Any Tough Mudder participant should make it their personal goal to conquer the Funky Monkey. On paper, this seems like it should be easy. I remember dominating monkey bars as a kid, but this is a whole different ball game. One, I don’t think I had come anywhere near monkey bars since elementary school, and two, I am guessing I am probably about 150lbs heavier than I was the last time I did, so the physics are a little different.
This obstacle certainly requires good upper body strength, so be prepared going in. One thing you will find is that the first 6 bars or so are going to be the most slick, as those are getting the most traffic from the other racers, so they are really wet and often covered with mud. Once you get through those, your grip may actually improve (barring any modifications the race coordinators do to the bars).
A few tips to think about.
1) Get a good grip on the first bar, and don’t look back. Give yourself a swing off the platform to give yourself some forward momentum and go.
2) Keep moving. Don’t let yourself hang at any point for too long, your grip will start to slip, and it’s hard to recover from there.
3) Keep moving! move from one bar to the next, never having both hands on one bar for more than a split second. Once you do that, you lose momentum. If you can, only have one hand on a bar at any given time, but this is much easier to accomplish on the way down.
4) Use your legs. This obstacle certainly requires upper body strength, but don’t forget to use your legs to help you. Think about pedaling an imaginary bike, that movement in your legs will help keep you moving forward, and also will give you a little extra push through your upper body as you move from wrung to wrung.
5) Once you hit the apex, it’s all downhill from there….burn through it….don’t stop.
6) Cheer on your friends, everything is easier when your friends are yelling at you