When someone tells you that they “sandbagged” a work- out, or you call someone a “sandbagger,” it means you’ve deliberately downplayed your ability; you’ve taken the easy route, relative to what you’re capable of. If you know you can do 75 pounds on a bench press, but you opt for 65, then you’ve sandbagged it. The reason I’m telling you this is because we’re all guilty of it — we’ve all worked out below our potential before, because sometimes doing a hard workout is, well, hard.
With that said, I’m about to flip the term “sandbag” on its head and give you an- other deﬁnition. A sandbag workout is one that will test your mental and physical strength, leave you gasping for air, and torch fat like never before — as long as you don’t sandbag it.
Sandbag workouts have been around for decades. They were (and continue to be) useful for army and tac- tical personnel who are limited by the equipment they have in the ﬁeld (bringing barbells into combat isn’t practical). Instead, they made the most of what they had, and the sandbags (used for creating fortiﬁcation, flood control, or shields for shrapnel) became exercise equipment. Because they’re typically just burlap sacks ﬁlled with soil or sand, they’re not stable.
They’re odd objects that are uncomfortable and hard to maneuver, which means you’re going to have a killer time trying to control them. You need coordination, core strength, and practice to really master training with them.
Try this routine as practice. Once you’ve nailed being able to do each exercise with proper form for 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps, consider doing each exercise in succession in giant set fashion 12 reps of one exercise then immediately move on to the next, then the next etc. — three to four times.
Good luck, “sandbagger ”!
SHOULDER SANDBAG SQUAT AND PRESS
While holding the sandbag up on one shoulder, squat; as you come back up to the standing position, lift the sandbag up with both hands and lift overhead to the opposite shoulder.
Squat with the sandbag on this shoulder, and continue with these movements, alternating the shoulder that the sandbag rests on each time you come up out of the squat.
SANDBAG SINGLE-LEGDEADLIFT WITH ROW
Stand tall with your feet together, holding the sandbag by the side handles, palms facing in. Keeping your hips square and back flat, slightly bend your left knee, then hinge at the hips to send your right leg straight back and lower chest towards the floor. Pause at the bottom of the movement, then bend your elbows and draw your shoulders back to pull the sandbag towards your chest. Extend your arms back to the starting position. Perform all repetitions required on one leg, then repeat on the other leg.
LATERAL SANDBAG PULL
Start in a plank position with your back straight and the sandbag on floor to the outside of your left arm. Keeping your hips and shoulders still, grab the sandbag with your right hand by the end handle and drag it underneath you to the right. Repeat on the other side, pulling the bag to the left. Keep alternating until the desired amount of repetitions are complete.
TRAINING FOR STRENGTH? USE A SANDBAG ABOUT 30 INCHES LONG, WEIGH- ING BETWEEN 45 AND 100 POUNDS.
SANDBAG LUNGE WITH TORSO TWIST
Start with your feet hip width, holding the sandbag by the side handles at chest level, elbows bent. Step the right foot forward and lower into a lunge. As you lower, twist your torso to the right and extend your arms to swing the sandbag towards your right hip, keeping a 90-degree bend in your right knee. Push through the right heel to return to the starting position. Perform the number of desired repetitions; repeat on the other side.
TRAINING FOR CON- DITIONING? USE A MEDIUM SANDBAG (20 TO 30 INCHES LONG), WEIGHT BETWEEN 10 AND 45 POUNDS.
Stand with your feet just wider than hip- width apart, holding the sandbag by the side handles, palms facing your body. Keeping your back straight, hinge at the hips and send your butt back to lower the bag to- wards the floor. Drive through the backs of your legs to come up.
BEAR HUG SQUAT
Turn the sandbag the long way and hug it in the middle, squeezing it tight in towards your chest. Your feet should be between hip-width and shoulder-width apart.
Keeping your chest up and the sandbag hugged tigh , sit your butt back and down. Squat as low as you can and sit back in your heels. Keep your back straight, and make sure your heels stay down . Drive straight back up, pushing through your heels. Squeeze your glutes at the top and stand up nice and tall, hugging the sandbag tight. Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions.
CLOTH HANDLES ARE BETTER THAN PLASTIC (WHICH TEND TO HIT YOUR FACE, NECK, AND SHOULDERS DURING LIFTS)..
Model: Michelle Richardson Follow @mommarocks4
Photos by Dave Laus Follow (@dave_laus)