Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Sandbag Chipper

Workout of the Day:

Using a 35 kg sandbag, do the following for time:

200 meter carry

30 bear hug squats

30 chest to overhead

200 meter carry

30 ground to shoulder

30 overhead lunges

200 meter carry

30 thrusters

30 wrap arounds

100 meter throw

I had a lot of fun today. Was feeling a bit tight still from Tuesday’s session in my hamstrings and shoulders, but a good dynamic warmup saw most everything working right. Niels and I headed over to Worcester College’s cricket field where we’d have a ton of space and no one to bother us. For the sandbag, we used the bag John and I made a few weeks ago, but stuffed the trash bags inside an old punching bag that I picked up at the farmers market for 6 lbs. Talk about a bargain. Now my sandbag was practically impenetrable to the beating I intended to give it.

The first 200 meters felt great. The bag didn’t bother me much at all, but I knew better than to push things too hard out of the gate from my previous bouts with bag sprinting in Paris. I got right into the squats, doing them unbroken, and followed immediately with the overheads, breaking only temporarily with the weight rest on my chest. The second 200 meters felt good as well. My heartrate was starting to elevate but I still felt under control. The ground to shoulders I did by swinging the bag between my legs so that it struck the ground on the way back then cleaning it up to my shoulder directly from the back position. This worked great—I was able to do all 30 without breaking rhythm. The OH lunges were awkward because of the shiftiness of the bag, but the weight felt fine. I did 15 out and 15 back, stopping at the halfway point to shake the arms out.

The final 200 meters were tough. By this point I was out of breath and starting to dread the thrusters coming up. They didn’t disappoint. I ended up having to do 6 sets of 5 because I couldn’t catch my breath and my arms were staring to go. They sucked the whole way but got done in the end. The wrap-arounds were much more difficult than I anticipated, and I think a very valuable exercise for people dissatisfied with CrossFit’s lack of transverse plane movement. You have to slingshot it with one arm around your back and catch it with the other while trying to maintain the momentum to carry forward to the next repetition. By the time I was finished I could barely hang on to the bag, making the last 100 meters of throws a lot more challenging. I elected to swing the bag forward like the cleans but releasing it on the way up. Not sure how many throws it took me, but the final time was 16:40.

I loved this sequence and am anxious to hear what others think if they try it. The video link is below.


  1. Can't wait to try this! Inspirational, as always.

  2. definitely going to try this one

  3. That looks sick, recently had my first experience with a heavy sandbag (30kg) at regionals, our team had to run round a 2.7km race track, almost met pukie afterwards.

    May attempt this just to bring back the memory! haha

    dude must say your a huge inspiration as Lauren said. wish you all the best at the games!!


  4. Am I the only one seeing the Derek Zoolander resemblance?? ;o)

  5. You guys are tossing those 35kg like nothing, very impressive man! :)

  6. Going to dig my heavy bag out of storage and give this one a go, let you know how it goes!

  7. Maria must think Blair is ridicously good looking, maybe Blair can model for Mugotu's "Derilique" line.


    Maria, I totally agree :)

  9. Hey man!
    Your blog continues to inspire me, and obviously many others. Tried this workout along with two of my good friends today.
    We borrowed some sandbags at the army base, but were not able to find a simular weight. Found a 30 kg bag though, so almost the same. Great workout and definately something different.
    Was able to do everything except the wrap arounds and thrusters unbroken. Broke the thrusters to 3x10 and the wrap arounds in 5's. Finished in 16:11 and the other two guys in 18:50 and 19:30.
    Thanks again man!

  10. Awesome workout Blair. Will definitely pack my old sandbag for when I go on vacation.

    Keep up the good work and thank you for a great blog!

  11. Great workout again Blair. I had an attempt at a bastardized version: first go with my sandbag @ 50kg it ruined me! I didn't get through half as much as you guys either.

  12. I have read your blog its very attractive and impressive. I like it your blog.
    7 micro niches