Let's talk equipment. What do you need to be able to perform the Wheelbarrow GPP? A good old fashioned wheelbarrow, some weight, a surface to walk on and if you want great results from this form of GPP, a determination and a will to succeed ... to always train hard and be relentless!
Where Do I Get The Equipment?
The first three items can be easily attained. The last one cannot. It is not genetic or inherited. It is a trait, a personality, a disposition that is earned, grown and developed over a period of time. Only you have the ability to do this. No one can do it for you. Oh sure, you can have people help push you with your training, but ultimately in the final analysis, it is you and only you who does the work. You decide where you want to be!
Now back to the first item. The wheelbarrow. I suggest going to any of the home improvement centers, such as Lowe's or Home Depot, etc. Make sure you get one that has a tray that is made out of steel. There are many out there that are made of plastic trays. With the kind of weight some of you will be using, I don't suggest using the plastic trays.
Also, since we will be using weight in the wheelbarrow already, make the wheelbarrow is as heavy and durable as possible. Of another concern is the wheel.
For those of you of the taller variety, over 6 feet tall, you will want to make sure the diameter of the tire is large enough so that when you pick the wheelbarrow up, the front brace that is in front of the tire doesn't hit or touch the ground. Kind of a downer to be hauling heavy weight around and having the front brace scraping the ground! You don't need or want extra friction that way!
Size of the tray really doesn't matter, but one that is around 6 cu. ft. should suffice. I found ours at a Tractor Supply Company (http://www.mytscstore.com) store here in Fort Wayne. It is called a contractor's wheelbarrow. It is priced at $44.92, brand spanking new. Not a bad investment since a good quality wheelbarrow lasts a long time. If you don't have one of these stores around you and you can't find a good one at the aforementioned stores, call a local contractor, especially one that works with concrete and ask them where they would recommend you buy one. About the only maintenance you will need to perform on the wheelbarrow is occasionally tighten the nuts and maybe put air into the tire. Some tires will have to be replaced, but only after using it many, many times.
Suggestions For Big Guys
Depending on your choice of weight, which I will discuss next week, I suggest you buy a tarp for your wheelbarrow, especially if you live in the northern areas that get snow. Since the wheelbarrow sits outside, it can accumulate leaves, sticks, grass clippings, snow, rain, etc. that you may not want in there. Sure this debris adds extra weight, but I don't want to be cleaning that junk out of there all the time. Some people don't care and that is fine. When I bought our wheelbarrow, I also bought a barbecue tarp to go over it. It cost me about $15.00. They seem to last about one season before tearing up. This allows me to keep the wheelbarrow loaded and ready to go. With my busy schedule, this means I can just go outside and whip the cover off and start my wheelbarrow GPP.
One last suggestion to go along with the tarp is to allow some of the tarp to drape on the ground in front of the tire. Then slowly lift the wheelbarrow up and roll it forward a few inches to allow the tire to roll over some of the excess cover that is on the ground. This will help secure the cover to the wheelbarrow and allow it to stay covered if and when wind comes through your area. Another way to accomplish this is to take a brick or concrete block and place it on top of the tarp. Before I did either one of these I would occasionally find the cover in the next yard. I hope these suggestions help you get started on your wheelbarrow GPP. Next issue we will discuss the use of weight and what kinds work best. Keep on rolling!
The Athletic Performance Center (APC) is offering sport-specific performance training, physical therapy and rehabilitation services, and 1-on-1 personal training. Michael Robertson, MS, CSCS, a Ball State University graduate, is the Director of this new division. This is the place to go in the Midwest for the aforementioned services. More to come on this in the future!
Look for an upcoming book about the Renegade approach to Strongman/Strongwoman training by Dr. Michael Hartle! I look forward to hearing your comments. Remember to Live the Code and always train hard and be relentless. That is the only way to train! If you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (To read previous articles of Sledgehammer GPP by Dr. Hartle, click here.)
Dr. Mike Hartle, D.C., D.A.C.B.N., C.C.S.P., C.C.N., C.S.C.S.