…So I was sitting and thinking: “Why sandbag strength training isn’t really popular nowadays?” Actually two answers came up to my mind. Firstly, sandbag training is really tough. It’s not for all those boys and girls that attend fitness clubs to get social. It’s not for all those fat rich people that are got so used to luxury and comfort that they drive to fitness club to walk on treadmill. And, of course, it’s not for all those close-minded pseudo-bodybuilders that think that nothing works if it’s not a barbell, dumbbells or machines. Secondly, with sandbag training there’s nothing to sell. Well, almost. You need just a bag and sand. Here’s my tutorial on how to make a sandbag.
Sandbag training is not as popular nowadays as it should be. It gives you rough reality check. It shows you how really weak you are. That’s why you need to implement it and get stronger in it. Here’s five reasons you should to do so.
1. Sandbag training is cheap.
Better to say that sandbag training is ridiculously cheap. Again, you’ll need a bag, some sand and some time to put it all together. Almost no thinking involved. My recent sandbag cost me under $5. And all I paid for was a bag. As for the sand I made some “research” on how to get it free and decided that the most cost effective solution was to steal it from construction site near home at night. That’s how we do it in Ukraine. Rough Strength style, baby! But I digress. Just count the costs. No gym memberships (why home gym?), no bars, no plates, no dumbbells, nothing. Fully equipped home gym in under $5. I think I made my point.
2. Sandbag training develops real life strength.
When I heard term “functional training” the first time I thought: “Wow! Really cool term for strength training”. Later, when it became popular, fitness clubs started labeling everything as “functional”. Well, I don’t want to be rude, but how the fuck bosu-ball is functional? What real life function of the body does it train? Or how 1 kg dumbbells are functional? Smart marketers selling useless crap to dumb people. That’s functional. That’s why I prefer to use term “real life strength”. Anyway, sandbag develops the kind of strength you can use in daily activities. Of course, I’m not talking here about light weight sandbags. You’ll feel this benefit when you will work up in basic exercises to at least a sandbag equal to your bodyweight. I use 80 kg sandbag now. Here’s video of me push pressing 75 kg sandbag for 4 reps:
Just look at my face at the end of the set and you’ll understand everything (: You’ll be amazed by the potential of this tool for building strength.
[UPDATE: Here is video of me performing Sandbag Zercher Squat with 85 kg bag for 5 reps:
Felt good and heavy.]
3. Sandbag training develops muscles that you weren’t aware of.
That’s true. Just try it. You’ll feel soreness in muscles you’d never thought exist. Training with sandbag forces your body to use its stabilizers MUCH more. Why? Because the bag is always uncomfortable, unstable, it’s always changing its form and always trying to escape your hands. Training with sandbag reminds me wrestling a human. Well, at least dead human.
Is sandbag training optimal for building muscles (again “optimal”, noticed?)? Well, it’s hard to say. More yes than no. Lift damn sandbag, remember about progressive resistance, get right diet with slight calorie surplus, sleep and grow. It’s just that. You’ll build some decent muscular body and strength to match.
4. Sandbag training develops bone-crushing grip.
Have you ever tried to pick up a heavy sandbag? Have you been able to crush it? The answer is probably ‘no’. Because it’s almost impossible to get a good grip on sandbag. It’s hard and it’s uncomfortable. Your fingers will get a workout-in-workout. Prepare for some hard work. You’ll be able to lift less weight than with a barbell because of this factor. However, your muscles will actually work more. Resistance is resistance. And prepare to obtain a pair of vise-grip hands.
5. You always need to lift sandbag off the floor.
That’s big factor. People nowadays seem to “overcomfort” their training. Treadmill over outdoor running, bench press over military press, leg press over squats and deadlifts. I can go on and on. And then they wonder why they are so fat. That’s why. Do some more work. Such “overcomfort” won’t work with sandbag strength training. You always need to lift sandbag off the floor. This means more work and more fat loss. Just try it.
I hope I gave you some reasons at least to give sandbag strength training a shot. It’s definitely not for everybody. Just for the toughest of us. As always thanks for reading. Don’t be afraid to comment and share.
P.S. For those of you, my friends, who for some reason missed my last video here it is. Enjoy.
Are you tired of lack of results? Strength training seems like rocket science to you? Do you want to get strong, build muscle, lose fat and get awesome finally? Let the professional do all the dirty work for you.