Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Live-Man Prowler

Here is a "fun" conditioning workout for a small group. Don't do this alone - in fact, it doesn't work alone.

Get a small group of fellow victims, a Prowler (we used my red Econo Prowler), a few plates, and a short running distance.

Pick an order, and then start pushing the Prowler - high handles out, low handles back or vice-versa (the suck evens out, no matter which you choose).

As soon as the first person's trip ends, the next victim starts his or her run. The idea is to keep the Prowler moving. Don't let it stop for more than a few seconds - if the person next up in the rotation can't keep up, skip him or her and jump ahead. Be read to take it from the person as it comes back in, and duck aside as you finish so you don't get run over. I call this "Live-Man Prowler" because in live-man sparring, one guy just keeps sparring and new people swap in and act as partners...usually switching every round or every submission. With this, the Prowler itself is the "one guy" and the trainees all switch in on "him."

The first time we did this, the prowler finished up with gleaming skids from the friction, and they were hot to the touch. Well hotter than you'd get from just leaving it on the hot August blacktop in the sun. We warmed up with a barbell complex for a couple rounds first, plus the usual dynamic warmups.

We only ran it about 50 feet or so one-way (so around a 35 yard round trip), and used only 25 pounds on each horn. We did 20 total trips apiece, or that was the goal at least - not everyone made it all 20.

This can be intense, and you really need to know when to quit and when to rest. I peaked out at something like 120% of my estimated maximum heart rate right after trip number 20, although it did drop down to my usual recovery zone in only a minute and change. That's despite the weight (65 + 50 = 115 pounds total) being much lighter than the 250 or so I do with a normal Prowler on turf. The lack of rest means that even though it never feels "heavy" you just can't suck enough air in to recover.

You can do this I-go-you-go approach with anything, but "Keep the Prowler Moving!" makes for a fun challenge, and it forces you to keep working without fully recovering. If the grinding sound stops for more than a few seconds, you're just not doing the workout.

Have fun!
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