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A New Animal: JDM135 for 1-2-3-4 plates

I constructed a ~90lb sandbag at the start of the pandemic lockdown by putting ~60lb of sand and what dumbbells I had into a duffel bag. That bag felt really hard to pick up- not because of the weight but rather because the duffel bag had a ton of space for the sand and dumbbells to move around in.

I gave up using that sandbag because the dumbbells kept bruising me and instead carried the heavier of the two smaller sandbags I created to split the sand (doubled up with heavy duty trash bags).

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Performed the promised BSS but hated every second. Held baby (19lbs) for 2 or 3 of the sets, and spread them throughout the day as I didn’t have any “workout time”.
Haven’t filled the sandbag yet but hoping to do so tomorrow. Unsure when I can try to get an actual session with it though. Life is hectic right now.

Some quad soreness, which I think is good.


Feeling you there!

Crazy time of year without stuff like work and kids, add that into the mix and time is super short. If you get a chance, full the sandbag, it’ll help squeeze something awesome/dreadful into your day, 5 mins in a sandbag could be just the ticket to “just doing something” right now. Having said that I’m 2 sessions down on this week already with only 1 day of it left!


@Koestrizer it was Jd that was after tips for sandbag. Tagging you into his log by way of introduction. Not sure if he wanted ideas for training or actual tips on the best way to actually pick it up! @jdm135 what help did you need ??

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Thanks for helping!
I just filled a seabag with 150lb, and have picked it up twice just to see what it feels like. Its hard!
What I’m after is a suggested “progression” ie does one start with picking it up, progress reps and volume, then do carries, progress distance, then do throws, etc; or just have “fun” with it for 20-30 minutes and see what happens?

A big difference from the barbell is that the weight of the bag is fixed. So I foresee progression happening differently.

Thanks for the Alsruhe video link, he is definitely the man and I’ve been watching his sandbag stuff!

Edit @Koestrizer just saw your reply on @simo74 - appreciate those suggested movements and the "can’t go wrong " vibe.


11/29/2021 Monday
Crushed it today.

3x265 some kinda PR I’m sure

Ss DB rows

2 singles at 225, no spotter. Mortal terror, then a realization that it’s well within my limits; still not used to it though, second single scared me deeply.

Ss with 5x10 BSS unweighted.

Some BS - tricep pushdowns, back/glute extension, db play.
70lb dumbbell clean-and-press, single arm, that was cool.

Ready to hit 295 maybe 305 soon… will I get greedy and try 315? Will I fail? I don’t know.
I would rather avoid repeating all the groundwork of another cycle of volume. But if that’s the price of admission…

Plus I promised that in January I’d shake up my training. Really want to be done with this by then.


Squats coming along nicely mate. How shaky was this triple?

Whats the plan for shaking things up in the new year?

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Will answer the second part when I have an actual keyboard.
The triple was… ok!

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I see! For everything rep based (like the picks, extensions, squats, shouldering) you’ll want to to increase reps to progress and/ or total work load. Some EMOMs will do a nice (cruel) job and get you accustomed very quickly. For example 10 x 1 → 10 x 2 and so on.
Or just do a fixed number of sets at X and one all out set and try to improve that until you reach Y and then you’ll increased the number of reps in the fixed sets.
Or choose a number of total reps (X) and try to get it in as little time as possible or as few sets as possible.

For carries I would start out with increasing the number of sets/ runs before increasing the length of each run. Although both is fine and that is just my preference from experience.

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Double awesome, nothing like fear to get you shifting!

Love how well you’ve progressed and continue even under pressure!

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@dagill2 regarding my plans for shaking things up:

Per the above, during an existential crisis 6 weeks ago I committed to taking a break from the barbell in January, come what may. At this point, I’m more interested in completely shifting my training- for the whole year - not necessarily to exclude the barbell, but to reduce its dominance of my life.

Lifting my 150lb sandbag a few time has shown me that there are a ton of nameless and heretofore unworked muscles in my body that will give me plenty to work on. Alsruhe mentioned that “the sandbag is so unwieldy, once you’re used to it it makes a barbell feel like a toothpick” and I could use that kind of gains! So the sandbag is definitely an avenue I can pursue to keep a relatively high load without even using the barbell.

I am relatively unconditioned. Haven’t jogged a mile or two in weeks or months. I do a few minutes on the elliptical, and the occasional sweaty EMOM workout, but I don’t prioritize it and as @T3hPwnisher insists, conditioning is magic. I 100% know this to be true and have only deprioritized it because I THINK (maybe wrong) I’m currently on the shortest path to my 315 squat without it. Regardless conditioning must return to my life, and soon.

Also: my wonderful wife would like to run outdoors some mornings, which she can’t do if I’m at the gym and not watching the baby. So I would like whatever path I take to reduce gym trips to 1 or 2 per week. This shouldn’t be a big deal anyway since I have some things at home. Just not a safe squat rack or enough load to train a heavy DL - but I can solve that problem.

So, if you’ve followed this far, change is coming, the goals are still the goals, but new ones are right around the corner!
Must put together a more coherent plan but it’s not time to change yet.


Sooooo burpees then?

You seem to be moving in the same way as many posters on here: limiting barbell work and dabbling in more and more different training tools and modalities. It’s exciting stuff, I think we’re going to discover some absolute gold.


Speak for yourself :joy::joy:


Despite the aforementioned lack of conditioning, I seem to have the engine running pretty hot at the moment. Absolutely starving today despite my usual breakfast of greens and 5 eggs, heavy whip in my coffee, a carton of cottage cheese midmorning, and a moderate portion of beef stew (surely about 1/3lb of beef) at lunch an hour ago. Hopefully all this food is going to my squatting muscles.



absolutely nailed it today.

Warmup 3 mins on elliptical.

neither a weight PR nor rep PR, but 5 rep PR ties in a row? Last rep was on the Simo scale for sure. Stalled out right in front of my nose and I just fought it the whole way up, felt like 3-5 seconds. Interestingly my right arm was lagging nearly the whole session.

Superset with 7x2 ab rollouts from knees.

6x1 335, E3MOM
Superset with 7x5 pushups

6x1 315 EMOM

Last week I did the same weights for 5 singles. Added rest time to the 335.
Every rep I felt like my lower back was just buckling, and if I wasn’t wearing a belt I’d have been in trouble. Need to target the lower back during some makeup sessions? It’s probably going to be my limiting factor for reaching 405.

80lb DB, clean and single-arm press/jerk/whatever. Got it with my right arm, failed the press with my left arm, and didn’t bother trying again. It was just an experiment and I was out of time.

Overall feeling really good about the pressing. Shallow, maybe, but I hope every MFer in there watched me get that last rep of 135 up.


Thursday 12/2
1 mile walk carrying baby (19lbs).
After breakfast:
4 sandbag-over-shoulder, 150lbs
After more parenting:
10 sandbag picks, 150lbs.

A simple near term sandbag goal is to do this:
5 SB-over-shoulder
Carry (some distance)
5 SB-over-shoulder
Carry back

In, say, 10 minutes.
At the moment I can probably get the first half of that in 10 minutes and it would wipe me out. I need to improve until this becomes conditioning instead of strength. @alex_uk @Koestrizer @T3hPwnisher does that seem like a reasonable plan?

I feel like once I can do that, I’ll be strong enough to do other interesting things with the SB too.


I’m missing it: I see the goal, but what’s the plan?

I like tabata pick ups myself. Set a limit of 20 seconds to get it off the ground. Gets you good at it.

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Didn’t have a plan to get there other than brute force and ignorance! But 2 picks per minute for 4 minutes (which I’m guessing is how that tabata would shake out the first few times) looks like a good one.

I was assuming since I’m totally untrained on SB, just shouldering it a few times per week I’d eventually get fast enough to reach the 10-minute goal above.

Your question about it being a reasonable plan now perplexes me, haha.

Depending on how far a distance you plan to carry it, it shouldn’t take too long to reach that goal.

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Why not? Seems as good a goal as any with the sandbag. As far as getting there, I would also advise to use some kind of interval training. EMOMs or Tabata are great options.

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