Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How To Make A Sandbag

Dollar per pound one of the cheapest tools of any strength and conditioning program is a sandbag. There is no excuses why you wouldn't have one. We talked HERE that if you didn't get one for Christmas it's time to treat yourself. Now I know there are some top quality sandbags you can buy but for some of us we like to make our own stuff.

You can do an S-Load of exercises with a sandbag like Front Squat, Front Lunge, Back Lunge, Shoulder Squat, Shoulder Lunge, Ground to Shoulder, Good Morning, Power Clean, Clean to Squat, Clean to Press, Squat to Press, Bent Row, Back Squat, Bear Hug Carry, and a bunch of others.
To start off my bags are made of gravel. I have used sand but the smallest hole will allow it to leak through and if you're pressing overhead that can get ugly.

  • Gravel Bag (50 lb.)
  • Contractor Bags
  • Zip Ties
  • Duct Tape
  • Scissors
  • Scale
If you are not going to drop or throw the bag you can get away with putting the gravel bag in a contractor bag and that's it. What if you want a smaller bag or don't want it to bust?

During the summer, I used a couple of 25 lbs. bags made from 1 bag from Lowe's.

First find a stable surface to work on . I like to use my tailgate of my truck.
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Carefully cut the gravel bag on top. Get a contractor bag and cut it in half.
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Use a cup to scoop gravel into the half contractor bag until the desired weight. Center the gravel in the contractor bag.
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Tape a seam along the length of the bag.
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Zip tie the end to make sure nothing leaks out the sides or the seam.
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Fold each zip to end to the middle and tape them down.
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Bonus-Go to a local feed store and buy a heavy duty mesh bag for extra protection.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Easy enough, huh? Take your time and do it right the first time. Do me a favor and share this on Facebook by clicking on the left tool bar. Have any questions write me at and don't forget to join us at the NB Strength Coach Fan Page.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

11 Things I Learned in 2011

With the end of another year and start of a new one there is always time to reflect on what one has learned from last 365 days.

1. Zach Even-Esh is one of the best damn motivators out there. What draws me to him is his no BS approach and how he doesn't pull any punches. I have been to his USC Cert and Real Biz Seminar and this dude was spitting knowledge F-bombs and all! Like I told him in person I could listen to this cat all day! Why do you think he made my Influences Blog Post?
2. Jason Ferruggia speaks from the heart. Jay was one of the first fitness professionals that I followed when I bought one of his training manuals. He has been there and done that training people since 1994. Recently, he has taken his post from educating to motivating people through his struggles and how he went to hell and back. Definite must read for anyone.
3. A sufficient warmup routine is important. As I have gotten a year older I realize my body needs more attention. That doesn't mean you have to break the bank getting your body back to normal.
4. Joe Defranco is one of the best all around strengths on the planet. He has forgotten more training knowledge than most people learn in a lifetime. Joe also takes time to answer readers questions in his Ask Joe section on his website. Anyone that does it is truly trying to teach.
5. Laddering your chins. Chins are a difficult exercise to perform and excel at. The problem with chins is that most people perform as many reps as they can almost in a max effort set. You wouldn't do this with any other exercises so why start now? Ladder your chins will help to increase volume efficiently as well as making sure the reps are performed consistently without fatigue. No grinders.
6. You should have a plan before training. I think this can't be more important. To walk into a training session with out at least thinking of what you want to accomplish is asking for trouble. Click on the pic to check out the progression of programs I recommend.
7. My Facebook friends and blog followers are the shizzzz. I have been writing this blog for almost a year. I think I have had some good posts and some ones that could be better. That's why I have friends to keep me in check and let me know when they like something.
8. Jeremy Thiel can sell a ketchup Popsicle to a women in white gloves. JT is one of the of the most charismatic people I've ever met. It's no secret why has one of the most successful gyms in Austin. He is also strong as hell. Here's some vid of his 1190 pound Crossfit Total.
9. Dogs make me happy. One of the things I enjoy most is walking my dogs. They help ease the stress of the day as they show how excited they get for a simple walk around the neighborhood or park. I want animals to be a big part of my future so learning with my dogs couldn't get any better.
10. Mr. Warrior should run for President. If you don't remember the Ultimate Warrior he was very popular in the mid 80's and 90's. I remember kids wearing his t-shirts all the time. I would watch him and his intensity would seep through the TV. Well that intensity hasn't stopped. He is on a mission to let people know you that you only get one shot at life don't effin waste it!
11. I married the best girl in the world. My wedding day was the fastest day of my life, probably because I was ready to start my life with Sonny. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She puts up with A LOT.
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