Tyler Robbins Fitness

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

Filtering by Category: "Kiss of Mud"

Day 216 - World's Toughest Mudder - My Experience: Part 2


Part 1 looked at obstacles 1-10.

Boa Constrictor (obstacle 10) really was one of the first times on the course where I was essentially fully submerged in water. The weather was pretty cold that day, as was the water, but my wetsuit was working well to keep me warm. My feet would get quite cold/numb after some of the water obstacles, but as long as I kept moving I didn't fare too badly.

Twinkle Toes

Twinkly Toes was the next obstacle on the course. After just coming from Boa Constrictor, my shoes were wet and muddy, so this was not simply an easy walk across a narrow platform. In typical World's Toughest Mudder fashion, the obstacle was also taken up a notch by adding either a narrower board to walk across, or a few narrow steps in the middle of the plank to walk on. I saw lots of folks falling into the water on this one.

Not only that, but the course looped back to this obstacle as well, so you were forced to complete Twinkly Toes twice each lap.

Walk the Plank

Immediately following Twinkle Toes was Walk the Plank, yet another Tough Mudder staple. Climb up to a 15+ foot high platform and jump into the water below. What makes this so interesting at the World's Toughest Mudder, is how cold the water is. Even with a wetsuit on, your breath gets taken away as soon as you hit that water!

After Walk the Plank, the course looped back around and you got a second crack at Twinkle Toes, then on to the next obstacle.



Kiss of Mud 2

A second bout of Kiss of Mud. I mentioned before at how I prefer the mud on this one. With the wetsuit on, the wetter the better, in my opinion, because you can actually slide along the mud quite easily.

This Kiss of Mud, I felt, had far more large rocks in it when compared to Kiss of Mud 1. Not only that, but the length of time you were crawling under barbed wire was probably double as well. You definitely got a pretty good shoulder burn by the end of this obstacle from pulling yourself through the mud.


Peg Legs (3:58-4:02 in above video)

I found this obstacle fairly basic, although I full admit that I probably worked through it at a slower pace than most. What made this obstacle challenging was the fact that your shoes would be wet/muddy by the time you reached Peg Legs, so you couldn't be certain that you were going to get good traction on the logs.

Smoke Chute (4:03-4:10 in above video)

Shortly after Peg Legs came Smoke Chute. From what I remember in last year's WTM video, this obstacle actually lived up to its name. It had flaps at the entrance and exit to prevent light from entering, and I believe they actually had smoke machines filling the obstacle with smoke.

This year it did not seem to live up to its name. It wasn't really much a smoke chute at all, more like a slide into mud. It consisted of about a 6-foot drop to a slide, where you landed right in mud.

Spider's Web

After Smoke Chute, and about a half mile (muddy) run through the woods, I came to Spider's Web. This is another staple obstacle from Tough Mudder. Nothing too out of the ordinary here. For those of you familiar with this obstacle, the trick is to have a bit of team work. A loose cargo net can be difficult to climb, so if you get the help of some other Mudders to pull down on the net and create tension, it makes climbing much easier.

Hangin' Tough (4:11-4:21 in above video)

Hangin' Tough is one of my favorite Tough Mudder obstacles. At the World's Toughest Mudder, if you fell in the water, you had a 1/8th mile penalty loop to run before proceeding on with the next obstacle.

I was able to get through with no penalty on the first lap (as seen in the video), but fell during the second lap. I chalk that up to not only having muddy gloves, but also virtually no grip strength left after attempting Funky Monkey 4 times by that point.

Dong Dangler (4:22-4:41 in above video)

Immediately following Hangin' Tough, was Dong Dangler. There were many different strategies on this obstacle. Some folks chose to try and slide along the top of the cable, while others (including myself) chose to try and hang from beneath the cable. What I ended up noticing was that if I allowed the lower half of my body to drop into the water, then I could simply just 'skim' across the top of the water and pull myself with the cable. It made for a much quicker and more efficient way of completing this obstacle, in my opinion.


Skidmarked

Following Dong Dangler was a short run over to the back side of the quarter-pipe set up for Everest. For skid-marked, you would simply climb up the back side of the quarter pipe using a rope ladder and then slide down the quarter pipe - Skidmarked!


Following Skidmarked, there was a short run over to the Ladder to Hell again, then off to Everest!

Everest (5:10-5:16 in above video)

Everest is arguable one of the most famous Tough Mudder obstacles. So many folks struggle with the timing and coordination for this one, not to mention the strength needed to not only reach the top of Everest, but to also pull yourself up. This obstacle also exemplifies the Mudder camaraderie as you see so much team work going on here.

I don't mean to brag, but I have never really had any problems with this obstacle whatsoever, it is just one of my strong points. I would say the trick to it is momentum. You want to build up a decent amount of speed, run up the incline as far as you can, and don't jump too early. Allow the momentum your body is carrying to get yourself up majority of the way and the leap from there. Once you grab the ledge, you can either pull yourself up using your own strength or there will most certainly be some other Mudders there to help you out if needed. Once I was up (both laps), I turned around to help a fellow Mudder (or two) out.

It should be noted that if you were unable to make it up Everest, you had to partake in the penalty obstacle which was an Arctic Enema...




Quote of the day:
"Failing ninety-nine times doesn't matter at all if you keep your spirits high and succeed the hundredth time."
~ Unknown

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com





Day 214 - World's Toughest Mudder - My Experience: Part 1


This blog will be about my experience at the World's Toughest Mudder event. As my very first experience at an event like this, I definitely learned a lot! In future blogs I will detail about things that worked, along with things that didn't work, but today will mainly be a description of what I experienced at the event and how the World's Toughest Mudder stacked up against your regular Tough Mudder events.

I ended up completing 2 laps of the course in just under 7 hours (about 30 minute rest between laps). I will give my insight into each obstacle and lap below.



The Start (0:35-3:19 in video above)

It was pretty humbling at the start of the race being surrounded by so many fit individuals. It was pretty remarkable to think that after all of the Tough Mudder events held in 2012 (over 450,000 participants), that I was standing in a crowd of just over 1300 of the best Mudders!

 
There was a great atmosphere and mood in the crowd, especially when there was gratitude given to the military personal in attendance. The speech given before the race was definitely moving. Reminding us all of the sacrifices folks make every day, not only in the military, but also those fighting illness or disease, and that we have this opportunity to test our mental and physical strength. It was quite inspiring!

Once the race began, there was a good mile or so of running through some mud and water before hitting the first obstacle.

Cliffhanger (3:20-3:29 in video above)

This obstacle was not much of a challenge on the first lap. I tried to get out of the starting gate somewhere in the front half of the pack, so not too many Mudders had traversed this hill at that point. By the time I reached this obstacle on the second lap, things were a bit more interesting, as the hill was a little worse for wear, but still not too much of a challenge to get up.

Berlin Walls 1

For those of you who have completed regular Tough Mudder events, you will be familiar with the Berlin Walls obstacle. There are 2 walls that you must get up and over, both being around 7 feet I believe. We are talking about the top echelon of competitors in this competition so people were flying over these walls like they were hardly there. Certainly not one of the most difficult obstacles on the course.

This obstacle was the first to have a "penalty", where if you could not get yourself over the walls, then you had to make your way through an "Arctic Enema" instead. I don't believe I saw anyone doing the Arctic Enema as I believe everyone was able to make it over the walls.

Kiss of Mud 1

Again, not the most physically demanding obstacle. You army crawl, or barrel roll, through mud, underneath barbed wire. I actually reached this obstacle and had an entire lane to myself so I tried the barrel roll technique. I wouldn't necessarily say that I made it through the obstacle any quicker, and ended up being dizzy by the time I reached the end, so I switched back to your standard army crawl for subsequent attempts at this obstacle.

One thing to note. I felt that this obstacle seemed considerably easier with the wetsuit and with lots of mud. I was able to slide on top of the mud much easier in the wetsuit, making the second time through this obstacle quite easy.

Rock Out with Your Block Out (new obstacle)

The next obstacle on the course involved carrying a standard cinder block along a hairpin loop. You would walk about 100m in one direction and then turn around and come back. Pretty basic stuff. If you have even a decent amount of strength this obstacle was a breeze.

Funky Monkey

Ah yes, good ol' Funky Monkey. The course was set up so that you actually did this obstacle twice. First time through in one direction, then the course looped back on itself and you ended up having to do it again a second time.

First time through this obstacle I made it with no problems at all. Second time through on the first lap was a totally different story. They had the second bout of Funky Monkey follow almost immediately after "Trench Warfare" so everyone was covered in mud, making for very slippery monkey bars. I fell in the water and had to take a short 1/8th mile penalty lap.

I would say that this was one of my most challenging obstacles (mentally) on the course because of how muddy the rungs became. It was very challenging to make it from one side to the other!


Trench Warfare

Underground tunnels that have a few sharp turns. The main difference I noticed here is how muddy these tunnels were. At the Toronto event that I competed in earlier this year, the tunnels were essentially bone-dry when crawled through.

These tunnels, on the other hand, had to have at least a foot of sloppy mud in them. As I said above, it made for a very interesting second bout of Funky Monkey.


Ladder to Hell (new obstacle) (3:30-3:53 in video above)

A relatively basic obstacle, but still requiring some coordination and strength to complete. I am not a huge fan of heights, so this one was interesting for me, but it wasn't too high that I felt unsafe at the top. Pretty basic really, climb up one side and then down the other!

Devil's Beard

I believe they had this obstacle at the side of a hill last year's WTM basically combining it with "Cliffhanger". This obstacle was pretty weak in my opinion. The design of it is a tight cargo net, about 50 feet long (approximately) securely fastened to the ground. You must crawl/walk/roll underneath the net. The idea here is that it forces you to stay low to the ground, potentially burning out your legs or other body parts depending on how you complete it.

This obstacle can be completed rather easily be bending over and walking under the net either sideways or backwards. The net should then slide right over top of your body.

Log Jammin'

Sometimes called by a different name, this obstacle requires climbing over and crawling under a series of logs. Nothing too exciting or different here when compared to your traditional Tough Mudder course.

Boa Constrictor

Another 'staple' obstacle from regular Tough Mudder events, here you slide down a tube (head first) into some mudder water, and then crawl back out the other side, also heading up through a tube.

I felt as though the water on this obstacle was higher than usual. I actually had to fully submerge my head in order to get out of the 'down' tunnel. The toughest part about this obstacle is trying to get out of an inclined tube, while muddy and wet. Wearing a wet wetsuit certainly doesn't help the situation either...

Quote of the day:
"Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working in the present toward the future."
- Denis Waitley

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com





Day 122 - Tough Mudder Tactics: Kiss of Mud


Over the next several days, I am going to spend some time going through each of the obstacles that I completed at the Tough Mudder Toronto event. I will give some advice on how I handled the obstacle, as well as give any hints/tips that I may have learned from others doing the event as well.

The very first obstacle at Tough Mudder Toronto was Kiss of Mud.

Eat dirt as you crawl commando-style under barbed wire set 8 inches from the ground. This obstacle is true to it’s name – Mudders must belly-crawl through mud in order to avoid getting snagged by the barbed wire above. On some courses, the Kiss of Mud is set on an uphill, increasing the level of difficulty. To prepare for this obstacle, start crawling in any mud you come across, or, do our Tough plank series (alternating low & high planks – fast!).

This obstacle is pretty straight-forward. You will more than likely get some cuts and scrapes on your elbows, knees, and potentially hips because you are crawling through mud, so rocks and stones are a definite possibility. Having said that, the more worrisome factor is that you are trying to stay beneath the barbwire above you.

To become efficient at the army crawl, I would definitely add some low and high planks to your training, as well as some low plank and high plank walking (movement while in plank). There are quite a few obstacles in Tough Mudder that will have you army-crawling, so this will definitely be something you will want to be fairly good at.

Quote of the day:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain