Welcome to the fifth and final part of my series on sandbag training. I really hope you’ve enjoyed it, as I’ve certainly had great fun writing it. If you haven’t read the rest of the series then you can start with the first article here. In this final section I’ll be focusing on providing you with as many workouts as I can possibly squeeze in. All of which can be performed with nothing but your bodyweight, your environment, and a sandbag.

 

sandbags, sandbag training, matt palfrey, matthew palfrey, sandbag workoutsAs we’ve come to the end of this series I’m reminded of the words of a great coach whom I once asked about tapering prior to competition. He told me, “There comes a time when preparation, mental rehearsal, and skills practice needs to end. At that point you have to dig in and show the world what you’ve got. In that moment you’ll learn more than you ever could thinking about how you might respond under pressure.”

 

I think those words are fitting for this final part of the series and the real ethos that I hope I’ve been able to impart. Get through these workouts and you’ll learn an awful lot about sandbag training, your strengths and weaknesses, and exactly what you’re going to need to do to make progress in your strength and conditioning routine.

 

The Workouts

 

These workouts are tough and are designed to build from those earlier in this article series. If you haven’t yet completed the earlier workouts or are unsure about your fitness level, then please go back and attempt those first. All of the workouts below have been designed to offer a good mix of both strength and conditioning and could be used as an alternative for your existing met-con or fitness routine.

 

Sandbag weight targets have been given, but don’t worry if you need to start lighter until you are confident with the exercises. Conversely, as you improve you can add additional weight to your sandbag to increase the challenge.

 

Workout 1

 

This workout is a great test of conditioning and upper- and lower-body strength. Ideally you’ll complete it with a sandbag that is around 25% of your bodyweight. Do not underestimate this one. That hill will feel like Everest after twenty minutes.

 

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes:

  • Sandbag hill sprint (sprint up a 40-60m hill carrying a sandbag)
  • Jog back to the bottom of the hill, still carrying the sandbag
  • 10 sandbag floor presses at the bottom of the hill

 

sandbags, sandbag training, matt palfrey, matthew palfrey, sandbag workoutsWorkout 2

 

This workout is fast and furious and will test even the best-conditioned athletes. Aim to complete this workout with a sandbag that is 50% of your bodyweight.

 

5 rounds as fast as possible, rest as needed:

  • 150 Skips with a jump rope
  • 20 Burpees
  • 15 Sandbag high pulls
  • 10 Sandbag thrusters

 

Workout 3

 

An awesome mix of pulling, pushing, and squatting. Aim to complete using a sandbag that is around 50% of your bodyweight. For the sandbag shoulder squats you should switch sides each round.

 

10 rounds as fast as possible, rest as needed:

  • 5 Gorilla pull ups
  • 10 Handstand push ups
  • 15 Sandbag shoulder squats

 

Workout 4

 

sandbags, sandbag training, matt palfrey, matthew palfrey, sandbag workoutsWhere possible you should try to complete each round of this sandbag complex without putting the sandbag down. This will help to develop your grip strength and endurance. Aim for a sandbag that is 50% of your bodyweight. To make things even more interesting, give yourself (or your training partners/clients) a 10 push up penalty for each time the sandbag is dropped.

 

5 rounds as fast as possible, rest as needed:

  • 5 Sandbag cleans
  • 5 Sandbag push jerks
  • 5 Sandbag Zercher squats
  • 5 Sandbag good mornings

 

Workout 5

 

I really believe that one of the best exercises for conditioning is the load carry, push or drag. This workout also adds in some agility work for balance. Aim to complete this workout with a sandbag that is 75% of your bodyweight.

 

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes, rest as needed:

  • 100m Load carry
  • 20 T-push ups
  • 20 Lateral lunges

 

sandbags, sandbag training, matt palfrey, matthew palfrey, sandbag workoutsWorkout 6

 

Agility, power, and strength make this workout a great choice for any athlete interested in improving performance. Aim to complete with a sandbag that is 50% of your bodyweight.

 

5 rounds as fast as possible, rest as needed:

  • 200 Skips with jump rope
  • 10 Sandbag shoulder-to-shoulder press
  • 15 Toes-to-bar
  • 20 Box jumps

 

Workout 7

 

A serious endurance challenge, this workout is perfect for long distance athletes and anyone who wants to push their conditioning and muscular endurance to new highs. Aim to complete with a sandbag that is 25% of your bodyweight.

 

5 rounds as fast as possible, rest as needed:

  • 10 L-pull ups
  • 10 Sandbag clean and jerks
  • 10 Sandbag overhead walking lunges
  • 10 Sandbag bear hug squats
  • 10 Sandbag snatch

 

sandbags, sandbag training, matt palfrey, matthew palfrey, sandbag workoutsWorkout 8

 

This workout is about as simple as it gets, but sometimes simple is the best thing. Aim to complete this one with a sandbag that is at least 100% of your bodyweight, and ideally without handles.

 

10 rounds as fast as possible, rest as needed:

  • 5 Pull ups
  • 10 Sandbag deadlifts
  • 15 Push ups

 

Workout 9

 

Another brutal strength and conditioning workout that will challenge everyone who tries it. Aim to complete the workout with a sandbag that is 50% of your bodyweight.

 

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes, rest as needed:

  • 10 Sandbag push press
  • 10 Sit ups
  • 10 Sandbag back squats
  • 10 Pull ups

 

Workout 10

 

The real secret to getting through ladders is to persevere through the high repetition rounds, and this workout is no different. Where possible you should aim to complete this with a sandbag that is 50% of your bodyweight.

 

  • 15 - 1 of push ups, box jumps, and sandbag Zercher squats

 

Complete 15 repetitions of each exercise, then 14, then 13, etc. Do this fast as possible. Rest as needed.

 

In Summary

 

sandbags, sandbag training, matt palfrey, matthew palfrey, sandbag workoutsI’m a great believer in accessible health and fitness in which everyone can get involved, and I think sandbag training really fits the bill. That’s one of the main reasons I remain so passionate about sandbags as a means of improving your strength and conditioning. Through a good few hundred workouts and coaching sessions I’ve also come to appreciate the unique benefits that sandbag training can offer and firmly believe that it has a place in everyone’s strength and conditioning program.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed the series and it’s inspired you to either try sandbag training or further develop it with some of the concepts I’ve presented. Train hard!

 

Check out the rest of the series:

5 Week Sandbag Workout Program: Week 1 - Get Started

5 Week Sandbag Workout Program: Week 2 - Building Strength

5 Week Sandbag Workout Program: Week 3 - Planes of Motion

5 Week Sandbag Workout Program: Week 4 - Play Time

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