Saturday, June 6, 2009

Total Body Template Using Sandbags & Bodyweight

A lot of people think that its impossible to build strength and muscle mass using just a simple tool such as the sandbag. They think you need intricate program design and lots of fancy equipment. The fact is that the body only recognizes tension, not what is applying the tension.

While I encourage people to train with alot of different equipment such as barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, bodyweight and the like, its important to know that no matter what you use to train with, as long as you adhere to some sort of template you're gonna be money.

Something i've been using for quite awhile now and originally stole from Underground Strength Coach, Zach Even-Esh is a total body template designed to train the entire body and various planes of motion in one workout.

Its simple, really and all you have to do is plug in whatever piece of equipment you're using with whatever movements are applicable with that training tool.

a) Total body movement
example: sandbag clean and press, sandbag shouldering, sandbag loading

b1) upperbody pressing movement:
example: weighted push up variation or parallel dip variation

b2) upperbody pulling movement:
example: sandbag bent over rows, weighted recline rows, or weighted pull up variation

c1) squat or lunge variation
example: sandbag zercher squat, shoulder squat, zercher lunge or shoulder lunge

c2) posterior chain movement
example: sandbag zercher goodmornings, bear hug goodmornings, sandbag pull throughs

Sets and reps can vary, and you can even work all the movements in a strength circuit (a great way to train if you're short on time). By following this general template you have a vast array of movements to choose from, but each training session will still have some sort of rhyme and reason and keep you progressing forward.

As an example, here's what I did today

warm up w/bodyweight and bands x 2 sets
1. push ups x 15
2. squats x 20
3. reverse lunges x 20
4. iron corss goodmornings x 20

a) sandbag clean and press: max reps in 5 minutes

b1) chain push ups 3 x max reps

b2) sandbag bent over rows 3 x 8-10

c1) sandbag zercher squats 2 x 8

c2) sandbag zercher goodmornings 2x8

This took only 25 minutes or so from start to finish and completely roasted me. My upperback, grip, core, and lowerbody were thrashed from all the sandbag work and the chain push ups blew up my upperbody.

Don't make this stuff more complicated than it is and don't be afraid to have some fun with your training! Yes, you have to work hard, but don't limit yourself to one training tool over another. Experiment, find out what works, and don't let the "rules" hold you down!

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