People often think the more outrageous the training method the more productive it must be. Unfortunately, this is what really has drawn people to using implements such as tires, sledgehammers, kettlebells, and yes sandbags. The truth of the matter is that this form of training has regained popularity because of one thing, it works! It isn't because of it being hardcore, but because it adheres to the training science that has been established for decades.
Recently I had an awesome opportunity to work with two local police departments and take them through my system of training. It was a inspiring and saddening at the same time. The hear that all these men displayed was a testament to their will to get the positions they were training to obtain. Yet, it was also very apparent that they weren't getting the training they really needed. After speaking with Chris who wanted his guys to experience this told me that they were hampered by red tape. However, Chris (who has trained with me several times and adheres to a strict balance of kettlebell and sandbag training) continued to dominate our circuits and outperformed those even half his age! The lessons we can take are the same as every day people could take home.
When you boil down training, these implements do a few important things:
1. Develop flexibility and strength in these different ranges of motion.
2. Teach whole body integration under unpredictable situations, real functional training.
3. Enhance anaerobic endurance which is more practical for sporting and real world scenarios.
4. Improves core strength, not just abdominal strength. True core strength will involve the glutes, low back, and other stabilizer muscles.
Don't believe me? Listen to what Chris has to say the power of sandbag and kettlebell training can be to enhance the fitness of those that need it the most. Oh, btw, you must realize these guys are just like you! Long days (sometimes 24hours up or more at a time), families, and limited time to get fit, but need it to survive!