The Benefits of Sled Work
We recently purchased some new Dog Sleds from Rogue and just started to incorporate these into our regular training routine. The great thing about the sleds is that they are so versatile and can be used in a variety of different ways to elicit a different training response and adaptation. For example sled sprints, heavy sled push, sled pulls, sled power walks, reverse sled pulls, and more can all be used to create novelty in our training, keep it fun, and keep our bodies guessing and always adapting to the new challenges. Above all there are a few key benefits that sled training offers to us that make sled work one of the most beneficial exercises in the gym.
Burn body fat. When your performing high intensity sled sprints your body is primarily using the anaerobic system which uses energy that is stored in our muscles. As opposed to aerobic activities which can be sustained for long periods of time, anaerobic activities can only be performed in bouts of about 10-15 seconds (as you have experienced in the last two weeks sled sprint workouts). Anaerobic activities like sled sprints are the best way to burn excess body fat and build or maintain muscle mass at the same time! Now who doesn’t want that?
Increase running speed. Just like we utilize the barbell to increase our speed and strength for our lifts, we can also use the sled to increase our running speed and strength. The added resistance from the sled increases the demand on similar musculature that we use during running to help make us stronger distance runners and faster sprinters. We’re coming for you Usain Bolt!
Low impact. Any variation of sled work is extremely low impact on the body and is safe for anyone from the preschooler to the grandparent. Sled work will also leave your body feeling relatively fresh the day after training and can even be used as a great recovery protocol to help your legs bounce back quicker after a tough day of training. Yay for not using the handicap rails to sit on the toilet!
You can go 100%! There are very few movements in the gym that everyone can really go 100% on. Many of the movements we do at the gym focus a lot on technique and mechanics and we very rarely push close to an all out effort. Fitness level and training age also play a factor in how hard we can and should push certain barbell lifts and even bodyweight movements. The sled has the unique ability to enable us to give all we’ve got because there is no learning curve to the movement. Put your hands on the posts, get low, and go! That sweet feeling you have at the end of a 20 second sprint; that’s the feeling of giving all you’ve got!
These are just a few of the numerous benefits of sled training and we can’t wait to introduce many more variations over the next few months. If you have any questions be sure to ask a coach and we will be happy to help. See yall at the gym and happy sledding!