A great full-body exercise that trains both physical and mental toughness. An extremely transferable exercise requiring an athlete to go from a lying horizontal position to a standing vertical position while under load. It also builds real world strength for the abs, legs and back and requiring coordination and agility to perform efficiently.
Anyone can benefit from doing this exercise, but can be especially beneficial to law enforcement and fire and rescue professionals, as well as wrestlers/MMA fighters due to all the ground work they perform. You can vary the focus by going with a lighter bag and exploding up quickly each rep or go heavier and focus on simply getting up
I first learned of this exercise from Jordan at Atomic Athlete several years ago. One of the challenges they were having their athletes attempt to complete was 100x reps in 10 minutes or less. Now at first, this may not seem too difficult, that's an average of only 10x reps every minute. However, the sandbag weight is where things get a little daunting. The bag weight must be 80#.
So not only do you get the benefit of stamina, you also get the benefit of strength-endurance. After learning about why their athletes were doing it and the benefits of the exercise I had to try it for myself. I was only able to get 67 reps using an 80# sandbag my first attempt, and the highest I have gotten so far is 88 reps. I believe one of their athletes got up to 120 reps (which is insane).
It was one of the hardest fitness tests I have done that I can remember. At the 5 minute mark I remember telling myself I wanted to quit. But I kept going, and for the next 5 minutes I've never felt so uncomfortable.
The weight of the bag really starts to add up, and I eventually learned that there is a trick to the placement of the bag. The more weight of the bag you can position in front of your body the better and easier it will allow you to get off the ground to 1/2 kneeling and then to a standing position.
I like to put my athletes through this 10-minute Sandbag Get Up Assessment fairly early. This allows us to establish a baseline of their strength endurance. I will typically use 60# for men and 40# for women for most athletes, and 80/60# for my stronger/fitter athletes.
We will vary the focus in training by sometimes using a lighter bag and exploding up quickly each rep or go heavier and focus on pure strength by simply getting up.
The lesson I learned from this single exercise was that getting up off the ground with heavy weight is not fun. And over the years of training and coaching, I know that some of the most beneficial exercises are the ones that are not "fun".
If you are up for the challenge, try to get 100x reps in 10 minutes using a 80# sandbag. Send me a video if you do and I'll send you a FREE Rugged Athlete gift.