The Prowler Challenge

By Jim Wendler


For www.EliteFTS.com



 

The Prowler has quickly become a staple in many people’s training – it is efficient, difficult and effective.  It’s the perfect conditioning device for anyone looking to cut the B.S., start training like a man again and not waste time.  I am thoroughly convinced that the Prowler is the answer to most of our world’s problems: debt, overpopulation, drugs, obesity, etc.  If we required every person in the United States to push the Prowler for one mile a day, no one would have the energy to do anything but catch their breath.  While some things may go undone (work, breastfeeding, attending funerals, et al), I still believe that this would do more good than harm.

 I’ve been using the Prowler for almost 4 years now, and I’ve come up with a series of Prowler challenges that you can use as conditioning benchmarks or something to plan after a training session.

The Prowler can be pushed on many different surfaces, but we’re going to restrict this article to pushing on pavement.  Most people have access to long stretches of pavement, and now that the Prowler has replacement skis, we’re safe to rub the SOB’s raw if we want to. 

Enough talk. Let’s start coughing up a lung with some prowler challenges.

Prowler Challenge #1 – The Hell that is New Jersey

·         Number of Sprints – 6

·         Rest period of each sprint – 60 seconds

·         Distance of each sprint– 40 yards

·         Weight on Prowler – 140lbs total

·         Alternate between horns (vertical black posts) and highest low handle. 

This is the original Prowler Challenge from Joe DeFranco.  I believe this is has been modified from what he did or does now, but the spirit of New Jersey remains intact.  With this Prowler challenge, you will sprint 40 yards with your hands on the horns, rest 60 seconds, and the sprint back 40 yards while on the highest low handle.  You will rest another 60 seconds and start the dumbness again.  Go until you’ve done 6 total sprints: 3 on the horns and 3 on the low handles.

The rest periods on this one need to be very well-monitored, so be sure to use a stopwatch or have someone time you.

Prowler Challenge #2 - 500

This one is a little easier to stomach than the first one, but it still sucks.  I’ve done this Prowler challenge walking and sprinting. It doesn’t matter what you do, or even if you mix it up during the actual challenge – just get it done.  Rest periods start getting a little skewed here, especially at the end, but don’t worry. 

·         Number of sprints/walks – 10

·         Distance of each sprint/walk – 30 yards

·         Rest period between sprints – 60 seconds to forever

·         Weight on Prowler – varies between sprints

·         All sets done on the Horns

Here is what each set looks like:

·         Set 1-2:  90lb

·         Set 3-4: 180lb

·         Set 5-6: 270lb

·         Set 7-8: 360lb

·         Set 9-10: 450lb

 You will push the Prowler down and back for 30 yards with one 45 pound plate per horn, then down and back with 2 plates, etc. Keep going in this manner until you reach 5 plates per side.  The first couple of sets are pretty easy, but don’t worry – the 10 total plates will suck.  I’ m not too worried about rest periods with this one, so don’t go overboard and break out the watch.

Prowler Challenge #3 – Prowler Marathon

I dubbed this one the Prowler Marathon because it’s simply a test of guts and stupidity – the two great values of a strong man.  There is really no set distance with this challenge because it will be determined by where you live and what you have access to.  The Prowler Marathon was inspired by Marc Bartley’s Prowler trips around his gym.  Marc would load up the Prowler with an insane amount of weight and push it around the building his gym was in.  This trip was about ¼ mile, and Marc would simply try to complete the mission, taking whatever rest was needed.

I first did this on a huge strip of grass by a creek.  I began by pushing about 350 yards in spurts – by the time I did this I was worn out. The only way back to my truck was either through the creek (carrying the Prowler) or pushing the Prowler back.  Since I wasn’t about to swim with the Prowler, I had to push it back.  Suffice it to say that I laid in my truck bed for about 30 minutes once I got back.

Your goal for the Prowler Marathon is to simply complete “the lap.”  The lap can be around the block of your gym, your home, a random neighborhood to save face, etc.

·         Weight: 90-180lbs (your choice)

·         Distance: try for ¼ to ½ mile

·         Rest periods:  whatever and whenever…just finish the workout

The Prowler Marathon is really a good weekend training excursion when you have nothing to do but make a really bad decision and pay for it for the rest of the day.

Prowler  Challenge #4 – The Fighter

This one probably sucks the most out of all of them.  This will give you the Prowler flu and the Prowler hangover.  With this Prowler challenge, you’ll be pushing (walking) for time, not distance.

·         Push Prowler for 4 minutes, no stopping

·         Rest 1 minute

·         Push Prowler for 4 minutes, no stopping

·         Rest 1 minute

·         Push Prowler for 4 minutes, no stopping

·         Rest forever

I usually use about 180 pounds for this, and I always walk with the Prowler.  I would highly recommend starting with 2 minutes of pushing time per round.  You will thank me later.  Here is an example of the Prowler flu.

Team Prowler Training

Are you interested in outfitting your school or facility with 3 or more Prowlers?  We have special team pricing which reduces the shipping when 3 or more Prowlers are purchased.  If you want to challenge your athletes and build character and strength, please contact Jim Wendler @ 888 854 8806.

Author Bio

Jim Wendler is the author of 5/3/1:  The Simplest and Most Efficient Training System for Raw Strength.   This article is from Bloodwork, an upcoming book he is writing on conditioning. He was a fullback at the University of Arizona, earning 3 letters and the admiration of his mother, who was his only fan.  Not good enough to play in the NFL, Jim turned his sights to the world of powerlifting and squatted 1000, benched 675 and deadlifted 700, with a 2375 all-time best total.  He has since removed the large build up of muck from his arteries and tries really hard to reclaim his youth and vigor.  You can find his articles and ask him a question at www.elitefts.com.

 



Copyright© 1998-2009 Elite Fitness Systems. All rights reserved.