I used to be a powerlifter. An overweight, unathletic, but strong powerlifter. However, before that, I played football as well as powerlifting. Those were my athletic prime years. Not because of age but because I was in good shape. I was training 6 times per week while lifting, running, practicing, and doing a laundry list of other general physical preparedness movements. One of which was training with a weight sled workout. This simple tool that holds weight plates was a godsend to not only me but to all the other athletes I trained with. There are a variety of ways in which you can train with the weight sled that we will go through here.
Weight Sled Workout Training
Weight sled training is not new. It is an old style of training that was originally used for increasing the speed of athletes. People have been pulling weight for centuries, whether it be as a slave, a farmer, as a laborer. The action of moving weight from one place to another on a sled like an implement is not new by any stretch of the imagination. There is nothing crazy about this though. I am not trying to sell you some magic tool that will make you some superhuman level athlete. This tool allows you to get access to the one variable of athletic success. HARD WORK.
I have talked about GPP or general physical preparedness at length. This is where the weight sled has the most benefit. The weight sled can improve the GPP of any and all athletes. It can be used in so many different ways that it makes no sense for it to be missing from the serious athlete’s tool belt. Basically any sled workout movements you can do with a dumbbell you can do with a weight sled.
Moving the weight sled forward is the most efficient way to move the sled for athletic performance. There are many ways you can pull the sled forward that will affect your training in different ways. This form of sled workout training should be done the majority of your sled training. Moving forward is what is required for most sports. So this will increase your posterior chain.
- Heavy sled pulls (strongman truck pull)
- Stiff leg heel to toe (glute, hamstring development)
- Bent over Heel to Toe (Hamstring development)
- Speed sled pulls (Sprinting)
Dragging a sled is basically pulling a sled except you are turned toward the sled itself. This movement is extremely quad dominant but it is also highly dependent on grip strength as well. This form of sled training is big in strongman. Its great for upper back strength but the problem with this movement is that it is done too much. Only about 25% of your sled workout training should be done pulling the sled backward.
Arm Over Arm Pull
This is a strongman movement through and through and I don’t care. It is one of the best GPP developers on the planet. You attach a rope to the sled workout you find a place to put your feet you sit down and you pull that sled with your arms, legs, and back at the same time. It kills your grip, it taxes your upper back and it requires more legs than you would think.
This movement is seen in the arm over arm pull during strongman events but it can be used for athletes as well. It is a great lung burner and it is also going to use the entire body. That is the efficiency that is needed for increasing GPP. Not to mention it is fun.
If you have a set of straps to go along with your sled workout you can do just about anything you can with a dumbbell. You will be able to do chest presses, tricep extensions, rows, pull downs, and the list goes on and on. Set a load that works for what you are trying to do and then set the distance after that. It is that simple get moving and doing your work with the weight sled.
The weight sled is an awesome piece of equipment. It is meant to turn athletes into super athletes through simple hard work. Get yourself a sled, a harness, some weights and you can get yourself one of the greatest workouts of all time with it. You will increase your ability to work. Your work capacity with skyrocket which will allow you to put more time into your sport. Find out a load that works with you and your sport and work from there. Don’t push to hard. Remember this training game is a marathon, not a sprint. Have fun and get after it!