Tyler Robbins Fitness

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

Day 135 - Tough Mudder Tactics: Spider's Web

Have you ever climbed a cargo net/rope ladder/climbing rope that hasn't been attached to the ground? If you have, you know that it is a completely different ballgame than if it is attached. That is the focus of Spider's Web.

Crawl like a spider up and over a cargo net suspended between two trees – keep a good grip or you will fall into a tangled web (er, cargo net) below! The net is fastened with tension at the top only, leaving the bottom of the net loose and unsteady. Teamwork has proven to be very helpful for successfully completing this obstacle. Mudders will pull the bottom of the net towards the ground to create tension so their teammates can climb with balance and control.

By the time I reached this obstacle at Tough Mudder Toronto, I was the only one there. There was a few people who were out ahead of me, yet I had distanced myself a fair ways from runners behind me, so I was attacking this obstacle all on my own.

As the description above explains, the cargo net is hung from a big thick cable at the top, but loose at the bottom. Since there is a lack of tension throughout the net, it makes climbing it a much bigger challenge!

I would have to admit that I am glad I had some good total-body strength here, as you will need to a lot of it to coordinate yourself up and over this cargo net. What I found helpful going up, was that I tried to keep my body hugged as close to the net as possible. I used my legs to drive my momentum upwards, while using my arms, back, and core strength to keep my body upright, and close to the net.

Once I was able to reach the main cable at the top, I grabbed it and used it as a focal point to get myself over. Again, this is when my upper body strength helped by pulling myself up and over the upper cable. I basically hung on to the cable as tight as I could as I got my body up and over, as you can't really rely on support coming down the other side of the net since it is swinging free.

Climbing down the other side of the net was quite simple. The toughest part was definitely getting your body over the top of the net as it swings free. Once I reached the bottom, there were a couple women approaching the obstacle, so I helped them the best I could by pulling down on the net, creating tension and coaching them over. After all, a lot of the Tough Mudder philosophy is teamwork, HOO-RAH!

Quote of the day:
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
- Robert Brault