T Nation

How Heavy is Ideal for a Grappling Dummy?


It happens that part of my combat/fitness training is done with my old boxing heavy bag, 108lbs.

After warming up with shadow boxing, I do 3 3 minute rounds, 1 minute between in which I run at the bag, squat down, and with one hand underneath explosively pick it up to head height. then I run a few steps and flip it over onto the ground. then I ground and pound it with elbows, knees and fists, until such time as I stand it upright. then I might be on one foot and one knee and use the other hand underneath to implement another explosive lift and slam and pound it again. Over the course of 3 rounds I aim for 18 slams, then I am done.

would it make sense to use a 200lbs dummy? that more likely represents a real opponent, I don’t suppose I should approximate a child.


Depends on what you’re looking to get out of the exercise and how challenging it currently is.

Generally speaking, increasing the weight of any tool by 50% is a huge jump and will drastically change your performance. It’s an option, but it’s probably not the best one.

I’d consider changing some of the other variables:

You could decrease between round rest and/or increase round length.

You could increase the distance and/or run faster and/or change the way you move (like do walking lunges instead of a run, bear hug it or zercher carry it instead of having it over a shoulder).

You could train different individual strikes in each round, like right arm-only or knees only, instead of mixing everything together.

You could play around with the ground-pound vs slam ratio. Instead of 90 seconds striking and 30 seconds flipping, or whatever it is, increase/decrease them inversely but monitor them and progress accordingly.

You could increase the “slams per round” and/or increase the total number of rounds done.

Basically, there are a lot more options than you think for making the workout more difficult. They’d all work on improving conditioning, whereas going up to a much-heavier bag will, at least in the short term, reduce the conditioning effect because the strength element of the drill has increase.


thanks for the response. My idea with this is if I only train with a 108lb bag, I might be out of league if I want to pick up and slam a 200lb person. On the other hand, if I can do the current weight 18 times over an 11 minute period (3 3 minute rounds, 1 minute between each), and use the form of standing the bag up, one hand underneath while down on the same side knee before I explosively lift, I should be able to do it anyway?


You could train with a 100 lb bag, and do cleans with a barbell to accommodate a weight closer to your proposed combatant.