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Sandbag Training At Home

March 27, 2020


With the US in lock down and being quarantined at home it is still important for you to keep your routine and part of that is working out. This is important for you mentally and physically. Now if you do not have a home gym then there is one easy piece of kit you can use to help you maintain strength and improve conditioning… our Cerberus Strength sandbags. These are super versatile and you can do almost any barbell movement with one of these!

So here are some tips, hints and exercises you can do to put a program together:

TABATA TRAINING - this is an easy way to manage your work out. The basic principal is as follows: 

Workout hard for 20 seconds

Rest for 10 seconds

Complete 8 rounds

You push yourself as hard as you can for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. This is one set. You'll complete eight sets of each exercise. Now you can do this for any sandbag movement with any weight because if it's a heavy bag you'll just end up doing less reps and if its light you'll blast out loads. The idea is 20 seconds of hard work. Also don't be scared to play with the structure for example: do 10s work and 10s rest for 10 rounds or 30s work and 10s rest for 5 rounds. You get the picture - make the structure work for you, your fitness level, exercise you choose and the weight of the sandbag you have.   


REPS, SETS & REST -  So your choices here are endless. However here are some of the basic principals...

REST - In very "general terms", rest between sets fall within these ranges for different training goals:

Strength: 1–5 minutes

Muscle Hypertrophy: 30–60 seconds

Muscle Endurance: 30–60 seconds

Power: 1–2 minutes


SPEED - Another important point is how fast you are moving the load. if you increases your time under tension, whether in the eccentric or concentric phase of the moment, both you will make it harder thus you can get more muscle stimulation from a given weight. This is also good to use if you only have one fixed weight sandbag. Remember if you are wanting to improve your power or how fast you can do a specific event in these cases we would not suggest you do this. Instead focus on moving as fast as possible in a safe manner with good form.  

Again here are the "general rules": 

Strength: 1–2 seconds concentric and eccentric

Hypertrophy: 2–5 seconds concentric and eccentric

Endurance: 1–2 seconds concentric and eccentric

Power: Less than 1 second concentric, 1–2 seconds eccentric


REPS & SETS - Here we go! The big one! OK so there are loads and loads of options and opinions on this one. In general terms it works like this: Do some work, stop when its too hard, rest & do some more work and repeat! It's that easy. Everyone's body will respond differently to different reps, sets and rest but here are the basic principals that you can try. Again you might need to have different weight sandbags for these or you might just have to pick the one that feels hardest with the weight you have, something is ALWAYS better than nothing!


MUSCLE SIZE (“sarcoplasmic hypertrophy”) - this is for building and maintaining muscle size. 

Target a rep range of 6 – 12 reps per set.

Aim for 3-5 sets.


STRENGTH AND POWER (“myofibril hypertrophy”) – If you’re training for specific sports and just want to get stronger with more power.

Target a rep range of 1 and 6 reps per set. Pick up a weight that you can only complete your specified number of reps.

Aim for 3-8 sets.

Some classics are 3rep x 8sets, 5reps x 5sets, or the 5/3/1 program 


ENDURANCE & CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH -  Reps in the 12+ range primarily build muscular endurance and size and also cardiovascular health.

Aim for 3-5 sets


EXERCISES - Use it as a replacement for your "normal" barbell. Depending on the weight of your sandbag you can do almost every barbell movement. It works great for front squats (with sandbag over head, held to the front or on one of your shoulders), lunges (with sandbag over head, held to the front or on one of your shoulders), step ups (with sandbag over head, held to the front or on one of your shoulders), cleans, overhead press, push press/jerk, bent over rows, pick ups off the floor, floor press, bicep curls (light to moderate weight bag) the list goes on. Don't be afraid to experiment just keep it safe with good form. 


Use it for Strongman Training – Cerberus Strength is a Strongman / Strongwoman brand and our sandbags originally were released for strongman events and training. Now Strongmen and Strongwomen are some of the most functional athletes around nowadays, they can lift massive weight, run and move with massive weights, throw and be explosive. So in my opinion everyone can benefit from this kind of training. One of the most common events in Strongman is a loading race or medley. One of the staples of this event is a heavy sandbag (usually between 100kg to 150kg). The bag is picked up and carried 10/20m and loaded onto a platform of some type or over something. Try the same thing. 


Sandbags are also great for distance carries, pick it up and start walking/running. No space? Easy! Pick it up and march on the spot and time it. 


The Sandbag is also great as an alternative to Atlas Stones. Lie the Sandbag horizontally, lift from the floor using your legs and back using your arms as hooks (not to pull with). Then sit and rest the bag on your knees then come over the top of the bag and in one movement lift the bag up and extending it up using your hip and leg drive. Extend as far as you can and load it onto the platform.


Use it as a conditioning tool/sport-specific  Do long runs or sprints while doing a front carry with the sandbag . Ground to overhead reps, Sand bags over you shoulder, sandbag pick ups for reps. all of these options work great with the Tabata Training we mentioned earlier. 


Your options are endless here - push it, drag it, throw it, pull it.


Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Strong!



Disclaimer - You should always consult your physician or other healthcare provider before changing your diet or starting an exercise program. I understand that there is a risk of injury associated with participating any form of exercise.

I hereby assume full responsibility for any and all injuries, losses and damages that I incur while exercising or participating and using any of the information provided by Cerberus Strength. I hereby waive all claims against Cerberus Strength, or partners of individually or otherwise, for any and all injuries, claims or damages that I might incur.

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