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!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Todays Workout - The Troublesome Triplet

3 Sandbag Bear Hug Squats,
6 Sandbag Overhead Press,
9 Burpees.

Complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes.

Record your score.

Train hard!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Todays Workout - Animal

Sorry for the delay on new content (I'm currently writing a new book).

Heavy Sandbag Load Carry x 50m
10 Sandbag Ground-to-Overhead
20 Bodyweight Squats

Repeat for a total of 6 rounds.

Record your time.

Train hard!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Meet Our First Sandbag Challenge Winner! Could you do it?

Gabriel from Madrid, Spain recently completed the Sandbag Fitness Bronze Challenge and won 2 of my ebooks. Plus, the honour of being the first person on the Wall of Fame! Do you think you could match or beat his performance?

This challenge is to be completed with the following sandbag weight:

Males - 40% of your bodyweight.

Females - 25% of your bodyweight.

For example, a 200lb man would need to use a sandbag weighing 80lbs (200 divided by 100 x 40).

Sandbag Deadlift x 20 reps
Sandbag Back Squat x 20 reps
Shouldering x 20 reps
Sandbag High Pull x 15 reps
Overhead Press x 15 reps
Sandbag Floor Press x 15 reps
Sandbag Walking Lunge (sandbag at chest height) x 20 reps
Sandbag Shoulder Get Up x 5 reps each side

More info about our challenges here

Monday, 21 July 2014

Todays Workout - Fight the Power

Complete as many heavy Ground-to-Overhead sandbag lifts as you can within a 15 minute time period.

Record both the weight of your sandbag and the number of repetitions you perform.

Train hard!

Monday, 7 July 2014

The Top 25 Fitness Blogs 2014

I know that a lot of you guys who follow the blog on a regular basis appreciate the fact that I don't stand for:

a. General marketing BS and hype.
b. Half-assed attempts to influence others with big words and charts.
c. Anything that I don't believe is in the best interests of the general public.

I'm also often asked who else I recommend that people read up on when it comes to fitness. Hence this little competition that I've put together. This is squarely aimed at fitness-focused blogs, run by individuals, for the betterment of the readers. There is no prize, except for you guys who get to find some new killer fitness blogs to follow.

The competition is simple - I'd like your help in finding these people. Put your nomination in the Facebook comments field below, ideally also including a website address and tagging the Facebook individual or page in question.

The competition will close on Friday 8th August.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Todays Workout - 20 Minutes to Save the World...

Sorry it's been awhile since the last post - I've been working hard on a few new projects and putting the final touches on a new Sandbag Training book! If you have an interest in being lean and strong then you will love this new book, trust me. How do I know? Because I'm currently road-testing it on myself....

10 Sandbag Push Press, 
10 Burpees, 
10 Sandbag Back Squats, 
10 Chin Ups. 

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes.

Record your score.

Train hard!

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Guest Post from Gym-Talk.com - Unconventional Training Techniques of Old-time Strongmen

This months guest post comes from Henry Croft at www.gym-talk.com. I'm a huge fan of traditional training techniques that aren't necessarily mainstream, but still work. So, I was delighted when I got this in my inbox! Check it out:

Image: Wikipedia

The exploits of the old-time strongmen are legendary.

In fact, such was their strength that many of their recorded lifts, such as Arthur Saxon’s ‘two hands anyhow’ of 448 pounds, still remain unbroken today. To achieve this Herculean strength, these men trained using a variety of different methods, many of which you would be hard pressed to find in the air-conditioned gymnasiums of today. Which is a shame, because a lot of these ‘lost’ exercises are extremely effective ways of building strength and explosive power.

In this article I will outline a few of the training techniques which were employed by the old-time strongmen.

A word of caution: a lot of these lifts require specialist knowledge and experience, so to avoid injury ensure you receive proper instruction before attempting them.

Lifting in water

Russian weightlifting champion Vasily Alexeev, one of the strongest men of all time, used a variety of unconventional training techniques to give himself the edge over his competition. One such technique was to wade out into the Don River in Mother Russia and practice his cleans in waist-deep water!

Pros: resistance provided by the water helps develop explosive power.

Cons: chance of drowning, wrinkled skin, Hepatitis.

Barrel Lifting

Lifting kegs and barrels was an extremely popular training method with the old-time strongmen. Louis Cyr, for example, could lift a 450 pound barrel to his chest with just the one hand! To make these barrel lifts all the more difficult, the barrels would be partially filled with liquid in order to make them unbalanced. What’s more, strongmen such as Arthur Saxon would also drink most of the contents of the keg while training, thus adding an extra dimension of difficulty!

‘Supporting’ Lifts

Many of the greatest old-time strongmen, such as Cyr and Saxon, incorporated a lot of ‘supporting’ exercises into their training regimes and public performances, which involved supporting a weight rather than actually lifting it. Such exercises comprised standing supports (such as holding a heavy barbell in the back squat position), overhead supports (holding a barbell aloft), and a leg press support (supporting a weight in the leg press position).

Louis Cyr, for example, could support more than 4,000 pounds on his back!

Horseshoes and Phonebooks

Two popular tests of strength back in the day were bending horseshoes and tearing up phonebooks. In addition to building character and mental toughness, both of these feats helped create incredible grip and wrist strength.

Plus, could you think of a better party trick?

Indian Clubs

These clubs were swung around thousands of years ago by Indian warriors and wrestlers to prepare for battle (hence the name). They were used primarily to build upper body strength in addition to stronger, more flexible joints. Indian clubs were popular in England in the 19th century, especially with military cadets, however their popularity waned in the twentieth century as organised sports became more popular.

Rope climbing

Rope climbing was a staple of the strongman training regime as it helped build upper body strength and a cast iron grip. In fact, in most early gymnasiums you would find huge thick ropes suspended from the ceiling. Old-time strongmen would climb and descended these ropes, which were often up to 30 feet long, several times a day.

Wrapping it up

So, there we have it, 6 unconventional training techniques of the old-time strongmen. Ultimately, there is a lot we can learn from these old-school training techniques which can be applied to strength training today.

If you have any thoughts on this article I’d love to hear from you – just leave me a comment below!

About the author

Henry is a fitness junkie with a passion for heavy squats, distance running and Martial Arts. You can find him blogging over at GymTalk.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Todays Workout - Your Call, Meatball

10 Sandbag Ground-to-Overhead (any technique allowed as long as bag touches the ground and goes overhead with straight legs and arms per rep),
10 Sandbag Walking Lunges (Front, Back, Zercher, Shoulder or Overhead sandbag hold)
200m Run.

Repeat 5 rounds as fast as possible.

Record your time.

Train hard!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Product review - Icelandic Glacial Water

The nice folks at Icelandic Glacial Water recently sent me a whole case of their product to try out. While I don't often review things on the blog here at Sandbag Fitness, I make an exception for products that I like and I'm happy to recommend to you guys.

Firstly, this is really nice water. I mean really nice. If you're used to drinking regular tap water (which is what I normally have) then you'll notice a difference straight away. This tastes very clean and pure.

After checking out their site in a little more detail I read a number of other cool things about this stuff, including:

  • It comes from the 5000 year old Ã–lfus Spring in Iceland.
  • The area in which it comes from is protected and there are no buildings or farming within the 128,000 acre region. 
  • The water is bottled in a clean room environment, so it isn't exposed to the air until you take the cap off. 
  • It's a Carbon-Neutral product.
Besides, drinking water from Iceland makes me feel like a Viking...and that's no bad thing. 

If you see this in your local store then I can highly recommend trying it. You can find out more about the product by clicking here.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Todays Workout - No Easy Way Out

Complete 100 Sandbag Ground-to-Overheads.

Each time you drop the sandbag (you can rest while holding it) there's a 20 Press Up penalty.

Complete the workout as fast as you can and record your time.

Train hard!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Todays Workout - Run To The Hills (yes, that's an Iron Maiden reference)

Run 400m (hill optional),
20 Sandbag Cleans,
20 Sandbag Push Presses.

Complete 3 rounds as fast as you can.

Record your time.

Train hard!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Todays Workout - Short and Sweet

30-20-10 of Sandbag Thrusters and Pull Ups.

Record your time.

Train hard!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Todays Workout - Wheely Good

100 Skips,
10 Sandbag Cleans,
10 Sandbag Thrusters,
5 Ab-Wheel Rollouts.

Not sure what an Ab-Wheel is? Click here to check out a post on how to make your own by Ross Enamait. I'll add my own images soon.

Complete 5 rounds as fast as possible.

Record your time.

Train hard!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Todays Workout - Walk The Mile

400m Sandbag Carry (hold it over the shoulders, or above the head if you want a serious challenge!),
20 Sandbag High Pulls,
20 Sandbag Overhead Press.

Complete 4 rounds as fast as possible.

Record your time.

Train hard!

New products on Amazon

You can now pick up the Sandbag Fitness Heavy Duty Workout Bag on Amazon click here (the bag I'm using above)

There's a black and white (and also cheaper) version of Sandbag Training For MMA & Combat Sports click here

There's also a massive sale on The Complete Guide To Sandbag Training for Kindle - it's currently 75%off! click here

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Todays Workout - Pushing My Luck

10 Sandbag High Pulls,
10 Push Ups,
10 Sandbag Overhead Press,
10 Sandbag Floor Press,
10 Sandbag Back Squats.

Complete 5 rounds as fast as possible.

Record your time.

Train hard!

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Lifting Sandbags for Manliness (and Womanliness)!

Recently I've been going through some of the articles stored in my 'Writing' folder on the computer and I found something I'd written for Art Of Manliness (www.artofmanliness.com) a year or so ago. They didn't want it (perhaps it was too manly for them) so I'm giving it to you guys instead!

The article is a little gimmicky (after all, isn't manliness subjective?) but I think you guys will enjoy it. For me, I don't like to really categorise anyone as being manly or womanly but I know that being fit and healthy makes me a nicer person and, or so I like to think, a better human being all round. So here goes!

Lifting Sandbags For Manliness

By Matt Palfrey

The last time I really stepped foot in a commercial gym facility was in 2009 - it was some awful place called ‘Celebrity Fitness’ (or something like that) and it was the kind of venue that you just wouldn’t ever see any celebrities in (except maybe D-listers and below). I was training hard and they told me off for lifting too much weight. Seriously. I was flabbergasted. To make things worse I was told by someone who would have looked more at home in a toothpaste commercial - he was basically white teeth and a ridiculous ‘fashion haircut’, all dressed up in a tracksuit.

It’s my opinion that there are 2 things that a person should never be interrupted during:

1. Sex.

2. Hard physical exercise (see also ‘1. Sex’)

I left the place feeling like a lion whose hunt has just been put on hold by an antelope who was complaining that the run was making him sweat and it was ruining his fur. It made me think just how far the commercial gym market had slipped. They had become horrible, overly sterile environments where the key focus was to wear the best clothes, strut around the place and generally act a little metro-sexual. Wasn’t that the reason to go to nightclubs?

At that point I pretty much decided that I was done with the commercial gym. At the time I was short on funds - I had just funded a 9 month adventure around the globe. I needed to get fit and, as my exercise of choice is weight training, I needed to find some inexpensive ‘weight’ to lift. As it turns out, sand is about as inexpensive as you can get. And, in many instances, you can also get it for free. So I headed down to the hardware store and purchased 250 lbs of sand for about $10. I started off with a simple set up - a big canvas bag stuffed full of smaller sandbags.

I’d follow similar workouts to those that I always had done - the only real difference being that I was lifting sand instead of traditional barbells or dumbbells. At first it wasn’t easy. Handling a sandbag is considerably harder than I expected but I persevered and started making improvements. After a few workouts I realised that it was seriously hard work and not just some poor excuse for a real workout.

I started to wonder how many other people were out there in a similar position to me - unable or unwilling to get to the gymnasium, or just simply time/financially poor individuals. A little more research and I found out that people had been training with sandbags for quite a long time.

I started this blog, Sandbag Fitness, to share my experiences with others. I just write about the workouts that I’ve done in my garage and people seem to enjoy following them - we now get a few thousand hits per month so there’s obviously plenty of people out there who are tired of the traditional gym environment.

How Will Lifting Sandbags Help With Manliness (or womanliness)?

  • You’re lifting something real - not some modern machine designed to optimize your exercise experience. That big bag of sand could just as easily be an elk you’ve just killed or a loved one that you’re rescuing from a burning building. It’s this reason that lots of athletes are now using sandbags as part of their training.
  • You can follow your sandbag training program anywhere. I use mine in the garage but you could just as easily train with yours: in a field/up a mountain/on a beach.
  • The sandbag is built for manly use. You can throw it, slam it and even start punching it in a fit of rage - it will generally stand up to the abuse. Try doing that with anything at your average gym and they’ll probably ask you to leave, and maybe even call the cops.
  • Sandbag training is tough and is used by the military, strongmen/women and elite athletes the world over to develop great strength and conditioning. It gets results quickly and with the minimum of investment - meaning that you can focus on the other important things in life. You don’t need to turn into that guy who is at the gym for 2-3 hours per day.
  • Is Sandbag Training the best thing since sliced bread? Read here
I’m Ready To Start!

  • Get yourself a sandbag - either construct one at home using a holdall, duffel bag or something similar (good guide here) or get a custom made sandbag like the Sandbag Fitness sandbag (click here) or the Brute Force Sandbag (click here for UK/Europe or click here for US)
  • Follow the workouts posted at Sandbag Fitness
  • Prepare yourself for new found levels of strength, conditioning and general bad-ass status
  • Astound friends, colleagues and family members by displaying your ability to throw around everyday objects with ease
How To Succeed With A Sandbag Strength & Conditioning Program

Just because you’ve traded your traditional dumbbells and barbell for a bag of sand it doesn’t mean that you should ignore the basics. Your training should focus on big, full body compound lifts like Deadlifts, Squats, Presses and Pulls. I also like to throw plenty of bodyweight conditioning in there for good measure.

The intensity of your program will generally yield better results than the volume. Focus your efforts on working hard with a sandbag weight that challenges you.

My Favorite Sandbag Exercises

Sandbag Zercher Squats

Hold a sandbag at chest height in the crook of your arms (as pictured). Keeping your head and chest high, squat down until your hips are lower than your knees. Be sure to keep your spine and core braced and keep your feet flat. The Sandbag Zercher Squat will build powerful legs and a strong core.

Sandbag Windmill

Hold a sandbag overhead in one hand - either hold a handle or the fabric of the bag. Keeping the arm straight, push your hip out to the side to initiate the movement. Slowly reach down towards the ground and touch your opposite foot. The Sandbag Windmill is a great exercise for core strength and shoulder stability.

Sandbag Clean and Press

The Sandbag Clean and Press is a very tough exercise that will challenge everyone due to the difficulties in handling the constantly-shifting load. Start with the sandbag in front of you on the ground. Take a firm grip of the sandbag and lift it up to chest height in one powerful movement. Then, without leaning back too excessively, press the sandbag over your head. Arms should go to full extension. Shouting something manly at this point is optional but recommended.

Drop the bag back onto the ground and repeat.

Try The Following Workouts

1. 10 Sandbag Overhead Presses

10 Sandbag Back Squats

10 Knees-to-Elbows

Repeat for a total of 5 rounds.

YouTube video link here

2. 10 Sandbag High Pulls

10 Push Ups

10 Box Jumps

Repeat for a total of 5 rounds.

YouTube video link here

3. With a sandbag over your shoulders, complete a hill run. At the top complete 10 Sandbag Back Squats.

Repeat for up to 10 ‘hills’.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Todays Workout - The Art of Expressing the Human Body

10 Sandbag Cleans, 10 Sandbag Walking Lunges, 10 Sandbag Thruster Burpees. As many rounds as possible in 15 minutes.

Record your score.

Train hard!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Todays Workout - Sandbags 'n' Stuff

10 Sandbag High Pulls,
10 Push Ups,
10 Sandbag Goblet Squats,
10 Sandbag Overhead Press.

Complete 5 rounds as fast as you can.

Record your score.

Train hard!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Book Review - Stretching Your Boundaries By Al Kavadlo

I recently got an email from fellow coach, and good friend, Al Kavadlo about his new book 'Stretching Your Boundaries' - a title devoted to helping you improve your flexibility, mobility and, ultimately, make you perform better with less pain. If you're like the vast majority of people out there then you probably don't do enough work on your flexibility so you should check out this book.

At over 200 pages, the book covers the practice of stretching in good detail. But, where the book really shines is in its practical description of a large number of stretches. Not only does Al describe the stretches well but he explains Common Mistakes, Muscles Used, the exercise counterpart (i.e. do this stretch to get better at that exercise) and also breathing patterns. Few people understand the importance of correct breathing in flexibility training so this was a really nice addition.

What I most enjoyed about 'Stretching Your Boundaries' was the exercise selection itself. I choose my exercises based on their function rather than what muscles they 'work' and the book approaches stretching in a similar fashion. What this ultimately means is that you have a stretching program that works rather than just spinning your wheels - and I'm all for that.

If you're looking for a way to make some serious improvements to your flexibility and performance then I can highly recommend picking up a copy. Click here to check it out on the Dragon Door site

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Guest post from GoGoBot.com - Exciting Exercise Options for the City or Suburbs

I'm always interested in hearing about some of the ways that others stay fit and active - after all, Sandbag Fitness was launched out of the necessity to find an effective, affordable way for me to stay fit. So I was really happy to hear from GoGoBot.com recently. They've put together a short article, based on user reviews on their site, that covers a whole range of different ways to be active and get fitter. If you're after some renewed motivation or just want to try something new then give them a go.

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:

Exciting Exercise Options for the City or Suburbs

Fun fitness activities are easy to find whether you live in the city or in the country. Each setting offers unique opportunities for building wellness, but they both offer the same benefits of reduced stress, deeper sleep and better health. This information was compiled from user-generated reviews directly from the Gogobot.com database. Gogobot is a travel website that features thousands of real user reviews about activities and accommodations, restaurants and more, specific to a certain type of traveler. Each type of traveler is categorized into various ‘tribes’, whether they be an adventure traveler or a nightlife lover.

Here are some of the best exercise options in each setting for different types of fitness lovers.

The Outdoor Enthusiast

Biking is an exciting way to get fit wherever you are, but city dwellers will find that a bicycle can also be valuable transportation. Instead of taking the car to the grocery, you can ride your bike and get some exercise at the same time. A bicycle can also be handy transportation in rural areas, but mountain biking is king in the country. Exercise is exhilarating when you're barreling down the side of a mountain, dodging boulders and trees, with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair. The outskirts aren’t a far walk from the vast amount of hotels, restaurants and clubs inside the city where the urbanist can get a similar experience by cycling on one of Las Vegas’s 350 miles of bike lanes.

The Adventurer

If you love adventure, why not try martial arts? Martial arts offer stimulating exercise that can calm the mind and give insights into other cultures. City lovers should try jiu-jitsu, a martial art with Japanese and Brazilian forms. In either form, practitioners fight on the ground, using all of their muscles to dominate their opponents. In rural areas across the country and the world, mountain martial arts are catching on among fitness enthusiasts. For practitioners of this alpine fighting tradition from Japan, exercise comes with high-altitude thrills and an empowering sense of strength that fortifies the mind and body.


Wellness can be fostered through diet and exercise in any place. In the city, anybody can boost their overall health by eating plenty of vegetables on a daily basis. In fact, chopping vegetables can be a relaxing activity that soothes the mind in preparation for a nourishing meal. In rural areas, wellness can be achieved by chopping wood regularly. Newcomers will find that their stamina is tested by this activity, which strengthens the upper and lower body while boosting cardiovascular fitness. The benefits of chopping wood also include exposure to fresh air and a healthy feeling of accomplishment.


Backpackers will find that opportunities for exploratory exercise can be found in city centers as well as nature reserves. Speed pole climbing is one challenging choice for urbanites. To participate, enthusiasts climb a vertical tree trunk or pole as quickly as they can. Thanks to a harness worn around the lower body, this activity is actually fairly safe. In the countryside, backpackers can simply find a sturdy tree and start climbing. Although tree climbing is sometimes considered a pastime for children, it can also be engaging, healthy fun for adults who love to explore.

In any setting, the key to success in fitness is to keep exercise fun. With the activities listed here, it's even easier to enjoy the path to wellness. A combination of unique fitness factors will contribute the most to a healthy lifestyle in the suburbs or the city.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Todays Workout - Around the Block

Run 200m,
20 Push Ups,
20 Sandbag Back Squats,
20 Sandbag Round-the-Worlds (each side).

Complete 5 rounds as fast as possible.

Record your time.

Train hard!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Todays Workout - Three is a Magic Number

3 Pull Ups,
6 Sandbag High Pulls,
9 Push Ups.

10 rounds as fast as possible.

Record your time.

Train hard!