Spartan Race Obstacles: What are They?

Have you been thinking about challenging your mind and body with a Spartan Race? If so, here are the most common Spartan Race obstacles and everything you need to know for your next race. Are you ready to sweat?
Spartan Race Obstacles: What are They?

Last update: 29 December, 2019

The Spartan Race is a race that alternates running with obstacles. Because it demands a stellar physical condition and it’s quite difficult to finish in a short time, it was named after the Spartans.

Given it’s a two-part competition (with running and obstacles), you need to start a complete workout regime to train for a Spartan race.

The running section is fairly straightforward. It consists of running progressively longer distances until you reach your target distance. On the other hand, the obstacle course is the most uncertain and feared by the participants.

Spartan Race obstacles: how many are there?

Each Spartan Race has at least 20+ obstacles, and the number increases with the running mileage.

Not only that, but Spartan Race obstacles change every time and you probably won’t encounter the same course twice. This makes it especially difficult to train for.

Because you won’t really be sure of which obstacles you’ll be facing, training for the race can be very demanding. The answer? Getting to know the most common Spartan Race obstacles, of course.

Today’s article is all about it. Of course, keep in mind that their height, weight or distance of each will depend on your selected race.

The most common Spartan Race obstacles

1. Climb walls and pyramids: basics in the Spartan Race

It’s essential you know that climbing is a skill that you’ll have to demonstrate in any Spartan Race. Typically, there are at least two climbing obstacles and they usually fall under one of two categories.

  •     Climbing walls: this is usually a wooden wall with no place to take momentum with your feet. Because of this, you need to have enough strength in your arms. Your momentum is essential to raise your body up over the wall and overcome this obstacle. The walls usually have a height of about two meters, although this can change.
  •     Walls with studs: these are usually higher walls. Contrary to climbing walls, the studs act as little support points for your hands and feet. In turn, this makes ascending a bit easier. Nevertheless, don’t get too confident! You’ll probably still get muddy as the studs slide in contact with your shoes.
  •     Pyramids: yes! Pyramids are also a usual obstacle in Spartan races. They’re common at all levels of the competition. The mechanics are fairly straightforward; there’s a rope hanging from the top of the pyramid. You’ll need to grab on to it in order to reach the top. It sounds simple enough, but fat has been poured all over the inclined plane. This means your feet will be constantly sliding and your arms will be carrying most of your body weight.

2. Climbing rope knots

This obstacle is very well known. It’s basically a very long rope that you must climb until you reach its highest point. To help you along the way, the rope has knots that make your ascent slightly easier. This is an exercise that requires a great physical condition, and also having previously performed consistent training of legs and arms.

monkey bars spartan race obstacle

Image: Facebook Spartan Race Mexico.

3. Aiming with a spear

Many athletes who train for this race focus on endurance and strength. This is great since a good part of the race is mainly that.

Nevertheless, when it’s time to face the race, they find themselves like a deer in the headlights with aims tests. These tests perfectly represent what a Spartan Race is all about. The essence of the competition is to push the body to the limit and demand the maximum in every way: including your aim!

The spear aiming tests consist of aiming from a considerable distance towards a block of straw. You may just have to hit the target once or, conversely, you may have to repeat it over several blocks. The practice is your best friend here!

4. Carrying heavy objects

This is as simple as the name implies: you might be asked to carry a heavy object from point A to point B. Depending on the course, the road can include hills or water.

The heavy object can be anything: a concrete ball, a sandbag or even a log. This obstacle demands resistance and strength all over your body. Keep in mind your core needs to be strong in order to protect your back from harm!

The most common weight obstacles are the following:

  •     Move stones from one place to another: they’re usually spherical stones, which must be moved from one point to another separated by several meters. In addition, the ground you must walk on may be unstable or muddy.
  •     Drag wheels: it’s impossible to lift them in the air, so you’ll have to drag them to the indicated point. These are often tractor wheels. To overcome this obstacle, you’ll have to perform weight lifting routines consistently.
The Spartan Race tests the endurance and strength of the most daring athletes in the world.

Image: Facebook Spartan Race Mexico.

  • Lifting weight using pulleys: with the help of a pulley, you must lift a heavy object up to the indicated height. Despite having the help of the pulley, the load is so great that it’ll be difficult for you to pass this test.

5. Scrape between wires and mud

Perhaps this is one of the simplest tests of the entire circuit. Of course, the mud does imply considerable difficulty and the wire is a mild risk, but in general, this is a challenge that doesn’t involve many mishaps. The biggest problem is that, when you finish doing it, you’re totally covered with mud–you’ll have added drag throughout the test.

It may seem silly, but once the mud dries, you can actually weigh more. You’ll feel much clumsier and it’ll be a real handicap.

Overall, to train for the most common Spartan Race obstacles you’ll need to do weightlifting exercises for your whole body, with a little bit of aiming in between.

Try to have your body prepared for these difficult actions; otherwise, you may not be able to finish the test!

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