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Sandbags! 35c per kg to replace 4-60kg of Barbells, Dumbbells & Kettlebells



Sandbags AKA Powerbags (not to be confused with the featureless bags filled with sand and a knot tied at the end) are bags with a number of handles which are weighted with removable smaller bags filled with sand to give a selection of resistance.

The types of handles are typically;

a) 2 handles for neutral hand position;

b) 2 handles for supined/pronated hand position;

c) 2 handles at each end of the bag for wider neutral hand position / single arm exercises / swings / carries;

d) a handle in the middle for single arm exercises / carries.


Each of these handles will give greater variation in exercises you could use with your sandbag and should be considered with what exercise you intend on using with your bag. For example Some older models of the Ironedge sandbag have handles a & b but no c which means it wouldn't replace any kettlebells. However some of their bags do have the c handles.

handles c and d allow the sandbag to be used for single arm exercises like a dumbbell, the difference however is that with handle c the sandbag would be hanging below your hand longways making it impractical for bent over rows unlike handle d, however anything higher from the ground would not be affected for example single arm shoulder press/triceps extension/bicep curl.


For the demonstration of the video I bought the most budget friendly sandbags I could find and discover how versatile they are to try reveal how you don't need to buy a lot of equipment; you just need to test your imagination...

It simple has 3 x 4kg inner bags and handles a, b and c.

It replaces:

4 dumbbells ( 2 x 4kg, 1 x 8kg, 1 x 12kg )

3 Kettlebells ( 4kg, 8kg, 12kg )

A multi grip swiss barbell loadable with 4kg, 8kg, 12kg.


A large Ironedge sandbag which hypothetically could hold up to 60kg, would replace (depending on the increments of sandbags you use, just assume you have organised inner bags in 4kg increments and have a couple large 16kg bags filled to maximum)

A entire set of dumbbells 4/8/12/16/20/24/28/32/36/40/44/48/52/58/62kg+

A entire set of Kettlebells 4/8/12/16/20/24/28/32/36/40/44/48/52/58/62kg+

A multi grip swiss barbell loadable with 4/8/12/16/20/24/28/32/36/40/44/48/52/58/62kg+


That would be 45 individual items replaced plus all their storage racks and weight trees simply with bags filled with sand placed into another bag.. pretty cool right? the best part is in Australia you don't even need to go to the local beach to grab sand it only costs $7 per 20kg bag. That's a investment of $40 for the cheapest sandbag, up to $128 for a Ironedge one, and the weight to fill your innerbags are not going out of stock from gym closures and still only cost 35c per kg!

considering each handle replaced a set of dumbbells, a set of kettlebells and a barbell with weight I could almost stretch the imagination enough to say every kilo you've invested into the sandbags is 3kgs of items and therefore only a 11c/kg investment if you'd look at it like that... either way it is no denying the Sandbag would contend the spot for the number 1 item everyone should get especially in times of a shortage of access to weights and bars...


My advice

Get a Sandbag!!


My favourite exercises


Sandbag cleans

Front squats

Bent over row with widest handles (You get a better range of motion than using a barbell)



My favourite training parameters


Super-sets (cardio and a resistance exercise or pairing exercises which use the same muscle groups if it's a lighter sandbag)


Reps and rest - Try timed circuits. No doubt the sandbag isn't a replacement for barbell back squats or deadlifts so don't force feed old habits with it! Training may have to focus solely on other other components of fitness while gyms are shutdown in order for optimal training worth your effort.



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