Full-Body Exercises

Fit in 15: Sled & Slams

Use this punishing yet unconventional superset to get stronger, run faster and jump higher.

by CSCS, MS
Heavy Rope Slams

With all the options out there and with so many physical goals floating around in your think box, it can be tough to decide which approach is best. But what if you could increase your strength, speed and power with a simple, two-exercise workout that gets you out of the gym in 15 minutes flat?

Studies have shown that sprint speed, jumping ability and strength increase with the more weight you can push on a prowler-style sled. The converse is also true: those who can sprint faster, jump higher and are stronger can always push more weight than their counterparts. Because of the volume and non-eccentric style – you’re only pushing, people – of sled training it is a great way to put on mass for you skinny guys. And the good news is that these combine-style piece of equipment are becoming more and more common at the franchise gyms that most of us frequent.

THE WORKOUT

Load up a prowler or comparable sled with as much weight as it takes you to push it 20 meters in about 15 seconds. For most guys this is several hundred pounds. Also set up some battling ropes close by. Push the sled using the high handles for the allotted distance as hard and as fast as you can.

Immediately walk over to the battling ropes and perform two-handed slams – slamming them as high, hard and fast as you can – for only 10 seconds. If you do not have a timer or cannot see a clock go for 16-20 reps.

Rest 60 seconds then repeat for a total of eight times.

WORKOUT TIPS

>> Do 1-2 warm-up sets with the prowler and with the ropes before starting your workout, increasing your weight and intensity each set.

>> Using the high handles on the sled recruits the posterior chain more than the low handles, which put more emphasis on the quadriceps.

>> A variation of the battling ropes that you can use is to tie up only one end of the rope so you only have a single rope to hold onto with both hands. This makes the rope twice as long and allows you to work a little bit harder through your core/midsection.

>> For an extended, 20-minute version of this workout, use the single-rope version described above with the low handles on the prowler (you'll have to use less weight) and complete six rounds of it. Rest five minutes then perform 6 rounds of the high handle prowler with the two-handed battling ropes.

>> You can also try the pull variation with the prowler. To do it right, simply attach a handled rope – or add a common cable rope attachment that’s used in the triceps pushdown exercise to the rope supplied with the prowler sled – and pull the sled behind you.

THE 15 PAYOFF

This is a gut-check workout. Sprint athletes would usually rest for several minutes to maximize speed on each sprint. But here, the rest periods have been condensed for time economy, metabolic conditioning and fat loss. The sled will challenge you anaerobically, aerobically and neurally. Survive this workout without throwing up and you deserve a nice pat on the back…or against your freshly-popped abs.

Phil Gephart, MS, CSCS, is a certified personal trainer and owner of Newport Fit4Life in Newport Beach, Calif. A former professional basketball player, his CHEK & PICP certifications are recognized as the top in the world in the holistic, corrective exercise approach as well as preparing athletes for competition. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

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