Posts Tagged ‘Sled’

I’m stating the obvious when I say the vast majority don’t pay close enough attention to their cardiovascular health. Its importance gets lost in the pursuit of becoming bigger, leaner, and stronger.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but we need to appreciate that possessing a sufficient level of physical preparedness can yield a lot of benefits.

Being strong is one thing, but if walking up a flight of stairs leaves you panting, you have some work to do. You don’t want your conditioning to be the limiting factor.

To read the full article on STACK, click HERE.

>>The 4 Best Types of Cardio to Get in Shape Fast<<

1. Assault AirBike or AirDyne


What’s awesome about the Assault AirBike or AirDyne is that the harder you pedal, the more resistance you have. Sort of like a catch-22. If you don’t push yourself, you’re not going to get the results you’re looking for. The faster you pedal, you’ll be in the corner wondering what did you get yourself into.

This piece of equipment is also low impact, so if you’re looking for a way to improve your conditioning without beating up your low back or knees. It’s virtually impossible to get injured doing a max-effort sprint on this.

Reverse Tabata Assault AirBike

  • 4 minute warm-up at moderate pace
  • 4 minute work (10sec max-effort sprint, 20sec active recovery)
  • 4 minute cool down

If you’re a masochist, I challenge you to switch up the work-to-rest ratio.

2. VersaClimber


The VersaClimber has quickly become my worst enemy. I still get nightmares after my first encounter with them.

Much like the Assault AirBike, it involves the whole body and is low impact. Although, it is a bit more demanding (in my opinion) due to the larger amplitude of movement that is required.  Trust me, it won’t take long before you start to question your sanity once you start climbing.

Simply set up by placing your hands on the handle bar and feet on the pedals. Start at a moderate pace. From there, drive your feet and arms as hard and as fast as you can. Shoot for 6-10 rounds of 30-40 seconds. Rest as needed.

Collapse at the end.


3. Sled Work


If I was only given a handful of equipment, no question the sled would be on that list. Despite the fact that I envision near death every time I come close to one, I’d be remiss not to praise it.

I’m a firm believer that every gym should be equipped with a sled or prowler. It’s extremely versatile in terms of training variability. In addition to the training effect you can induce for conditioning purposes, it’s also a viable tool to increase your strength. More pressingly, it doesn’t have a steep learning curve — it doesn’t require a ton of coordination and is relatively easy to learn.

Just load it up and get after it.

Push it, pull it, press it, or drag it. You can’t go wrong with either.


4. Walking


Obviously, walking doesn’t carry the badge of a hardcore workout, and it won’t prepare you for any marathons or sprint triathlons. Unlike the rest of the bunch, though, it doesn’t add a ton of training stress.

In this day and age, seemingly, everyone is under the impression that training has to be gritty. Make no mistake, walking does wonders for the body. Not only does it help with recovery, but it also helps in establishing a base level of aerobic capacity. It’s also underrated for improvements in body composition.

Reap the benefits by walking 30-40 minutes 3-5 times a week.

While I’ve always had an open mind, there were instances in the past where I just wanted to bang my head into the wall over the the antics I see in commercial gyms and on social media. Nowadays, I try to understand the reasoning behind their approach, albeit a challenging task.

How you train or what you advocate is your move. Every exercise has its place due to the concept of specificity.

That being said, if we’re talking about exercises that are the most bang for your buck, it’s no question that you’ve got to hammer down movements that are going to make you strong — and exercises that exhibit high levels of muscular recruitment are going to be your best bet.

Here are four exercises to rule them all.


1. Prowler/Sled Push


What can I say? They’re the best way to lean out without losing strength and muscle (provided your nutrition is on point).

From a conditioning standpoint, these babies rule — which is why they should be in your training program. If the zombie apocalypse does happen, at least you’ll know that you’re in excellent condition to be a survivor.

2. Loaded Carries


I always get asked, “What does this exercise work?” Instead, they should be asking what doesn’t this exercise work. I’m convinced that nothing packs on more muscle than loaded carries. In addition to improved hip stability, walking with a heavy load forces you to engage your core, your upper back, and arms. It’s also worth mentioning that it does a heck of job in improving shoulder function.

3. Deadlift


It’s no secret that the Deadlift is highly regarded as the king of all exercises. You’re essentially working everything from your head to your toes. With that in mind, there are many schools of thought on how should you pull. Powerlifters will argue that the Trap Bar Deadlift are for sissies, and others will say Sumo is cheating.

Here’s what I have to say about all of that:


What we need to start taking more into consideration is our unique individual anatomy. People vary dramatically in structure. Some might not be able to pull a conventional deadlift.  Similarly, there are others who might be more well-equipped to pull from a sumo stance.

I believe the deadlift is a big movement that should stay in your training program year round, however, you have to choose which variation is suited best for you.

Conventional Deadlift

Sumo Deadlift

Trap Bar Deadlift

Landmine Deadlift

4. Bulgarian Split Squats


I know what you’re thinking, and yes — I would’ve said the same thing in the past, but hear me out.  I have such an immense adoration for this exercise simply because they rarely cause me or my clients any problem.  In fact, I’ve found them to almost have a universal application.

I love back squats, but due to structural limitations, a lot of people are pretty much in quick sand whenever they try to get under the bar and squat — they’re not going anywhere. This is why I’m convinced that the Bulgarian Split Squat is a far better option than conventional squatting. Even with proper form in a back squat, you’re bound to run into some problems whether it’d be hip, lower back, or knee issues. Moreover, you can virtually load as much weight as you can, but with less loading on the spine.

If not these, front squats are my second option.

Honorable Mentions: Pull-Ups, Weighted Push-Ups, Kettlebell Turkish Get Ups

I’m aware that this is a very short list.  But make no mistake that proper execution of these movements will yield big time results.  Vary the intensity and stay consistent.

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