Michael Phelps didn’t capture 22 medals by training in the pool alone. He cross-trained extensively, and the weighted sled was an important tool in his regimen. There are countless ways to burn fat and build muscle with a weighted sled, and you can target nearly every muscle in your body. Your first step is to invest in some quality equipment—we suggest either the Prowler 2 (available at elitefts.com) or Drive Sled II (performbetter.com), shown here. Your next step is to try the following routine, inspired by Phelps’ own training. Add it to the end of any weight workout to burn fat, build endurance, and give your upper back—a common weak point—an extra blast.
1. SLED PUSH
Load the sled with 45–90 pounds and grasp the upright handles. sprint with the sled 40 yards, rest 60 seconds, and sprint back. Repeat for 10 total sprints.
Don’t push with your arms—use your legs to power the sled forward.
2. SLED REVERSE FLYE
Attach straps to a sled and hold a handle in each hand. Walk backward from the sled to take the slack out, and when your arms are extended in front of you, squeeze your shoulder blades together and draw your arms back and out 90 degrees. Walk backward until your arms are in front of you and perform another flye. Continue for 20 yards. Perform 10 sets.
Hold the contraction for an extra second at the top to exhaust your back.