Sledgehammer Training Update

If you are familiar with this site, you know that I am a fan of homemade and/or low-tech training solutions. Much of my gym is outfitted with tools and equipment that I have either built or salvaged from elsewhere. One such example is an outdoor sledgehammer training station that I created in September, 2013. The station consists of nothing but a tire that has been partially buried.

I first discussed and demonstrated this outdoor station last year within the following video:

To no surprise, it was not long after I created the video that I began receiving inquiries about the durability of a buried tire. Many viewers questioned whether cement would be necessary to keep the tire in place. I received several emails from people who were interested in the idea, yet wanted to first see how the tire held up throughout the year.

With that in mind, I figured it was a good time to share an update. I have now had the tire buried for approximately 14 months. The tire has taken a fair share of abuse during each of those months. It is rare that more than a few days pass without someone beating this tire with a 20 pound sledgehammer.

As for climate, New England is perhaps the best testing area in the world. We get a little bit of everything. Fortunately, whether it was snowing in the winter, raining in the spring, hot and humid in the summer, or windy in the fall, the tire has never budged. It is still securely buried with nothing but dirt, gravel, and a few moderately sized stones. I could not be happier with this old tire that I acquired for free.

Sledgehammer training

In summary, if you are looking for an effective yet inexpensive conditioning option, a partially buried tire promises to be one of your better choices. Few conditioning exercises can contend with briskly swinging a sledgehammer. It is one of those exercises that you will never outgrow. I first swung a sledgehammer over 20 years ago and it still puts me in my place. Whether you swing the sledge repeatedly, for rounds, or as part of a circuit, it is only a matter of time before sledgehammer training catches up to you.


“Archie Moore showed all his old tricks to me when he trained me. He got me chopping trees to improve my explosive power in my legs, back, shoulders and arms which are all places where punching power comes from. And when we trained where there were no trees to chop he brought in huge truck tires and got me hitting them with a sledgehammer over and over.” – Earnie Shavers


  1. To get more than fitness from it you could also build a tyre wall (see earthship for what I’m talking about), you use the sledgehammer to compact earth into the tyre. It would be a slightly different exercise because you don’t get the same rebound as off the rubber but your still lifting and slamming down the hammer.

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