All to often we get caught up in all the science of lifting and get stuck into a fixed pattern of using only 1 or 2 different methods of training. The odd objects like kegs, ropes, stones, and sandbags are all incredibly versatile and powerful training tools which shouldn’t be ignored! Aside from not needing as much weight in the sandbags as you would a barbell or dumbbell, the sandbag builds strength from every angle, not just in one plane like machines and barbells do!
This video of me training some SPEED off the ground with my sandbag in the backyard.
I kept the reps low each set to make sure my form stayed spot on and so that I was getting maximum speed on each rep. When you’re training for speed at the point your form breaks or you lose speed the set is OVER. You’ve pushed to the point where you aren’t working speed any more. You’re only working conditioning.
Why train speed you ask? Because when you train for speed it you develop something called Rate of Force Development (RFD). This is absolutely critical if you want to move big weights or develop speed. This is basically you’re 0-60 time. It is a measure of how fast you can produce maximal force. While being able to produce high amounts of force is great, to doesn’t matter if it takes you 5 seconds to actually be able to reach maximal production!
Take the box squat for example. Say you have 200 pounds on the bar and you have a maximal force production of 215. Obviously you have the capability to move 200 pounds. The catch is in how fast you can produce that force. If if takes you 3 seconds to reach the 200 pound force production mark then you’re gonna be planted on that box for 3 seconds instead of standing right up with it.
The same goes for any lift and it’s especially true for athletics. A football defensive lineman with a 500 pound squat doesn’t have 4 seconds for to develop 500 pounds of force. They need that 500 pounds of force the second the ball is snapped! The 100 meter sprinter needs to be at top speed (which requires max force production) as soon as the gun goes off, not 15 meters down the track!
Increasing your RFD allows you (whether you are an athlete or just a meathead) to be able to tap into the full force production of your body the second you pick up a weight.
Some example speed exercises* would be
- Medicine Ball Chest Pass
- Overhead Throws (DB, KB, Tire, Sandbag, Medball, etc)
- Clap Push Ups
- Sandbag Shouldering
- Box Jumps
- Standing Broad Jumps
- Jump Rope Double Jumps
- Speed Box Squats
- Speed Deadlifts
Throw in a couple sets of these before or after your primary exercise to help recruit muscle fibers and maximize force development for maximal strength and athleticism!
*Keep the reps low and the weights light. Like I said earlier, when your form breaks down or your reps slow down the set is over!*
Buy your own Ultimate Sandbag now!