I didn’t really have anything to talk about tonite, so I thought I would post on the newest member of our strength and conditioning staff. Today in the weight room we got a delivery that will change our program forever. Not really, I’m just kidding, but its the PROWLER from Elitefts. A pushable, pullable sled that weighs in at about 75 lbs. Most of us in the strength and conditioning field have heard or have used the prowler before.
Our prowlers didn’t come til this afternoon but it didn’t take long before they were out and operational. Now if our GA would ever bring his oh so convenient Flip video we would’ve had a nice video for everyone to see. Haha, just kidding Jason.
So now how to use the prowler? I’m not a huge fan of non-specific conditioning for my athletes. Everything that I do is meant to benefit them in their given sport. A quick example is running a 1 or 2 mile test for baseball pitchers has absolutely no correlation to their on the field needs. Pitchers rarely, if ever, leave the alactic energy system during any part of their play. The only time they do is after the game when they mindlessly run poles for 30 minutes. The prowler has a tons of options and you’re only limited by your imagination. Most use the prowler as a vomit inducing, high intensity conditioning at the end of the workout, but it can useful for other things as well. Like I said I’m not a huge fan of mindless conditioning, but they can still serve a multitude of purposes.
They can be used as strength work. They may work well during deload weeks. Have athletes push it with a moderate to heavy weight for a short distance to get away from squats and cleans for a couple of days.
It doesn’t always have to be the anaerobic glycolytic (lactic) energy system that gets the benefit of the prowler. Doing short sprints with long rests will train the alactic (ATP-PC 0-6 secs.)energy system as well.
For mental toughness, however, it doesn’t get any better. Losing weight with the prowler is a no brainer with its high intensity possibilities. How much better can it get for MMA athletes. Every energy system becomes important for them, and shuttling lactic acid becomes incredibly important as rounds go on.
I believe they may work well with youngsters and creating leg drive and hip extension strength in the proper angle of acceleration in sprinting.
Football lineman could utilize the prowler in bursts of 4 seconds to simulate a run block, then given 30-40 seconds rest. Repeating 5-10 times would be specific to an offensive drive and simulate their specific energy system
What I challenge to those out there is to find what’s applicable to your athletes and implement it into a program with a purpose, not just to create pools of vomit. That really goes for every aspect of the sports training process. It doesn’t take knowledge to make somebody puke, it does to create superior athletes that consistently increase performance.