Workout I Did: Ultimate Sandbag Training

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I don’t often turn down the opportunity to try a cool new workout, and sandbag training was no exception.

Now, to be perfectly honest, I was at least slightly familiar with the concept when the folks behind DVRT: The Ultimate Sandbag Training System reached out — my trainer (yep, same one who came up with this torture) had incorporated a round of power cleans using a sandbag at the gym, and I loved it immediately because it incorporated all the fluidity and motion of kettlebells, but with less ouch potential because the bag, while heavy, is fairly soft, plus it has about a jillion options for ways to grip it. I was definitely interested in learning more, and when they offered to have a trainer in my area come out and work with me, well, obviously I wasn’t going to say no!

Adrienne Harvey, who I recognized as the female model in the DVRT book, met me at my house with two sizes of sandbags. There are four total sizes in the Ultimate Sandbag system, which is handy because yes, you can change up the weight in each bag to some extent, but the actual size is a factor in some moves due to grip and balance. I used the Power size for the majority of my moves, but switched out for the Core size a couple of times to maintain good form.

And that’s an important thing to note: Like with pretty much any strength training system, it’s better to go with a lighter weight sandbag and hold proper form rather than go heavy and sacrifice form (I used about 20 to 40 pounds, depending on the sandbag). You might be able to tweak this workout to do the moves with a medicine ball or kettlebells, but really, sandbags are best because of how you can grip them, and the way they challenge your core.

So, enough about sandbags (for now — I’ll be sharing more about this cool tool next month). Now, onto the workout!


This was definitely challenging at the time and a great way to get in a serious workout without spending hours in the gym. I didn’t experience much residual soreness, but if you don’t work with sandbags often or these movements are new to you, you’ll definitely feel it a day or two later. I promise. (And the next time I work with sandbags, I’m bumping it up a notch and trying some more advanced stuff!)

Have you ever used a sandbag for a workout? Have you seen them around your gym? —Kristen

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  1. nathan says:

    I love Sandbag training. There is so much you can do with them and in crosses over into the real world. Right up there with suspension straps.

  2. Yay! So glad to see this is still up! That was so fun coming out to train with you, Kristen!