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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