you need a teammate, regardless of their current skill level, just someone there to help, push, motivate, and many times to workout together.
We also are going to have the most symmetrical, organized workouts you’ll ever see. 6 Stations with monitors explaining the workouts on a loop. No guessing, no reading a dry erase board at the front, no ‘stealing’ weights from another station and no overlapping and getting in each other’s way.
The workout cycle is done by an industry leader in fitness at the corporate level. They are planned months in advance and the workouts will never repeat. The body parts and types of workouts are fluid and adjust intentionally on a cycle to maximize outcomes and minimize monotony.
And then there is the FUN part! Tough Mudder was founded on Fitness and FUN. We have a custom adult monkey bar rig that has endless possibilities. There is just something about laughing and smiling while you sweat that can’t be beat!
For some, Tough Mudder can be seen as an intimidating brand. How are you going to address this to a community that may be nervous about attempting a Tough Mudder workout?
Just like any branding and logos, there is an emotional connection. For those that have run any of the Tough Mudder races, they know that the foundation of the company is based on Fun, Fitness, and Teamwork. For the bootcamps, we are implementing the same philosophy. It’s a fun brand, more than 20,000 people worldwide have the logo tattooed on them! However, just like the races, our bootcamps are set up for all levels; from pros to the beginner. You don’t need to be in shape to join a gym, that’s what the gym is for. We are here to create a fun atmosphere where people of all levels can work on their goals….whatever that goal may be. My challenge to everyone is if you think it’s intimidating come check us out and watch a class, or better yet come take a class and make up your mind! Nothing more motivating and inspiring than being involved and surrounded by a bunch of people working hard towards their goal, while having fun at the same time.
In your opinion, what sets the Tough Mudder brand apart from the other major obstacle course races?
True teamwork! As one of the first in this industry Tough Mudder wanted to create something that was challenging yet fun. Adding elements where you truly needed the help of someone else, whether you know them or not, you help them. It really speaks to human nature and how we are supposed to act. Helping each other out really feels good and gets everyone closer to their goals.
Will your members receive any perks from the Tough Mudder Brand?
Members will have a place to train, find new teams to run with and have a group of people they can run the live events with. A great community to play and run with.
With Kyle McLaughlin’s new title as CEO for Tough Mudder, do you feel that this will have any effect on the tough mudder bootcamp franchise?
Kyle has been enhancing and expanding Tough Mudder’s footprint and customer experience since joining the brand in 2018, while still staying true the vision of founder Will Dean. Everything Kyle does to make Tough Mudder bigger and better is good news for Tough Mudder Bootcamp, as we’re able to leverage that brand equity and global awareness for our studio in Gilbert.
When are you planning on opening your facility?
Planning on opening early November, in construction now so all hinges on that! We hope to be open even sooner. All progress updates are on Facebook or Instagram @TMBootCampGilbert
Is there anything else you would like the Mud Run Guide community to know about your new gym?
We are truly investing in our members. We are going to create a family atmosphere, where people feel good about working out. “It’s my gym family!” Along with an amazing workout we want to have fun. Whatever your goals are we want to help along the journey.