In fitness, strength and conditioning, and general health there is a tendency to focus on
the details regarding the effectiveness of various methods and training tools. But we often
lose sight of the most significant factor of all – are you going to stick with it in the first
place? After all, the best program and equipment in the world are pointless if people don’t
use them consistently.
By removing certain barriers to exercise we dramatically increase the potential for any
individual to stick to a particular training program. This article will focus on one very
specific advantage of the sandbag – the fact that it is one of the most portable resistance
training tools available.
Training on the Go
How many training tools can you name that you can take with you when you leave the
house or go travelling long distance? Bodyweight training is obviously an option,
suspension trainers work pretty well and elastic resistance bands are another that comes
to mind. But what else is there? If you want to get a really good lifting workout and you
don’t have access to a gym (or don’t want to visit one) then there’s really not a great deal
else. Apart, of course, for the sandbag. Sure you can get a good workout with those other
tools but if you want to lift something heavy (the Heavy Hitter loads to over 200lbs) then
they just won’t cut it.
The sandbag weighs very little when empty and can be folded down to a very small size.
Hell, you could even use it as your travel bag if you wanted to be smart. So, travelling
with the sandbag is a simple proposition. Now, when you arrive and want to workout you
just have to find yourself some sand.
Searching For Sand
Your options are, in part, dictated by the length of time that you’re likely to be in this new
destination. Here are some common scenarios with practical solutions for setting yourself
up to workout on the go:
1. Beach Holiday
You hit the jackpot! Not only do you get to enjoy the beach but you also have a near inexhaustible supply of sand for your bag. Just fill it each time you go to the beach to
train and then empty it when you’re done. Just be sure to check that the sand doesn’t
have any debris, such as sticks or stones, in it before filling your bag.
The beach is also a great option for your sandbag training workouts as it is perfect for
drags and throws, and you don’t need to worry about cleaning up any sand you might
Pro-Tip: wet sand is heavy! Take this into account when filling your bag.
2. City Break
While harder than the beach holiday, a city break still offers numerous opportunities to get
a good sandbag workout. The easiest option is to find a children’s playground with a
sandpit in it. These are pretty common and I’m sure they won’t mind you borrowing their
sand for a short while – just be sure to put it back when you’re finished!
Playgrounds are also great locations because you’ll be able to utilise much of the
equipment too. Climbing frames for Pull-Ups, ropes for climbing and benches for Box
Jumps and Dips – these all work well as additions to your sandbag workout.
Pro-Tip: try to get your workout done outside of peak times. Doing your sandbag training
session when the park is full of children and parents can be tricky, to say the least.
3. Purchase Some Sand
One of the best things about sandbag training is that sand is such an affordable
commodity. 50lbs of sand will normally cost you around $5.00
Convert. When it’s that cheap you can
afford to purchase some for the duration of your trip and then dispose of it when you
leave. Just find a local hardware store or ask around to see if there are any locals who
know the best places to get it from.
Pro-Tip: regular building sand (generally the cheapest stuff) is perfect for sandbag
training. It’s actually better than the more expensive, ultra-refined sand (sometimes called
play sand) because that tends to have more dust within it.
What Workouts Should You Do?
Well, that’s exactly the thing – because you’re able to take your regular training tool with
you there’s nothing to stop you following your regular training program. I’m not one of
those people who like to do nothing and have the entire duration of a trip away from
training, after all I love training and it’s not a chore for me so why would I stop when I’m
on holiday? If you travel regularly, then you’ll also appreciate that progress can be very
slow going if you don’t train while you’re away.
When I travel I do however take a more relaxed approach to my programming and often
try out new exercises. Why not use the time to try some variation in your workouts too?
How do you stay fit while travelling? We’d love to hear your comments below.