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Small Additions Produce Big Results

In the picture above, I am performing a heavy sandbag carry. Heavy carries with any odd object are extremely taxing. The body is challenged from head to toe with each step that you take. Extended carries also become a mental challenge as you resist the temptation to drop the odd object.

Yet despite the physical and mental benefits, heavy carries are still far from ordinary. After posting the image above to my Facebook page, I received over a dozen emails from individuals asking about the exercise. A variety of questions came in but most people wanted to know what routines to follow.

Fortunately, you do not need to overhaul your entire program to include heavy carries. Simply adding a heavy carry as a finisher to an existing routine could serve as a valuable addition. That’s it. Finish your routine with 5 or 10 minutes devoted to carrying a sandbag. It may not sound like much, but 10 minutes can seem like an eternity when carrying a massive bag.

Small additions here and there often accumulate into something much more significant. This concept is particularly true with a powerful tool like a sandbag. Less can be more. Don’t always view new or different tools with the routine mentality. It’s likely that you already have an existing routine. Additions can be subtle. You don’t need to knock everything down and start from scratch.

The addition of a sandbag carry doesn’t mean that you need to rewrite your entire weekly program. Start with a finisher or two throughout the week and see how you respond. If heavy carries are new to you, expect to be surprised at the difficulty. In time, you can gradually add more work if you desire. Don’t rush the process however. The body will need time to adapt.

Your ability to positively adapt will increase if you are patient and gradual with your additions. I always encourage ambition, but don’t let your mind get ahead of your body. An overzealous approach can cause more harm than good.

One of the most common mistakes I see with sandbags comes from individuals who are overly ambitious. Many have never trained with a sandbag before and attempt to dive headfirst into an intense sandbag based routine. Don’t make that mistake. Exhibit patience along with your hard work.

I have trained with sandbags for over 15 years and they are still challenging to me. I can handle much more sandbag work now than I could many years ago however. My body has had the chance to gradually improve. It’s not an overnight process.

View your training as a continuous journey. Throughout your travels, you will add bits and pieces as your body continues to adapt and grow stronger. Don’t view your training as a short race that you must figure out in one day.

In the end, you’ll realize that the patient and consistent approach is much more rewarding and beneficial.

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For those familiar with heavy carries who want to add more sandbag training to the mix, check out my new sandbag training DVD. It contains 2 hours of instruction along with a 51 page e-book for just $13.95.

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8 comments

8 Comments so far

  1. JohnnyG October 12th, 2012 4:01 pm

    Where’s the quote?!?

  2. Aleksander October 13th, 2012 10:52 am

    Hey Ross, thanks for posting this. Always good to hear your view on the approach to strength training, this time concerning the sandbag.

  3. john October 14th, 2012 12:09 am

    good words of wisdom about. thanks. !

  4. Eric October 14th, 2012 7:58 am

    The balls to the walls approach often times can be as harmful if not worse than a lackadaisical attitude, especially when attempting some new form of training and/or exercise. I’ve never done any type of sandbag training but I’ve been meaning to, specifically for the effects it has on improving grip/hand strength with exercises like cleans, upright rows, etc. I’m definitely paying for the overenthusiastic “no pain, no gain” type of training from my younger days in my shoulders and knees. Any type of new routine or exercise should always be taken on gradually as you mentioned, and not only will it be more productive, your body will thank you years later.

  5. Andrew V October 16th, 2012 5:09 am

    I’ve done a little sandbag training this year. How heavy is that bag you are carrying in the picture?

  6. admin October 16th, 2012 5:25 am

    @Andrew – I don’t have a convenient way to weigh the bags, but this bag is over 200 lbs. I don’t know the exact weight however.

  7. James October 16th, 2012 5:31 am

    The new DVD is amazing as all the previous ones. I liked the fact that you tested the commercial bags and didnt find the value worth the price, before giving your opinion on them. I had been thinking about a commercial bag, until I purchsaed this DVD.

  8. RossTraining.com Blog January 6th, 2014 2:14 pm

    [...] need too much time with the logs to be challenged and benefit from their use. As stated within a previous entry, small additions here and there often accumulate into something much more [...]

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