Defeat the Spear Man with your Granny!

Average_Jbob overlooks Santa Clarita, CA. With the Michigan Spartan Super looming on the horizon. . .

I decided to spend the day getting some much-needed practice on an obstacle that my Dad had recently built in his backyard. . .The Spear Throw!  Technically referred to by Spartan Race as ‘Spear Man’, this obstacle consists of a few bales of straw stacked on top of each other. . .and a spear!  You stand behind a barrier about 25 feet away and have 1 chance to hit your target.  Make the spear tip stay in the hay, or head over to the penalty zone and do your 30 burpees!

So far, I’ve only successfully completed this obstacle twice out of about eleven total attempts.  Those arrogant straw bales have cost me a total of 270 burpees!  But after discovering a secret technique, I hope to start changing all that!

First, for the ‘Proper’ way to throw it, my Dad gave me some much-needed pointers:

  • Balance the Spear in your throwing

    . . .balance the spear in your throwing hand. . .

    hand so that it is weighted SLIGHTLY to the front, allowing the tip to JUST START dipping, lifting the back-end of the spear up.  This will allow the tip to drop when you throw it and hit the target, instead of continuing to point to the sky and glance off of it.

  • Grip the spear with your thumb following the length of the spear back toward the tail and underneath instead of curving it over the top.  This helps support the back-end of the spear and keeps it stable.
  • Take a step

    . . .step forward into your throw. . .

    back with one foot (whichever is more comfortable for you. . .I throw with my right, so I step back with my left). . .point at the target with your non-throwing hand.  This helps you mentally sight into your target.

  • When you are ready, take one step forward and in one smooth motion, lower your non-throwing hand and throw the spear at the target, aiming for the top.

And of course, if all that seems WAY to complicated to remember. . .there’s always the GRANNY THROW!  I’d seen this ‘somewhat-secret-technique’ used before but never had the guts to try it myself.  HOWEVER, after lots of time practicing the PROPER way to throw a spear and getting about a 60% success rate, I decided to try this whimsical method just for fun.  Guess what?


After many throws I found I was able to get an impressive 90% success rate using this method!  It takes WAY less energy and concentration to do, it’s fun, and you JUST MIGHT increase your odds of skipping burpees by using it!

What exactly IS the Granny Throw Technique?  It’s an underhand throw that. . .well. . .here’s a video showing it!

That’s all there is to it!  Make sure you keep your forward hand UP and centered on your target. . .follow through with your back hand so that it tips the end of the spear into the air on release. . .this will give the spear that BEAUTIFUL arc that makes it sink nicely into the straw bale!  I fully intend on using this technique on the course tomorrow!  Look for my event review sometime mid-week to see just how well it worked!

If you are curious about building your VERY OWN SPEAR, check out this link here: How to Make a Spartan Spear in 10 Minutes for OCR Training.  That’s the link that my Dad referenced while building his and it worked VERY well!

Hope you enjoyed the video, and DON’T BE AFRAID to try the Granny Throw technique out!  Especially if the Spear Man has been sending you to the burpee zone a LOT like it has me!  I’m looking forward to getting out on the course tomorrow, but for now I’d better get some rest!


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