Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Todays Workout - Swing Baby, Swing

20 Sandbag Swings (or use a Kettlebell if you have one)
10 Sandbag Push Press or Push Jerks

Repeat for a total of 10 rounds as fast as possible.

Record your time.

Train hard!

Monday, 16 March 2015

New Book Release! Sandbag Fitness: Lean & Strong

I'm proud to announce the pre-order release of my new book Sandbag Fitness: Lean & Strong!

I'm so excited about this book as it's the first time I've written on the subject of sandbag training for looking great and not just improving functional performance.

While it's on pre-order you'll receive a discount for purchases. As always, I couldn't do what I do without your support so it would mean the world to me if you take a look at it. Click here to learn more about Sandbag Fitness: Lean & Strong.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Todays Workout - Double Trouble

20 Sandbag Back Squats
15 Push Ups

10 rounds as fast as possible.

Record your weight and time.

Train hard!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Book Review - Zen Mind, Strong Body By Al Kavadlo

I recently got an email from fellow coach, and good friend, Al Kavadlo about his new book 'Zen Mind, Strong Body'. Long term followers of the blog probably know some of Al's work, he's typically known for bodyweight callisthenics but this new book goes deeper than that. Rather than a focus on technical coaching and specific exercises it covers the mindset, preparation and daily practice needed to be successful over the long term.

I think that technical coaching and programming has it's place in health and fitness but the ultimate goal of any coach should be to encourage people to become empowered to develop their own approach. If you're looking for a new addition to your fitness library then I recommend picking up a copy. It's also currently on sale at just $7.99!

Monday, 5 January 2015

Guest Article from Elite Training Programs

I know that we have a number of military personnel who regularly follow the blog here so I was really pleased to hear from Wes Kennedy from Elite Training Programs. If you are in the military or have an interest in preparing for military selection then I recommend checking them out.

As always, I'd also love to hear about some of the ways that you stay fit (besides sandbag training of course!). If you've got any ideas to share then please add them to the comments below. Here's the article:

What the SOF Operator Can Gain From Sandbag Training by Wes Kennedy

I always seek to give clients what they ‘need’ rather than what they ‘want’. I seek to give them simple movements and progressions, before worrying about the flashy-new-super-cool fitness trend. I ask clients to master the basics, before asking for more.

One type of client that I work with a lot is the Special Operations Force (SOF) Operator. For many of them, sandbag training is a logical fit and here’s why:

Easy To Find Implement In Austere Environments

The most obvious reason that I like to use sandbags when training SOF Operators is that sometimes it’s all they have to work with! The types of environments these men find themselves in can provide little to nothing in the way of what you would find in your typical fitness center. What they can almost always count on, however, is having a sandbag or two in their gear and plenty of dirt under their feet. If they find some rope and a rigid length of wood, they can get pretty creative in the weight training implements they devise. Improvised bench press, squat rack, and “dumbbell” set-ups are not out of the question.

Odd Object Training For Real World Physical Fitness

Another reason that I love sandbag training for the SOF Operator is that it provides them with ‘real world’ physical conditioning. While perfectly balanced dumbbells, barbells and other implements certainly have their place, once these men have a solid base of strength I like to challenge them with odd-object training. Objects that are not necessarily easy to grip, that are slightly offset in their weight balance, and that shift when moved: these have great carry over to the SOF Operator’s job. The SOF Operator needs to be able to run around with upwards of 80lbs of gear on his shoulders, a 10-15lbs weapon in his hands, and a 5-10lbs helmet on his head. He needs to be able to throw his buddy on his back and carry him, or drag him across the ground to safety with one arm. He needs to move heavy ammunition cans quickly throughout his fighting vehicle and, at times, needs to engage in unarmed combat and detainee handling. Most importantly, he may need to dig a hole in the ground and construct a sandbag defensive position! All of these tasks make odd objects, such as the sandbag, a perfect tool to use for the SOF Operator’s strength & conditioning training.

Added Variety to Keep Training Interesting Over Time

The SOF Operator can spend upwards of twenty years in this mentally and physically demanding line of work and is required to maintain a high level of physical fitness and readiness throughout. Keeping training interesting and exciting is very important. The sandbag provides yet another tool in the SOF Operator’s strength & conditioning arsenal that allows him to train with purpose and focus as well as variety and fun. Some other implements I enjoy for these individuals is the yoke, atlas stone, continental axle, farmer’s carry handles, tires, hammers, sleds, and strongman logs.

My Favorite Sandbag Movements For SOF Operators

I will always individualize my programming when working one-on-one with an individual but here are 3 of my favorite exercises to perform with a sandbag.

1. Sandbag Drag

In this exercise, the athlete ties a rope to the sandbag and fixes the other end around his shoulder, waist, or hands. If he doesn’t present with any obvious imbalances between his hamstrings, quads, and glutes then I like to have him do equal amounts of backwards and forwards movement. An event placed at the end of a weight training session might look like this:

3 Rounds Of:
50m Sandbag DragForwards @ 97% effort HEAVY
Walk 2:30min
50m Sandbag Drag Backwards @ 97% HEAVY
Walk 2:30min

2. Sandbag Walking Lunges - Underhand Carry 

Since most SOF Operators tend to lack upper body pulling over upper body pressing and since single leg work is so important for them due to the demands of their job I like to incorporate this version of the walking lunge into their training. By placing the load in the front of the body vs. on the back and by using an underhand carry grip, it forces the individual to forcefully engage his lats and back musculature to remain in an upright position. Incorporating it into the beginning of a strength session might look like this:

A: Sandbag WL - Underhand Carry @ 21X1 x 10-12steps/leg; rest 2min x 3-4 sets 

3. Ground Over Shoulder 

Similar to the clean, this movement starts by placing both hands underneath the long sides of the sandbag, finger tips touching. With a neutral back, the athlete stands up to full triple extension before bending the arms and throwing the sandbag over either his left or right shoulder. He can either throw it for distance and take a longer rest in between reps or perform it at higher intensity for multiple repetitions in a mixed modality workout such as in the example below. Before performing this movement, the athlete should ensure that he can perform the barbell clean effectively, and that he can perform the sandbag ground to shoulder effectively in single repetitions before incorporating it into an aerobic power workout such as this one:

10min AMRAP @ 90% effort
10 Sandbag Push Press 40lbs – Alternate Shoulders each rep
10 Ground Over Shoulder 80lbs – Alternate Shoulder each rep
Run 200m

And there you have it! Some quick and dirty insight into why, how, and when I like to use sandbag training with the SOF Operator. Use your best judgment or ask your coach when incorporating new movements and training methodologies into your program and always ask yourself ‘why’. If these movements are in line with your goals, and you have the training background to support it, then have at it!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Todays Workout - Nowhere to Run to Baby, Nowhere to Hide

100m Run (Sprint if you can),
20 Sandbag Floor Press,
5/5 Sandbag Shoulder Get Ups.

Complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes.

Record your score.

Train hard!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Free Sandbag Training Course

When Does the Course Start?

The free Sandbag Training Mastery Course starts on December 1st. We'll send you 1 lesson per week for a total of 6 weeks. In each lesson you'll learn vital skills that will enable you to build your own highly effective sandbag training programme.

What You'll Learn on the Course

This course is designed specifically for one reason - to get you fitter and stronger. We take tried and tested methods and, using sandbags, help you to build an effective training programme that:
  • Will help you burn body fat
  • Will help you build muscle, strength and power
  • Will make you a better athlete
  • Will improve your overall health and wellbeing
  • Will bring back a sense of fun to your workouts!

Who is This Course For?

Anyone who wants to improve their strength, conditioning and general health. The course is completely free and we invite anyone to sign up for it. You can sign up until the 30th November but enrolment closes immediately after that date with no options to join the course afterwards. I might not offer this course again.

Share the Love!

Do you know anyone who would like to know about this? Please share this page with them immediately! Remember, enrolment closes soon so you don't want them to miss out.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Big Savings on Dynamo Sandbags!

Dynamo Athletics have just slashed the prices of their entire sandbag range. Designed specifically for more dynamic movements, skill and agility, the Dynamo sandbag is a great addition to your regular sandbag training. I specifically use mine for swinging, throwing and catching, grip-work and lighter load carries. It is also a perfect tool for group fitness training.

Available in 2 sizes, and various packages, the Dynamo Bag loads up to 25lbs when filled with sand but much more if you use iron shot.

Right now you can pick them up starting from $49 (a saving of over 30%).

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Todays Workout - 22 Jump Street

22 Box Jumps,
22 Sandbag Push Jerks,
22 Sandbag Zercher Squats.

6 rounds as fast as possible.

Record your time.

Train hard!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Todays Workout - 301

20 Sandbag Round-the-Worlds (10 in each direction),
10 Sandbag High Pulls,
10 Sandbag Zercher Squats,
10 Sandbag Overhead Presses,
10 Sit Ups.

Complete 5 rounds and do a single Push Up after the final round (I just didn't want to call the workout  '300').

Record your time.

Train hard!