Monday, March 02, 2009

Sandbag Workouts for Fat Loss - Josh Henkin

In the battle for greater fat loss, possessing the right tools is vitally important. Often boredom, lack of time, and minimal variety can quickly sabotage even the best laid fitness programs. This had led me to a continual and never ending search for training methods and tools that can produce fast results and keep training fun!

Fat loss and great fitness were only part of my goals as a serious back injury had long kept me from pursuing my personal fitness with great consistency. I constantly experimented with many different ideas and one that instantly seemed to fit all my needs was sandbag training.

With all the modern pieces of fitness equipment why would a sandbag appear to be an ideal solution for my fitness needs? I evaluated what are the common requirements of a well rounded fitness program?

Something that could train a lot of muscles at one time to stimulate not only fat loss, but optimal muscle gain.

A tool that could challenge my core strength for not only great abdominals, but one that was equally as strong to help bring my back to my ideal level.

A program that could easily be adapted to a beginner or an elite athlete.

Something that could be used in a multitude of ways to train endurance, strength, and flexibility.

Ideally a program that had stood the test of time and proven to be effective over the centuries.

Sandbags were ideal for all of these considerations. Training compound lifts is one of the first rules in creating effective fat loss programs. By stimulating a large number of muscles we burn a lot of calories as well as stimulate the positive hormones that help shred body fat and increase lean body mass. Sure, barbells, bodyweight exercises, and dumbbells can all be used in this manner. However, sandbags stimulate more muscles than any!

Because sandbags change their shape as you lift them, the body has to recruit the big prime movers as well as the stabilizers to perform all the lifts. This means we are training more muscles leading to a better result! Ever notice how much easier it is to lift a well balanced box with handles than an awkward bag with no handles?

Holding sandbags in different positions, whether it is on the shoulder, bear hug, zercher, or any of the many varieties makes the core work harder. The weight either tries to pull the body forward and the trunk must resist or the core has to prevent the body when the weight is loaded on the side.

Sandbags can be used for interval training, strength training, and easily integrated into many other fitness programs. Take a sandbag and your bodyweight and you can develop an incredible fat loss program that would never become boring!

Skeptic? Just give sandbag training one workout and you will quickly become a believer in its effectiveness and challenge.

Josh Henkin


Andy said...

I love sandbag training...maybe a workout program in the future here soon, Craig?

Nice to see different approaches and philosophies coming out here, Craig! Timed intervals, interval cardio, med ball workouts...

Hope to see some sand bag training incorporated in some of your programs soon!


Gabi said...

I have never done sandbag training, but my son, who is 12, does this in his P.E. class. He says it's extremely tough, but doesn't complain. As a female, I personally would never try sandbag training..but, of course it could be because I come from an "old school" mentality of training.