Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sandbags -- Stubborn Bastards!!

OK, I have to admit that going from receiving only 100 hits a day on my blog to close to 40,000 yesterday, with countless emails, all have me a bit wired with excitement, so I knew that I needed to do something to work off some of this energy.

One unfortunate thing about the CNN interview is that they didn't show any footage of me training with my Ultimate Sandbag. These bags are put out by Josh Henkin, whom I've blogged about before. After researching other sandbags and even building my own, I found that Josh's bags are top quality and ones that I recommend.

To fill my sandbag, I went to Home Depot and picked up a 50lb bag of all purpose sand for $2.15! I used 45lbs to fill the inserts to stuff into the main bag, and I've been working out with this bag like a kid. It reminds me of carrying around a little brother or cousin who's playing dead or something! LOL!

Anyway, it's time for me to change up my routine, which I'm starting to do every four weeks. So, I decided to follow some of Josh's routines that he's posted at his website and on youtube. Well fellas, one move in particular really surprised me--the Turkish Get-Up or simply The Get-Up (TGU). If you click on this link, you'll be taken to youtube for more than enough videos of people performing TGU using kettlebells (KBs), dumbells, or sandbags. I've trained with KBs for a couple of years now, so I'm very familiar with this move, as it works the whole body.

One thing about doing TGU with a KB or dumbbell is that you have to really focus on the weight above your head because if your attention wanders away from the weight, so will your arm. As a result, it's not only an exercise for muscular endurance but overall concentration too.

Well, call it arrogance or foolishness (probably a combination of both), but I really didn't think that doing a Get-Up with a 45lb. sandbag would be that challenging. Hell, I've done more than one Get-Up with a 70lb KB! OK, it's not an earth shattering weight like my buddy Ray who does TGUs with the 106lb. "Beast", but it was enough for me to not really "respect" the sandbag.

Wrong move!

Alright, I'm on my back with the sandbag lying across my left shoulder and left pec. The first thing that came to mind was, "Man, this feels heavier on my chest than I thought". Since I'm going to start taking Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes in a couple of weeks, I imagined trying to control a guy that weighs four times as much as this sandbag in my guard. It's no wonder that MMA fighters and other combat Martial Artists workout with sandbags.

"Yeah, it feels different, but at least I don't have to worry about focusing on anything overhead," was the next thought I had before going from my back to supporting myself on one-arm. As I raised my torso, the sandbag shifted and the weight pulled me back down to the floor! My wife just laughed at me because she saw that I was being kinda cocky with the sandbag since it only weighs 45lbs. OK, it was time to get serious, as I now realized that I have to "focus" a bit more than I initially thought.

I get through the first step of the TGU better this time because I was prepared for the shifting weight. Rest for a sec or two, and then I start my bridge and the sandbag starts to shift its weight again, which caused me to grip the bag and floor harder to support myself. This was really different from using a KB because you are so focused on staying in line with the KB so it doesn't veer from one side to the other; you don't experience the sensation of trying to keep something from falling from your body while supporting yourself on one hand with a KB. I think it's something that you have to experience to fully appreciate.

Now, I'm finally in the lunge position getting ready to stand up, but, before I can do that, I have to reposition the damn sandbag because it's not getting with the program! I'm trying to finish the "up" portion of the exercise before reversing all the movements, and the sandbag is trying to fall of my shoulder from every conceivable angle, which causes me to, once again, grip the stubborn bastard to get it under control. Fortunately, with help from gravity and a white-knuckle grip, going back down wasn't as bad.

All in all, doing TGUs with the sandbag was a pain in the ass, BUT man was it one of the most enjoyable pains in my ass that I've experienced in a long time. Sandbags don't care how much you can bench press or if you're doing double KB work with 70s; they don't even care if you have never touched a weight before in your life because they're not going to cooperate with you no matter what you current level of fitness. Stubborn bastards!

Below is a video of Josh showing the Top 5 Core Exercises done with sandbags. The TGU sit-up is the third exercise he shows. Notice how the sandbag flops around like a rag doll and the extra effort he has to use to keep it stabilized (if that's a word you can associate with them!):




Once again, I can't thank all of you enough for the comments and well wishes you have sent here at my blog or via email. I promise that I will answer every email that is sent to me, but please be patient with me.

Finally, be on the lookout for MrLowBodyFat's Blog to get a face-lift in the next couple of weeks, so sign up to receive my blog posts through email, rss/atom feed, or simply bookmark my site and check back weekly since my blog will be updated with new content and posts every week.

12 comments:

Josh Henkin said...

Muata,
Congrats again and thank you very your kind words and support. Creating this training tool and seeing the impact it is having on people like yourself is worth more than money. Keep up the great work!

Josh Henkin
http://sandbagexercises.com

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Thanks Josh, and I have a feeling that a lot more people are going to see how effective and efficient working out with sandbags are. I didn't even talk about the swings I was doing with my bag too ...

Tara said...

The interview was great!

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Thanks a lot Tara. I truly appreciate you and your BF's support!

Dan said...

I've been disappointed with my body and my weight for several years now but since I was never close to 300lbs I kept telling myself I wasn't in trouble. Well I'm now almost 300lbs and completely disgusted with myself for letting myself get this way. I think it's time for my life to change! Thank you!

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Dan, that's great to hear. And just remember that slow and steady wins the race!

Adrian said...

I am very interested in joining your progress from day 1. But im discouraged by the "partner links" is this a money making sales gimmick. If not where are the workout routines and diet routines from day one. Or do we have to by the tools and the books????

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Hello Adrian and thanks for your comment. Is my blog a "money making sales gimmick?". If it is, then I must be doing something wrong since I've made a whopping $150 from my affiliate sales. LOL!

Hey, it's taken me 5+ years to reach my current level of fitness, and through that time I've purchased countless books, ebooks, DVDs, and training systems. I'm "affiliated" with authors whose books/training tools/DVDs/programs I can personally vouch for because I've tried/read them, and, more importantly, they produce results.

If you expected me to chronicle what I did from day one to now of my weight loss journey, then you're missing the send home message of my blog: "Feed your brain to lose the weight". Cookie cutter weight loss solutions don't work. Aspects of what worked for me may not work for you. This is why it is so important that you educate yourself about the process of how the body gains and loses muscle and bodyfat; that way, you can create your own plan.

Thanks again for your comment Adrian ...

Jimmy Moore said...

WOW, 40,000 hits per day, Muata! That's a whole lot more than what my blog gets, so CONGRATULATIONS!!! :D YOU DESERVE IT!!!

Jimmy Moore
http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Hey Jimmy. That 40K was for last Friday only! The numbers have dropped tremendously since the spike; nevertheless, I'm happy with the faithful few that have subscribed to my blog like you my friend! Thanks for your comment . . .

SteveG said...

Hey there, i saw your interview with CNN... congrats on the great accoplishment.

I am working on losing a significant amount of weight, and your blog has really motivated me to do so.

I have a question, what are the best exercises to lose chest fat?

Thanks, and i look forward to reading more on your blog.

Steve

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Steve, thanks for your comment and stopping by. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as spot reduction. The body takes the fat from whatever part of the body it sees fit--unfortunately. So, focus on doing the things that will cause your body to use the excess fat, and watch as the body decides which fat stores to tap into. I hope this helps . . .