We spent a few days in the Salt Lake City area, checking out a few gyms and seeing the sights. SLC is a beautiful area – sunshine, mountains (seven ski resorts within 20 minutes!), easy airport access, a solid food/culture/art scene and, most importantly, a couple of really good gyms. Dallas and I visited one such gym, Ferocity CrossFit, one Sunday morning to pick up something heavy.
We got more than we bargained for.
We spent the first 30 minutes working gymnastics skill movements – handstand holds, ring dips, and pull-ups. When it came time for the met-con, gym owner Greg Adams started dragging stuff out into their huge parking lot and Dallas kept avoiding my eye contact. At that point, I knew I was in trouble.
Whole9 readers, meet The Prowler.
If you haven’t had the pleasure, a prowler is a metal sled designed primarily for suffering. And by suffering, I mean, general conditioning, strength and endurance. Normally weighing in between 75-100#, you can either leave it stripped or throw additional weights (plates) on top and, well, push. Yep, you just push it, usually across parking lot asphalt, dirt, or some other nasty surface with lots of friction. You can push it vertically, using the tall vertical posts, or push it horizontally (which we did), using one of two horizontal bars. The horizontal push requires you to get your hips lower to drive the sled forward, and is considered a bit more demanding.
I’ve pushed a Prowler once, vertical style, a very short distance. It messed me up for a solid ten minutes. So I was scared out of my mind thinking about facing this thing down under the hot Utah sun. Dallas made the Prowler the majority of our metabolic conditioning for the day, and chose two other movements designed to give me time to breathe between sled pushes. The workout he put together for me looked like this:
- Length of parking lot and back* Prowler push (Prowler + 50#)
- 7 ring rows**
- 10 calories on the Airdyne bike
*Turns out it’s 420 feet round trip – or 128 meters. Holy Mary, that’s almost a quarter mile of Prowler pushing.
**Dallas did 25 meter 95# snatch grip overhead carries instead of ring rows, and threw 140# on the Prowler.
By the end of the workout (16 minutes later), I had pretty much given myself asthma. And more than any other workout I’ve ever done, my central nervous system was messed up six ways to Sunday. I could do nothing but sit for a solid 20 minutes while Dallas got his gear ready, and couldn’t shake what will henceforth be known as the “Prowler Wheeze” for at least another hour. Metabolically demanding? Check. Muscular-ly demanding? Check. Mentally demanding? Check. Different than almost everything else I’ve been doing in the last six months? Check.
The conclusion? More Prowler, please.
Thanks to Greg Adams and Ferocity CrossFit for the hospitality, and the butt-kicking. And to The Prowler, I’ll be seeing you again soon. I just hope that new, sticky tar in the parking lot is dry by then.
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I’ve been bugging Jon about getting one of these for months and finally, rumor has it, one is on the way. I can’t wait. Thinking since I don’t have to put it overhead, I should be safe but Dallas should brush up on lower leg injuries just in case.
I wish I had access to a Prowler. That looks like loads of fun in the “this really sucks” kind of way.
At least you didn’t get the “prowler flu”.
The econo prowler is on sale this weekend for $40 off the regular price.
Cool! Is there anything on the bottom of the Prowler’s feet or is it just metal on asphalt? I’m wondering about the sound it makes when being pushed…
Bumpers on a prowler??? Like Tits on a hog! ;)
Dallas @ Whole9 says
Thanks (but not really) for sharing that link. I dare you to buy one and use it weekly. You’d become superhuman!
When you’re pushing that monster, the sound it makes is the least of your worries. Trust me on that.
140 pounds of rubber is JUST as miserable as 140 pounds of iron. But… you have a point. Hope you’re well.
Just gotta give you guys a little noise… Doing well here. Missed y’all when you were in Brooklyn, but hope to catch up with you guys soon. Hope both of you are doing well.
Meghan Waldeck says
The Prowler featured in, IMO, the most awesome team workout at Northeast Regionals. There were big, strong girls that were absolutely slaughtered by this thing. Couldn’t move it an inch. It was absolutely the deciding factor in the WOD. And yeah, one member had to push it while wearing a 25# weight vest and our guy had to sit in the ambulance for an hour after hooked up to oxygen. Not that I’m proud of that or advocating hurting yourself but it’s a testament to how this thing messes with you.
Melissa @ Whole9 says
@Thor: Nice to hear from you, as always. We’ll be in Westchester in November at Mike’s place – send you the details, love to see you and the lovely Leslie!
@Meghan: That’s quite a descriptive word, “slaughtered”… but I’m not at all surprised to hear it in the context of the Prowler. That thing is deceptively tough on all your bodily systems – I’m convinced a routine full of nothing but heavy squats and deadlifts, Prowler pushes and carrying stuff overhead would get you as fit as you’d ever need to be.
Meghan Waldeck says
@Melissa, yeah, it was painful to watch. One girl was really tall and had lots of trouble with the horizontal push. She was on her knees on the asphalt trying to get it moving. Ugh.
Good enough for me.
I so need a Prowler – the streets around my house are hideously rough and would make pushing this thing around even more ‘fun.’
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