Playing With Prowlers
In my continuing research into exercise and fitness, I came across the infamous Prowler. I suppose this was inevitable - prowlers are all the rage these days - and rightfully so. But I can be a bit slow about these things sometimes, so it took me a while to find out about them.
What is a Prowler you ask? What, you don't know? Gosh - I thought everybody but me knew about these things. Well, for those who don't know, or who want to know more; below are a some videos, articles, forum threads, and DIY Prowler materials explaining the entire Prowler concept.
Prowler YouTube Videos
(Some product propaganda from EliteFTS, but still highly informative.)Prowler Training ArticlesInformative Prowler Forum ThreadsDIY Prowler Instructions
My 5 Minute DIY Ad-Hoc Prowler Build
So, taken as I was with a bit of Prowler envy, I went down to the basement to see if I could cobble something together by way of a quick DIY Prowler, just for a fun workout. There, I found an old and unused aerobic stepper. I flipped it upside down, loaded it with up with my dumbbells, and pushed it around a little bit. It worked OK, but I had to remove some carpets from the floor so that I had a consistent surface to work with. That is what took me five minutes to build my prowler. See the photos at the end for an idea of what it is all about.
Advantages Of My DIY Ad-Hoc Prowler
Well, to begin, it is fast, simple, cheap, and available right here, right now. That counts for something. Between deciding to try and see if I could put something together to slide around on the basement floor, and actually sliding something around on the basement floor, was a difference of about ten minutes. That's a lot faster and cheaper than any UPS delivered professionally made Prowler. Moreover, I can use it in my basement at any time. A real Prowler would require me to drag it up a dirt road about 500 feet to a proper paved road. Only that surface would work for proper Prowler pushing. Just dragging a loaded Prowler on a dirt road that far would be a big workout. Finally, the way my Prowler is set up, I have to reach way down with my hips and drive from a very low angle. This is the toughest position from which to push a Prowler, which makes this a harder workout.
Oh, FYI, I push my Prowler around by the edge of the dumbbell, the edge closest to the end of the stepper. I think in future workouts though, I will push on the dumbbell handles themselves.
Disadvantages Of My DIY Ad-Hoc Prowler
My longest distance is 27 feet. This is pretty short for a sprinting distance, even though I do turn around and push back very quickly. Also, even with a 155 pound dumbbell load, my little Prowler pushes too easily. It simply isn't hard enough compared to the videos I have watched of other people doing Prowler workouts.
Potential Fixes For My DIY Ad-Hoc Prowler
If I clear out some space in the basement, I could run my sprints along the diagonal, instead of the length of the basement. This would make my sprints longer and the entire workout a bit more challenging. Also, I can add some narrow pads to the bottom. Once the weight rests on pads, instead of the entire surface, the pounds per square inch will go up considerably, increasing the friction, and making the exercise much harder. I will hunt around for some different pad materials - possibly thick rubber or a sliced up plastic cutting board. Meanwhile, I can do other things to bump up exercise intensity as I continue my Prowler workouts.