Wall Street Journal Goes Mainstream with Sandbag Training

sandbag trainingHappy Wednesday! For those of you in the boot camp program…Happy Tabata Day!

On March 3rd, the Wall Street Journal published an article “Weightlifting With Shifting Sand.”

See the article here: Weightlifting With Shifting Sand

The subtitle is “Do sandbags offer a more complete workout?”

Hell ya they do!

Sandbags are one of my key modalities for exercise conditioning. Sandbag training is ideal for rehab conditions, travel, athletes, boot camps, personal training, preparation for obstacle course racing, military, fire, police, paramedic training and more.

There is nothing more functional or will prepare you more for life than a sandbag…dead weight that is unstable.

Each day we pick things up off the ground and carry objects like kids, groceries and other tasks related to our work and life.

Even the Silicon Valley worker has to do a little manual labor now and then 🙂

Our lives require us to rotate, bend & lift, push & pull, squat & lunge.

We often take the simplest movement patterns for granted: standing up from a chair, getting off the ground, going up and downstairs and getting up from the toilet.

In order to age gracefully and to be independent without the use of a walker, cane or wheelchair, we must be efficient with our movements.

Sandbag training can be an effective tool to optimize the functional movements mentioned above, while at the same time offering a highly metabolic modality.

Caloric expenditure is definitely higher when using sandbag training vs. other modalities like dumbbells and other fixed objects.

They can also reduce the likelihood of injury given each rep is a new challenge for the body. It is unlikely when you lift a sandbag that you will target the same muscles and jonts with each rep, like machine training.

Exercise machines train the user in only one plane of motion, so the same muscles and joints are targeted with each rep. This can lead to a condition known as pattern overload, commonly seen in anyone who does the same repetitive movements each day (those who sit on a computer, excessive tablet usage, factory worker, farmer, athletes, etc.).

Lastly, sandbags like any modality can lead to injuries if you are not careful.

Every movement or exercise has the possibility of pain and injury due to several reasons. Here are a few:

  1. Excessive load
  2. Excessive number of reps or volume of training
  3. Poor posture
  4. Weak core
  5. Lack of mobility
  6. Poor coordination
  7. Bad technique
  8. Lack of recovery
  9. Muscular imbalances
  10. Prior or current injury
  11. Lack of confidence

My recommendation is not to do machine training prior as noted in the article, but to warm-up specifically for the workout and to train with a qualified coach who can assist you on proper form and progressions.

Prior to loading with a sandbag or any weighted implement, it is highly recommended to optimize movement skill without weight.

For starters, all you need is your body weight and to perfect the following functional movement patterns: rotation, bending & lifting, pushing, pulling, squatting & lunging.

When you do the movements think about good posture, engaging your core and breathing.

Once you master the above you will be ready for the benefits that sandbag training can offer.

Our boot camp coaches will help progress you from body weight training to loading.

Let me know if you are ready to start a structured conditioning program.

For more information on programs go to: www.ShampsBootCamps.com.

Your friend & coach,



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