T Nation

Using Sled & Kegs

I’ve got more background in straight free-weight gym exercises and training programs. I’m trying to expand my training knowledge and experience into more unconventional training methods. I figure it’ll help spice up the training, use muscles otherwise ignored, and give me some good GPP work.

I just acquired three empty kegs and filled them up with water. The weights ended up being 75, 115, and 160 lbs. I also rigged up one of those red Radio Flyer wagons into a pretty decent sled. (I’ll take some pics and post them if anyone wants to see the design.)

My question is to those who typically do sled work and use kegs in their workouts (thanks to Shugs for the Killing Steve blog for the keg idea).

What movements/exercises do you use the kegs for? Are there any cool sled routines, or do you just throw on some weight and pull it around until you feel like puking (I think that would actually fall under the ‘cool’ category). I intend on doing about half of my leg workouts non-gym style, as in using the sled, maybe the kegs, plyos, and some other non-gym training methods (any other ideas would be great). I would like to work in a non-gym upper-body workout sometime also, but I don’t know enough exercises for this (any help would be great).

Thanks to any who offer advice.

~Paul

Kegs are great for bear walks. Hug the thing and walk as far as you can with it. Also awesome for clean and presses. To clean it, lift the keg to your thighs and kick it up to your shoulders. My friend Bud Jeffries is an expert with keg lifting and has a great tape on it. Check out his website.

Mike Mahler

My athletes have always used kegs/non-conforming objects within our training and I think you’ll find them very diverse with basic Cleans / Snatch type movements.

Let me know if I can help.

In faith,

Coach Davies

I got bored tonight so decided to give it a go with the kegs and the sled. I ended up switching out the Radio Flyer wagon for a wheel barrow bucket, works like a charm. I definately got my ass kicked by the sled. I thought I would be pulling a couple hundred pounds given it would be in a sled and sliding over grass… needless to say I had to suck it up and leave my ego at home.

I think after messing around with the sled I can judge what weight I can do and routines, etc. With the kegs I did some clean and press type movements (killer shoulder and core stability exercise with the sloshing water). I did some bent rows, cleans to overhead throws backwards and forwards (similar to a medicine ball throw), bear hugs (thanks Mike), overhead presses, and a modified deadlift movement.

I’m sure that’s about all you can do with a keg, but if anyone has other uses I’d love to hear them. I definately got my ass kicked unlike any gym workout, and I’m completely addicted. Oh, I checked out some info on Bud Jeffries… he is definately one badass mofo!

~Paul

Did you bolt on some “runners” onto your sled? That way you won’t wear out the bottom of it, and can just bolt on some new ones when they wear down too far.

I made my sled out of a wheelbarrow tub, too. I love it and I can load it with anything.

[quote]CU AeroStallion wrote:
Did you bolt on some “runners” onto your sled? That way you won’t wear out the bottom of it, and can just bolt on some new ones when they wear down too far.[/quote]

Dragging the sled across grass won’t damage the sled enough to worry about it. I was thinking of bolting on a layer of plywoood or masonite on the bottom to drag it down the street. I figure the street would provide more friction opposed to the grass, making it harder to drag and also allowing me to get a better footing.

Here’s a pic of the sled. The wheel barrow bucket cost about $30, and the chains along with the quick links and eye bolts cost about $30, and the weight belt I had laying around (probably about $20). I ended up paying $10 each for the kegs in the background. Not bad for about $100 out of pocket expenses, considering I’ll get a lot of use out of them for years to come.

I chose the thick chains just to add a little more weight and to look like more of a badass dragging the sled around (ego booster: the bigger chains makes it look like I’m dragging a heavier load to the onlooking neighbors).

~Paul

You should read the book Dinosaur Training by Brooks Kubik. He devotes an entire chapter to kegs, sandbags and other alternative strength methods.

Rob

Agreed get Dinosaur Lifting and also get Steve Justa’s Barrel lifting book.

Mike Mahler

how did you fill the kegs? I’ve got access to a couple and am not sure how to go about filling them with water and sand. Thanks.

Actually in my experience dragging over grass is much harder than cement. I compete in SM and recently had to drag a sled. I used around 100-150 lbs on the grass in training (which made me nervous), but in the contest the sled was 500 lb-and it was much easier!

[quote]fastken77 wrote:
how did you fill the kegs? I’ve got access to a couple and am not sure how to go about filling them with water and sand. Thanks.[/quote]

How to remove the ball on a Sanke keg:
http://www.physics.arizona.edu/~workman/homebrew/Sanke.html

Thanks for the link.