Backyard Workout

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 21, 2010 at 6:06 PM

Hey guys.

Let me start by saying the following is all with the objective of lean-ness and better body comp.

I'm trying to revamp how I exercise, and I'm starting by making (or buying) a sandbag to work out with in my backyard (Maybe 40x40 feet, 13x13 meters).

Do you know what weight is a good starting point? I've read all sorts of different sizes on different websites. I bench around 135 (sadface).

Should I buy a kettle-bell or any other additional tools to work out with?

So, in summation:

What weight for a sandbag if I bench 135? What other objects should I try to get my hands on?




on July 21, 2010
at 10:51 PM

I have a few sandbags, I recommend 3x25lbs, maybe 1x10-15lbs. Kayak, roll top, 'dry bags', are great for this.


on July 21, 2010
at 06:12 PM

Do you have trees? Logs? Stones?

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7 Answers


on July 21, 2010
at 07:56 PM

This isn't exactly sandbag specific, but this is an entire 23 page PDF that has backyard workouts that use everything from bodyweight only to a pullup bar and jumprope. It also includes Running and Endurance workouts!

CrossFit Body Weight Workouts


on July 21, 2010
at 07:34 PM

What's Up Memostotle,

I currently train myself and others in my basement and backyard. Great way to workout in the sun, never wait for equipment, and keep things interesting. Right now, I have the following:

  • Kettlebells (1x8kg, 2x16kg, 1x24kg)
  • Farmers Handles
  • A Keg Shell
  • Dumbells of various sizes
  • Barbells with bumpers and iron

On my list of equipment to buy/acquire/build:

  • Tractor tires (about 400lbs. Can be gotten from local farms for free if you're lucky)
  • Atlas Stones
  • Sandbags
  • Boxes for box jumps
  • Logs for clean and carries

My favorite thing to do right now is do circuits where I hit something heavy then immediately go to something more metabolic then rest. So I'll bring the barbell out and do something like 3 heavy power cleans, followed by an overhead keg carry across my backyard and then immediately do 15-20 swings with the 24kg kettlebell. Then rest for 90seconds and repeat with a little bit heavier weight on the clean. Do that for 7 or 8 sets. Combining barbells, sandbags, farmer's handles, kettlebells, dumbells, bodyweight movement, and sprinting, you can probably do a different workout every day for 10 years and never get bored.

For sandbags, I've heard Iron Woody is really good and might get a few of my own http://www.ironwoodyfitness.com/woody-bags.php

For kettlebells, check if you have a play it again sports nearby. You can get Apollo KB's for 1.60 a pound, which is an awesome price for new kb's. They're not as good as Dragon Door or Ader but they do the job.

Good luck with it! Tom


on July 21, 2010
at 07:20 PM

I'm building a koi pond

  • Shovel
  • Pickaxe

Serious full body workout And creating a pleasing natural environment that will raise my homes value and help reduce Mosquitos and buff me up even more in the meantime



on July 21, 2010
at 07:08 PM

I've seen great results with a "Shovelglove" workout: One piece of inexpensive equipment and lots of Paleo-friendly, compound, functional movements (chopping, churning, lifting, rowing, stoking, shoveling, etc.). You can vary the intensity by shifting your hand placement (basically lengthening or shortening the lever) and by altering the pace.

With about 15 minutes every other day for the past month, I'm starting to see hints of the v-shaped torso I took for granted so long ago. Yowser! It looks a little silly to be tossing around this padded sledgehammer, but I do have a very private backyard ;-).



on July 21, 2010
at 06:49 PM

Benching plays very little into sandbag training. There aren't many positions in which you would actually be benching the bag. I would look more at your clean & shoulder press. Since you are just starting with sandbag training, your gains are probably going to be substantial at first. In that case I would buy/ make a sandbag that has plenty of room for added weight. Also, you will want different weights for different exercises. Did a little searching and found a few options on DIY sandbags. Hope this helps!

http://www.straighttothebar.com/2006/11/how_to_make_a_sandbag_for_10.html http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=57562


on July 22, 2010
at 05:05 PM

TRX's are very good if you have some place to hang them from. They are typically $150, although I have been making and selling homemade suspension trainers (essentially the same thing) for $50. Let me know if you are interested in purchasing one.

Also, if you have a chair you can do some stuff on that: feet-elevated pushups, glute bridges, step-ups, rear foot elevated split squats, depth jumps, etc.

Bands are very versatile as well.

Here's something from Bret Contreras' blog:

A1: Bulgarian squat (rear foot on bed, chair, or couch) – 20 reps each leg A2: Feet-elevated TRX inverted row – 10 reps B1: Bottom-up single leg hip thrust (back on couch, heel on coffee table) – 12 reps each leg B2: Feet-elevated push up – 30 reps C1: Band lat pull – 20 reps C2: Band press – 20 reps D1: Band hip rotation – 12 reps D2: Front plank – 60 seconds D3: Side plank – 30 seconds each side



on July 21, 2010
at 07:14 PM

My sandbag is basically a heavy duty one with a drawstring - I then have the smaller bags (tough sacks) which I fill with about 25 pounds of sand and then tape up. I can vary the weight in my main bag by putting different numbers of smaller bags in.

As for weight - start small and if too easy, build it up. Don't be surprised if you struggle with what appears to be a small weight. These sort of exercises are much more awkward (and realistic!) than machines or free weights. I personally find even 100 pounds a bit taxing.

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