Now that we have the two necessary pieces of equipment for performing wheelbarrow GPP, the all-important wheelbarrow and the weight, we must now decide where to do this amazing exercise.
For me it was a no-brainer. We have a large area of grass behind our clinic/Athletic Performance Center where we do our wheelbarrow GPP. When you use grass to do this, there will be more friction during the push than if it was done on a flat, hard surface. You also will be subject to any gopher holes or other objects that present themselves to you while moving the wheelbarrow around the yard. Even in the winter when we had snow, we did the wheelbarrow GPP in the yard.
There were two times we didn't do it in the yard this past winter because the snow drifts were too big and the wheelbarrow doesn't have a blade on the front of it to properly plow the snow to make a path. However, that could be a derivative of wheelbarrow GPP that we may discuss in the future!
In the spring, especially for those of you who live in northern climates and have snow that melts, the ground gets a little soggy. That will also add a little more friction to your pushing. An interesting note about performing the wheelbarrow GPP on the grass is the occasional small hill/incline in your yard. As you near the end of the exercise you will undoubtedly start to get a little tired. Pushing up that small incline will allow for a greater intensity for a brief time and then the ground will either flatten out or go downhill, allowing you to recover until the next revolution.
Another surface to push the wheelbarrow on is asphalt or concrete. Not too many of us out there probably have a big enough area with which to do this. But there will be some that do. Make sure you place enough weight in the wheelbarrow to make you work since the friction of grass is not there and you will generally only be limited by the friction in the wheel bearings, the surface of the tire on the pavement and your mental limitations. We will talk more about how to decide the quantity of weight to use for wheelbarrow GPP in the future.
One of my favorite places to do this fantastic exercise is the track. If you have access to a local middle school, high school or even a college/university track, I would use it. It won't have the added intensity of the friction factor like grass does, but you can overcome that. The features of a track that I like are the flat surface, the overall size, the width and the length.
You can have multiple athletes utilizing the track at the same time with the wheelbarrow. Distances can be easily measured. Distances can also be given, along with a time limit, to an athlete to complete as part of their workout. Various drills with the wheelbarrow can be designed that are easier to perform on a track versus other surfaces. The possibilities are endless with using a track.
Now go and find yourself a place to do this awesome exercise. After performing this for a few weeks, you will start to notice a big difference in your workouts and your body. You will yearn to do this exercise so much so that when you are not able to do it, you will look forward to gripping those handles and hoisting them up and start pushing your way to a great finish for your workouts!! Keep on pushing!
The Athletic Performance Center (APC) is offering sport-specific performance training, physical therapy and rehabilitation services, and one-on-one 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.