Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More Challenging Upper Body Exercises



My challenge continues with another 10 upper body exercises. Now we are up to 20 awesome sandbag training drills. What do I like about these exercises so much? They allow us to train in ways that are just not possible with other fitness tools.

You will see the overhead press with cable attachment is something brand new. We are able to apply force in multiple directions providing a very unique feel of an old drill. Most people don't think of overhead pressing as a great upper back drill, but combining good pressing techniques with the additional load of the cable makes the upper back fire much more. This acts as both a great range of motion enhancement of the shoulder and muscle balance.

Other drills like the three point row integrates the whole body. The traditional row is enhanced with multiple pulling directions emphasizing various areas of the body depending upon the placement of the sandbag.

As you can see many drills can make your workouts brand new and help blast through some training plateaus! Wait till you see the remaining 30 exercises!

Monday, December 28, 2009

50 Upper Body Exercises Part 1


Competition, nothing gets my juices going like it! That is why when I received an email yesterday challenging me I couldn't wait to get going.

Michael C. from New Jersey (of course a good East Coast boy would write me a good challenge) wrote me: "Josh, I know you really are into the sandbags, but they don't seem that good for building the upper body. There aren't THAT many exercises you can perform with them."

Wow! My wheels just started turning in all the ways that sandbags can be used to perform all types of unique upper body exercises. So Michael inspired me to take on a personal challenge. I wanted to show all of you 50 upper body exercises you could do with the Ultimate Sandbag.

Maybe Michael was right, with a homemade or knockoff sandbag you can't do all that much training. However, with our Ultimate Sandbag and our new Ultimate Core Strap there is soooo much that can be done.

What makes sandbags such a great upper body training tool?

1. Change where you grab the sandbag or the position of the Ultimate Sandbag and you change the loading of the weight. Just see how different grabbing the ends is versus the handles, or doing a standard press is to a shoulder to shoulder.

2. We can manipulate leverage to create greater perceived loads. Try performing a press from a lunge position or just staggered stance. The load of the Ultimate Sandbag seems so much greater.

3. The Ultimate Core Strap allows for bands, cables, and leverage all to be used to create very unique upper body exercises that simply are not possible with other training implements.

Choose a pressing and pulling exercise every time you train and you will have great upper body development. Secondly, add in two isolation exercises if you want to build up some weak points, this is the same method the famous powerlifters at Westside Barbell use too! See all week what 50 upper body drills I suggest!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Taking Workouts to the Extreme


Innovation is often a result of addressing a specific need. That is how I view everything we do at Sandbag Fitness Systems. From the creation of our Ultimate Sandbag to our newest creations, everything is done to make what I want as a coach possible.

Years ago I was introduced to a unique idea by Strength Coach, John Davies. Coach Davies spoke about strength training with a weight vest on the body. Not just your traditional bodyweight drills, but lifting as well. It was amazing the result this had not only your strength, but conditioning as well.

For me this has become increasingly more important. Old basketball injuries to my feet have really taken their toll where running is definitely out of the question. Yet, I have found this "loaded conditioning" to be an excellent way to still get a tremendous cardiovascular effect.

That is why I am excited to launch the presale of our Ultimate Sandpack! Our Ultimate Sandpack was developed to counter all the short comings that I have often found with standard weight vests.

1. Weight vests always seemed to flop around when doing explosive drills or running. This often caused them to be tremendously uncomfortable and limiting. Our Ultimate Sandpack was designed to conform to the body limiting the bouncing and annoying aspects of standard weight vests. Therefore, you can jump, perform calisthenics, and even jump rope with our Ultimate Sandpack.

2. Weight vests can be hard to adjust and work with an array of people and sizes. We have designed these Ultimate Sandpacks and have found them fit perfectly for everyone from 5'5 to 6'5! That is a wide array of people!

3. Having different weight limits can be very expensive! Our Ultimate Sandpack was designed to work with our 15 pound fillers so you can go as little as 5 pounds and up to 45 pounds in a single sandpack!

4. Many weight vests cut into the shoulder and hurt the back, but our Ultimate Sandpack was made with comfort straps not to dig into the body and yet give a tight fit. Women and men use the Ultimate Sandpack very comfortably.

The Ultimate Sandpack has become one of my favorite tools because old basketball injuries have made it hard to run and my current oral issues can make my arms weak. So, the Ultimate Sandpack gives me an alternative to having to run, in fact, one of my favorite activities has become walking my dogs with the pack. On days my hands hurt and are throbbing, I can load more by using the sandpack and take some stress off the parts of my body that hurt. This and the new exercises that are now created make the Ultimate Sandpack a standard in our training programs!

Pre-order the Ultimate Sandpack: Retail-$169.99, Pre-order-$139.99

Friday, December 25, 2009

Are YOU Ready for 2010?


I really hope you had a wonderful holiday season! No matter what you celebrate I hope it brought a lot of happiness to you and your family. It definitely has not been an easy year for many people. I have numerous friends and clients that have been largely impacted by the change in the economy.

Sometimes it seems there is a lot of things out of our control. Yet, I am inspired by the ideas of efficiency and self-improvement expert Dr. Stephen Covey. In his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Dr. Covey states:

“The way we see the problem is the problem”, our problems all too often are a result of how we choose to see them and how we react to them. We all have them and we often have an opportunity to make negative circumstances into positive ones.

It would be easy to think that people like myself have very little problems. Wow! 2009 was a hell of a year for me not just business, education, or opportunity. Yet, there were many instances where my Ultimate Sandbag faced many challenges that could have easily made me quite.

However, I believe in what I am doing, and even though bad things happen we always try to make something positive in the long run. Yes, those positives may be hard to see initially. Yet, if you have a burning desire to make a change it can happen.

What is the problem with many New Year's resolutions? They aren't meaningful! We have to find something that makes us excited and willing to blast through challenges and negativity. As Dr. Covey says:

“Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.”

I hope you will be excited by our efforts and find that fitness is something that can help you take control of how you feel, your confidence, health, and many more factors. I truly hope that you will join us for an incredible 2010!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

FREE Workout, Holiday Sale

With the holidays growing closer the next few days, I wanted to put out one of our best workout series to help inspire people to keep on their fitness. This quickly turned into one of my favorite training routines.



Friday, December 11, 2009

Train Like a REAL Athlete

Ask ten coaches about training like an athlete and you are likely to get ten different responses. One thing that all the great strength coaches can agree on is that training like an athlete is the manner in which most should train. I know, you don’t compete at anything, but too often when people say they want to “be in shape”, “move better”, or have “better strength and endurance” they truly are telling me they want to be an athlete in life.


The beauty of the Ultimate Sandbag program is that it addresses all the needs of the athlete in way that no other training program can. The unique nature of sandbag training provides an element of that can’t be replicated. That is why we have been a part of elite MMA programs, NFL, Pro Sand Volleyball, top military, and many more programs.

To help show people how different the Ultimate Sandbag truly is I have posted below the Top 8 MMA sandbag movements. The drills shown aren’t only beneficial for MMA athletes, but anyone interested in maximizing their athleticism.



Sunday, December 6, 2009

Is the King Dead?

I did it, I did it for years! I always made the squat the cornerstone of all my training programs. Who would blame me? There are hundreds of studies and practical experiences showing just how darn effective squat training actually can be for performance. Yet, that doesn't mean there can't be a better way and our thinking can't evolve.

When I think to my own training I can remember times when squat numbers would improve, yet, performance in sports I would enjoy would not see any improvement. Why did this occur? After really taking a look at my own training and to those that I work with I found some interesting observations.

1. Since the squat form of people can vary so greatly it is impossible to make an overall generalization if squatting is good or harmful for one's goals.

2. We live in an era where injuries, muscle imbalances, movement problems, and other physical issues play a large role in what happens during the squat. I could yell and scream about how awesome they are and how you HAVE to do them, but that isn't always the answer.

3. More important than squat numbers going up is whether or not they are leading people to the bigger picture of their overall goal.

I know for myself squatting was definitely a beneficial exercise, but I really didn't understand what I was missing till I started addressing my own weaknesses. Sports such as basketball and Strongman took a large toll on my body.

From these sports I had more than a few days where my hip would ache, I would have altered walking patterns, shoulder tightness and just didn't feel like I could progress in my training. I made the hard decision to take a break from the traditional back and front squatting and make lunging a priority in my training program.

Most people would say that I was "wussing out", but the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. The worst case from my own experiment? I would not get any better and possibly lose some strength. The result was much different than I expected.

After about six weeks of making lunging a strength focused lift for me I found that my hips felt better and more surprisingly my back squat went up! Why could this happen? A few things came to mind pretty fast.

1. Squatting is an easy exercise for us to think as a superior strength exercise because simply we can often handle more weight. More weight must mean more strength being built, but it is impossible to say that single leg exercises could not do the same at smaller loads. It would appear that lunges stimulate just as many, if not more muscles because of being slightly unstable. Therefore, we can't simply assume more weight equals more strength.

2. It is far more difficult to compensate on the lunge than the squat. The most common compensation is altering stride length to something shorter to remain more balanced. Outside of this pattern, it is darn hard to cheat a lunge. Many lifters know there are more than a few ways to cheat a squat.

3. You hit your weak points! I can't think of too many people that like to do what they are not good at. So many issues can be addressed with lunging, hip mobility, lower leg stability, and hip and leg strength. These issues can be missed with a lack of focus and time spent on single leg exercises. However, what I like so much about lunging is the dynamic stretch to one of the most problematic areas of the body, the hip flexors.

I also began to be in favor of using suspension training to enhance the training effect of lunges. The beauty of suspended lunges is that you can alter and progress range of motion and stability depending upon the version of the movement you use. Today I wanted to share some very important variations of suspended lunging that we use to take people's training to a new level.

The most difficult part? Being comfortable with not judging the success of the lift by how much weight you lift, rather by the results you obtain.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Beyond Abdominal Training

A lot of people have taken such a great interest in the story of my low back injury, I wanted to talk about really what has made a difference. 80% of Americans will experience low back pain some time in their life, and well, mine was a little more than some slight discomfort.

While most people think I am a powerlifter or strongman, the sport I played most of my life was basketball. It was also the sport most impacted by two herniated discs when playing in high school. Not knowing how to strengthen it, it eventually caught up with me playing in college to the point where I lost use of my right leg for a very brief time.

Even when I regained use of my leg, the pain was immense and I struggled with it for a long time. I did physical therapy and I went to corrective exercise certifications and programs. However, understanding what was weak and wrong didn't occur to me when I switched my philosophy completely.

What I learned about myself is that I suffered from some problems that a lot of people suffer from.

1. I really didn't understand how to move correctly. I didn't know how to produce force, absorb force, use mobility in my hips and spine to produce movement.

2. I didn't know how weak my hips were really! Renown strength coach calls this, gluteal amnesia, but I think it goes into hamstrings as well. When I realized how they didn't know how to work together I knew I had a lot of room to improve.

3. I didn't know how to resist force, I could produce power and force, but I didn't understand how to resist it. When I started incorporating drills that addressed these issues I saw my pain go down and performance go way up!

Many people want to know the drills I used to get better. To be honest, they are the exact same ones I have been teaching for the past four years. Now, I have outlined them in a series so YOU can see the progression of movement and learn how to help others or yourself get out of the same pain and frustration I spent several years with!

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Rotational Exercises

Monday, November 30, 2009

Not Just a Kettlebeller

"You can't base a philosophy around an implement"-Alwyn Cosgrove

At first I actually disagreed with Alwyn's statement. There is so much you can do depending upon the implement you are using. It is hard to perform functional based training if all you have is machines. Yet, I then thought about it more and thought about the rise of kettlebells. The more they grow in the maintstream the more poor use and implementation I see. That is when I began to see Alwyn's point. It still all comes down to coaching.

That is why I recently asked Strength Coach, Stefanie Tropea, to sit down with me and go over some of her training programs and coaching. Why did I ask Stefanie? Besides having a very successful training business in Norwalk, CT, Stefanie has began being successful in the sport of strongman. When a coach can balance business success, personal training success, and client success they are someone we can all learn from.

One of the things I learned from Stefanie was simple, yet perfect. Even though Stefanie is a big kettlebell enthusiast she explained to me it wasn't about lifting kettlebells, it was about using kettlebells to learn better movement. That is exactly how I feel about the Ultimate Sandbag, but she put it so much better.

Take time to listen this great interview with Stefanie Tropea where we discuss all things related to strength training!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

More Than Screaming and Yelling

Unsophisticated, "hardcore", basic, easy, all these are terms I have heard various people use when refer to sandbag training. You see there is a HUGE difference between using a sandbag exercise and using sandbags as a systemized form of training.

I have seen many jump on board the sandbag bandwagon, but that isn't always a good thing. Seeing the random assignment of sandbag exercises to workouts or techniques being anything BUT good, I don't know if these people help or hurt our efforts. A sandbag by itself does not help you training, using a sandbag with great technique and purpose makes a world of difference in one's performance training.

Trust me, when you see the videos of athletes performing crappy sandbag exercises with the mindset of this being "hardcore", or "toughness training" it is anything but!

During the growth of my Sandbag Fitness Systems program I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet many coaches that I normally would have never spoken with. One of these coaches is Vince McConnell of McConnell Training in Fairhope, Alabama. Vince has been a leader in the fitness community for many years. So, I was really excited when he showed interest in the sandbag program.

Recently Vince sent me two videos of two VERY different athletes. The first is a high level athlete performing one of my favorite Ultimate Sandbag drills, the one legged goodmorning. As Coach McConnell told me this athlete can typically perform this drill with over double the weight with the bar on two feet. Yet, it is very obvious that this athlete is struggling to do less than half the weight on one leg with the Ultimate Sandbag.

This is a perfect example how good coaching can identify the needs of an athlete rather than just trying to "smoke" an already strong athlete. Now, the performance of the athlete, rather than the training of the athlete gets priority.

The next athlete is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Here is a young man that needs to build a base of training and instead of just "making him sweat", Coach McConnell provides a well balanced training program that hits patterns and muscles that makes this not just a preparation program, but definitely will provide this young man an edge in performance. It needs to be pointed out that this young man is not rushing through rep after rep, rather much more attention is spent with technique and performance. This may seem obvious, but how many times have you fallen for the trap of racing against the workout rather than remembering the objective of training for a specific purpose! Are you training or working out?


Friday, November 27, 2009

New German Volume Training

About ten years ago one of the most popular strength coaches, Charles Poliquin, wrote about a revolutionary muscle building program known as German Volume Training. Coach Poliquin based the program off of the off-season training program of German Olympic Lifters that took the off-season as a time to put on functional muscle mass. The program was relatively simple on paper. Ten sets of ten repetitions with a weight you could do 20 repetitions with. Although simple on paper, this was a brutal training program.

Coach Poliquin had a split of:

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
Chest & Back Legs & Abs Off Arms & Shoulders Off

This program would definitely put some mass on, but had two main issues.

1. It was great for bodybuilding, but how about those that wanted to have more athletic based training and focused on compound lifts?

2. The recovery from these workouts was brutal and often hard to accomplish.

I had been thinking thought this program could potentially be modified to have some solutions. What I did was create several options that would work for those that were interested in using this style of program with just kettlebells and The Ultimate Sandbag.

1. Still use the 20 repetition weight option as your determination of the correct weight. Alternate sets of kettlebell lifts with the Ultimate Sandbag. For example, if you are alternating Clean and Press and Front Squats perform first series with kettlebells and the second series with the Ultimate Sandbag and Zercher squats.

2. Only perform this GVT once a week and focus on those big lifts that give you the most bang for your buck.

3. Only do 10 sets of 5, where the first 3 sets are with the 20 repetition weight, then move the weight to 15 repetition weight for 3 sets, then four sets of a 10 repetition maximum weight.

I recently used this program with the Ultimate Sandbag rotating the following:

Clean and Press for 5
Shoulder Squat Right for 5
Bent-over Row for 5
Shoulder Squat Left for 5

I used the third option for my program and gave about 60 seconds in between sets. You will find this is perfect for building functional muscle mass, and yep, burning some serious calories! Try it out and send us your results!

Josh Henkin, CSCS

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Armory Challenge

I have gotten a ton of emails from people over the last few military based workouts. It seems people have always been fascintated with the fitness level of those in the military. When people think of being "in shape" they want the endurance and strength that soldiers are able to demonstrate. Yet, even the military has had to update their techniques to keep up with an ever more demanding and challenging world. That is why I was honored to help out our military with a specific program to get their best through the selected process.

The ideas and concepts though that are used in these workouts can be used by anyone. Some of the keys is to "fill in the holes" where most training fails. That is why the TRX and Ultimate Sandbag are so important as they allow us to train ranges of motions and patterns that are impossible with most common implements. Using our "Tough Enough" or this weeks' "Armory" workout can really not only enhance your fitness, but resilency to injury as well.

Check out our Military Sale Special

Friday, November 20, 2009

Do You Really Have All Round Wellness?

Being fit is more than just how strong you are, how much endurance you possess, or how flexible you are. In fact, fitness and health are not necessarily the same thing. Many "fit" people are very unhealthy because they don't manage all the components of health well. What is the solution? Recently I got to interview Paula Owens who is an expert in developing both high levels of fitness and health. If you ever wondered the following:

1. I am doing everything I think is right, but I am not losing weight, why?

2. Why do I workout but still feel like crap?

3. Am I doing the right things?

Then you will have to listen to this interview. Don't miss out either, Paula is running a special only on November 20th for her book the Power of 4 which outlines all these important details. This great book will only be $11.99 for this day and it is a steal!!

Listen to Paula Owen's Interview Here: Click Here

Want to pick up the book at this special price? Just go to Amazon.com on the 20th and get this great resource that can really change the way you live your life! I have personally seen Paula work her magic on every body from elite athletes, to those frustrated by not getting results!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Take the "Tough Enough" Challenge

So many people wanted to see the types of workouts I created for the Special Forces candidates. Watch the video to not only see a great workout, but why we are using these exercises and tools! Get the secrets to being elite!



Don't forget about our Military Special going on now!!! Click Here



Friday, November 13, 2009

7 New Exercises=1 Killer Workout

It is back to work at Sandbag Fitness Systems, all the family and events are done and we are creating new exciting things for 2010. My first job, leave all the poor imitators in the dust and show you more great and exciting workouts and exercises with the ORIGINAL Ultimate Sandbag.

Today's workout does just that! This isn't just random exercises, but those that all compliment and build different aspects of functional fitness.

1. Shoulder to Shoulder Suspended Lunge Press: Not a circus trick, in fact, this is one of the fastest and easiest ways to increase overhead pressing strength. By destabilizing the body, but still allowing an appreciable load to be lifted, the body increases the stabilizers and nervous system to allow for more muscles and motor units to be used when you attempt a more stable press. This exercise also teaches the important principle of rooting in overhead pressing and creating a strong foundation. The lower leg training hits one of the most commonly missed areas of training that can give you a huge return in performance!

2. Double Sandbag Bent-Over Row: Rowing movements are important for maintaining muscle balance and the bent-over version trains the muscular endurance of the low back. This is one of the most important attributes of back health according to low back expert, Dr. Stuart McGill. I wanted to show there are many ways to increase the load lifted and this one is pretty fun! Stacking a smaller sandbag on top of our advanced sandbag makes this truly a strength lift!

3. X-Shoulder Squat: Again, some may think that they are limited in performing strength work by the load of the Ultimate Sandbag. While many may find our Advanced Ultimate Sandbag or Burly Ultimate Sandbag to be plenty of weight, some want more of a challenge. The X-Shoulder Squat does that by adding load to the hips in the bottom position and giving the additional challenge of grip strength. Coming out of the bottom of the squat you really have to burst out of the hole! Exactly where many lifters feel weakest.

4. Cable Overhead Throws: One of my favorite new drills for many reason. Showing how if you make a sandbag with cheap material (like many of our competitors) or use a homemade version (sorry you couldn't do this lift) you are just missing out! The cable overhead throw trains all the explosive muscles that usually get missed! People spend lots of time throwing downwards but little the extensors that protect the body and can create even more power!!! This drill may be more important than sledgehammer or medicine ball strikes because of it training all the muscles from head to toe of the backside of the body. The stabilizers and powerhouses of the body.

5. Loaded Suspended Push-ups with Mountain Climbers: Working all patterns of motion is an absolute must. Horizontal pushing does just that, but people often don't give push-ups their due. They either fall into the trap of doing mindless reps or progressions are far too crazy to get any type of strength benefit. Being suspended adds one dimension of load and the Ultimate Sandbag does the other. Adding in the mountain climber adds more core work as well as isometric strength in the arms, shoulders, and trunk. Isometric training is another commonly missed attribute of training.

6. Band Twists: Ok, why can't you just do this with a handle? Adding in our Ultimate Sandbag makes this exercise hard to control and emphasizes grip strength and coordination. Why is this so important? It will add stability to the elbow and shoulder, a problem all too many people suffer!

7. Squat Thrust to Shoulder Throws: I wanted a conditioning drill that did more than make you sweat. The squat thrust is a commonly used, but often incorrectly performed drill. Attention must be paid to the placement of the feet on both aspect of the hip thrust as well as spinal alignment. Done properly this does a great deal to enhance flexibility and power. The Shoulder Throw works the core in a unique way in both producing force, stabilizing, and integrating the hips to develop a well rounded core exercise.

You can perform this workout in a circuit for reps or time, take the challenge though and see how you hold up to our Inferno Workouts!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Modern Fat Loss Training

Today I wanted to provide another installment of our Inferno Fat Loss program. Holidays are here and so is intense training. You will notice we are integrating the TRX and kettlebells with our Ultimate Sandbag. These are perfect compliments to the Ultimate Sandbag and make training fun and challenging. Infinite variations are possible when you use these three simple tools.

Today we have the following:

Renegade Rows with One Leg Suspended: Adding one leg suspended causes the trunk muscles have to brace harder and uses the ab muscles even more. A nice progression on the classic renegade row, plus shows which side can stabilize. The use of the Ultimate Sandbag makes it more challenging to row without simply increasing the weight of the sandbags!

Alternating Kettlebell Snatch, Squat, Swing: A great hybrid with the kettlebell that gets you flowing fast and hits just about every muscle in the body! The alternating makes it a little harder to completely groove the lift so you have to work just that much harder!

TRX One Leg Burpees: Ok, a burpee is bad enough, however, being suspended and in sand makes it that much worse! If you don't have the sand available one leg being suspended is good enough. This adds more flexibility training, lateral instability, and exposes any weaknesses to your cardio, mobility, or lower body strength.

TRX V-Flye and Biceps Curls: Hey, isolating muscles isn't a bad thing, it is only bad if it makes the bulk of your training program. Adding in some isolation movements can enhance the body's stablizers and "fill in the holes". Many great lifters have used this technique to bring up weaknesses and prevent injuries. Heck, who doesn't like good arms;)

Sandbag Hand to Hand High Pulls: No, these aren't your classic high pulls, you will want to deliberately throw them at angles to greatly challenge the core, hips, and grip! The sandbags are hard to grab and ripping them up is practical for just about anyone who wants great strength. Changing up the angles makes it impossible to groove this lift!

Sandbag Ski Jumps: No joke on this one, especially in sand!! However, if you are just using the floor it is still a powerful drill. Jumping laterally often throws people for a loop, however, adding in a rotational pull of the sandbag makes it one of the best exercises for building lateral stability of the body. Not to mention, doesn't take long to smoke the legs.

Just as with all our Inferno programs, it isn't about just making you tired. It is about making your body strong, mobile, and athletic. Take our challenge of performing these programs yourself and email me at josh@sandbagexercises.com!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

You Thought You Were Advanced

Alright, Halloween is over, but you know what that means! It means that the holidays are here along with all the temptations of poor food options, stressful family situations, and end of the year demands from work. All reasons that many people fall prey to gaining weight during this time of year.

That is why I wanted to start releasing our Inferno Fat Loss Program now!! The whole idea is to create 30 minute workouts that actually do some impressive changes. What is different about THIS fat loss program? For many, the exercises in these programs are brand new and hit the body in ways they never trained before. The mistake many fat loss programs make is the simply rely on "cardio" type of exercises which burn some calories but do little to improve strength, muscle, or reduce injuries. The Inferno programs implements exercises that do all of this.

Inferno also is the first time that the best training tools; The Ultimate Sandbag, TRX, and kettlebells have all been integrated into a systematic program that is designed for improved fitness in minimal time. Utilizing these tools gives us infinite exercises that we can perform and modify depending upon the various fitness level of the individual. All these exercises require all the muscles to be involved therefore, increasing the amount of calories burned and muscles strengthened.

These aren't circus exercises either! I know some of these might seem like "trick" exercises but let me explain...

Single leg clean and press: If you can progress to having a leg suspended this means we can focus on both stability of the hip and tap into the glutes and hamstrings more! The side to side movement the TRX allows for means the hips have to work harder to maintain balance. It also is a sign that the lower leg must work harder to stabilize the body. One of the biggest deficiencies is in the lower leg. Using the Ultimate Sandbag provides another unstable challenge. Because you can not groove this lift the body has to work harder to perform each rep. Lastly, the gripping challenge of a loosely filled sandbag means the hands and upper body are being challenged.

Single arm row to rotational press: Using the TRX we can make a bodyweight exercise incredibly intense for the elite or helpful exercise for those just starting a fitness program. Just by adjusting how close you stand to the TRX unit dictates the level of difficulty of the exercise. This one arm row variation is nothing like the dumbbell row. Here the TRX takes away a lot of the cheating that often happens on the dumbbell version. Adding in a rotational press of the Ultimate Sandbag gives us even more rotational abdominal training as well as intense arm training.

The Tactical Lunge: An amazing exercise to challenge both the legs and the lungs. The swinging and passing motion of the kettlebell changes the stability of the movement. The more the kettlebell moves the harder the exercise becomes. The tactical lunge should be fluid and smooth. Oh, btw, being in sand makes this drill a nightmare!

The Ultimate Sandbag Cyclone: There may be no other exercise the fills in the holes of the body's strength like the Cyclone. This movement takes in all of the body's core muscles, from the deep ones to the more superficial, no muscle is left unturned.

The Ultimate Sandbag Swing: The swing is known to be a great drill for the hips and low back, however, we can change the implement to add a new twist. Using a loosely filled sandbag makes this not only a great "cardio" challenge, but grip as well, yes more than a kettlebell!

These exercises give great synergy and promises not to disappoint. In only a few weeks our NEW Inferno DVD will be here for those that want to excel during the holidays.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

That is No Sit-up!

As much as I give the term “core training” a hard time, it actually is important. It is not the concept that I have a hard time with, it is the crazy marketing and hype. Having a strong core means more than abs, so having a strong low back and glutes are just as important. How you train these areas is more important than debating concepts.


My colleague Cem Eren helped me take some video of incredible core exercises with our Ultimate Sandbag that accomplish all the goals of functional core training. See if you can keep up with this workout as it leaves no muscle unturned! Don't worry even if you aren't a fighter you can still turn your core into the piece of steel that fighters are known for!




This is the last two days of our HUGE Doubles Sale! Don’t miss out on saving big money on our great Ultimate Sandbags. Click Here!

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Interview You Can't Miss


Last night I got to spend an hour and a half talking training with Senior RKC, Geoff Neupert! We really laid out some of the most powerful training information, especially using kettlebells and sandbags. Just in case you missed the call last night you can hear it for FREE!!
Geoff Neupert with Josh Henkin on mixing Kettlebells and
Sandbags - quite possibly the *perfect*
combination - don't worry - a replay is available.

All you have to do is click below.

=>
http://kettlebellinterrogations.com/josh/replay.html

Josh, an incredibly knowledgeable coach, gave
some great insights like -

- dispelling the myth of "roundbacked" lifting

- how to satisfy your need for variety and still
make excellent progress

- how to increase your hip mobility with sandbags
and improve your kettlebell results

- and of course, much more...

Catch it all here:

=>
http://kettlebellinterrogations.com/josh/replay.html

Keep Training Smart!

Geoff


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Are They Better Than Kettlebells

That is the trick question that inevitably comes up during any of workshops, "are sandbags better than kettlebells?" I say a trick question because it is often hard to say whether or not another tool is better than another. There may be instances where a certain tool may be a better option than another. However, getting this question over and over again made me think long and hard about it.

I don't believe sandbags to be better because I would have to be able to prove that they produce a superior result to a nonsandbag or kettlebell related activity. Since such research hasn't been done it seems silly to go there.

Yet, sandbags do offer two distinct advantages over kettlebells.

1. Number of Holding Positions: Any kettlebell enthusiast can tell you that the various holding positions of a kettlebell is what allows a lifter to progress or create new exercises. Manipulating the leverage of the kettlebell follows the most basic of principles, overload! The kettlebell offers four holding positions: down by the side, clean or rack, by the horns, or overhead. Varying these positions alters the body's center of gravity challenging both the body's sense of balance and trunk stability.

Well, the sandbag offers eight holding positions; down by the side, bear hug, zercher, clean, shoulder, on the back, overhead, headlock. These additional options allows the lifter or athlete possibly more options for progression and creating challenging movements.

2. Grip training: Kettlebells are often promoted for their ability to develop grip strength. Holding onto a swinging kettlebell can often be a great challenge or doing bottoms up presses can be a great demonstration of grip strength. Yet, sandbags may still have an edge.

Grip expert, John Brookfield, states there are three types of grip strength. Most people only focus on crushing grip strength where swinging heavy kettlebells would come into play. However, there are two others, pinching and wrist. A properly loaded sandbag challenges all three forms of grip training and is a major reason they have been a favorite training tool of wrestlers and martial artists for centuries.

Want to hear the debate continue and see where I might give some more controversial points that may change the way people see kettlebells and sandbags? Come join Senior RKC, Geoff Neupert, and I for a special interview tonight for FREE!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How You Are Missing Out

It is inevitable that once something grows more and more criticisms come about from those that misunderstand. A great example of such a thing is the growth of kettlebells. I remember when I attended my kettlebell certification in 2003, more than half of the attendees had never even touched a kettlebell. Now in 2009 you can find kettlebells in Wal-mart, Target, heck, I even saw them at Best Buy!!!

With the popularity of kettlebells has also come massive confusion from all areas. There are people promoting only one use of kettlebells, others saying kettlebells can't build strength while others claim they can almost cure disease! The truth? Kettlebells are a phenomenal form of strength training that has done so much more changing the mainstream's concept of "functional training". However, the truth of the matter there is no one answer. Kettlebells have been used for centuries for strength, endurance, and yes, bodybuilding.

The problem with kettlebells is the same as any other strength training implement. People get stuck on a few good ideas and don't go beyond the scope of what they are good at. That is why complimenting kettlebells with other strength training tools provides a powerful result, typically better than anything that could be achieved with a single tool.

This was the whole concept behind my Synergy program. While many people assume sandbags and kettlebells are very similar, the truth is in all of our workshops people see the distinct differences.

How you combine these two functional tools can create fun and real result producing workouts.

1. The simplest idea is to take a common kettlebell drill and substitute the sandbag. For example, instead of kettlebell front squats, try the sandbag Zercher or shoulder squat. Instead of kettlebell presses, try a sandbag press or shoulder to shoulder press.

2. Using complimentary movements in alternating sets can bring the best of both worlds to a training program. For example, alternate sets of kb swings and sandbag shouldering, or kb turkish get-up with sandbag get-ups, lastly kb snatch with sandbag half moon snatches.

3. Alternate cycles of each which creates less of a total adaptation therefore stimulating new gains in training progress.

These ideas and many more are what Senior RKC Geoff Neupert and I are going to speak about this Thursday. This interview is FREE and all you have to do is sign-up at the site below to reserve your spot!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

More Than a Gimmick

It is always tough to put out new ideas. In this modern era of fitness and performance training so many things are said and done to just grab attention it can make many skeptical. That is why when I launched my Double Sale, I was a little hesitant to how it may be perceived. The idea of using double sandbags in different ways has been something I have been working on for some time.

Yes, the use of a single sandbag is awesome, but using doubles allows for some interesting training effects. For example, any type of shouldering movement challenges the body to resist rotation and lateral flexion of the body. This is a huge reason shouldering is such a powerful movement. However, we can amplify this effect in a couple of different ways.

1. The most obvious would be to increase the weight of the sandbag on the shoulder. This may or may not be the best for the individual.

2. Adding a second sandbag either in a standard position down by the side of the body or by using the much underutilized headlock position. Now we have added an additional force coming through the body at a different angle and position. We have utilized instability training without compromising the overall goal of getting stronger and being more athletic. This can be done with a sandbag of the same size or different size.

This method works really well for shouldering, squatting, lunging, and more broad movements. It can also be used for pressing overhead to stimulate more pressing strength. Try this....

Get a moderately loaded sandbag to the shoulder position, then take a dumbbell or kettlebell that usually you can perform five repetitions and try pressing for 3-5. Then remove the sandbag and try the same press, what did you feel? Easier right?! That is because we stimulated more muscles throughout the body to stabilize and gave our pressing movement a better foundation.

3. Finally, moving two sandbags at once increases coordination of the movements. You can't zero in on your strengths so easily and the instability of the sandbags are amplified when you use multiple sandbags. As you can see in today's video, when I clean or press the two Ultimate Sandbags the feeling is completely than focusing on one sandbag even if it is a heavier sandbag.

These training techniques are pretty new information and it can seem a little overwhelming, but I can tell you the results speak for themselves. Try them yourself and see the difference double sandbag training makes!!!! Don't miss out on the Doubles Sale!!!


Friday, October 23, 2009

Sandbags and Kettlebell Experts

Five years ago is when I began my journey of being the leading coach in sandbag training. I remember well being very apprehensive about releasing my first e-book. I wanted nothing more than to share with people a form of training that I found to be so immensely beneficial. Nothing is more scary than putting yourself out there for others to judge, comment, criticize, and evaluate your work. Before I put the book out to everyone I had sent it to a few coaches to get their opinions, heck, these guys would tell me if it sucked! Fortunately everyone was very kind with their words and feedback, yet, there was one person I wasn't sure about.

Pavel Tsatsouline had become a mentor to me and had helped me in my journey of regaining my own athleticism. After attending one of the very first RKCs, I wanted to send him my book for review. What I got back was more than surprising. Pavel was very encouraging about my project, but also thought I would enjoy diagrams he had from an early 1900's Russian strength training book that had numerous sandbag exercises in it! Unfortunately, a computer crash made me lose all the material, none the less the opportunity to see these exercises was very exciting.

Since my first experience with the RKC I have been a big proponent of the training, even in light of some people's negativity. I believe everything has to do with perspective and place. People are always shocked in our workshops about what they learn about training and themselves! Nothing is better than being able to show people the power of what you coach, however, that is often hard to do over the internet. The next best thing? Talking with another great strength coach about how to create powerful and real training programs.

That is exactly what I am doing next week with Senior RKC, Geoff Neupert. I have known Geoff for about five years and let me tell you he is about as big of a skeptic as you find. Having coached on the Division I level and being a top National Weightlifter, Geoff knows what works. So, next week Geoff and I are going to sit down and break down sandbags, kettlebells, and the most effective training programs.

Sales pitch right? Nope, absolutely FREE for you guys! Simply sign-up at the link after this post and you will get your spot on the teleconference. I suggest you don't miss the opportunity to learn some real secrets to training that our clients pay a lot of money to discover!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Can YOU Keep Up

Accountability, if I had to nail down success to one trait that would be it. Far too often I hear clients tell me, “YOU are going to get me to lose weight”, or “YOU are going to get me faster”, or “YOU are going to take away my back pain”. Right off the bat I have to explain to people that I can’t do anything for them. I can educate them on the best techniques to be used, but ultimately they have to be proactive in their own performance and progress.

The same applies with my Sandbag Fitness Systems program. I can direct and give ideas to people, but ultimately they have to apply the principles to get the reward. People often ask about motivation? I feel if you have accountability you have some level of motivation that should be growing inside. However, a great coach can bring out the best in you even if you are on the right track.

That is the route I took myself when I worked with Cem Eren yesterday. Cem is a coach with amazing enthusiasm and passion and that only makes you want to train harder. Add in his innovations and you have someone that any coach or individual is excited to train with. Cem showed me some of his contagious training ideas and emotion with his Warrior Den workout. Check out this workout, the great thing is that it is based around mixed martial arts, but anyone who performs it would only see a rise in athleticism, fat loss, and awesome strength gains. But who really wants that? See if you can keep up with Cem!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Better Than Slamming

I get asked all the time about slamming sandbags.."Josh, why can't I slam the sandbags, it would be awesome!!" The reasons are many, but here are a few of my standard responses....

1. All power that a slam would develop is created in the extension (where the body goes back) not in the follow through of the body. If the lifter can extend properly they can develop a ton of power. If the lifter doesn't get the extension of the body the slam is almost rendered powerless.

See how these fighters perform power throws:



While a slam may sound loud without the extension of the torso, the only ones that hurt are those that get back into proper extension prior to the movement.

Soccer players do this every time they perform an overhead throw as well, yet, this is a motion we rarely train! That is why one of my favorite drills to show in our workshops is the back/body throw. When done properly it trains this motion and builds unreal strength in the trunk and hips.



2. There is a limit for every piece of training equipment. Most people would never think of slamming a kettlebell, barbell, dumbbell or other strength tools. A sandbag too has limits, even though the Ultimate Sandbag is made of top of the line materials it isn't invincible. The bigger the sandbag the more compressive forces that go through the bag and those forces could be HUGE!!!!

If you want to train the strength to perform impressive body throws or tosses try the Back/Body Throw and my other favorite drill below!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Don't Get the Joke

The past few days have been just weird! I have been getting flooded with emails from customers asking if I had seen this sandbag or that sandbag. It seems like all of a sudden people found sandbag training to be an effective training method, almost overnight. I knew of course that companies one day would see what we were teaching and want to get in on sandbag training. Almost sad though what has just happened.

Most of these companies are straight up trying to take our design and resell it. Of course, if you aren't actually a sandbag user you don't pay attention to the details. Everything is important in the creation of the Ultimate Sandbag. There is a specific reason our sandbags are the size they are, remember in sandbag training you have to concern yourself with not only weight, but the dimension of the sandbags as well. People think our power sandbags are only for light sandbag training, the truth is everyone that attends our workshops finds the power sandbags phenomenal for rotational power development. You can see some of these examples below.



The construction of a great sandbag has to be right too! These other companies are selling cheap sandbags that the threading starts to fall apart and the material is thin and weak. Sandbags are different from any other training tool, most strength training implements are made out of metal. Pretty much metal is metal and as long as you can get the right price that is all that matters. However, with sandbags you have to concern yourself with getting strong enough fabric, the right threading, and the right type of stitching. Listen from a man that knows!


"As a Sports Performance Coach and US ARMY Veteran I am very particular when I make an investment in my fitness and training equipment. One thing that I can say is first and foremost is that nothing comes close to the Ultimate Sandbag and YES that even means the military issue duffel bags. The stitching on the bags far exceeds military standards and there was a lot of thought and planning in the design, function, and durability of this bag."
-Nii Wilson

Nothing is perfect, but you don't get much better than this! Being cheap doesn't pay as a well used sandbag will fall apart in days if you don't make them right. Don't worry though it is obvious who makes sandbags and who actually uses sandbags!!!

Then there are "sandbag like" products. I actually thought when a customer sent me a link that it was a joke product he was making a spoof, I was wrong!! This thing is being promoted as the Ultimate Sandbag (ok, we won't talk about the trademark violations), what a joke! Imagine that someone made a barbell that you could throw and slam, but you couldn't squat, deadlift, press, or row. That is exactly what this thing is, a somewhat glorified medicine ball. Hey just because you fill something with sand, doesn't make it good for sandbag training. You can't shoulder, clean and press, zercher squat, or perform hundreds of the sandbag drills that you should and when you only go to 50 pounds is it still strength training? Don't even get me started with the price!!!! To me, it is comparing apples and oranges.

Why do I bring this all up? Yes, I can admit, I am human and it ticks me off to see rip offs (don't worry we are taking care of it;), and I hate it when companies make products just to market and not to help people. Don't worry though, we are hard at work making exciting new DVDs and products that actually do something!! In the mean time see what our sandbags can do!!!



Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tough as Nails Workout

Some people believe that women's training has to be with skinny little fitness models lifting no weight, or super human women that no one can relate to. My goal is to show that women can maintain their feminine side as well as their athletic side. The key is the same with men, trying to discover athletic movements that involve as many muscles as possible. However, one of the common mistakes people make is thinking of challenging people only with weight. Our sandbag program offers many different concepts including changing leverage, balance, or speed of movement. Today's workout shows just that! Check out this workout (yes guys, you can do it too!) and see just what I am talking about.

BTW, don't miss out on our great sale during breast cancer awareness month at: Pink Sandbag with FREE Gymboss

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Training Innovations

One of the most exciting parts of seeing my Sandbag Fitness Systems grow is what other coaches come up. A few months ago I met a really innovative up and coming strength caoch, Cem Eren, who runs an amazing training center here in Phoenix, AZ. Cem not only has terrific enthusiasm, but his training ideas seem almost endless. He showed me some of the great exercises he came up with and I couldn't wait to share some of his creative ideas with you!! This shows some even more amazing versatility with the Ultimate Sandbag!




Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Inner Athlete


I’ll admit it, my last video was less than stellar. I guess sitting in a car for five hours and rushing to shoot one of my favorite complexes wasn’t the best ideas. Yet, I love how much feedback one can get from these advanced movements. I could tell you my hips were tight and some serious work needed to be done on my hips.


After a week to get back into the flow of things I wanted to share some new drills that I have been working on that do more to get your inner athlete in top shape. What is the “inner athlete”? Whether you want to compete as a weekend warrior, play with your kids without being in pain, or being able to do things that make you feel your best without being wiped, everyone is an athlete.


The unfortunate part is so many people still get in a rut, it doesn’t matter whether they are using kettelbells, bodyweight movements, or a combination of a whole bunch of great tools. That is why sandbags have become so important to me, because the versatility is virtually endless.


In this weeks video I have four drills that are powerful whether you are a weekend warrior or an elite athlete, movement is king and these drills can do wonders for your movements.


One-arm Rips

This looks very similar to a single arm shouldering movement, however, it is all predicated off of the rotation of the hip. That rotation causes enough power that the sandbag should almost “float” up to the shoulder. An amazing drill for hip, trunk, and arm power. Believe it or not this is a killer upper body drill as well even though you don’t lift with the arms.


Lateral Step Around the Worlds

Around the Worlds are one of my favorite drills as it builds great power through the hips and trunk while providing mobility to the spine and shoulder girdle. Some people have seen these similar drills with other objects, however, the Ultimate Sandbag is unique because their dimensions work better in more complex versions. To add sophistication to the Around the World drill changing the stance can make the body view this as a whole new drill for stability and strength.


Scoop Rows

I believe bent-over rows get a bad name because they are hard! That isometric strength used by the low back is so important in overall back health. Add in a unique gripping option in placing the arms in a “scoop” position really toasts the upper arms and back in a unique way.


Squat Thrusts to Split Chops

Squat thrusts are nothing new, but people cheat them all the time. Taking the time to perform them right makes them not only a great conditioning drill, but powerful for hip flexibility and power. The split chop is another example how the Ultimate Sandbag just puts other sand tools to shame. Our overhead chops sure got a lot of popularity, but again, we need to think outside the box. Making this a split chop make sure that we can build some single leg power and amazing athleticism for anyone!


Try these drills in a circuit manner, either set some reps or simply use the Gymboss to count off intervals. You will find that you hit muscles you didn’t have and doing any extra “cardio” is not necessary. Best of all you will feel like you are regaining your right to being an athlete and enjoying the most important things in your life!





In Strength,
Josh Henkin

http://SandbagFitnessSystems.com

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Demon is Here!

At my first L.I.F.T. certification last month in Sweden one of the students asked me an incredibly hard question. He asked if I was leaning towards using sandbags over any other training tool. I had to think hard as how do you answer this question without seeming like you are just being a marketing agent? The only thing you can do is tell the truth. That is exactly what I did!

The truth is when I began my sandbag training program almost five years ago, no, I liked sandbags, but thought they were a nice simple tool. However, in the last five years, teaching, working, and developing the Ultimate Sandbag I have new perspective. I have found the Ultimate Sandbag has made sandbag training definitely a primary method of training.

Recently I found this to be very true as I became motivated to try to hit a maximal barbell squat attempt. Truly not a very well planned attempt, I felt motivated after a good workout using the Ultimate Sandbag and some TRX drills. To be honest, I hadn't used barbells for some time, probably about four months. Why? A few reasons to tell the truth....

1. My schedule has been very hectic, traveling, running the facility, shooting a lot of new sandbag projects! Busy has been an understatement!

2. No one has ever really devoted serious time to sandbag training and tested the results on barbell training. The history of sandbags has really been on wrestlers who traditionally do not use barbells. So this is hopefully the first of many stories of people getting great results in their maximal strength using sandbags.

3. I had spent so many years training heavy I wanted to see if using other patterns of motion could hit weak spots that would make me stronger without loading my back so much.

So, the result? I hit a personal best and with no weight belt! The explanation? I can only hypothesize, but these types of results can only be an indication that there are some major differences with sandbag training.

One of the biggest differences was the stability of my trunk, with all the talk of "core training" I found my ability to stay upright and stabilize was so much improved on the back squat. I also believe the different ranges of motion allowed for me to hit some of the weak points that are hard to hit with barbells, dumbbells, or even kettlebells.

So, what would I recommend others do? Yes, definitely start with the foundational drills: shouldering, squatting, pressing, carrying, and lunging. However, once you are strong in these drills you can attempt complexes like the "Demon". What is the Demon? It was a complex I designed to hit on a lot of the weak points of most lifters and athletes. Very few people ever train the heavy rotation pull in the Demon or the unstable pressing position of being in a lunge. This is not simply a complex to get in great shape, but to get scary strong too! The Demon is just another reason why sandbag training is breaking new innovations in strength training. Try it out!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Can YOU Keep Up with Pink?

This workout can make even the toughest men feel very humble, see if YOU can get through it!


Monday, October 5, 2009

Leaving Las Vegas

With the explosion of sandbag training in the fitness industry, traveling has been almost a weekly event for me. This means I really have begun the challenges of many of my clients that are working 50 plus hours a week, balancing family, and still trying to get more fit.

However, these challenges have made me appreciate the simplistic beauty of sandbag training as well. This past weekend I drove up to Las Vegas for some networking and was able to toss two sandbags into my car. It was great, they don't roll and bang up my car, and I had weights from 20 to 150 pounds without taking up too much room.

Having these weights available to me allowed me to still perform a very complete workout. I didn't have to focus just on conditioning because I had too little weight, and yet I could enjoy the fun of training outdoors!

So, I had to put my good friend Nick through the paces. One of my favorite ways to train when I am on the road and have my bags with me is to run Power Interval Circuits. Intervals work so well because you can alter the sandbags and keep the interval fixed. What do I mean? You want strength work you are only going to be able to get about 3-5 reps in with a heavy bag, perfect for strength. Want endurance? Use a lighter bag and you will move faster and get more reps in. Want power-endurance (the missing ingredient to many strength programs) then use a moderate weighted sandbag and try to perform the reps as explosively as possible.

The circuits are also amazing because you can use much more variety in your training, especially with the sandbags. For example, a typical workout might look like this:

Lower Body Pull
Upper Body Push
Lower Body Squat
Upper Body Pull

This does work, however, we can work on much more with the sandbags and improve your overall athleticism. Today's circuit may have the same idea, but looks totally different!

Lower Body Pull=Shoveling Deadlifts
Upper Body Push=Weighted Push-ups
Lower Body Squat=Reverse Clean Lunge
Upper Body Pull=Components of Clean and Holding Zercher Positions

Add in the stair climbing with the sandbag and you have more than a complete workout. Check it out!!!


Monday, September 28, 2009

The Innovations Keep Coming

One thing I can not stand is a program or coach that simply shows new exercise after new exercise for the sake of doing something different rather than having purpose. People that often attend our workshops and certifications are shocked by the amount of exercises you can perform with our Ultimate Sandbag. The difference is that we have to take people through our progressions and teach them why they are doing different movements so that their is purpose behind their training and the training of their clients.

One such example is the "Cyclone" lift. The Cyclone is a combination drill that integrates components of the rotational deadlift and around the world drills to create a movement that builds the entire core of the body in very unique ways.

Very few core drills start the lifter in a position of rotation. This is a demanding position because the body can not use its normal dominant stance. Such a position also requires that the lifter be very efficient in their movement to create and absorb the forces of the lift correctly and safely.

The large range of motion that occurs with the Cyclone makes it a functional drill for just about anyone and an absolute necessity for athletes and weekend warriors alike. The benefits are:

1. Explosive hip power in new ranges of motion that aren't trained in standard cleans, snatches, swings, or chops.

2. A powerful core that can not only produce a great deal of force, but resist force as well.

3. Because it trains both the glutes, hamstrings, low back, abdominals, and muscles of the upper body we are truly getting an all round core drill. Very few exercises can train the entire pelvis and spine structures at one time.

However, just as with any exercise there are a few cautions. Firstly, is that one needs to be very proficient in both the around the world and rotational deadlift exercises. I would suggest spending time on half moon snatch and shoveling as well.

Size of the sandbag plays a big role. Smaller sized sandbags make it easier to maneuver through this movement, but our bigger ones make this a power house. A really easy way to use the bigger sandbags and make that progression is to change from sand to a lighter material for the filler bags. This gives you time to adjust to the different size and also slowly progress to higher weights.

Check out the Cyclone below!!


Don't miss out on the last few days of our BIG sandbag sale: Click Here

Want to see the power of sandbag training in person? See us in Orange County Oct. 17th: Click Here for more information





Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Interview

The last couple of months have been an explosion for our Sandbag Fitness Systems. After many years of work, it seems we are making a dent in the "functional training" industry. Most exciting isn't the fact we have been bringing back the use of sandbags, but putting forth the science and meaning behind sandbag training.

Just last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by world renown strength coach, Charles Staley. I have known Charles for some time, but still being interviewed by one of the most well respect strength coaches of our time is very exciting! We talked for about an hour and I think I even got Charles pretty psyched about sandbag training.

Check it out:


Don't Miss out on the Advanced and Burly Bag Sale Going on Now:

Monday, September 21, 2009

You Can't Miss This

For the past four years I have been trying my very best to teach people the benefits of sandbag training. No, not just they are hard, but the science that really does exist behind this form of training. 


Every time I run a workshop or certification the light bulb goes off! It is as though once people see and feel the power of the type of training we are talking about, sandbags quickly become a staple of their training programs. 


Here is what one attendee thought of my recent L.I.F.T. certification:


"The L.I.F.T. seminar is easily the best I've attended. I'm an aspiring personal trainer, with some experiance from lots of different things, Kettlebells, sledgehammers, bodyweight and so on. I'm a huge fan of functional training, and that's what I like about Josh's methods. It's not overly complicated, it is highly effective and usefull, and it is actually fun. Also I like the emphasize on the corrective and rehabilitating aspect. Even though that is not the main purpose of the training, it is a very nice b-effect. I have several bio-mechanical issues I've been struggling with for years, and several of them improved heavily during the seminar, leaving me better not worse after workout. There's no doubt in my mind that couch Henkin is on to something really great here. And yes, you can build some serious strength with this;) This is going to be a major staple in my regime, both for myself and clients." Henrik Eberhardt, Norway.


I am happy to announce that we have a one day workshop in Irvine, California coming up October 17th for a crazy low price. 


NSCA Members: $149
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Students: $99
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Non NSCA Members: $179
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On-Site Registration: $199
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