The XPO Trainer from a Coach's Perspective - Coach Rut

We were thrilled to interview Michael Rutherford aka "Coach Rut" for this month's Coach's Perspective! Coach Rut has over a quarter century of fitness coaching experience including working with competitors from the ranks of international, Olympic, collegiate, high school, middle school and elementary school-aged athletes. As an all-conference defensive back in college football, Rut developed a love for the preparation phase of play which continues to this day. Let's hear what Coach has to say about the XPO Trainer!

Why did you purchase the XPO Trainer(s) for your gym?

I owned one of the Prowler Sleds version 1.0. Great concept but putting them to use in a parking lot or city street was riddled with challenges. Noise was a big one. You really need a dedicated strip of field turf or the like, and then the amount of space can become an issue for longer efforts. The XPO Trainer is a better mousetrap. Quiet, and the accommodating resistance is really where the XPO Trainer shines. You can use it on any surface (short of a muddy field), and you are in business.

What benefits do you see when you or your clients add sled training to a workout routine?

1. It's a great tool for building work capacity. The accommodating resistance allows me to train all of the energy systems.  
2. I can train any age demographic - young, old, or in between.
3. There is no eccentric load, so it is terrific for recovery sessions. Blood is pumped to the legs and torso flushing out metabolic by­products.
4. Folks with knee pain that can not squat, lunge or step up can train their legs effectively while they build back up to traditional movements.
5. Older athletes with orthopedic issues can successfully condition with weight­bearing activity.
6. General warm­ups. Anything from 5­-15 minutes is ideal for elevating core temperature.

What makes the XPO Trainer different from other sleds you’ve used?

As mentioned earlier, the noise pollution is eliminated and the accommodating resistance. No other sled on the market offers these advantages.

What is one of your most memorable WODs using the XPO Trainer?

I recently did a series of 1 ­mile repeats with the XPO Trainer holding my heart rate in the 80-­90% range. I took three­ minute rest intervals or until I reached twice my resting heart rate. My repeats fell into the 16-17 ­minute range. It felt great, but my recovery score the next morning told the tale. It was more stressful on my system than I would have thought. Two days later I experienced significantly delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Like I tell my trainees, the thing that made you sore is probably a good thing to remove that same soreness. I saddled up my sled for some easy pushing to remedy the situation.

Any future plans or uses for the XPO Trainer?

I will be using the XPO Trainer in preparation of a timed 50­-mile trek of the Grand Canyon this fall. One day will be dedicated to what I am calling Power RUCKS. These will be at faster and/or heavier loads. A RUCK is a loaded pack with 20­-50 lbs. Power RUCK sessions consist of 1­-mile speed RUCKS, hill RUCKS and now timed XPO Trainer RUCKS. I believe the sled will create a nice overload not possible by any other means.