Interested in destroying nasty fat, building muscle, getting tight and lean in all the right places, gaining insane levels of conditioning, and bio- boosting your metabolism into overdrive? Then you will be absolutely ecstatic about the fitness dividends you will experience when you pair sandbag training with kettlebell training in the same workout.
So why combine a sandbag workout with a kettlebell workout? Because the fitness payoff and training effect you will experience is astounding, quite frankly. These workouts can be performed indoors if you have the room or outdoors. Even though I have access to world class training facilities, I prefer to do these outside as I not only enjoy it more, but I believe you get a better all around training experience.
I dedicate this workout to my great Uncle Elmer who used weighted carries to build a base of strength and fitness that I can only classify as “scary strong.” Check out The World’s Strongest Man to read about Uncle Elmer and his incredible life of strength, service and inspiration.
Not only are these workouts challenging, but dare I say they are fun and exciting to perform-especially if you do them with others willing to abandon their treadmills and get out of their comfort zones in exchange for big time fitness results!
If you have the programming knowledge, there are so many meaningful exercise combinations to incorporate into a sandbag and kettlebell training session that are highly functional and transferable to improving our daily tasks, activities and quality of life.
Weighted carries are great exercises by themselves, but when you combine them into an exercise or movement complex be prepared to take your fitness to incredible heights and reap the benefits that will most assuredly follow. An exercise complex is a series of exercises performed in succession one right after the other with minimal or no rest. You can also refer to this as a “round” of exercises.
Weighted carries can be used as “finishers” to your workout program or strategically worked into your exercise routine, but I have come to value them as a stand- alone supreme total body workout, also.
Training with kettlebells are highly challenging by themselves, but when you combine them with the unstable nature of sandbags, be prepared to get your butt kicked big time!
Oh and this is one of those workouts that looks like a walk in the park and not very taxing to those observing from the sidelines. In reality, no muscle in your body doesn’t get recruited when you perform this kettlebell and sandbag workout and you will be breathing hard. These types of workouts are deceptively challenging and are true total body blitzers if you use challenging loads and program them effectively. I can only classify these types of workouts as true game changers that will have you zooming to your fitness goals!
But enough of my squawking – Check out one of my super effective sandbag and kettlebell carry training routines below and all will become crystal clear!
The Sandbag is classified as a “Live” training implement meaning that it is constantly shifting in your grasp and “Fighting” you every step of the way. This forces your body to compensate by recruiting more muscles to perform the exercise. Recruiting more muscles mean burning more calories. What a great metabolic deal! – take advantage of these types of training effects if you are serious about achieving meaningful fitness and progressing to your ideal body composition!
Learn why Sandbag Training Is So Effective at getting you fit.
Perform all of the above sandbag and kettlebell carries one right after the other – this is a round
Creating Productive Tension And Using Good Form
Pick up & lower the weights using good form meaning hinge your butt back like you are sitting into a chair and keep your chest up throughout the descent. Grip the kettlebell handle or sandbag and maintain tension as you drive to a standing position through your heels keeping your chest up. Pretend you are trying to keep a $100 bill under your armpits and brace your abs as if you are anticipating a punch in the stomach. This is the easiest way to explain the tension you need to create as you raise and lower the weights from the ground. Not only will this create a better metabolic effect promoting additional calorie burn and strength gain, but these tension techniques will keep you safer as you perform these exercises as the body will be braced for the performance and help resist potential injury.
As you practice picking up the weights using these tension techniques make sure you perform the movements in a smooth and controlled manner without any disconnect or loose, jerky movements. Breathe in through your nose as you lower the weight and forcefully out through your mouth with your tongue touching the roof of your mouth as you stand up with the kettlebell or sandbag. The outward breath through your mouth should sound like a loud hiss like an annoyed snake. (TSSSSSS….)
Don’t be timid or apprehensive when you exhale like this through your mouth. If I were standing near you and can’t noticeably hear you “hissing” then the exhale isn’t pronounced enough to create the proper tension needed. I have had some people tell me they are “embarrassed” to be too loud around others with their breathing. Nonsense – there is nothing to be embarrassed about when utilizing proper, safe and productive technique. This is music to my ears and earns respect and praise in my classroom! However, don’t overdo it and scream or bellow during your exhale sounding like a poor animal trapped in the tar pits like the attention starved annoying fitness fools we all have seen at the gym. Someone may throw a net over you and cart you away!
Practice these tension techniques in your everyday activities that require you to pick things off the ground or when you carry your kids or pets around as this will promote more productive and safe movement throughout your day.
TIPS and GUIDELINES:
Take the time to do a meaningful and proper warmup before jumping into this challenging workout– we aren’t carrying sacks of feathers around after all!
Stay aware of your surroundings at all times – don’t trip over your equipment or step in any varmint holes so walk the area beforehand to check for potential hazards!
Use good form when performing these carries and especially don’t get lazy when you are hoisting these implements up and returning them to mother earth.
Start with moderate weights to get a feel for the movements and to get into the groove of performing these exercises.
Keep your abs braced and walk with a tall posture in short, quick steps
This will challenge your breathing pattern, so try to breathe in short, rhythmic breaths as you walk – in through the nose and exhale through the mouth.
Don’t let your body lean forward/back or side to side as you walk
You can perform these carries using a set distance (say 25-50 steps depending on the load) or time your walks. I find that picking a fixed distance is ideal for most people.
In General, the heavier the load, walk shorter distances and for moderate loads walk longer distances. Experiment with these variables, but remember to bail out of a movement before total fatigue compromises your form.
Try setting the clock for 15 minutes and see how many rounds you can complete within this time frame. Rest as much as you need to between rounds, but challenge yourself. Start with a 1 minute rest between rounds and scale it up or down from there. Some people will need more and some less.
Give the Sand and Steel carry workout a try and watch your fitness skyrocket to new levels.
Try this routine for 15 minutes with a challenging weight selection and I guarantee you will be questioning your current love affair with your treadmill, elliptical, stair stepper or other over engineered fitness device when your fitness and conditioning progress goes into overdrive!
Enjoy and use this sandbag and kettlebell workout to forge that body worth bragging to the heavens about!
Stay Well! Take Action! Be Consistent! Train and Eat Smart! Get Rid of the Drains and Pains in Your Life! Value your loved ones and friends and get out and have some active, safe fun!
Your Pal in Fitness,
I Eat T-Bone Steaks and Carry Sandbag and Kettlebell Weights!