I have tried most forms of training, including Olympic ifting, powerlifting, 5×5, TRX, HIIT, Triphasic, PowerX, and Plyometrics to name a few.
But none of them compare to sled training. The benefits of sled training are numerous, and I discover more every week. I spend less time training, am not sore, and my joints don’t hurt. Oh, and I am stronger, leaner, and faster than I have ever been.
- Perform all movement patterns
- Most people think of sleds just for pushing or basic dragging. But you can work your upper and lower body and get a true full body workout. You can even “replicate” Olympic lifts like cleans and the snatch, and do so in a very safe way. I wrote about the advantages here.
- You aren’t “lifting” weights, so you aren’t putting your body, especially your joints, through that strain. And sleds are self-limiting. You if “fail” you simply stop moving, as opposed to dropping a weight (or dropping yourself).
- Sleds are very easy to learn and use. Technique is quite simple, unlike squats and deadlifts, where bad form can lead to serious injury. And of course the Olympic lifts require significant dedication in terms of time and effort to learn properly.
- Don’t make you sore
- Unlike weightlifting, sleds don’t have an eccentric movement (the lowering of the weight). That is where muscles are mostly broken down and what causes the muscle soreness that you feel after lifting.
- Train for speed, power, size, endurance, or fat loss
- Sleds can meet your goals, regardless of what they are. Load a sled with light weight and increase your top speed. Heavier and you can build power. Really load it heavy and you can build your maximum strength. Done right, it will all increase your endurance and maximize fat loss.
- Increase speed (starting, maximal and lateral)
- Sleds are proven to increase speed more than squats or other weightlifting exercises. And sleds are the best way to load lateral movement.
- Everyone can do them
- I have effectively used sleds with 9 year olds, 77 year old grandmothers and National Champions.
- Quick & Effective
- You can get full body training that makes you stronger, leaner, faster and increases your VO2 max.
This adds up to make sled training the best investment of time you can possibly make. If there was only one thing I could do for my physical – and mental – health, it would be 10 minutes of sled training a day.