Trends come and go in the world of fitness. Some trends prove useless and fade away (thigh masters, shake weights, and electro-stim ab belts, to name a few). Others provide a ton of value and become fixtures in the gym (stability balls, exercise bands, and trap bars are great examples).
It’s pretty clear that sleds fall in that latter category. They’ve been around for a long time but have only recently gained popularity with the general population. You’d be hard-pressed to find a commercial gym that hasn’t installed a strip of turf specifically for pushing and pulling a heavily weighted sled.
And therein lays the problem for most garage gym owners. Finding the space for a sled can be nearly impossible, and using a traditional sled outside will almost instantly make all of your neighbors hate you.
That’s where Torque Fitness tank sleds come in. They are a fantastic option for those that want to add a sled to their assortment of home gym gear. But there is one small (or not so small) problem… The price.
Are these new types of sleds worth the money Torque Fitness asks for them? Well, I’ve owned and used the Torque Tank M1 push sled every day for almost eight months now.
In this review, I’ll share exactly what benefits I found, details on the sleds themselves, and whether or not I would buy one again (as with almost every piece of gear I review here on GymCrafter, I purchased the Torque M1 with my own money and have used it daily for the last eight months).
Are The Torque Tank Sleds Worth the Money?
Yes. Sleds provide the most effective way to train your legs and core without the risk of injury inherent in squatting and deadlifting. Torque tank sleds offer silent operation, variable resistance, and the ability to use them on any surface. This makes them ideally suited for home and garage gyms.
I say that after months of continual use and spending almost $1500 on my sled and its accessories. I don’t take that amount of money lightly. It’s a lot to spend on any one item in your gym! And that’s their most affordable model. The top-end models go for $2500 before accessories!
Unbelievably, prices have actually come down a little since I bought my sled! You can check all of Torque’s current sale prices here! I’ve also noticed some great deals on pre-owned Torque sleds on eBay. You can check here to see what’s available today!
When I look at the benefits I’ve gained, the gear that a sled can replace, and the fact that using a sled has completely eliminated chronic knee and hip pain for me, I would definitely buy one again!
16 Benefits of Using a Sled
Whether you use a magnetic resistance Tank sled by Torque or a simple old-school prowler, sled work provides more benefits than just about any other kind of training.
Professional athletes and trainers use sleds regularly. Torque Fitness sleds, in particular, are being used by a large number of professional and college-level sports teams.
My only complaint about sled work is that I didn’t start doing it sooner! Here’s a list of ways you can benefit from using a sled in your home or garage gym (I review all of these benefits in detail in this article).
- Anyone can use one regardless of strength or skill level.
- Eccentric-only movements are easier on joints.
- Little to no soreness the next day.
- Aids in active recovery.
- Full body workout.
- High-calorie burn combined with muscle building.
- Great conditioning workout.
- Improves speed and explosiveness.
- Complete lower body workout.
- Improves core strength.
- Improves hip and ankle mobility.
- Can reduce or eliminate knee pain.
- Safe for people with low back pain.
- Can be used indoors or outdoors.
- Can be used to train multi-planar movements.
- For many, it can replace ALL other lower body exercises.
I can’t think of any other single implement that you can buy for your garage gym that has as many varied benefits.
What Makes a Torque Tank Magnetic Resistance Sled Worth More Money Than Traditional Sleds?
Considering that you can buy an old-school push/pull sled like this one for under $100, why in the world would anyone spend $800-$2500 on a Torque Tank Sled?
I asked myself that question for months before finally pulling the trigger on one. I already owned a sled (this one made by Rep Fitness). I used it regularly and enjoyed the benefits.
But day after day, I started to like and use that old-school sled less and less. When I sat down to figure out why, I realized it was time to upgrade to a Torque sled. Comparing the two types of sleds quickly showed me that the Torque model was worth the money.
After using the Torque M1 extensively, I can safely say I made the right decision. Here are the most significant ways a magnetic resistance sled is better than a traditional metal sled or prowler.
Magnetic Sleds Are Silent
I wrote a guide to keeping your garage gym quiet that gets quite a few views monthly. It’s clear that not disturbing others in your home is a concern for those training in their garage.
It turns out that your neighbors also want you to have a quiet gym, especially if you take any of your training outside/im
You see, standard, old-school metal sleds and prowlers make an absolutely horrific noise when you drag them up and down your driveway or sidewalk.
To most people, it’s somewhere between scraping a metal pan with a fork and dragging that same fork across a chalkboard. And while your neighbors might not complain at first, they will eventually.
And that’s how I ended up with a coalition of several neighbors at my door asking me to stop using my sled.
At that point, I had two possible solutions. I could install turf in my garage (a whopping 15-foot section is all I have room for) or find an alternative to my metal sled that didn’t inspire my neighbors to buy pitchforks and torches.
Enter the Torque M1. The Torque sleds ride on inflated tires and make zero noise when in use. In fact, your grunting and hard breathing will be louder than any noise your sled makes!
This lack of noise is one of my favorite features of this type of sled. It’s more fun for me to use, and several of my neighbors have thanked me for the change!
Magnetic Sleds Work On Any Surface
Well, within reason, anyway.
I’ve used my Torque sled on:
- Hard pack sand
- Crushed gravel
It didn’t work on loose sand or deep gravel, but I tried!
This ability makes a magnetic sled infinitely more useable than a traditional model. Not only that but you aren’t limited in the distance you have to use it. I’ve literally pushed mine a mile down the road and then back (be ready for a lot of crazy looks if you try this!).
Being able to use the sled anywhere makes it vastly superior to traditional sleds, which typically restrict you to turf installed in your basement!
Magnetic Sleds Have Incremental Resistance
With a standard sled, the faster you push or drag it, the easier it gets. That’s just kind of how friction works.
With a magnetic resistance sled, the faster you try to go, the higher the resistance goes.
And that makes all the difference in the world! When I got my Torque M1, I figured it would be the same workout in a different package. Wow, was I wrong!
I can’t quantify it, but the M1 gives a significantly more challenging workout than my previous sled. It’s not even close!
Magnetic Sleds Have More Consistent and Accurate Resistance
With a traditional sled, resistance is created by friction between the base plate and the ground. The problem with conventional sleds is that this resistance is highly inconsistent.
When using a friction-based sled, resistance changes with the ground underneath. For those using them at home and not on a professionally installed strip of turf, this means that the resistance changes as it slides across varying surfaces underneath.
I even noticed that some sections of turf could be slipperier than others and created jarring starts and stops as I pushed the sled.
With magnetic sleds, resistance is created at the axles. That resistance stays consistent regardless of the surface you are on. Any change in the amount of resistance is input by the user. The M1 has three grades of resistance. More than enough for anyone!
Magnetic Sleds Are Safer
I have often slipped on the turf while dragging or pushing a sled. Sometimes a little bit of sweat makes the synthetic turf slick (and you WILL sweat when using a sled). Sometimes, the turf is worn or cheap.
I have NEVER slipped on the sidewalk, street, or driveway when using my Torque sled. Never.
When giving something max effort (something very easy to do on a sled), the last thing you want is to lose your footing! The stability and traction I get using my sled on cement are miles better than any turf I’ve ever tried.
You Can Use Magnetic Sleds in Any Weather
I know because I have. I’m writing this article in early April of 2023. That means I bought my sled in late August of 2022. I live near Chicago and used my sled almost daily for those eight months.
Other than the three major snow storms we had this year, I was out there at 7 am pushing that sled regardless of the weather—rain, snow, sleet, wind, and below-zero temps.
There’s no way I could have done that with my old sled. Not only would it have rusted, but there’s no way it could have given me consistent workouts across all those environments!
Are Magnetic Sleds Really Worth 10x The Price of a Conventional Sled?
Look, the five key points above make this type of sled well worth the extra money. But they all point to the most significant reason garage gym owners should consider this type of sled…
It’s the only type of sled most of us can use effectively, year-round, at home!
There is no way I could have ever used a traditional sled outside daily as I did with the Torque sled. This is a huge point!
Sure, I owned a much less expensive sled. One that sat there in the corner of my garage unused. Unused due to weather, a lack of space, and complaining neighbors.
I don’t care how much less something costs if you can’t use it. And because of that, the Torque sleds are worth every penny they ask for!
Magnetic Sleds May Actually Save You Money!
One of the most popular articles I’ve written recently here on GymCrafter is a guide to building a great gym without a power rack. I think too many people have “defined” a home gym as starting with a rack, barbell, and plates.
While that is true for many garage gyms, it doesn’t have to be.
Depending on your goals, you can fully and effectively train your entire lower body and posterior chain with only a sled.
That’s right. A sled can effectively replace:
- Calf raises
- Leg extensions
- Hamstring curls
- Leg presses
- Adduction machine
- Abduction machine
- Hip thrusts
- Pretty much any other lower body-specific exercise
For anyone training for health, longevity, endurance, or general preparedness, a sled can easily be your single go-to implement for lower body training!
Considering that it can replace thousands of dollars of other gear, it doesn’t look as expensive after all!
Which Torque Magnetic Resistance Sled is Best For Garage Gyms?
I have a complete comparison of all models you can check out here (article coming soon!), but the M1 is the perfect garage gym sled in my eyes.
The M1 is their smallest model and can be hung on the wall with an optional bracket. This makes it an ideal option for the constrained spaces that most of us deal with.
It’s also compatible with all of their accessories. Adding a tow rope and pull strap with harness to my M1 has expanded its capabilities greatly and even allowed me to do quite a bit of upper-body training as well.
And, of course, it’s the least expensive model they offer! Again, check out my model comparison here (comparison coming soon!), but their higher-end models are much better suited to commercial use and are overkill for most home applications.
Who Else Makes Magnetic Resistance Sleds
Torque developed this technology and has a patent on it. Xebex is the only mfr. I’m aware of lawfully using this patented technology.
All other magnetic sleds are knockoffs of the Torque design. And they don’t work nearly as well. I know because of several heartbreaking emails from some of my newsletter subscribers.
Whether it was poor customer service, damaged items, or sleds that simply didn’t work, I’ve heard enough warnings on cheap knockoffs to stay away!
You should too.
That makes Torque Fitness the easy choice!
Um… Get a sled!
If you’re still unsure, go to a local gym with one and ask for a free day pass (if you tell them you are considering joining, most gyms will do this). Just one workout, and you’ll be hooked!
And if it fits the budget, get a Torque M1! Please don’t do what I did and fret about the investment for months. Just do it. You can thank me later!
Are sleds okay for kids to use?
Yes!!! I would recommend sled work over barbell work for kids all day long! There is minimal risk of injury, and it’s easy to gamify. Make it a race and watch your kids (and you) train harder than you could have hoped for!
Do you have to weigh the Torque sled down?
There is a weight plate post on the magnetic sleds, but it’s not to add resistance. Adding plates there (the post will hold two 45 lb. standard bumper plates) helps with traction on looser surfaces.
The selectable resistance is done internally via a magnet and controlled by a top-mounted lever on the sled itself.
Can a sled really replace squats?
I guarantee trainers and gym rats out there will vehemently disagree with me on this. They can probably point out studies that show greater muscle potentiation with specific barbell movements versus seld work.
And if you are a professional bodybuilder, that matters. For the rest of us, it doesn’t. All you need to do is put in one hard sled workout, and you will see that, if you don’t want to, you never need to squat to train your legs again!
*I do want to add one caveat here. Training the squat movement pattern is very important. It’s simply a matter of transferring that pattern to a sled instead of under a barbell!
Sources and Further Reading
Torque Fitness Magnetic Resistance Tank Sleds
Sleds provide the most effective way to train your legs and core without the risk of injury inherent in squatting and deadlifting. Torque tank sleds offer silent operation, variable resistance, and the ability to use them on any surface. This makes them ideally suited for home and garage gyms.
- Works on any surface
- Variable resistance
- Stores easily
- Lots of accessories
- Can be too big for small spaces