T Nation

Sled I Built


I made a sled recently and have been using it for the past week or so. I really enjoy it and wish I had begun earlier. I am interested in hearing what results others have noticed from dragging sleds. Especially in improved squat/deadlift, and hypertrophy (Anyone notice an increase in calf girth?)

Here is the sled I welded up. I have a pipe that slides into the one welded on the sled for carrying more weights. I made it removable so the sled fit in my car better.


My buddy dragging it w/ three plates.


Looks great man.

I "built" one out of a tire, and just tied a rope around it and hit 3 nails in the tire in the form of a triangle so the weights don't move.

I'll see for a pic.

I used this mainly to recover from knee surgery(outer meniscus tear), and I made awesome recovery.

My endurance in my legs is improving enormously, and hamstrings are getting way better and stronger.

What I noticed : when I pull barefoot, I get awesome growth in my calves after a while and my knees get way more stable.



Looks well built, have you tried it on gravel?


I'm planning on making one for myself pretty soon, but one question, how thick is the metal that you used?


Not yet, we have been using it on grass so far. Whats the advantages and/or disadvantages of gravel?


The metal I used is about 1/2" - 5/8" I haven't measured it. I believe it is from a CAT, some kind of cover or something. I found them at a heavy machinery shop and they guy gave them to me for 5 bucks.


Gravel acts as ball bearings, so you get less friction and it's easier to pull. It usually doesn't matter if your sled is wood, metal or a tire.

Gravel is easier and grass is harder.
Hard packed gravel is really easiy.

The weight is not that important. The FRICTION is what matters. The hardest drag I ever had was on a soft grave/dirt mixture after a rain. With just 40 lbs. I was plowing 3" of dirt. Bad footing too.



So pretty much there is no reason to pull on gravel except for an ego boost, and potential injury. Is that correct?


For a real ego boost, just throw some gravel on an ashphalt parking lot. Don't be surprised if the sled passes you. Then tell everyone that you drag 300 lb.

I thought that tires would slide on wet grass...........NOT. Rubber grips on wet grass.



Haha I bet it would do that. Sounds like a plan. So far we have only worked up to three plates on the sled starting w/ 1 and doing two laps before adding another plate. And then after two laps w/ the three, dropping back down. Its harder than I figured it would be.


These are the basic pulls that I use. I always pull using 2 rings or a bar. I get an entire workout with my sled.
- forward
- backward
- side-step
- side-step, cross-over in front, side-step, cross-over in back
- ankle drags

  • torso twists (face the sled and pivot from the hips - looks like a 2 handed tennis backhand)

with the bar - curls
- tricep extensions
- bench press
- rows

That's enough to knock the shit out of anybody. Good luck.



I built one using a tire a couple of months ago, then we had a ton of snow and wasn't able to use it. I used a tire because I didn't have access to welding equipment and wanted to transport it in my trunk, but was concerned it may slide around and dent my car.

I use bags of playground sand and the 70 lb sand tubes people use for winter traction in pick-ups ($2.50 at home improvement stores) for weight.


Didn't build one, but I found one. There is a baseball field near my gym that keeps the infield drag mat in the outfield. This is a big, heavy metal grate that tractors pull around the infield to level the dirt. I do about 15-20 minutes of sprints, then strap on this thing and drag it around the outfield. Much harder to drag in grass than on dirt. It hurts.

That is NOT me in the short-shorts.


Sweet sled.

I pull on grass, in cleats. Never thought about going barefoot. My calves need all the help they can get, so will give that a try.


Try it in sand if you want a real demoralizing WO.

I built a sled too you can check it out here.

And for some ideas check out this thread.


I tried it today after squats barefoot. It was insane. I was really surprised at the amount it hit the calves. Its def. gonna become a regular in my routine.


1/2" to 5/8" thick? The sled itself will be pretty heavy. 5/8" plate is about 25lbs per sq.ft. You won't have to add as much weight to it.


Nice sled smorr.
Myself I merely use a winter snow sled and have my kids sit on it and pull them around or up hills. If I want extra weight I have them sit on some 45's.

Sled dragging does have some benefits but IMO increases calf girth is not one of them. Calves need much more weight than we can drag. General conditioning and poster chain recuirtment though


What is sled dragging good for? Because last night I dreamt I was doing it.