Hear no weakness. See no weakness. Speak no weakness. Funky Monkey’s evolving and this time around, we’re giving the second half a fresh spin. Monkey bars are just the start, as Mudders will now have to take on a series of revolving wheels that only get more complicated as you get closer to the finish. Hold on tight…
Maybe you’ve completed Funky Monkey, Tough Mudder’s version of everyone’s favorite playground activity. But these aren’t your typical monkey bars. For one, the monkey bar is built on an incline, so each progressive bar is higher than the next. Second, it’s twice as long–not to mention twice as hard. At the top of the monkey bars, your next move will have you clutching a revolving wheel. Hang on tight–if you drop off here, you’re into the water below and you’ll be taking the penalty round. If you manage to swing from revolving wheel to revolving wheel, congratulations. You’re more monkey than us.
How to train: Practice your dead hangs to work on your grip, but get on a playground to learn how to deal with the idea of transferring at the apex of momentum. This can be done by jumping off a swing at its apex. Be sure to watch the training video at the bottom of this post.
Harder than it sounds? We asked World’s Toughest Mudders Stefanie Bishop, Ryan Atkins, and Nickademus Hollon how they completed Funky Monkey The Revolution each lap:
Atkins: “Again, keep straight arms whenever possible and use your momentum. Try to get up the straight monkey bars as quickly as possible to save grip strength for the swinging wheels on the way down.”
Bishop: “Find a playground and practice your monkey bar skills. Grab onto every bar with both hands, try grabbing each bar with every other hand and then try skipping a bar or even two bars. I find that sometimes our perception is skewed and it looks farther than it is. Since the monkey bars are on an incline I'd recommend making sure you grab each bar with both hands. It makes the incline easier and you feel more secure. When you get to the top, make sure you have a good grip on the rotating wheel before letting go of the monkey bar. From there, commit to that first vertical wheel and grab it the first spin around (the more you wait, the more difficult it gets). Take a split moment to feel like you have a good grip. The vertical wheels aren't as bad as they appear. Use opposite grips for greater control and enjoy the ride!
Hollon: “Don’t hang on any one thing too long; the faster you can get through it, the better since the muscles you have to hang on are limited. Try to think about transferring at the apex of momentum.”