Getting a Handle
I can admit when I'm
wrong... well, to a point I can. When they started coming out
with these sandbags with handles, I immediately objected! I
mean, coming from a wrestling background, anything that we could to
to improve our grip (along with back, biceps, hips, legs, neck,
etc...) was encouraged. I do love my old basic sandbags.
There's something about just grabbing a handful of canvas and
heaving the bags for rows, presses, shouldering, whatever, and
feeling the burn in your hands, fingers, and forearms... the same
kind of burn that you get after a hard fought match against a strong
opponent. I can remember having trouble operating my water
bottle a few times back in the day when I got back to the bench!
So when the "Ultimate Sandbag"
advertisements first started coming out in the newsletters I
receive, websites, and various other fitness media... I immediately
scoffed at them and chalked them up to yet another overpriced
Over the past year or two,
I started to pay attention a little more to the various exercise
videos for the Ultimate Sandbag. As I previous stated, some of
them I have no interest in doing with handles (rows, presses,
shouldering, or any load bearing with the sandbag on your neck and
shoulders). However, some of the exercises that I saw in the
videos and that I thought to be very functional, really couldn't be
done without the handles.
So, my initial impression of these
sandbags changed and I decided to pick one up. I started with
the Ultimate Sandbag "strength" package.
Full of sand, this
bag is 75 pounds. Most of these new sandbag packages come with
individual "filler" bags of 10, 25, and 40 lb sizes to allow for
various weight increments. However, I decided to pick up a
sandbag shell only and use a double set of contractor cleanup bags
for the sand instead. Larger bags allow for more shifting of
the sand which is one of the more attractive challenges of sandbags.
Sandbag swings, shouldering, halos,
reverse lunges, there are over 300 exercises that can be performed
on the Ultimate Sandbag. I have to say, I'm a big fan of the
sandbag clean and squat.
This exercise combines an explosive
sandbag clean with a double front squat before bringing the bag to
the floor and going on to your next rep. Lots of muscles being
used means more calories burned (and the more tired you get).
After doing these for a few weeks, I decided to pick up a 40 lb
version of the bag so that everyone could enjoy the fun, in addition
to adding some larger swinging and overhead rotational exercises to
So, if you're looking for another change
of pace in your workouts, another fitness gadget, or a really
functional, no-nonsense home gym... Give it a shot!
Recipes for Health
the recipes coming in gang! Soups, salads, breakfast, lunch,
dinner, snacks... what are your favorite healthy recipes?
Here's another one that was submitted by Amanda Lewis...
celery, onion, spring onion, sauteed for 5 mins with olive oil &
splodge of wholegrain mustard. Add vegetable
stock, peeled plum tomatoes, lentils, basil, bay leaves, parsley,
chives, paprika, bring to boil & simmer for an hour or so, add some
chopped bacon bits, salt & black pepper to taste, plus a few drops
of coconut oil/coconut shavings, & the smallest pinch of sugar if
Some or all of the
soup can be blended if a smooth soup is preferred. Eat with Rye crackerbread (if weight watching) or warm crusty bread.
A bit of cheese is also nice with the
Send me an
email with your favorite healthy
recipe with the ingredients, details,
nutrition information, whatever and I'll publish a new one each
Bodyweight Exercise of the Month!
Besides suspended pushups,
inverted rows are one of my favorite exercises on the
suspension straps. And as with the pushups, your angle
to the floor will determine the percentage of your bodyweight
that you will be lifting. The closer that you go to
horizontal, the more of your bodyweight you will be lifting.
This also makes it easier to get a few more reps, by simply
putting your feet down or walking them backwards to make your
body more upright.
Target: back, arms, and
core (latismus dorsi, rhomboids, biceps brachi, rectus
abdominus, erector spinae)
Description: Grab the
handles of the USA or suspension straps and pick your body
angle based upon your feet placement. No matter what
angle you choose, be sure to maintain a straight line through
your ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders. The exercise is
performed by pulling your body up as high as you can and then
lowering it back to starting position.
My clients and warrior workout
partners learn pretty quickly about the attitude that is
expected when they workout with me and the language that
goes along with that. Sure, there are things that you
might not be able to do on any particular day, or if you are
just starting out... that's a
fact. But one thing that I'm not a fan of is giving
into failure. "Can't" is a failure word. It's an
acknowledgement that you are done and don't even want to
think about it. Not the attitude that any coach wants
fatigued and hurting, it's natural to complain about it...
but we like to keep that complaining optimistic.
Anytime someone throws a "can't" out there at our
workouts... they are
corrected with a "yet". "I can't even do 5 chin-ups"...
"yet". "I can't do a 40lb kettlebell snatch"...
"yet". That little word "yet" tacked on at the end
improves the mental outlook on the task and creates optimism
about your future effort. Instead of bailing
completely on the thought, make it a goal to work towards!
As with athletics, your
mental state of mind can make a big difference in your
performance during your workouts. Getting that extra
rep, or pushing for that quicker mile, doesn't come very
easily if you have already written it off! You need to
think positive, and even SPEAK positive about all of your
effort. "Can't" ain't gonna get that done!
There are plenty of "trigger
words" that trainers use with their clients in order to get
them to put forth the extra effort. "Push".. "You got
this".. "Dig Deep".. all meant to remind you to go beyond
what you are comfortable with, but capable of doing.
Positive thinking and visualizing the successful effort
are important components of motivation. This is
something that you should try to do before each exercise and
Remind yourself of why you are putting forth
the effort to start with. That compelling and
encouraging component that stirred you to start to begin
with. Sometimes simply knowing that you are improving your
health and wellbeing can be inspiration enough.
"Just Do It!"
Help Your Child Lose Weight: Set an Example
A study by researchers at the University of
California, San Diego School of Medicine and The University of
Minnesota indicates that a parent's weight change is a key
contributor to the success of a child's weight loss in family-based
treatment of childhood obesity. The results were just published in
the advanced online edition of the journal Obesity.
"We looked at things such as parenting
skills and styles, or changing the home food environment, and how
they impacted a child's weight," said Kerri N. Boutelle, PhD,
associate professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at UC San Diego and
Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego. "The number one way in which
parents can help an obese child lose weight? Lose weight themselves.
In this study, it was the most important predictor of child weight
Recent data suggests that 31 percent
of children in the United States are overweight or obese, or between
four and five million children. Current treatment programs generally
require participation by both parents and children in a plan that
combines nutrition education and exercise with behavior therapy
"Parents are the most significant
people in a child's environment, serving as the first and most
important teachers," said Boutelle "They play a significant role in
any weight-loss program for children, and this study confirms the
importance of their example in establishing healthy eating and
exercise behaviors for their kids."
The researchers looked at eighty
parent-child groups with an 8 to 12-year-old overweight or obese
child, who participated in a parent-only or parent + child treatment
program for five months.
The study focused on evaluating the
impact of three types of parenting skills taught in family-based
behavioral treatment for childhood obesity, and the impact of each
on the child's body weight: the parent modeling behaviors to promote
their own weight loss, changes in home food environment, and
parenting style and techniques (for example, a parent's ability to
help limit the child's eating behavior, encouraging the child and
participating in program activities).
Consistent with previously published
research, parent BMI change was the only significant predictor of
child's weight loss.
The researchers concluded that
clinicians should focus on encouraging parents to lose weight to
help their overweight or obese child in weight management.
- Mar. 14, 2012
It's Go Time!
Feels like the past month has been an early
spring! I don't know about you, but I took the
opportunity to get outside a few times for some runs, bike
rides, and other outdoor workouts. You can just FEEL the
energy in the air... it has a way of pulling your butt off the
couch, turning off the TV, and getting you doing something
Now is a perfect time to set some goals for
the outdoor season! There are plenty of charity runs and
rides that can motivate you to train hard all summer. So
far I'm planning on at least three 5K mud runs and the MS Bike
to the Bay this season... and I'm still looking. It's
not about my time or what place I get... it's more about the
experience and the motivation that it gives me to train with
purpose. Commit to something now... register for an
prior issues of this eNewsletter, to subscribe, or
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"Most of our obstacles would
melt away if,
instead of cowering before them, we should
make up our minds to walk boldly
- Orison Marden
youtube of the month -->
Ultimate Sandbag Exercises
collection of sandbag exercises from the Ultimate Sandbag