Torque Fitness Magnetic Resistance Tank Sleds, Worth the Money or Not?

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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).

Torque Fitness Magnetic Resistance Tank Sled
My beloved and well-used Torque M1 sled in my very dirty gym.

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).

  1. Anyone can use one regardless of strength or skill level.
  2. Eccentric-only movements are easier on joints.
  3. Little to no soreness the next day.
  4. Aids in active recovery.
  5. Full body workout.
  6. High-calorie burn combined with muscle building.
  7. Great conditioning workout.
  8. Improves speed and explosiveness.
  9. Complete lower body workout.
  10. Improves core strength.
  11. Improves hip and ankle mobility.
  12. Can reduce or eliminate knee pain.
  13. Safe for people with low back pain.
  14. Can be used indoors or outdoors.
  15. Can be used to train multi-planar movements.
  16. 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.

Simpsons with torches
My neighbors every time I used my metal sled outside.

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:

  • Driveway
  • Sidewalk
  • Grass
  • Dirt
  • Hard pack sand
  • Crushed gravel

It didn’t work on loose sand or deep gravel, but I tried!

Wheel of Torque Sled
Here you can see the dirty all terrain tires that allows me to use this sled almost anywhere.

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.

Resistance adjustment on a Torque sled
The variable resistance controls on the Torque Tank M1

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.

Slipping on banana peel

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.

Thermometer showing a cold garage gym

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?

Yes!

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.

Piggy Bank

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:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Deadlifts
  • Calf raises
  • Leg extensions
  • Hamstring curls
  • Leg presses
  • Adduction machine
  • Abduction machine
  • Hip thrusts
  • Pretty much any other lower body-specific exercise
torque sled handles
Here you can see some of the push and pull options on a sled.

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.

Torque Fitness Magnetic Resistance Tank Sled
This thing has seen almost daily action for the last 8 months!

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

Right now, I recommend only two brands: Torque Fitness and Xebex.

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!

The Verdict

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!

FAQ

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

Neuromuscular timing modification in responses to increased speed and proportional resistance while pushing sled in young adults

Pushing sled with constant resistance and controlled cadence induces lower limb musculature quicker activation response and prolongs duration with faster speed

An Investigation of the SledPush Exercise in Older Adults: Physiological Quantification, Perceived Enjoyment and Body Discomfort

The Effects of Low Volume Versus High Volume SledPush Training on Muscular Adaptation

Torque Fitness Magnetic Resistance Tank Sleds
Torque 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.

Editor's Rating:
5

Pros

  • Works on any surface
  • Silent
  • Variable resistance
  • Stores easily
  • Lots of accessories

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can be too big for small spaces
Photo of author

AUTHOR

Tim Steward has been training at home since he got his first weight set from Sears in junior high. Over 30 years later, Tim has helped thousands of people build home and garage gyms that they love and use regularly. He also holds CPT and Nutritionist certifications with the ISSA and is an NCCPT nationally accredited trainer. When Tim is not training or writing about home gyms, you can find him at the dog park with his two Australian cattle dogs, Anny and Beans.

20 thoughts on “Torque Fitness Magnetic Resistance Tank Sleds, Worth the Money or Not?”

  1. I’m used to you recommending lower-priced options on things. It’s one of the things I love about your site. But this is crazy expensive! It costs more than the rest of my gym combined. I just don’t see a way I can swing this amount of money on one thing!

    Reply
    • I totally understand! It was really hard for me to spend the money too and if I didn’t run this website, I may not have done it! Keep in mind, you can buy sleds very cheaply, or you can join a local gym that has one. The Torque units are awesome, but don’t let their cost keep you from starting sled work!

      Reply
    • I like it, but I almost never actually use it. I’m too lazy and usually just roll the sled to the other side of the garage when not in use. I have plenty of room for that as I don’t park any cars in my garage. If you are tight on space, the wall storage is a must.

      Reply
    • It is heavy, no doubt. It’s also kind of awkward. The nice thing is that you can dial the resistance to zero and just roll it around your gym. I like the wall storage hook, but I’m too lazy usually to use it. It’s less awkward to roll out of the way than to lift it up on the storage rack.

      Reply
  2. What do you think about their attachment that hold dumbbells? How about their new digital display? Have you thought about adding those to your sled?

    Reply
    • I love the new display! I wish I had one just to track distance and pace. As for the dumnbbell holder, it’s not for me as I don’t do circuits with my sled. It’s more a matter of if you see yourself stopping sled work midway to do some dumbbell work. I can’t ever see myself doing that, but for folks who ONLY have the sled and are trying to use it daily for full body training, it’s a pretty solid idea!

      Reply
  3. These are tremendous! It took one workout for this to be my favorite way to train. It’s replaced so much other work, and it’s actually enjoyable! If anyone is wondering if these are worth the money, they are!

    Reply
    • Me too! When you find a training method you click with, it opens up a whole world of possibilities! It’s crazy what a difference it makes in my motivation to train. Instead of slogging into the gym to knock out another workout I don’t enjoy, I happily head outside with my sled and relish in the crazy looks I get from my neighbors!

      Reply
  4. You point out the noise on concrete of an old school sled, but the noise is only half the problem. When I switched to one of these magnetic sleds, the workout was so much smoother and more effective. Really fun to use. My whole family now uses this sled and we even train together sometimes. I never thought I’d get my kids out into the gym, but here they are!

    Reply
    • I’m so glad you posted this comment! The difference is night and day! It’ like going from a Flintstone’s car to a Tesla. It’s almost not even the same implement!

      Reply
  5. These are way too expensive for what they are. You can get the same workout on a treadmill and it stays in one place. This whole sled thing lately is kind of dumb, tbh.

    Reply
    • First, you are absolutely right, you can simulate sled drags on a treadmill. You can even buy some treadmills designed for this function. I used this option for quite some time and it worked okay. But there’s so much more you can do with a dedicated sled! Lateral work, rope pulls, upper body training, etc. But yes, these are stupid expensive and NOT for everyone!

      Reply
    • Thanks for the feedback! I have the wall storage rack, but have not installed it on my wall. I have some shelves in my gym where I store that kind of stuff and that’s where all the Torque accessories are too. The rope I end up leaving coiled on the floor mostly.

      Reply
  6. Hey Tim!

    I think you’ve inspired me to take the plunge and get one of these. I want to do things that I actually look forward to doing and I think this may fill that void…..even at it’s elevated price point.

    Reply
    • Enjoy! It’s surprisingly challenging, but it’s completely replaced barbell squats for me (I still do bulgarian split squats once a week, though). As my callouses have developed, I really enjoy the rope pull too. My latest preoccupation is the wheelbarrow handles. It’s so versatile that I can literally use it every day, but do something different with it. I hope you like yours as much as I do mine!

      Reply
  7. I’m interested in pulling as much as pushing the sled. It looks like you have the straps tethered to the base of the push handles. Any issues with pulling in that direction trom that tether point and how much weight do u think is necessary for pulling.

    Reply
    • Great question with a slightly embarrassing answer. My workout typically involves pushing the sled about 20 yards and then pulling it back the same 20 yards. Then repeat 10-15x. I’m too lazy to turn the sled around, so I attached the pull straps to the push handles. there have been no issues doing that, the sled works fine. If I wasn’t so lazy, though, I would for sure use the attachment point meant for them. the weights on the Torque sleds are for traction only, they do not add resistance. So whatever weight that allows you to push and pull without the tires sliding instead of rolling is what works.

      Reply

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