We called ’em “Boards” and they were one of Mike Gittleson’s evil creations. The first iteration was literally a 2′ x 4′, about four feet long and pushing them on astroturf was decidedly awful. Later, when we got field turf in the fieldhouse, the boards got an upgrade with the “skis” you see above — they didn’t make them any easier. We used to push these boards up and down the field 2 minutes on/1 minute off for about 45 minutes or so (although that was usually only about half the workout.) A few times, we pushed them outside on the grass. It was one hell of a conditioning workout.
Any University of Michigan football player from the last fifteen years will break down and cry at the sight of this picture. Needless to say, physical conditioning is a big part of the game of football and one of the ‘top secret’ conditioning tools that we used to use can be seen here. Think of it as a portable, one-man version of the traditional wooden sled.
The ‘Gittleson Dumbbell’ is so named because it sat on my college strength coach Mike Gittleson’s desk for all the years that I was at Michigan, and likely at least a decade before that. (Mike was the University of Michigan’s football strength coach for 30 years and produced more All-Americans and NFL Draft picks than any other college strength coach in history.)
As you can see this unforgiving chunk of iron weighs 120 pounds. I’ve bent pressed it, snatched it but not yet strictly overhead pressed it ~ something I am on track to do soon…