Propel Challenge - Everything You Need to Know

The PATHFINDER Propel Challenge is designed as an extended upper body training experience to prepare a Roster for Events.

Challenge Purpose

  • Throwing heavy objects, like in the case of sandbags in this Challenge, requires an emphasis on proper form and technique. Heavy sandbag work engages more than just your muscles. Your central nervous system creates brain-gains from each throw, helping your body and mind to fine-tune to unique needs of these movements. Knowing how to engage your upper body and core power will help you during heavy evolutions in Events.

    Challenge Parameters

    • Sandbags are a must. This Challenge is meant to be done with a heavy, awkward sandbag. Rosters may choose sandbags in weight between 30-60#. Open Rosters should keep their choices 40# and above. If you have a few to pick from, bring them all. *Medicine Balls of the same weight are ok if you have them, but they are not our favorite choice - they throw a little too "easily."
    • Pick a field. This Challenge is best done on a marked school field, if you have one nearby you are legally allowed to use after school hours. Otherwise, choose a field that's mostly level and mark out 100 meters. (Or 328 feet for the metrically challenged.) That's a pretty large area, but the size is important because it's how you'll determine that you made it a mile. (1600 meters = 1 mile)

    Challenge Distance Requirements

    • CompeteMove 30 - 60# of sandbag over 1 mile. You must wear your ruck throughout this Challenge. (Rucks must be at the Compete prescribed weight of 45lbs for Open division, 30lbs Female division.)
    • This is not a PATHFINDER Challenge for any other programming at this time.

      Challenge Time Requirements

      • There are no time requirements for this Challenge.

      Challenge Guide:

      Before you begin, make sure your upper body is warmed up. You can complete these exercises prior to beginning the throws. Don't overthink it, just get your blood flowing and your arms and shoulder area feeling loose.

      • 15 x Large Arm Circles - Forward
      • 15 x Large Arm Circles - Backwards
      • 15 x Shoulder Shrugs
      • 15 x Pushups

      The following movements are to be done in the order as listed. March down the field with one movement, come back with the next:

      • Chest Sandbag Pass Hold the sandbag to your chest with your elbows tucked in to your sides. Squat, and as you burst up, throw the sandbag.
      • Side Scoop Throw Begin by standing with your right side to the end of the field. Stand with staggered legs, left foot forward. Holding the sandbag with both hands, crouch into a high squat, corkscrewing your legs into the ground. Twist your torso to the left, and throw the sandbag across your body to the right, like you are throwing something heavy into the back of a truck. Alternate sides.
      • Underhand Pass The granny-pass of sandbag throws. *Be careful with your lower back while performing this maneuver!* This throw gets its power from your low squat. Begin with the sandbag on the ground. Low squat and lift the sandbag, firing your glutes and quads. As you burst up (or "burst up" depending on the weight of your sandbag), underhand toss the sandbag forward.
      • Front Loaded Walk (or Sandbag Zercher Carry) Begin with your sandbag on the ground. Squat to lift it, resting the sandbag in the space between your thighs and chest. Get your arms underneath the bottom of the sandbag. Stand, and walk the sandbag down the field with your arms curled around it like a baby.

      Complete as many rounds as necessary of this group of four movements until you have reached a mile.

          Challenge Notes

          Throwing heavy objects, like sandbags, can put you at risk for injuries. Here are some tips to help minimize that risk:

          • ALWAYS ENGAGE YOUR CORE AND GLUTES. It's in caps for a reason. Remember it. It can and will save your back.
          • Wrap Your Wrists. If you're using a heavier sandbag or have wrist issues already (especially if you're at a desk and using a keyboard all day), wrap your wrists. You can go fancy with boxer wrap, lifting wraps or just some ACE bandages. Make sure your wrists are wrapped securely and you still have blood flow, but they feel more stable. While you won't necessarily have wrist wraps at an Event, the use of them now better protects you from potential training injuries.
          • Stop if there's pain. If you feel a twinge of pain, STOP. If it's mild, stretch a little and perform a few more warm-up exercises in the twingey-area. If it's major - just stop. Pack it up and try again another day. No workout is worth injury.

          Challenge Restrictions

          • Ruck safely. Communicate your route and estimated times to another individual/party who can alert
          • YOU MUST COMPLY WITH ALL APPLICABLE LAWS AND RESTRICTIONS wherever you choose to complete this Challenge. DO NOT TRESPASS. PATHFINDER assumes no liability whatsoever for any actions taken by a PATHFINDER roster.

          ALL PATHFINDER CHALLENGES ARE COPYRIGHT PATHFINDER RUCK TRAINING, LLC.


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