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Sled training: not just for reindeer

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Posted by Cags R under Weight Training (Strength Training) on 15 December 2013 at 12:00 AM

Pulling a fat man with a ton of presents in a sled is a pretty great way to stay in shape, but you don't have to be a reindeer to make the most out of this training tool!

Ok, so most sled training doesn't involve pushing people about, but loading up a sled with some heavy plates does just as good a job. Time to load up that sled and put your strength to the test.

Sled Push

So, why should you train with weighted sleds?

  1. Improves your explosive power

  2. Strengthens your lower back and legs

  3. Improves your acceleration

  4. High intensity workouts fit a lot of work into a short period of time

  5. Easy to scale as your strength impoves

So, now we're prepared to power that sled, here are some top tips from personal trainer Pat Fallis on how to make the most out of sled training:

What should the Work : Rest ratio be?

1:1- So if you are working for 30 seconds then you rest for no longer than 30 seconds

Sled PushWhen should you train with sleds?

At the end of your strength/ resistance exercises or in a "Modified strongman circuit"

How heavy should you load the the sled?

As heavy as allows you to push or pull with good technique. The heavier the better, but just before your technique completely falls apart. 

Distance and how long for?

15-20 metres is a good measure if going for distance. I like to use this for 30-45 seconds flat out in a workout or circuit. I tend to give people 10 seconds change over time in a circuit as it is very draining and some recovery ensures better technique (and less likely of being sick!)

Check out Pat's guides on How to use a sled push in your workout and Sled Push Technique

Sleds and prowlers are more versatile than you might think; it's not just the amount of weight you're pushing, you can run speed drills, change your body position to target different muscle groups or attach ropes to pull the sled rather than push it. There's a reason why reindeer are lean, this is a fat burning exercise that is quick, simple and absolutely exhausting! 

Benefits of sled pushing - other than becoming the best shopping cart pusher in town, you'll also see improvement in your sprint speed and in your tackle power in team sports!

Sled push

Take the Basic Sled Push Conditioning Drill Once a Week for 1 Month Challenge

@jack is pushing a 170kg sled wearing Performance 5" Shorts, Performance Thermal Baselayer and the Performance Tech Tee SS.

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