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How to Program Sled Work for Hypertrophy?


You told an anecdote about helping a 60 year old bodybuilder with injuries train his legs using only sled variations. He won the overall and was able to start squatting again because the sled work helped his knees get healthier.

Can you give an example of how you were able to use sled work to achieve this?

Thank you.

It really wasn’t complicated. He would come to see me 2-3 times per week for the lower body work and we would normally perform 3 different sled/prowler exercises.

The loading parameters followed a principle that I use for loaded carries: 10m = 1 rep. So if the normal hypertrophy range that I use is 6-10 reps, this would mean sets of 60-100m, but normally we stuck with 60-80m.

We did 3-4 work sets of each exercise.

Some of the exercises we used were:

Backward sled drag while staying fairly low (imagine a defensive back doing pack peddle) to focus on quads

Backward sled drag staying more upright and leaning back slightly to focus more on VMO and some calves

Forward sled drag with the torso bent forward to hit the hamstrings

Prowler pushing with the low handles to focus more on glutes

Prowler pushing with the parallel posts for overall development

Sideway sled drag for glutes, adductors and abductors

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Amazing! Thank you!

One more quick one: if 15-25 maximally effective reps for maximum hypertrophy, how many for strength? The same?

BTW 15-25 maximum effective reps is still theoretical.

Some thing goes for strength. You have stuff like the Prilepin table based on analyzing the training of elite weightlifters that give recommendations about optimal volume based on the zone your are training in:


I’m personally not a fan of rigid prescriptions. I do not believe that one set of parameters apply universally to everybody. There are genetic factors that play a role on how much work you can tolerate and respond well to. Training experience also has an impact and so does your overall stress level.

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