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View Full Version : Best use for a Prowler


Joe Hart
10-27-2009, 06:18 PM
So I got a prowler. It is fun in a twisted way. I have searched here and google and only found a few things about how to best use it. How does it compare to a dragging sled for recovery. Gant had mentioned in another thread that it is a different beast. Is it because you are bent over more than sled dragging?

How often could you get away using it? I am thinking maybe twice a week? One time heavy just pushing and the other light but going fast.

Anyone else with ideas?

Thanks.

PS. By the way...The guy that made it for me said he could make more if anyone were interested. He lives in MN. I don't think he would ship, though. You could drive a long way for the cost of shipping for a prowler.

Jay Ashman
10-27-2009, 08:56 PM
http://www.elitefts.com/documents/prowler.htm

http://www.hulsestrength.com/prowler-pushing-conditioning-exercise/.html

to be honest it is a lot different than sled dragging because of the position of your shoulders relative to your hips.

do it about 2x a week and you'll see a major difference..

Grissim Connery
10-27-2009, 08:59 PM
i justed looked on youtube to see what it was. that looks rough. have fun with that.

Jay Ashman
10-27-2009, 09:02 PM
Prowlers rule, Grissim. If you ever get a change to buy one, do so.. they are worth every penny.

Derek Simonds
10-28-2009, 07:12 AM
I think the main thing you do with a prowler is puke.

Joe Hart
10-28-2009, 11:54 AM
Yeah, I would agree with the puke part. My son and nephew were riding on it while I was pushing them yelling "faster! faster!" I almost barfed down my sons back when we were done. It was fun though.

I am going to put some plywood across the openings so I can use sandbags and KBs as weight and then use them when I stop. So intervals of prowler and swings? Hmmm that ought to leave me a sweating mess some where in the neighborhood. Because you I know won't be smart enough to head back home when everything starts heading south.

I can just see it...Little kid looks out the window. "Mommy some guy just passed out on our lawn with a cannon ball in his hands and some sled in the street. Should I dial 911?"

Jay Ashman
10-28-2009, 01:29 PM
Joe, that sounds like a great idea. Sandbags would rule for that. KB's may roll around a bit.

Gavin Harrison
10-28-2009, 01:50 PM
Use the low handles. ;)

Patrick Donnelly
10-29-2009, 03:07 PM
Why is tossing your cookies while using a prowler cool but lame during Filthy Fifty? I don't get the disconnect. I suppose if the reason is purely because you dislike the unwarranted elitism generally associated CrossFit, then that's understandable, but vomiting doesn't improve performance in either case.


Just seems weird, is all.

Joe Hart
10-29-2009, 03:10 PM
I was joking...I am very averse to barfing. I was surprised how quickly you can get to that point with the prowler, though.

Dave Van Skike
10-29-2009, 03:17 PM
It is truly remarkable how quickly you can go from cool down sled push to full barf...it is very not cool actually, but a great tool nonetheless. I've had the experience with pushing other stuff as well like motorcycles.

Garrett Smith
10-29-2009, 03:56 PM
Patrick,
I think the disconnect you're sensing is that some people seem to actively seek out exercising until they puke, while from what I've heard with the Prowler is it is pretty easy to get to puking stage before one realizes they've gone that far.

Joe Hart
10-29-2009, 05:45 PM
I was joking...I am very averse to barfing. I was surprised how quickly you can get to that point with the prowler, though.

Gavin Harrison
10-29-2009, 06:10 PM
The feeling of about to vomit and/or dry heaving can come within 2-3 trips...

Jay Ashman
10-29-2009, 06:32 PM
how long are your trips? I'll be honest, I've done a lot of prowler work and I never had that feeling of wanting to puke...

Gavin Harrison
10-29-2009, 07:56 PM
Jay,

Not terribly long, and not terribly weighted. But it's really hard to push that thing on grass without cleats... and I'm not in great condition anyway.

EDIT: Accurate reflection of my level of conditioning...

Jay Ashman
10-29-2009, 08:40 PM
You don't see that very often, usually its on concrete or some other harder surface.

Gavin Harrison
10-29-2009, 09:45 PM
Not in my back yard.. I usually just sprint one way with the poles then sprint back pushing low handles on the way back, short break, repeat, etc.

Derek Simonds
10-30-2009, 04:09 AM
There was this one time at band camp...

I did a heavy workout with the prowler one day, not a cool down where we started empty and every trip (about 40m's) you put on a plate up til you couldn't go anymore than without stopping took a plate off each way all the way back to empty. I thought I was going to die.

I don't like to puke, have no desire to puke and hate pushing people to puke. Doesn't matter what you are doing it isn't healthy. The prowler lets you find what your threshold is very quickly, faster than anything I have ever done before.

Jay Cohen
10-30-2009, 10:06 AM
Dang, this thread really makes me feel guilty. I have a great homemade sled, only use it a few times a month, well, that's going to change tomorrow. I think I'm going to make Sat mornings at 7:00 AM, sled work, day in, day out.

Thanks fellas.

Brian Stone
10-30-2009, 11:22 AM
Dang, this thread really makes me feel guilty. I have a great homemade sled, only use it a few times a month, well, that's going to change tomorrow. I think I'm going to make Sat mornings at 7:00 AM, sled work, day in, day out.

Thanks fellas.

There's a 7 AM on Saturday mornings?

Garrett Smith
10-31-2009, 06:56 AM
There's a 7 AM on Saturday mornings?
Yes...yes there is. I'm there right now, except my early Saturday mornings are for gymnastics strength training.

Brandon Oto
10-31-2009, 02:58 PM
The goddamned Prowler is the end of the fucking world. The only thing I could imagine worse than pushing that thing is pushing it at 7 in the morning.

Jay Ashman
10-31-2009, 03:24 PM
Don't act like the Prowler is THAT bad, Brandon, it really isn't. I can think of several things I'd rather not do, and running a 5k is one of them.

Brandon Oto
10-31-2009, 03:44 PM
We must be pushing a different metal contraption. The best use I can think of for the Prowler is to drop them in anger on Afghanistan.

Leo Soubbotine
11-01-2009, 07:23 AM
this is by far the best use of prowler!

http://crossfitfamily.com/page14/page25/files/collage_lb_image_page25_12_1.png

Must be done in the rain!

Brian Stone
11-01-2009, 07:46 AM
Based on the shrub alignment in the background, that looks to be inclined too.

Peter Dell'Orto
11-03-2009, 11:55 AM
I am going to put some plywood across the openings so I can use sandbags and KBs as weight and then use them when I stop. So intervals of prowler and swings?

There is a video from DeFranco's Training of just such a combination on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH2WOQ1PZz4

I've yet to experience that layer of hell personally, but it's exactly what you are describing. No reason that sandbags wouldn't work too.


I'm generally opposed to puking from workouts, but yeah, the Prowler seems to be an especially fast - and sneaky - way of finding out your limit. You're doing fine and then suddenly, you're not fine anymore. If that's all it did it would be BS, but it's a fantastic conditioning tool IMO. Technically simple, scalable, and it doesn't require a lot of trips to get a training effect. I love it for that reason. Just load it, run it, and you're done. It's just a matter of digging in and gutting it out when it gets hard, you don't need to worry about form breakdown. If your form breaks down, it just stops moving. Or runs into a pothole and just sits there. :D

Joe Hart
11-05-2009, 08:35 PM
So is it wrong to want to do the Prowler alot. For some reason I REALLY like it. I did a Prowler push with a 40# sandbag and 1.5 pood KB on it push the high handles for 30-40m, single arm KB swings (switch hands at top of swing) and push it back on the low handles. Not sure how many trips I made in 7:30, but I was done.

It sucks that the weather is going to shit up here in MN. I guess I will have to get it in while I can. I have to find some more ideas for prowler WOD.

Brian Amundsen
12-08-2009, 07:00 PM
I use my prowler a ton with my kids groups/speed camps. I push the low handles/hard side and the younger kids push the vertical handles. I'll take a few of the older kids on my end and then we push 60 feet and hand it off to the group going the other way at the end one person is left standing.

This will improve your conditioning immensely. 2-3 times a week is about right.

David Nittler
12-23-2009, 07:29 PM
this is by far the best use of prowler!

http://crossfitfamily.com/page14/page25/files/collage_lb_image_page25_12_1.png

Must be done in the rain!

Not sure if serious...

Chris H Laing
03-16-2010, 07:27 AM
Figured I'd post this here instead of starting a new thread...

Anyone have any good subs for prowler work?

Lately I've been trying to move away from complicated metcon and more towards simple conditioning (sprints, carries, etc.), but, since I'm a poor college kid, I sadly cant afford one.

Adolfo Riveron
03-16-2010, 07:37 AM
This is what i do, works well if your gym has an area with carpet.

1.Find a metal box jump box.
2.Stack plates on top.
3.Grab at bottom of box
4. Push

Allen Yeh
03-16-2010, 07:49 AM
Figured I'd post this here instead of starting a new thread...

Anyone have any good subs for prowler work?

Lately I've been trying to move away from complicated metcon and more towards simple conditioning (sprints, carries, etc.), but, since I'm a poor college kid, I sadly cant afford one.

I saw something where Ross Enamait had rigged up something with like a snow sled and some plates in his backyard.

Pat McElhone
03-16-2010, 10:50 AM
Figured I'd post this here instead of starting a new thread...

Anyone have any good subs for prowler work?

Lately I've been trying to move away from complicated metcon and more towards simple conditioning (sprints, carries, etc.), but, since I'm a poor college kid, I sadly cant afford one.

Take your biggest text books, put them in your backpack, then go to the bottom of the tallest dorm and take the stairs all the way up. Repeat until satisfied.

"Rucking" has long been a favorite of both moutaineers and mil guys. It works great for general conditioning and buidling tree trunk legs. If CF, or Elifts are any other internet site pushed it, you would see specialized backpack at Rogue Fitness just for "rucking". In fact, it will probably be the "next thing".

Steve Shafley
03-16-2010, 06:28 PM
I just hauled mine out of the garage and was pushing it across some water softened gravel.

I worked up to 4 plates total on it. The last trip out I contemplated just taking the plates off and walking them to my car because it would have been easier than pushing it back.

Loading it up in into the back after that gave me a few dry heaves, which is exactly the sixth time I've ever had that happen to me from exertion. The low handles are what did it, I think, plus the fact that every step was an effort, since zero momentum developed on that surface.

Derek Weaver
03-16-2010, 08:16 PM
This is what i do, works well if your gym has an area with carpet.

1.Find a metal box jump box.
2.Stack plates on top.
3.Grab at bottom of box
4. Push

Honestly, the closest thing I've found in terms of training effect are Towel Lines.

We had to do these when i was playing high school basketball. You get a towel (a regular gym towel works fine here), start at the baseline of a basketball court, and do a suicide drill while bent at the waist pushing the towel.

So, baseline to free throw line and back, baseline to half court and back, baseline to opposite free throw line and back, baseline to baseline and back.

If you want to really up the suck, and the court is marked for it, you can do free throw, 3/4 hash (this is on the side of the court, so you'd want to do it where you can see this), half court, 3/4, free throw, baseline.

Not the same since the Prowler is usually weighted, and weighs something like ~30 lbs, but this was the first thing that made me throw up.

Joe Hart
03-16-2010, 08:27 PM
I did that in bootcamp in the Marines. Ahhh good times good times.

Donald Lee
03-16-2010, 09:55 PM
I never knew there was a name for that, Derek. I avoided that job at OCS. I was either the guy wiping stuff down or sweeping. If it wasn't PT, I didn't want my legs burning. :D

Derek Weaver
03-16-2010, 10:36 PM
We had some other creative names for them. It's easier to do the Extra Suck Version on a court that doubles as a volleyball court.

I don't recommend them unless a coach is trying to get his team to quit on him.

I had a fairly serious concussion at the beginning of the season and got out of doing these for about 6 weeks. The ensuing headache and nausea made for an interesting couple of hours after doing these that first time after being released to play again.

Allen Yeh
03-17-2010, 04:40 AM
Wow that sounds remarkably un-fun....so basically pushing a towel on the ground while doing suicides. Yikes...I'm glad I don't have access to an indoor court because I'm just stupid enough to try it.

Matt Wichlinski
03-21-2010, 03:51 PM
its not a prowler, but its a cheap sled variant...


http://www.youtube.com/user/mwich40?feature=mhw4#p/u/3/o952K--On-Y

Derek Weaver
03-21-2010, 04:38 PM
Wow that sounds remarkably un-fun....so basically pushing a towel on the ground while doing suicides. Yikes...I'm glad I don't have access to an indoor court because I'm just stupid enough to try it.

Un-fun is a kind way of putting it. If you get a team of ~15 doing these, you won't have to sweep the floor very often.

Anyway you push the towel, it sucks. Leave the towel unfolded, sucks. Roll it up, sucks.