As a natural bodybuilder, I’m not a big believer in cardio when it comes to dieting down. I’ve found in the past that walking for long periods doing steady state cardio on a stationary bike or treadmill is not only boring but no exactly a good investment of my time. Previous experiments using HIIT protocols left me stringy and weaker in the gym. I tend to go low carb when dieting and I think that having low glycogen levels and doing cardio tends to be a recipe for diaster when it comes to maintaining muscle.
Enter sled work for recovery and fat loss.
I was first introduced to the concept of sled work in Chrisitan’ Thibeaudeus article “High Performance Mass” I know that it had been discussed in numerous articles by many strength coaches before then, but CT’s advocation of sled work for improving recovery and adding in extra work in for muscle groups in the form of eccentricless training has added another dimension to my training.
Sled work is beautiful while at the same time brutal. After a heavy session at the gym, the motivation to go out and do some sled pulling is really low. Adding sled work to a period of contest dieting and depletion and it becomes pure misery, especially when its pissing down with rain outside with cold winds ripping into you. After performing a half hour or so of sled exercises, I’ve felt oddly recharged and relaxed.
Prowlers are currently all the rage, however they’re nigh on impossible to find here in Australia and dreadfully expensive if you can. You don’t need an expensive Prowler (although it would be sweet), and I found a great standby for $100 at a local sports equipment store. Other alternatives include making your own. (See article below for link) Here are some other good articles detailing different reasons for sled training along with some good sled workouts and protocols.
(Thanks to Adam Levi Browne Photography for coming down and snapping these pics for me on the day)
Just One Exercise – Michael Boyle
High Performance Mass (Leg Exercises involving Sled with videos)
Build Your Own Sled – Tim Henriques – Excellent sled training article for the whole body.