Depending on the program utilized, the sandbag can be used to develop strength, power, conditioning, endurance, and even mobility.
Strength? Load it as heavy as you see fit and lift it.
Power? Throw it, clean it.
Conditioning? Use it for a MetCon or any variation of high intensity training.
Endurance? Use a lighter weight for a longer period of time, more repetitions, or even carry it around like a rucksack.
Mobility? Try the Sandbag Get Up! Also… Train through full range of motion with load and your mobility is bound to improve.
There are not many training tools available that can become the “all in one” like the sandbag can. It mimic movements of a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, weight vest, etc., all while adding the factor of instability which is crucial to the LEO.
It is no secret that being away from home and away from your own routine, your own grocery store, your kitchen, and your gym, seems like the perfect storm to allow your diet/clean healthy eating habits to go by the wayside. However, it does not need to be like this. With a little bit of planning, motivation, and structure you can stay on track for your time away.
Most academies do not feed recruits the best high quality food. When I was in the academy, we had worse-than-high-school-cafeteria food that was made by the inmates of the prison next door. You were not allowed to keep a cooler or any food in our rooms and only had food available at the three meals a day.
There are still academies that are the same way where you have to eat your meals with your class in a structured fashion with the food that they feed you. However, even with that, the addition of protein shakes, bars, some homemade healthy snacks that you can make...
The Brain and The Impossible...
Some time ago, I came across a fitness challenge on social media that led to me putting 135 lbs on a barbell and squatting for max reps in one set. I got 55 reps, and, as a 155 lb dude, felt somewhat accomplished. The following week, I attempted the exact same trial (135 lb back squat for max reps); this time, I was able to perform 80 reps, a 45% increase. How was this possible in such a short time, with no notable changes in diet, training, or other factors?
This challenge opened up a discussion on the mental aspect of physical training amongst the Effective Fitness Training team. During text discussion (immediately after my first attempt at this trial) with the EFT crew, I typed the following:
“I had more but I think I gave myself a mental release once I hit 55. I didn’t know what to expect; think if I had told myself 65 was a bare minimum acceptable count, I would have gotten there.”
What is Concurrent Training and why is it required for LE and other first responders?
It has been a big hype in the fitness world that you should NOT train those two things at the same time due to utilizing the energy systems required to train each individually would hinder gains for the other one. This is known as the Interference Effect. The Interference Effect is the negative impact aerobic endurance training can have on gains in strength, power/speed, and hypertrophy.
The current data suggests 3 major things:
Push ups and pull ups are the hands-down the most popular upper-body bodyweight exercises.
While both of these movements are so commonly done in the gym, there is a lack of education and knowledge on how to properly progress them.
Most people just do max effort sets a few times a week and hope that by doing that, they will achieve more reps in a few weeks.
While that works sometimes.. there are better ways to go about it.
Instead of doing 3-5 sets of max reps and waiting 60-120 seconds and repeating, we discovered that doing 6-9 sets of 35-50% of the reps and resting 45-90 seconds leads to better results.
By taking this approach you prevent yourself from fatiguing out after the first set and not being able to achieve the same number of...