What’s the difference between a prowler and a sled? I’m here to try and help clear up some of that confusion, but to be honest, I’m not sure that I will.
There’s no absolute consensus on the definition or nomenclature of what a sled or prowler is.
Let’s start broadly and say that a Prowler is a type of sled, but not all sleds are Prowlers. Yeah, one of those deals.
Some people, including myself, like to differentiate Prowler vs. sled by the sliding apparatus it has.
Does it have 3 skis/skids/feet? Then you might call that a Prowler.
Exhibit A: Prowler
Does it have 2 long, continuous rails on the sides underneath? Then you might call that a sled.
These are by no means a hard and fast rule, but it’s a start, at least until the confusion gets cleared up some day.
Unfortunately, there’s more confusion to be sorted out. That is…
What’s the actual training and performance difference between a Prowler and a sled?
Do you push or pull a Prowler or both?
Do you push or pull a sled or both?
Answer: All of the above.
Some people make the mistake of thinking that Prowlers aren’t designed to be pulled. Indeed they are, but perhaps pulling a Prowler isn’t seen as often as pushing it.
Sleds on the other hands are used to be pushed as often as they are pulled.
As a reader, you must be delighted to get another non-definitive answer, that is all too common in fitness.
You’ll be glad to know there are some concrete differences between the two. And by concrete, I literally mean concrete. Let’s take a look at the specific differences in the Prowler vs. sled confusion.
Exhibit B: Sled
Rather than doing an involved, drawn-out explanation and discussion of the differences, let’s lay out the characteristics and features of a Prowler in a succinct, quick hitting way.
What To Expect From A Prowler:
What To Expect From A Prowler Workout:
Here are the common, defining characteristics and features of a sled.
What To Expect From A Sled:
What To Expect From A Sled Workout
So there you have it. What you choose to use, is of course largely dependent on your goals and what you’re looking to achieve. You’ll see Prowlers and sleds being employed for a wide variety of training types: interval, cardio, strongman, fat-loss, speed, etc.
Personally, I prefer to use our Mercury sled. I have a few reasons for my preference.
This isn’t a coincidence either. Prowlers and sleds were designed with the initial intention of improving the conditioning of NFL linemen.
When you've chosen your workhorse and you're ready to crack the whip on yourself have a look at the workouts I curated below.
- I always love the workouts the crew from Breaking Muscle put together. This looks to be a quality workout that employs something more like our Model A pull sled. The piece lays out the physiological benefits of sled use, how to properly use the sled and how to calculate how much weight to use. It wraps up with a specific workout to try.
Exhibit C: Model A Sled
- This article from Dr. John Rusin's website is similar to the previous, but more detailed and in-depth. You'll get more specifics about the benefits of using a sled, more instructions on how to use it, and learn about a number of different workout types to try with it.
- Our friends over at BarBend have put together this strongman specific sled use guide. Written by former strongman pro, Michael Gill teaches you the basics.
- If your heart isn't set on a Prowler or a sled, check out this article that shows you alternative training exercises and movements you can do. Also features a nice list of pros and cons of Prowler training.
Here's a short vid in which our founder and CEO Peter, shows off our sleds, their differences and his mushing skills.
Finally, if you're dead set on Prowler or sled training, look no further than arguably the most legendary strength expert and trainer- Mark Rippetoe. If you haven't heard, he's the author of Starting Strength, the holy grail of strength training manuals.
Thanks again for reading Fringe Nation. Hope this cleared up some of the Prowler vs. sled confusion for you.
If you have any comments, input, feedback or a good workout to share, please share below.
Have an awesome day and go beyond the ordinary.