Sandbag Workshop – Diary of a Fitness Seminar Addict

I’ve received a lot of great questions about the seminars that we attend since writing the post Diary of a Fitness Seminar Addict.  I figure since I love to go to all of these seminars, and I love to write to the best fitness pro’s in the industry that I might as well have a regular segment on the blog about my travels and the seminars that we attend.

For this segment, I’m going to break down each seminar, workshop, or certification into three sections The Speaker, The Content, and Three Takeaways. I hope to help all of our readers that can’t make it to these seminars get an idea of what is being covered to see if it is something that you should attend in the future.

This weekend I attended the DVRT Sandbag Training One Day Workshop.  If you read the original article Diary of a Fitness Seminar Addict you will see that this sandbag workshop was not originally on my list.  I honestly didn’t know that this workshop was coming, but after receiving an email telling me that the workshop would be 10 minutes from my house I quickly signed up.


$100 and a 10-minute drive made this a no brainer, but I wasn’t really sure what I was in for.  I hoped going in to the workshop that I would pick up a few cool new sandbag exercises to spice things up for my clients, and maybe do a little local networking while I was there.  What I got was a whole new outlook on what Sandbag Training is all about.

The Speaker/Instructor:

The instructor of this course was named Mitch Hauschildt.  I’ve never heard of Mitch until I met him on Saturday, but I wonder how because this guy is everywhere.  He is a teacher for Missouri State University, a TRX instructor, a DVRT Sandbag instructor and a long list of other cool stuff.  Mitch did a great job presenting the material, keeping it interesting, and he really knew his stuff.  I wasn’t sure of the quality of the instructor I was going to get because I’m not very familiar with DVRT, but I was really happy with Mitch.

The Content:

Like I said, I really only expected to pick up a few cool new sandbag exercises, but it was a lot more than that.  Sandbags are a little more complex and versatile than I thought.

We started by going over what I’ll call the “anatomy of the sandbag”. Mitch showed us what all of the different handles were for, the different size filer bags, what to fill with, how to fill the bags correctly, and the different kind of bags.  This was honestly one of the best parts because now I have a good understanding of the sandbag, and what it should and shouldn’t be used for.

From there we went through a quick warm-up and started to learn the basics of using the sandbags in a hands on format.

We started with learning the basics of the hip hinge, which was remedial but great because you never know who is going to be in attendance. Just like the kettlbell, this is a MUST HAVE pattern to really get everything out of the sandbag.

We learned a lot of great exercises like the sandbag bear hug clean to squat progressions, regular cleans, front squats, presses, lunge variations and lots of other great exercises.  Although the exercises were great the benefit of the course wasn’t about the exercises, it was about the details. Handling the sandbag, getting a feel for it, and learning about the intricacies of working out with the sandbag is what made this course great.

After learning some great sandbag exercises, and a nice little ladder workout we wrapped up with some program design conversation and a little Q and A. Overall it was a great day with some great takeaways.

sandbag bear hug
Sandbag Bear Hug

3 Takeaways:

1) The sandbags that I had are crap.  I’ve bought two different kinds of sandbags in the past and they both leak and are not near as durable as the DVRT sandbags.  I ended up buying six more sandbags after the event so Mitch didn’t have to break them down and load them back up again J

2) Don’t overfill and or slam the sandbags.  The sandbags that I had are junk, but it sure would have helped to know how to fill them and use them right, before slamming them on the ground like a rookie. There is no such thing as a dumbbell slam, and there is no such thing as a sandbag slam either.

3) One of my favorite complexes with a kettlebell: clean, front squat, press is amazing with a sandbag!  It added an entire new dimension and will be a regular part of my conditioning workouts moving forward.

*) Bonus Takeaway: This workshop went from 9am – 3pm and I loved that! It was perfect for my attention span, and we plan to make our future workshops that we are doing in 2013 the same length.

Overall I really enjoyed the sandbag workshop and totally got a great value for my money and time. I would definitely recommend checking it out if you are new to sandbag training or want to fill in some gaps.  They also have a Level 1 and Level 2 Certification for those who want to dig deeper into sandbags.  You can check out their list of workshops and certifications at:

Sandbag Workshops and Seminars

by Steve Long