The Spartan Race Hercules Hoist is designed to be a challenging test of your grip and upper body strength / endurance. The obstacle involves anchoring yourself to the ground and pulling on a rope attached to a heavy sandbag using a pulley system. With the goal of lifting the bag to the top of the truss and then slowly lowering it back down. You can’t drop the bag. To complete this obstacle successfully, participants need to rely on their arm, grip, back, and core strength, as well as their stamina, as they lower the weight slowly down. The Hercules Hoist can be surprisingly difficult, especially if there has been any rain. Below we will answer some of the biggest questions, including how heavy is the Hercules Hoist in Spartan Race, how high it is, and what are the rules. Let’s get to it!
Obstacle Info – How heavy is the Hercules Hoist in Spartan Race?
The Spartan Race Hercules hoist weighs 30kg / 66.14lb for women and 40kg / 88.18lbs for me . It’s important to take into account the weather, any rain can add 10-15lbs. And if there is mud, the bags will actually stick in, and feel heavier to get moving.
How High is the Hercules Hoist Obstacle?
You have to raise the bag 24 feet / 7.3 meters off the ground. But remember, you can’t drop it. You have to lower it down from the top.
Hercules Hoist Rules and Instructions
- Racers must use the rope to raise the weighted sandbag until the knot in the rope reaches the top pulley at the top of the obstacle truss.
- You may use one, or both feet as leverage on the obstacle barrier. (Hips can’t go above barrier)
- Then lower the weight slowly, without releasing the rope, until the weight reaches the ground, and touches “gently”.
- You can not tie off the rope, it must be under a racers control the entire time.
- Racers may retry the obstacle as many times as possible, and can change lanes for multiple attempts.
- Elite racers may not receive help.
- A racer’s inability to raise the weighted sandbag until the knot touches the pulley at the top of the truss.
- Dropping the weight to the ground. This includes any uncontrolled manner of lowering the weight. Including the rope slipping and leaving a Spartan Racer’s while lowering it.
- The use of any outside object, besides the guard rail, to gain leverage and assist in completion of the obstacle.
- The competitor’s hips can not go above the top of the barrier while using it for leverage while attempting the obstacle. The top of the barrier is defined as a horizontal line running in all directions from the top of the barrier itself.
- You can not cross the obstacle barrier.
Hercules Hoist Obstacle Tips
To maximize your potential for success. When you approach the obstacle, look for a dry non muddy rope. If the ropes are all muddy, try and find some dry grass or tree bark to get your hands as clean as possible.
Start the obstacle by getting close to the guard rail, get a firm grip with both hands, place one foot on the guard rail and lean back. Using your bodyweight as leverage to get the weight moving. Then start pulling yourself up the rope and repeat .
It’s in Spanish, but this video is one of the better at “showing” a very effective technique using the leverage and rail.
Closing Thoughts on the Hercules Hoist
This obstacle can be one of those that looks a lot easier than it is. And can be surprisingly susceptible to course conditions. Notable things to look out for include muddy ropes, wet sandbags that can weigh an extra 20+ lbs, and can get stuck in the mud making them hard to pull to get started.
Don’t underestimate this one. Late in the race this one has decided a world championship race. Giving Hunter McEntire his infamous “biceps win races” quote. And I’ve been at races where it took two grown men to get the bags out from being stuck in the mud.
In summary, the Spartan Race Hercules Hoist presents a formidable test of strength and endurance. Participants grapple with heavy sandbags, striving to lift them 24 feet off the ground without dropping them. The weight, coupled with unpredictable weather conditions like rain and mud, adds an extra layer of challenge. Understanding the weight distribution, height requirement, and strict rules is essential for success, along with employing effective techniques and seeking dry ropes.
This obstacle has a history of deciding races, emphasizing the importance of physical preparedness and adaptability in the Spartan world. The Hercules Hoist symbolizes the relentless spirit of Spartan competitors and underscores the need to conquer unexpected challenges. It’s not just about lifting a sandbag; it’s about rising above the challenge and proving your strength, endurance, and Spartan spirit in the face of adversity.