The sandbag has been used for many years as an old school conditioning tool by martial artists, strongmen and in the military. It can provide exceptional results, is cheap, easy to transport and helps to hone very functional strength and conditioning. Unlike the barbell, which is designed to enable you to move the greatest weight possible, the sandbag is an awkward dead weight lump. As soon as you grip it you immediately tell the difference between a sandbag and a barbell, often with a sandbag you will have to reduce your lifitng load by 50%.
What are the benefits of Sandbag Training?
Sandbags improve your strength and stability – especially with awkward objects
The sandbag has a constantly shifting centre of mass. As mentioned before the barbell is perfectly designed to allow you to lift the most, from the size or the bar to its deep knurling. However the sandbag is more like something you need to move in real life. How often do we ever lift something so perfect outside of the gym? As martial artists you may be fighting someone, grabbing and pulling against each other. Or maybe you’re shifting some furniture, loading up a wagon or hoofing one of your kids over your shoulder, rarely will they be a perfect shape!
This means that the sandbag has exceptional carry over into our conditioning. The sandbag is a great old school conditioning method to improve your strength and stability.
Versatility – Sandbag Training can be done anywhere!
The sandbag is probably one of the most versatile training tools you can get. You can train with them in the gym, the park, at home in your garden or even on holiday. If weight is an issue you can ditch the sand and fill up when you get to your destination – really useful for people who work away from home.
Sandbag training is cheap!
Buying a decent set of weights – an olympic barbell, plates, a squat rack – will cost you a couple of thousand pounds. Don’t get me wrong that’s still a great investment if you love training and don’t just let it gather dust, but a homemade sandbag will cost you around £20 to make maybe even less. Literally all you need is a duffle bag, some contractors bags, some sand and some duct tape.
Sandbag training is tough!
Obviously we love our old school conditioning, and the sandbag really helps provide us with some tough workouts. Of course if you want to lift the most weight then you need a barbell, but for some solid old school strength, the sandbag is brilliant. Sandbag training allows you to build strength, works many stabilising muscles due to its awkwardness and shifting centre of gravity and it also serves as a great conditioning tool.
Old School Conditioning tool
Sandbags have great carry over into sports, as well as developing grip strength, the sandbag is so unrelenting when compared to say a typical machine in the gym. Sports performance can be incredibly enhanced when working with a sandbag and helps to develop a very real world strength that you typically see when you work with guys who do hard labouring such as landscapers or farm hands.
We keep all of our exercise selections old school, keep it simple, lift heavy, lift consistently, eat well and have fun!
- Sandbag Deadlift
- Sandbag Shouldering
- Sandbag Clean and Press
- Suitcase Carries
- Sandbag Drags
- Sandbag Throws
- Sandbag Squats
- Sandbag Lunges
- Sandbag Burpees
- Sandbag Get Ups
5 Great Old School Conditioning Sandbag Workouts
Wod 1 – this ones a BEAST and you’ll need a pair of kettlebells to go with it!
20m farmers carry (double kettlebell)
3 front squats
40 m sandbag carry
Amrap 30 minutes
5 rounds for time
400m sandbag run
25 jumping squats
60 seconds per station
60 seconds rest between rounds
Sandbag Get Ups
Sandbag High Pulls
Sandbag Floor Press
This is great as a standalone get-it-done workout if you are pushed for time, or as a finisher to one of our strength and conditioning workouts
10 minute amrap
Sandbag Get Ups
100m Sandbag Bear Hug Carry
5 Sandbag Cleans
10 Sandbag Thrusters
10 Shoulder Slams
Amrap 20 minutes
For more sandbag programs and old school conditioning workouts click on this link here