People keep asking me how they can get started with sandbag training. The answer is simple – make a sandbag.
There are two different ways to make it. Both methods begin identically. At first, take a bag, preferably an army duffel one or any bag made of tight material (for example, made of canvas). It’s cheap, heavy duty and you can find something like this almost anywhere. If you’re so ghetto that you find even this to be expensive, then you can use construction-style bags. Here in Ukraine they cost approximately $2. To tell you the truth, my first sandbag was made of a couple of such construction-style bags and I wasn’t complaining. Playing rough is ultimately necessary for survival in our country. Ok, the outer bag is now ready. So the next step will be buying a couple of huge trash-bags and stuffing them inside of the outer bag. This will ensure that you won’t be cleaning your home gym after every session (that is of course if you train indoors) and it will only cost you a couple cents. The inner bag is now ready.
It may look something like this.
So we have now made it to the part where I’ll explain to you the difference between the two ways of making the sandbag. The first one is the most simple and the least time-consuming: Get sand – stuff it inside the bag – lace it up – train! You can either buy sand, or go to the beach with a shovel and get it for free. When you put sand inside the bag, just tie it closed with a lace or something similar. The sandbag is ready. Weigh it if you want. You can start training immediately. When the sandbag becomes light, add more sand inside. Pros of this method: it’s easy and time efficient. Cons: the sandbag will be non-adjustable, which is not so good if you plan using one sandbag for several exercises.
And here’s the second method, which will allow you to make your sandbag adjustable. What is the major difference? When you get the sand, you should divide it and stuff into smaller bags. They could be, for example, small trash-bags or something else of a similar size. After stuffing sand inside, just duct-tape them (or scotch-tape them) thickly. You don’t want them to tear, right? Weigh and mark every small bag. For example, I have small bags of the following weights (in kilos): 16.5, 14, 12, 13.5, 11, 7, 5 etc.
A 13 kg small bag.
So now you can use these small bags similar to barbell plates. Just put them inside the sandbag and lace it. Here we go. Now you have an adjustable sandbag, which can be used effectively as a supplement to your current training implements or amazing standalone tool.
1. You can use any filler you want. You can try rice or cement. But sand still remains the safest while the heaviest. You can drop a sandbag on your feet and remain uninjured.
2. If you live in country where it snows in the winter, you might want to get a little bit more sand than you need during the warm period. I live in such climate, and I once went to the beach to get some sand from under the snow while it was -10C. Such activity is definitely rough and not for everyone.
3. If you’re going to make an adjustable sandbag, try to make small bags in pairs. For example, 2.5, 2.5, 5, 5, 10, 10 etc. You’ll need this when you progress to advanced two-handed sandbag exercises such as double sandbag deadlift. You’ll also need to weigh small bags precisely and accurately.
If it’s too hard for you or you’re too lazy, you can always buy a commercial sandbag.
Stay tuned for more information on heavy sandbag training.
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