Sleds and Rope Climbs

Workouts need to be fun.  Workouts need to be different.  Exercise need to be exciting.  Workouts need to be effective.

If workouts were anything but this why would we even bother to workout, if it was always boring, always the same thing, and never produced results? We wouldn’t.

Here’s a quick little workout that I did this weekend.  The goal was to have fun, and get in and out of the gym fast.

Goal accomplished.

I realize some of this equipment is not available to everyone, so if you still want to do the workout and are in a traditional gym setting, simply sub cable rows for the sled pulls, and pull ups for the rope climb.

Homemade Sleds

Adding sled work into workouts has two benefits.  First, the workouts, although hard are tons of fun!  Second, using them the right way has a great carry over to athletic development.

In order for me to incorporate exercises into my group training sessions I need to be able to put 3-5 people on one station at a time, which means I need to have 3-5 pieces of equipment available for the exercises that require equipment.  Sleds can be expensive but can easily be made from some old tires, a little bit of wood, and some hardware.

I looked into a few designs that other people had already put together.  To be honest, although function is my highest priority, I’m also interested in how things look in my gym.

Each homemade tire sled requires:

  • 1 truck size tire
  • 2 pieces of cut 2 x 4s that fit the diameter of the tire
  • 1 eye bolt
  • 4 -3 inch bolts
  • 10 Washers
  • 5 Lock Washers
  • 5 Hex Nuts
  • 9 Wood Screws
  • 1 Flushing 1 1/4 inch
  • 1 – 10inch Nipple 1 1/4 inch
  • 24 feet braided rope

The diameter of the hardware that was used is 3/8.

Below are some of the photos that show how the tire sleds were made.

Most of the hardware that is needed, check the list above.

The set up for the eye bolt that either rope or webbing will go through to use as the moving component of the equipment.

Measure the 2 x 4s for almost the entire length of the diameter of the tire.

To keep the 2 x 4s flat notch out the wood in the centers.

Use wood crews to secure the 2 x 4s together.

Use 3 bolts, washers, lock washers and hex nuts at the end of each 2 x 4 to secure the 2 x 4s to the tire.

Use wood screws to secure the flushing in the center, attach pipe or nipple to the flushing to add weight plates for use.

Big Girls Don’t Cry…

Frankie Vallie sang it first…  So why don’t big girls cry?

Well they do, they cry a lot, I can attest to that, BUT not in the gym, not during a workout.

Training is hard, it takes effort, dedication, guts, a mental game, and strength.

Effort: It’s what you put in to it.  Little effort in, little results out.  Lots of effort in, lots of results out.

Dedication: You’re not going to reach your goals overnight.  You’re not going to reach goals going at it half-assed. You have to put in the work.

Guts: There’s only glory once the goals are reached.  In the meantime, you’ve got to work hard.  You’ve got to see past the temporary pain you’re in and into the future.  You’ve got to visualize reaching your goals.  You’ve got to get past the discomfort, if it was easy, we’d all do it.

Mental Game: More than half of those failed reps are in your head.  You psych yourself out from doing them.  That next pull up is there.  The higher box jump, it’s there.  Ten more pounds on your deadlift, it’s there.  Again, visualize it.

Strength: Every ounce of strength, psychical…emotional… Dig deep, find what drives you, stick to it, even when it’s hard.  Be strong.  Find it in your heart, believe it in your mind.

After all, big girls don’t cry…at least not in the gym.

The Perfect Combination for Weight Loss

Many of us think that if we just eat right we’ll lose weight.

Many of think that if we just exercise we’ll lose weight.

There is some truth to all that.  If you eat pizza and cheeseburgers everyday then start eating salads, you’ll see a change in your weight.  If you’ve never exercised a day in your life and you start a quality workout program, you’ll start to see some weight loss.

Then you reach a plateau point, maybe you even start to put weight back on.  What’s going on??

The hard truth about weight loss is that it isn’t easy, it takes a lot of work…hard work.  As with anything if it was easy everyone would do it.  We wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic on our hands if it were easy.

Three most important factors to weight loss are:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Rest

Instead of focusing on just one component listed above, incorporate all three of them into a daily routine, make a lifestyle change, and then stick to it.

Choosing the best foods to fuel your body is a crucial part of nutrition, but portion sizes are equally important.  Here’s one site that has some portion size recommendations.

Dumbbell Swings – Part 2

Last week I showed you my preferred way to do dumbbell swings so that you could still incorporate the swing into your training program even if you didn’t have access to a kettlebell.

There was some confusion as to what my preferred grip on the dumbbell is, so I added a little more detailed video.

Regardless, your best bet is to use a grip that you feel comfortable with. Just because this works for me doesn’t mean that it is the ideal grip for you based on the type and size of the dumbbell that you are using.