T Nation

Beyond 531 and Prowler Work


Hey Jim

First off, I gotta say thanks. I read the new book a while back, and it's fantastic. I also gotta thank you for being, along with Mark Rippetoe, the person who got me into this stuff.

Anyways, my question regards the "Training Maximally" template and conditioning work. I've finally decided to add some actual conditioning work into my training. I've got a pretty good idea of how to organize my strength work based on the template you've provided, but I'm completely clueless when it comes to conditioning. My gym has a couple of "prowler-ish" things that are not prowlers, but pushable sled things that I think the gym owner made with her husband, or something like that.

But anyhow, if I'm training four days a week with one main movement per day, how would I go about programming conditioning work into that? Should I push the prowler-like thing every training day? Do I just go until I puke, or is there some specific number of sprints I should be doing?

Maybe I should use one of these? http://www.T-Nation.com/strength-training-topics/1481

As I said, I am clueless, so any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you!


A while back, Jim told me to throw in 2-3 heavy prowler sessions a week. He said to not worry about when they were done, just get them in.

I started doing 4-6 40-yard "walks" with 180lbs of weight 2 times a week. 2 months later I was doing 6-8 trips 3 times a week, and I have kept it there since July of this year. I do them after each lifting session, no matter what I am doing that day. These are hard as hell, but I have seen no decrease in recovery whatsoever.

My conditioning is much better than when I started, and I have seen aesthetic changes without compromising strength.

Just start out with two days a week, just whatever days you feel good after training, doesn't matter. Pick a distance and a fairly heavy weight and just feel it out. Your body will usually tell you when to stop. Just make sure you don't go until you puke, no need for that.


Thanks Joey. I thought the answer would be something like this. I'll start with prowlering on squat and deadlift days, and at some point add a bit of work to my pressing days as well. I may have to fiddle about with the specifics a bit due to the length of the run being somewhat limited by the length of the gym floor.


If your goal is to get stronger, use the Prowler for strength work, not conditioning. This would be done for a 6 week program. Then you would choose a less intensive method of conditioning (AirDyne is the only thing I recommend besides the XVest).

If your goal is to just train, and get in good shape (or whatever) - just do them whenever as it doesn't matter too much.

The key is knowing EXACTLY what your goals are and program the training appropriately.


Ah, I see. Strength is the goal. The reason I was interested in using the prowler is because I figured that it would, in some sense, work as a strength tool that would also get me into some kind of condition. I guess I was thinking about it as a sort of strongman-type training tool.

I'm not sure I thought this through properly. Thanks anyway, I'll figure it out.