With a barbell, the weight is evenly distributed, easy to grip - because, you know, it’s narrow and comes with knurling to make holding it easier - and it comes with a nice lubed up bearing system that allows the bar to rotate beautifully… Basically, it is perfectly designed to make lifting weights incredibly easy.
I don’t know about any of you, but I have never found another object like it outside of the gym… Not on the beach, in the woods, at home, abroad, on a construction site, in a warehouse, underwater or f***ing anywhere… Whenever I have had to lift large loads outside of a gym it has never been a nice, easy, perfectly balanced object that’s easy to hold on to… Ever… And this brings us nicely on to why you should train with sandbags.
There are 3 types of movement: a load, a carry and a hold. Sandbags can be used for “load” movements - squats, presses, etc - and they can also effectively be used for “carries” and “holds”, types of movement within the frontal plane rarely seen in traditional training programs but are frequently seen in real life. We can all agree that sandbag training is much more f***ing awkward than a bench press… But so is moving a fridge, carrying bags of cement, pushing a wheelbarrow, and wrestling a drunk ****... This is the magic of sandbag training: their use carries over to the real world far, far better than a barbell or some cable / pulley contraption.
Moving a heavy sandbag develops internal pressure - something Dan John calls “Anaconda Strength”, and is vital for anyone who wants to be considered athletic and / or strong...
“The ability to squeeze everything out to hold everything in place - that’s what’s missing from everyone’s training…” ~ Dan John
Basically, since the weight distribution of the sandbag is constantly shifting, you are forced to have to continuously brace to maintain control / position / posture. This brace develops your “internal pressure” - your true core and tensile strength, and tests your ability to react to a shift in external load in real time. This makes it a great tool for those who engage in contact sports, anyone in the services, or anyone who just wants / needs to be generally robust, fit and strong.
In addition to getting you strong as an ox and filling the void left by traditional training programs, they will also get you shredded, and shredded quick… The more muscle groups you work, the greater the metabolic effect, the more calories you burn… Since heavy sandbag training uses every muscle in your body - even [especially] the ones in your face - you’re going to burn a f***ing lot of calories…