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Sandbag Training

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If you can't stand your gym anymore or just can't afford it, grab a sandbag for a great alternative for helping you get in a full-body workout. Lifting one is an old-school way to build brute strength and intense endurance. See "How to Make Your Own" below for instructions on building one, then read on for the workout.

Perform the exercises in the order shown. Go for time, not reps. Begin by working for one minute, then resting one to two minutes. Do as many reps as you can. Don't be overly concerned about form-the sand will shift around, making it hard to control the bag. That's the point. Having to stabilize yourself constantly will work you from head to toe.

How to Make Your Own

1) You'll need a sturdy gym or duffel bag. Use a canvas sporting bag or sea bag style canvas duffel bag. A military style duffel bag may also work. Your bag needs to be able to withstand the abuse of being thrown, dropped, and heaved repeatedly, so don't get a cheap one that can't take it.

2) Buy a few bags of playground sand from the local hardware store-it's near the concrete and usually comes in 50-pound tubes. Sells for around $4.

3) Fill a heavy-duty trash bag with sand. Wrap the top tightly with duct tape, then bag it twice more and seal it. Make sure you leave some room in the bag for the sand to slosh around. If you can't find strong enough trash bags, try contractor clean-up bags, which are much thicker. You can find them at Home Depot for around $13.

4) Put it in your duffel bag (which keeps the sandbag from ripping) and zip it shut. Now, get to work!

Click here for a complete, free guide to sandbag construction.

  • Heave the bag from the floor to your chest, then press it overhead. Drop it and repeat as many times as you can for one minute. Complete three sets.
  • Wrestle the bag up to your left shoulder and do one squat. Drop the bag, and then repeat on the right shoulder. Continue alternating for one minute. Do three sets.
  • Wrestle the bag to your chest and squeeze it in a bear hug. Run in place, for one minute. Drop it, rest, and then repeat for three sets.
  • Lie on the floor with the bag on your chest. Press it up and then, with your arms fully extended, do a situp. Repeat the entire exercise for one minute. Do three sets.

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