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Sandbag Exercises?

I’ve been using sandbags lately for carries, sandbag to shoulder/over shoulder, and sandbag over yoke/bar . . do you guys fill them up tight to do these exercises or do you leave just a little bit of play in them?

I had a little bit of play in mine for awhile and recently packed them tight and now the carries and bag over shoulder seems a lot more challenging . . would like to hear some other thoughts on this

I can’t give much insight other than this: if you are prepping for competition try to fill them the same way they would be filled at said competition.

If not you’re better off listening to someone else lol, and it may just be a matter of personal preference.

My experience has been the complete opposite, I find a more tightly packed sandbag much easier to handle than a loosely packed one of the same weight.

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My experience has been that floppy sandbags are easier for me to hold for long durations (e.g., carries) and tightly-packed sandbags are easier for explosive lifts (e.g., sandbag over shoulder).

I do not intentionally leave extra room, I just load them to the desired weight and use them at whatever floppiness/stiffness results.

Also, if you need a certain weight and you also need the bag to be stiff, you can load the remaining space with tennis balls. I suggest using a bag or something similar to keep them together so they are easy to remove when you need to increase the weight.

Thanks . . I assume you have some experience with sandbag shouldering or sandbag over shoulder; if so, what’s a reasonable goal to shoot for in terms of weight? I can throw the 150lb bag over my shoulder pretty consistently but when I bump to 200lb it feels so much heavier. I weigh around 210 for reference

That’s a 33% increase, so it will definitely feel heavier if you are not used to that weight. As far as a goal weight, it would really depend on your goals.

My main reason for sandbag over shoulder is to help with throws/takedowns in my MMA/krav maga training. A human is much more cumbersome per pound than a sandbag; I have noticed that guys weighing around 200 pounds are no longer a problem for me to pick up and manhandle since I was consistently throwing a 250 lb sandbag around.

I have no experience with stones yet, but from my understanding, a sandbag is more difficult per pound than a stone. So if you’re using them to improve your stone work, then you should be comfortable with a sandbag that’s the same weight as the competition stone.

It’s annoying to add and remove sand from bags, so you can load some small bags with sand to add/remove weight. This will allow smaller jumps.

Just done a quick bit of research. At a recent under 105kg event the sand bag carry was 265lb / 120kg for 20m. This was a championship event. So likely that’s top tier level. But as an indication it’s pretty good.

If you can shoulder 100% body weight I’d say that’s pretty good. The goal should be to go beyond that of course. But its a start


I recently started doing stones. I can lift the 130kg stone. There is no way I’d move 130kg sandbag. The weight is so unpredictable.
My theory is you can pick up a sandbag that is about 50% of your deadlift.
Sample size = 1.

This is for Beast of the Bluegrass in Frankfort, KY. It is a platinum plus show for Strongman Corp. 265 is the light sandbag. Granted Plat Plus shows (especially those put on by Davey McCann) are usually pretty heavy, but it seems like every show every year the weights are just going up.

Reading the bottom bit with reading the top bit I was genuinely thinking
“A 700lb sand bag? Come one”.

Yeah - the show I found (no idea of the name, it was just off a google search) was 3 x 265 over 20m. So a touch longer then 50ft. And you don’t know about the platform height. But all things considered - a 265/309 sand bag and then a 700lb sled is a lot harder.

I’ll stand by what I said though. 100% of body weight is a pretty good number to start with.

Haha, no that is the sled weight (600 lbs) after loading with sandbags (loading height is not a factor with these bags). I do agree with you that a 265 bag is not light and that 100% BW is a good starting point. Just simply noting that the weights are continually increasing.

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Yeah its frustrating when your starting out. Every year you need to be 5% stronger just to do novice…

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