Out of the endless sandbag exercise possibilities, there are three exercises that are crucial for developing your grip strength, mid-line stability as well as providing you with a massive ROI. The sandbag clean, Zercher squat and get-up are those BIG 3.

Once you've read through each of the brief descriptions of these sandbag exercises, check out the video at the bottom to really drive each movement home. We recommend you start putting in to your programming as soon as possible. And, as always, have fun with these exercises! Feel free show us how you performed your sandbag exercises or drop us a line with any questions you may have.


1. SB Clean
This exercise teaches the lifter to generate power. It starts just like a Deadlift. Back flat, midline tight, and arms locked out. By quickly extending your hips and driving your feet through the ground, pop the sandbag up and drop into a receiving position to catch the bag.

2. Zercher Squat
This exercise is great for midline control, building leg strength and requires that you maintain proper posture while squatting, which will keep you safe and efficient. Support the sandbag with your arms forming a "basket" in front of you with palms facing up. The sandbag should be placed in the crooks of your elbows as you engage your lats in order to keep the bag close to your body as you perform your reps.

3. Get Up
This exercise can be performed any number of ways, but we encourage that as you start out, that you take it slow, hit each progression with intention and find good positions throughout the entire range of motion. When done in this fashion, the sandbag get-up recruits nearly all major muscle groups with the completion of just one rep. To say that there's a big return on investment with this movement would be an understatement.



We've all had those workouts and/or movements that ended up being much harder than we anticipated. In fact, I just experienced a devastating workout that only involved a heavy bag of sand, some squats with said bag and some gut carries. OUCH!

After each set, I let out a long, painful, exaggerated F-bomb. This is what we call "immediate positive feedback". This type of reaction let's you know you're in that work zone and not just pretending - which is important to distinguish.

The reason I bring this up is that recently, my long-time mentor and friend Dennis Marshall(Owner and Head Coach of CF Garden City), beautifully described a very simple idea that I wanted to share.

"It seems like there is a rapidly growing pool of "Accessory" movements in the CrossFit world that athletes are adding to their training program. While this is a great, and perhaps long overdue, development, the proliferation of these exercises through social media is potentially leading to as much, if not more, confusion as it is education. "Well, this guy/girl is doing it, so I guess I should as well?" There is only so much time and energy we can all dedicate to training and the majority of this must be directed towards our top priorities and biggest "bang for your buck" movements, workouts, etc. To pick and choose "this" and "that" movement "just because" can distract us from putting in the real work that will yield the greatest result. 

One of my favorite litmus tests for whether a movement is worth incorporating on a regular basis and dedicating significant time and energy towards is the response it elicits immediately upon completion. I'm generally looking for something along the lines of "Wow, that's harder than I thought" or simply any expletive (as demonstrated in the video). The more dramatic the response the more valuable the movement and the more frequently it should show up. Once the response is less dramatic it's time to move onto the next one." - Dennis Marshall

I am no where near the wordsmith that Dmarsh is, so I tend to boil things down to their most simplistic elements. To me, all of this means:

Simple. Not easy.

And that, my friends, is something I will always believe in.

COW #5

It's been a while since I last posted a COW - or Complex Of the Week - so I figured it was time to get back at it! 

After the post "F*CK YOUR FANCY GYM" was published and people came back with so many positive reviews, I thought that it would be awesome to give y'all a simple (not easy) sandbag complex that illustrates the points that were covered in the post.

The sandbag is an incredibly simple peice of equipment that offers amazing versitility.......this COW is a great example of that.

COW #5

3 Rounds:

  • 10 Sandbag Deadlifts
  • 8 Sandbag Shoulders(4|4)
  • 6 Sandbag Squats(3|3)
  • 4 Burpees Over Bag
  • 300m Run

Note: If you want to make this extra spicy....take the SB on the 300m run!

The Zercher

I'm willing to bet that most of you have no idea what the hell a Zercher carry(or squat) is. That's OK. It's not often that you see people, gyms or workout programs implement the Zercher carry, which is kind of sad really. The Zercher carry(or squat) has an incredibly potent ability to build a strong back and legs - and most importantly, a strong mind.

Dr. Love

Dr. Love

There's a very simple and logical explanation for the Zercher carry's endangered status.....IT SUCKS! It's quite honestly one of the most uncomfortable ways to hold/carry anything. But as is the case with most things....If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. And there is a massive pay out for those willing to deal with the shittiness.



I can hear it now. You're saying to yourself that, "That doesn't look so hard..."



The following are just some factors that you may not be taking into consideration:

  • Your arms are not designed to be the barer of relatively large loads....That job is for your legs, hips and back.
  • Notice the placement of the sandbag(above). If it looks like it's somewhere between your chest and stomach - it is. This lovely position drastically decreases your ability to take in a full, deep breath. To make things even spicier, with some smart programming, complete a "breath-heavy-type" activity just prior to placing the Zercher carry object in that magical pocket'o'death. And Enjoy!
  • Due to the load being out in front of your body's mid-line, the posterior chain and abs are forced to double their efforts so that you don't fold up like a lawn chair. This has some obvious benefits.
  • Lastly, when your arms are burning, you can't breath, and your posterior chain is screaming, you are forced to put all of that aside and just keep moving. This develops mental toughness. Arguably the most important beneficial characteristic of the Zercher carry/squat.

So there ya go! A quick introduction to a under-utilized, highly effective, simple way to build some serious strength and increase your ability to deal with shittiness. Because we all know the shit will hit the fan in one way or another......What are you doing to prepare yourself for when it does? Will you quit when it gets hard? Or will you fight to hold on?