Tyler Robbins Fitness

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT/CF-L3), USA Weightlifting Level 1

Day 130 - Tough Mudder Tactics: Hangin' Tough

I found Hangin' Tough, as well as its close relative Funky Monkey, to be two of the most 'fun' obstacles on the course. Hangin' Tough is one of those obstacles that I felt my upper body training really helped me complete with no problems at all.

Swing Tarzan-style across a series of hanging rings suspended over a pool of ice-cold water. Rings are placed 4 to 6 feet apart. It is important to maintain momentum and coordination while swinging across this series of rings. A strong grip and precise coordination are required to complete this obstacle successfully.

There are a number of factors that fell into place to allow me to complete this obstacle problem-free. Yes, my intense training that involved extensive upper body work (resistance training including lots of pullups) helped me swing from one side of this obstacle to the other, but there were other factors that helped as well, including a bit of luck!

I heard that some of the rings may have been greased up, making them extremely difficult to keep a grip on. Not only that, but this obstacle came almost immediately after Cliff Hanger so it was entirely possible that the rings could become wet and muddy. 

Fortunately for me, I was part of the very first heat on Sunday morning, and I also tried to get out to a fast start, so there were not too many people in front of me leading into this obstacle. That may have also improved my chances of getting from one side of the obstacle to the other without taking the plunge!

To train for this obstacle, you could of course set up some swinging rings in your backyard, but most people probably don't have that kind of disposable income. If you have a gymnastics background, that would definitely help. But how about this idea? Head on over to a local playground, and see if there are any monkey bars or rings there that you could practice on. Better yet, plan a running route that goes through/near said playground, so you can run there, and swing away, unleashing your inner Tarzan!

I practiced a bit on some monkey bars close to where I live, but most of my training for this obstacle was done by the pull-up/chinup training I included in my regimen. That also allowed me to improve my grip strength, which can help tremendously here.

Quote of the day:
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
~ Wayne Gretzky