What if I told you that there is one piece of equipment that can increase your strength, speed, conditioning, muscle building, fat burning, restoration and mental toughness all at the same time?
Some of you would probably think that I sold out and was shamelessly pitching the latest fitness gizmo on some cheesy 2:00am infomercial.
But don’t worry guys, I didn’t sell out and I’m definitely not planning on adopting a fake English accent any time soon.
Instead, I’m going to share with you one of my favorite training tools, and better yet, show you how I use it with my clients and athletes to get amazing results. The tool I’m raving about is the drive sled.
Unlike many sleds, the drive sled can be both pushed and pulled. This makes it extremely versatile and exceptionally effective.
Training with a sled is certainly not a concept that I invented. What I did do, however, was obsessively experiment with every possible training variation including: movement pattern, loading parameter, volume, distance and frequency.
Then I closely monitored the training effects from each permutation of those different factors. Here are my findings.
1) Sled work is safe. The “experts” who have no experience with sled training always argue against this fact. They rebut, “If running is injurious, then running with weight must be MORE injurious!”
Although that statement may make sense at first glance, there is one main reason why it is untrue- Speed! The weight of the sled slows down the speed at which you move.
This slower speed actually makes injuries LESS likely to occur. The same can actually be said for hill sprints.
2) Sled work is fun. Now, don’t get me wrong, sled training is tough. It is certainly not for the faint of heart. But as tough as it is, it is enjoyable. In fact, you’ll feel more like you’re playing a sport than you’ll feel like you’re doing a typical boring public gym workout.
3) Sled work is easy to learn. I can teach anyone to push or pull a sled properly within 2 minutes. Sprinting properly, on the other hand, can take months to learn what I would consider acceptable mechanics — and it can actually take years to master.
This makes sled training very desirable to the majority of the population, since most people want to get maximal results as quickly as possible from their training routines.
4) Sled work improves multiple fitness qualities at the same time. This is definitely unique to sled training, since most typical workouts only train one quality at a time.
Here is an example: Just imagine an interval workout on a treadmill. If done properly, this workout would lead to an improvement in your conditioning level and a metabolic spike that could lead to increased fat burning. But it would do nothing for your mobility, strength, hypertrophy, etc.
The sled, on the other hand, can improve every fitness quality simultaneously, which makes the use of it extremely time efficient.
5) Sled work doesn’t involve an eccentric contraction. Let me explain: In squatting, there is a lowering phase (eccentric contraction) and a lifting phase (concentric contraction).
Now think about a sled push for a second. Notice that the sled moves in only one direction. Luckily for us, this direction only involves a concentric muscle contraction. Why is this important?
It’s important because the eccentric contraction is responsible for the majority of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and exercise induced muscle damage.
Because “concentric only” sled work doesn’t involve this contraction, you can work your body intensely and produce an amazing training effect without excessively beating yourself up.
6) Sled work is super effective! I have never used a tool that works as well as a sled does. Quite frankly, nothing can improve conditioning levels, burn fat, build muscle, and increase speed (acceleration) simultaneously like a sled workout can.
I hope you are now convinced to incorporate sled training into your routine! In Part 2 of this series, I’m going to show you how to use the sled most effectively, and I will give you actual workouts based on your goals. Stay tuned…
Dedicated to you success,