If you’re serious about training, you already know sandbags are a great addition to any strength & conditioning program: the unstable nature of the load and off-center weight distribution replicate real-world strength challenges & build functional capacity quickly, making sandbags an excellent tool whether your goal is strength, muscular endurance, or both.
Of course, if you’re already familiar with sandbags, you also know you can make your own pretty inexpensively: a canvas duffle bag & some contractor trash bags are all you need for a “do-it-yourself” option that will definitely work. I’ve been using the “DIY” approach for several years now and can without hesitation say I wish I’d bought a Brute Force Sandbag a long, long time ago — they take an already great tool and make it far better across the board. In the following review, I’ll tell you why….
To begin, the design of the Brute Force Sandbag is absolutely top-notch: each Brute Force Sandbag Package comes with a zippered outer shell of varying capacity & a set of filler-bags — two for the Athlete Package (which holds 10-70#, making it excellent for conditioning & muscular endurance training) & three for the Strongman Package (50-120#). Both filler-bags & outer bags are made from 1000D Mil-Spec Cordura, a “military-grade” material that is virtually tear- & wear-proof, and stiched with high-tensile thread, with even greater reinforcement on handles & corners.
The filler-bags themselves are well-designed: incredibly sturdy double 1000D Mil-Spec Velcro enclosures on one end making them easy to fill but completely clean & “spill-free,” allowing you effortlessly swap bags for quick weight changes during workouts. In fact, the filler bags are both sturdy & large enough for use on their own for conditioning work. This makes the “package approach” ideal: for example, with the Strongman Package, you can fill one inner-bag to 50#, one to 40#, and one to 30#. By using them separately or in the outer bag, you can progress from 30 to 40, 50, 70, 80, 90, 120# … all in the time it takes to slide a zipper & shift some bags.
In turn, just like the filler-bags, the outer bag offers amazingly rugid construction combined with a well-designed variety of handle-options which allow you to take your training to a whole new level of functional work. The zipper is again “military-grade,” complete with end-pocket (“zipper garage”) so it never catches or gets in the way during even the most dynamic training (e.g., power cleans or overhead throws). The eight handles are also exceptionally well constructed & designed: incredibly durable & yet unobtrustive enough so as to never been in the way during bear-hug carries or any more conventional lifting techniques. This is a huge plus in my opinion for reasons I think it’s worth explaining….
Many sandbag-training “purists” emphasize the importance of avoiding handles on a bag, as gripping the surface or hugging the bag itself builds more grip-strength or “realistic functional strength.” There is some merit to this view, and of course the beautify of the unobtrusive handles on the Brute Force Sandbags is you can train that way any time you wish. But the simple fact is, with a conventional sandbag, your ability to tax other muscles of the body is always going to be limited by your grip strength: if your hands tire before your glutes or lats, that’s going to limit your workout *and* your results….
By contrast, the handles on the Brute Force Sandbag provide an allow you to train maximal — as well as explosive/dynamic — movements that would be hard or even impossible with a conventional home-made bag. On top of that, the well-designed handle format lets you select from a wide of lifting options, allowing you to amplify the off-center load, train ballistically, etc. This in turn leads to what has to be the best feature of the Brute Force Sandbag: these things are absolutely bullet-proof in construction, which means you can engage in all kinds of hard-core explosive lifts that you’d be hesitant to try with a homemade version, building fast-tiwtch fiber and greater power & core stability through moves like clean & throws and overhead throws.
Put it all together — well-designed, incredibly rugid, highly versatile — and you have a truly great product. On top of all of this, I can also attest to the fact that the customer service matches the quality of the bags themselves. In short, the Brute Force Sandbag is absolutely a great addition to any training arsenal & I highly recommend it to all of my clients — absolutely worth every penny & sure to give you a lifetime of hardcore workouts….
About the Author: Michael Lloyd-Billington is a certified Integral Yoga Teacher (Levels I, II & III) and personal trainer with over 30 years’ experience in the fields of health & fitness. He currently offers private guidance integrating yoga, strength training, conditioning & optimal nutrition. To learn more, visit his website at
http://alternativepersonaltraining.bravehost.com/index.html or join his health & fitness page here on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MichaelLloydBillington