No one likes a cry baby, least of all on a Tough Mudder course. But when it comes to tackling the latest Mudder obstacle, it’s understandable if you get a little teary. The reason? It’s an enclosed structure filled with a (completely safe) tear gas-like substance that’s guaranteed to have you welling up within seconds of entering, hence the name: Cry Baby.
To make matters worse, the low ceilinged obstacle is also littered with hazards that you have to scramble over and around on all fours if you want to emerge victorious on the other side. You might think it’d be tricky to replicate these conditions in the gym, but while the solution is less obvious than say, practicing rope climbs to prepare for Balls To The Wall or doing pull-ups to get ready for Funky Monkey, with a bit of imagination it can be done.
‘The more used to crawling you can get, the easier it’ll be able to do when your vision is compromised,’ says Luke Chamberlain of Impulse Fitness. ‘Practicing these movement patterns extensively in the gym will ensure that when the time comes, you’ll be able to do them with your eyes closed – which is handy when you’re wading through a sea of tear gas. Try alternating between 40 second rounds of bear crawls on your hands and feet and croc crawls where you’re just using your knees and elbows, resting as required between rounds.’
‘You can even take things a step further and get creative by laying some gym-based ‘hazards’ in your crawling path, such as ViPRs and kettlebells,’ says Chamberlain. ‘Getting used to navigating these on all fours will be hugely helpful for the event itself.’ But what about mimicking the eye-watering effects of tear gas? ‘Try swimming underwater lengths at your local pool without goggles,’ says Chamberlain, only half-joking.
Read our complete guide to Tough Mudder for more tips to get through it in one piece.
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