‘Ultimate Beastmaster’ course is an 'illuminated monster': Tiki Barber

Netflix’s “Ultimate Beastmaster” — billed as the “world’s toughest obstacle course” — is the type of athletic competition that can make a former Giant second guess himself.

“I watched these competitors and it was like, ‘I thought I was an athlete,’” Tiki Barber, who co-hosts the show’s second season, told amNewYork.

With the extreme reality show currently streaming, we spoke with the three-time Pro Bowler about the monstrous course, and which NFL player would have the best chance of becoming “Ultimate Beastmaster.”

Was there any part of the course you were tempted to try yourself?

I did, I actually tried two pieces of it and failed on both. I’m too heavy! As a football player, I had to build up my lower body just to withstand the pounding. A lot of this course is hanging and your upper body gets taxed. That’s why the climbers do so well. Parkour does well too, but it’s really the climbers, with their grip strength, that do so well. When I shot that about a year ago, I weighed about 195 pounds. I was just too heavy. I could look good doing it, but there was no chance of being successful.

Can you remember your first reaction to seeing the course in person?

It’s interesting, because there were two reactions. The first time I saw it was in the daytime. You see it, it’s this massive structure, but it doesn’t feel intimidating. But the second time I saw it was at night, when everything else is blacked out because you’re down in the Valley and the mountains are surrounding on both sides. All you see, really, is the stars and then this illuminated monster. It was a marvel to see.

Is there any specific moment from the competition itself that sticks out as being especially impressive?

I can’t remember the contestant right now, but there was a woman who jumped through the Power Coils. She made it but she landed with her body. You knew something was wrong right away. She looked like she was in pain. She got up and she was bleeding. I’ve been in situations like that when I was playing football, you get injured and you don’t really know how to react. You’re shocked, but you just keep going. This woman stood there shocked for a while and then ultimately took the blood and wiped it across her face. I was like, “Oh, that’s so badass.” That’s the nature of the people who were in this competition.

Who in the NFL right now do you think would do best on the “Ultimate Beastmaster” course?

It would have to be someone young whose body could withstand it. Maybe (Carolina Panthers running back) Christian McCaffrey. He’s just such a great athlete and I know he’s got a strong upper body. He might be too heavy, again, but he’s not like 215 pounds. But there’s probably not a lot of them in the NFL. A lot of the competitors who got the farthest on “Ultimate Beastmaster” were 150 pounds, 160 pounds, and not really muscle-bound.


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