After seven weeks of sled training, the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reports, men upped their sprint time, jump height, and squat power.
Late summer is the perfect time for some outdoor sled pulling, whether on a lawn, through a field, on pavement, or across sand. To increase the kind of explosiveness used in jumping, load the sled with weights equal to 20% of your body mass and do sprints; and for getting faster overall, sprint pulling 5–12% body mass, recommends study head Beatriz Bachero-Mena. Also, she says, warm up properly by sprinting as far as you’re planning to train before pulling the sled.
If you’ve got some DIY chops, here are two easy, effective, and budget-friendly ways to build a sled, courtesy of strength coach and Men’s Fitness adviser CJ Murphy, M.F.S., plus one we just dare you to try.
Drill a hole in the side of a tire and insert an eyebolt; fasten with a nut. Loop a rope through the bolt so you have 6–8 feet to pull. Attach the rope to a steel hang-all (available at Home Depot), and attach it to a weight belt. For weight, wedge a plank of wood or wire mesh inside the tire and attach with screws; set weights or a sandbag on top.
Take the handles and wheels off a wheelbarrow. Drill a hole through the front (sloped) end of the bucket, then screw in an eyebolt or U bolt and secure it with a nut. As above, use rope or chain and a steel hang-all as the pulling mechanism. Place weights inside the bucket.