If you aren’t dragging a weight sled, you aren’t really training. At least that’s the opinion of Dan John, a kettlebell instructor and strength coach in Burlingame, CA. Aside from providing a unique way to blast your legs, moving a weight sled puts your whole body under stress and can drive your heart rate through the roof. “I don’t know of a better way to jack up your metabolism,” says John.
First, invest in a sled—we like the GoFit Super Weight Sled ($130 at gofit.net), but you can construct your own with the tips below. Load the sled with weight plates until the total is at least equal to your own body weight, if not more. Attach ropes or sled straps to it and fix the opposite ends to a weight belt—the kind you’d wear to protect your lower back while performing a heavy deadlift or squat (or get a harness, as shown here). Strap on the weight belt and drag the sled as fast as you can under control for 30 to 40 meters. Perform three sets, resting as needed in between. You can also push the sled from a low-crouch position. After a few workouts, feel free to experiment with other lengths for the ropes or straps, and heavier weights. There are no absolute rules. “A sled workout is like jazz,” John says. “But one thing I always say to beginners is, ‘Have respect for this.’ ” Sled training can wipe you out.
BUILD YOUR OWN
Approximating your own weight sled can be easy, and cheap, if you follow John’s advice. “Go to Home Depot, get a wheelbarrow kit, and just use the tub part of it,” he says. Fill the tub with concrete, sand, car parts, or any other heavy objects. “Hook your ropes up to it and a weight belt and you’ve got a sled.”