Thursday, 3 November 2011

Todays Rant - may contain swearing.

I recently wrote an article for T-Nation - the internets premier resource for strength. The article was all about Sandbags For Strength

I wrote the article as a sound, reasonable rationale for those that traditionally train with free weights. I put forward an argument for including sandbag training into your programme, no matter what else you were doing. I genuinely believe that sandbag training is a great tool for developing strength and conditioning - hell, I've put in over 300 sandbag workouts in the last year to prove it. This apparently is not good enough for some people...

I picked up a thread on Facebook between some guy and another sandbag manufacturer. They were essentially talking about my article and how uneducated I was. Apparently I had missed the point of sandbag training altogether. According to these guys:

  • I am writing "bad information"
  • Any company not offering 3 sizes of sandbag is not to be trusted - neither is a company offering more than 3 sizes
  • The power of sandbag training is in the "system" - and to get access to the system you simply have to provide some credit card details

This stuff pisses me off so much I can't even describe it. Could I start talking about multi-planar movement and the biomechanical properties of each and every movement listed on Sandbag Fitness? Yes. Would anyone care - probably not. In my opinion people want straightforward, sound advice that they can follow easily. Information that they can put into action immediately.

As some of you know, I am also part of Brute Force Europe - we sell the Brute Force Sandbag. I genuinely believe that it's a great tool and that is why I train with it and promote it. Do I plaster it everywhere on this site and spam everyone with discount coupons? Absolutely not.

What I will never do is become the proverbial Snake Oil Salesman


  1. Ha ha the secret sandbag system.
    Brute Force are prob very good bags but like you said not essential,fill bag heavy lift put down ,there are no secrets only those that work hard and those that don't

  2. This wasn't even a post about equipment but it really grinds my gears when so called fitness professionals start suggesting that they've developed some super system. Don't get me wrong, sandbag training is great and will get you very fit and strong but I'm not going to say that there is a special system of training when there clearly isn't - in fact, that special system is probably shit compared to your average heavy compound lifting schedule.

  3. Matt, I'm with you on this one. I read your article and it reaffirmed what I already thought. Sandbags are a great tool. I use them as a supplement to wrestling when I can't find a partner, which is much more difficult as an adult. People always wonder why wrestlers are always stronger than they look (some don't even really lift weights) and the answer is that they spend hours a day lifting odd objects (other people). Sandbags offer a way to do just that without worrying about whether your teammates bathed or not.

  4. Thanks for the comments. And you're completely right about odd object lifting and it's transfer into real life skills. And I loved the practical application regarding hygiene!

  5. Snake Oil Salesman is pissed off, because there is better quality products available than his.

    I have sold and trained with both, Ultimate Sandbag and Brute Force Sandbag, and Brute Force makes way better sandbags than Henkin. That is the truth, and every people can see this if they are willing to test both.

  6. Hi Juha - good to hear from someone who is speaking from experience. Hope the training is going well

  7. SUX! That's what I say. It's too bad that one has to feel threatened by a competitor.

    If it were me I'd simply let my product(s) speak for themselves whether it's the bag or the system.

    I make my own bags, I've bought poor quality muscle driver bags, and I've been tossing around buying 1 each from you and Henkin. After hearing this and seeing Juha's comment, when I buy it'll be Brute Force.

    Trashing competitors with words shows weakness and insecurity in your own abilities

  8. On a different note.....

    I like your site, but your commenting takes way more work than it should. Too many steps if I want to ID myself.

    Maybe it's just me - lazy I guess.

    Keep rockin' bro!

  9. Hi Bryan, I agree with letting most things speak for themselves!

    Sorry you find the commenting process harder than it should be - I'll look into adjusting it now

  10. I received a newsletter from that ultimate sandbag company saying that if people don't care about progressing in their workouts, then they should continue training with homemade ones. Man that really got me and I unsubscribed immediately.

  11. Hi Duro - sorry to hear that your BS detector went off...I myself have a fairly attuned BS detector too so I'll always try to keep this site as fluff free as possible. When someone says that your results are going to be limited by anything but your hard work and perseverance then I'd always question it

  12. Amen.  I knew nothing about sandbags, but in the process of deciding which one would probably be better quality for my recent purchase, I chose Brute Force.  The other brand is the one who sells equipment 
    "as seen on TV" - that's a recipe for getting crap.  And people that wear lycra when they workout are fruitcakes - I don't buy anything from fruitcakes.

  13. Matthew Palfrey25 April 2012 at 18:12

    Right on. I actively try to look like crap when I workout - my favourite training t-shirt is about 100 years old. Glad you managed to see through all the 'system' bullshit. Keep training hard! Matt