Some people say that sandbag training is more primal, more real world, and develops more brute strength than traditional weight training. Sandbags can be great for fat loss, strength training, and to build muscle. You can purchase high quality rubber sandbags and such online like these: Ultimate Sandbags or you can bring out the DIY person inside and make them yourself.
The other day I went out and purchased the materials to build my own. First, I went to home depot for Rubber Mulch and there was a whole pallet on the rack, wrapped for the season, and I asked for it to be brought down and was immediately told NO. Screw them. I left and went to Lowe's and had no resistance. I purchased the bags I needed and below is a list of materials, cost, and steps with pictures on how easy it is to make your own. Also, I chose to use rubber mulch because the classes I train are held at an MMA gym and the sand would not be good for their mats. You can use Pea Gravel, Sand, Stones, Junk Mail, whatever...
1. Military Duffle Bag from a Police Outfitter for $19.95
2. Rubber Mulch from Lowe's for $8 a bag.
3. Contractor Grade Garbage Bags from basement. Cost N/A
Follow the steps below and you'll have your own Sandbag that will take your training to the next level.
1. Grab a contractor garbage bag and a bag of Rubber Mulch.
Obviously cut the bag of mulch open and poor it inside the contractor bag. The weight of each Rubber Mulch bag varies. Estimated each to weigh 15 pounds.
2. Take the bag and get all the air out of it and tie it tightly.
3. Now take the bag and wrap it up with Duct Tape.
This was just the start of the taping. I suggest taping it up as much as you can which will help make the bag stronger and more firm.
4. Now below is the bag I chose. You have many different options as it depends on what your local Police, Army, Navy store has. These bags were the only thing they had.
And this is the final product. It took me about 10 minutes to make two bags.
For a total of $80 dollars I made two sandbags. 1 bag weighs about 30-35 pounds and the other is around 60.
The size I purchased in the picture above was I believe 21x36. I suggest buying the size up if you want to make them heavier.
Sandbags can take your training to a place you never have been before. There are so many different movements and options that can be performed for the Squat alone. Someone who doesn't train with sandbags will be shocked at how odd they feel but how well they work.
If you're looking for a new twist to a workout, build a sandbag and get to work! I highly suggest taking a look at Zach Even-Esh's course that he offers found here: Underground Sandbag Assault Course.