If you're ever tempted to buy exercise equipment from say something like Body By Jake, Dear Lord stop. Wait ten minutes, take half of the money (or more) that you would spend and let me show you something better.

Sandbag strength and exercise training is a little known secret. This is old school so not many fitness "experts" are up-to-date on sandbags let alone the general public. Let's look at the concept of sandbags and strength training and break it down.

What is a sandbag? A sandbag is a canvas bag (I use my old army duffel bag) with sand and used for a variety of lifting exercises. Bag weight can vary from a few pounds to more than 100 to 200 pounds. Sandbag exercises require strength, endurance and creativity to figure out the best way to lift the sometimes lop-sided weight. Most sandbags are composed of many smaller bags of sand inside the large bag, which makes for easy weight adjustments with less mess. You can do loads and loads of exercises with a sandbag, and remember the exercises can be the same as regular dumbbell exercises but they are totally unique to sandbag strength training.

Who uses sandbag training? A lot of athletes and a lot of regular Joes like me & you. Those who are looking to mix things up a bit and push their body beyond what a typical dumbbell can do. You do not have a lot of time-no problem. Sandbag training hits it all.

Why should I know about sandbag strength training? You need to change your workout routine every 4-6 weeks, give or take a week. If you continue to do the same workout your body gets used to that and stops giving you results. Sandbag training helps with functional strength. Functional strength is loosely defined as an exercise that mimics a specific task. So if you want to become a better golfer you focus on exercises that mimic a golf swing. You want to become stronger and faster athlete you focus on sandbags. Sandbag strength training is your answer!

What type of exercises can I do with sandbag training? Any type of exercises you do normally with barbells / dumbbells or your own bodyweight. Sandbags can be used for almost every exercise imaginable, including carries, rows, squats, rotations, lunges, crunches and military presses. Also you can do combos using other movements such as Turkish get-ups, shouldering into squatting, burpees into snatches, clean, squat and press, and thrusters. But wait there's more! Combine walking with movements. This way you work on conditioning, static strength, strength / power, gosh everything simultaneously. Try walking with a sandbag and every ten steps stop and perform three to five reps of an exercise. Walk and then squat, walk, stop and do bent-over rows, walk and shouldering, walk and then clean and press. This is harder than you think, but oh so beneficial.

For functional strength, weight loss, cardio workout, heck for any type of fitness level you are trying to achieve, sandbag training and exercise is for you.