Sunday, 7 February 2010

Why use the Ultimate Sandbag?

My good friend, Josh Henkin - the creator of the world famous Ultimate Sandbag - shares his views as to why he created the product and also the benefits of using the Ultimate Sandbag in your training programs.

For hundreds of years (perhaps thousands) sandbags have been an integral training tool for athletes. Why? They are incredibly versatile and provide unstable training with a challenging load.

However, the benefits don’t stop there. Greater stabilizer, trunk, and grip strength can be developed with sandbags as well as sport-specific drills, mobility work, and great overall conditioning.

Plus, sandbags are fun!

Improved Stabilizer Strength

Stabilizer training is not a new concept. Dumbbells, cables, kettlebells, and one-arm lifts have long been methods of improving the smaller stabilizers. Increasing the strength of the stabilizers can both decrease your risk of injury and improve performance.

Why are sandbags unique, though? Sandbags can be thought of as the most “uncooperative” pieces of equipment. They are different because they will change their form as you lift them. Unlike most other training tools, it is almost impossible to develop a specific groove for any lift. This makes sandbags a constant challenge as every repetition will be vastly different.

Improved Trunk Strength

The non-cooperative nature of sandbags makes it crucial to use every muscle possible to lift. The trunk muscles (including those of the low back and abdominal area) have to work harder to stabilize the body against the awkward load while moving very quickly. This is very unique to sandbag training.

Those who have enjoyed kettlebells have also discovered the incredible benefits of loading only one side of the body. Well, sandbag drills such as the many shouldering exercises and one-arm lifts can offer the same benefits.

However, the difference with sandbags is that they actually rest on the body. Having such a load rest on the body forces the deep and superficial trunk muscles to work to a greater degree to maintain proper postural alignment. End result? A rock hard torso that is very injury resistant.

With sandbags we can also create amazing rotational drills that place the body into ranges of motion that would normally occur during sport. Working through such ranges of motion with a load prepares the body more appropriately for the demands that sport produces.

Sport Specific Strength for Combative Athletes

Sandbags have long been a favorite training tool of wrestlers and combative athletes. In his famous book, Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia, John Jesse states:

"The use of heavy sandbags and their large circumference forces the lifter to do his lifting with a round back instead of the traditional straight back lifting with a barbell. It is this type of lifting that truly develops a strong back. It develops the back and side muscles in movements that are identical to the lifting and pulling movements of wrestling."

The idea of round back lifting may scare every chiropractor, coach, and athletic trainer out there! However, if introduced properly, round back lifting is one of the best injury prevention techniques available. Sandbags offer a safe way to learn how to use round back lifting. The trick is to always start on the light side and with low volume (no more than 5 repetitions).

For combative athletes, the constant shifting weight of a sandbag makes it an ideal training environment as it prepares the athlete for the unpredictability of a fight on the mats.

Greater grip strength

Everyone can benefit from greater grip strength. Grip strength is more than simply how hard you can squeeze your hand (known as crushing strength). It also includes pinching, support and wrist strength. Sandbags can be a core tool in developing this well rounded strength. Because of the gripping action of the bag and the fact no one repetition is the same, the hands are challenged in multiple ways. As you get stronger at sandbag lifts, you will find a great transfer of these hand strength to other forms of training.


Fun is serious training tool. It’s human nature — we are less likely to do the things we do not enjoy. Making training more fun increases your chance of being more productive and consistent.

Because sandbags are so different they are often a breathe of fresh air into people’s training programs. Even for common exercises such as squats and presses, using a sandbag makes these exercises feel as though you were performing them for the first time.

The more you enjoy your sandbag training, the stronger you’ll get.

If you are interested in adding the Ultimate Sandbag to your training, then get on over to and get yours NOW!

When you buy an Ultimate Sandbag Package, you will also receive 5 FREE E-BOOKS to give you a complete training and nutrition program to get you into the best shape EVER!

Keep Strong!


Monday, 6 July 2009

New Studio - Full of The Strength Company kit

Matt Luxton, who is a personal trainer based in Devon, has recently opened his own private training studio. Functionally Aware Fitness is truly a functional training studio making good use of limited space; as you can see from the pictures, Matt has kitted out his studio mostly with LifelineUSA and JC Santana bands and equipment. The Functionally Aware Fitness Studio is a superb example of what you can do with limited space by installing the LifelineUSA and JC bands. Some of the equipment that Matt uses is the Train Station, JC Predator, Jungle Gym, JC Traveler and JC Sport Bands. Matt has a great studio and is a great trainer, so if you are ever in the Devon area and need to have a workout, be sure to call on Matt and he will show you what functional band training is all about. To contact Matt, either call him on 07841136302 or email at

Until next time....keep strong!


Thursday, 11 June 2009

Steve Maxwell Seminar

Hi Everyone,

I have just received details from Stefan Milne that Steve Maxwell will be conducting a seminar in Scotland next weekend. The details are as follows:

Date: 21 June 2009
12:15 – 15:15 : 3 hour Maxbells Kettlebell Seminar
16:15 – 19:15 : 3 hour Steve Maxwell Bodyweight Seminar (using lifeline equipment)

JJB Fitness Centre,
Gallagher Retail Park,
Unit 4
East Dock Street,
Dundee, DD1 3JS
01382 456247

Walking distance to Train (5mins)and Bus Station(3mins).

£165 3 hours Maxbells Kettlebell
£165 3 hours Bodyweight
Or £300 for both.

For further details see

Until next time...Keep strong!


Sunday, 17 May 2009

Body Power Expo

Hi everyone,

Last week we exhibited at the Body Power Expo. It was an excellent weekend with many people attending. The Strength Company hosted the first UK 100 Yard Power Wheel Challenge. Here are some of the pictures from the weekend:

Jimmy Marku (Britain's Strongest Man) just after attempting the Power Wheel Challenge!

Our Female Winner - Debbie Fleming from Attitude Fitness - crossing the finish line.

Relief after completion! Debbie with her partner and Neil Broadbent of The Strength Company

The Strength Company team: Neil, Joel and Rob having a laugh at the challenge!

Surrounded by eager strength enthusiasts!

We all had a blast at the Power Wheel Challenge and congratulations to all who completed it. We will be back bigger and better at next year's show, so be sure to make it to Body Power 2010.

Until next time....keep strong!


Monday, 13 April 2009

Power Wheel Challenge

The Strength Company and Body Power Expo have joined forces to bring you the first UK 100 Yard Power Wheel Challenge!

The challenge will take place at the Body Power Expo on the 9th and 10th May at the Birmingham NEC. The Strength Company have a dedicated 100 Yard lane, where contestants will be able to challenge themselves by strapping a Power Wheel to their feet and 'walking' 100 Yards on their hands! The winner is the person who does it in the fastest time without putting their knees on the ground or stopping during the 100Yards.

The challenge is open to all individuals who attend the Body Power Expo and who have the fighting spirit to test themselves against the world's #1 Core training device!

The wining contestant will win a bunch of training gear...compliments of The Strength Company - Leaders in Functional training!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Pete Irving - The Strength Company

Hi everyone,

I have just uploaded an interview of Pete Irving, who will be headlining the 10th Legion Fighting Championship on 5th April in Hull. Pete talks about how his conditioning training has recently changed from lots of heavy powerlifting moves to using the equipment supplied by The Strength Company. He mentions that he feels faster and more explosive, well that's exactly what our equipment does. It has been created for that exact purpose, to make you more functional relative to your activity or sport.

I also want to mention to everyone out there, our equipment is not only for martial artists or combat athletes, our equipment is used by elite level Olympic athletes, physiotherapy practices and personal trainers to name a few, so what ever your training needs are...look no further than The Strength Company.

Until next time...keep strong!


The Strength Company

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Training course for martial arts conditioning

Amidst this current atmosphere of negativity, it’s always a blessing to be surrounded by people who have a positive outlook on life and training.

Today I was invited by Alan Orr to attend and present a course at his Winter Training camp, which was held at the Olympik Dream training centre in Keighley. The centre is an awesome facility run by a bunch of really great guys. It is equipped with a fighting cage, boxing ring, grappling mats, Olympic lifting platforms and a strength training section.

I was asked to give a presentation on strength & conditioning for both MMA and traditional martial artists. I only had about 45 minutes to create and put together training circuits in which all 20 people could participate in.

Leo Costa, a black belt in Brazilian Ju Jitsu who has trained under the likes of Carlson Gracie to name a few, gave a 1.30-hour Ju Jitsu course, prior to my conditioning training, so the guys were super warmed up for my circuits!

I worked on metabolic circuit training where I set up 4 different stations with different equipment. At each station, you would perform either a punching, pulling, core or plyometric exercise. Each exercise was performed for 30 sec using full speed but with good technique (safety is paramount!) Then as soon as the station was complete, the participant moved to the next with only about 10 sec rest between stations. The full circuit including change over time between stations took no more than 2m30sec. After Circuit 1 I changed the exercises and created Circuit 2.

As this was a presentation and not a full training clinic, I only made the guys go through 1 circuit, but in proper conditioning training, I would look to complete 3 full Circuit 1’s and 3 Circuit 2’s with a rest of 1 minute between circuits.

Here are the exercises in the circuits:

Circuit 1:
1. Standing speed punches with the JC Predator Band
2. Split stance speed rows with the Lifeline TNT
3. Plyometric Jump Squats with the Lifeline Portable Power Jumper
4. Lying guard position medicine ball exchanges

Circuit 2:
1. Bent over pummelling with the JC Predator Band
2. Speed hook punches with the Lifeline TNT
3. Jumping Pull ups with the JC Sleeve grip dominator
4. Jump rope with the Lifeline Heavy rope AND wearing the Portable Power jumper

This is an example of the metabolic protocols that I use for super-charged circuit training, and the best part is that the circuits are not reserved for MMA fighters only. If you are a personal trainer, try these with your clients to recharge their training or use them yourself to get into awesome condition to beat the winter blues!

So in conclusion, we all walked always smiling, energized (well nearly everybody!) and full of positive energy!

Until next time….keep strong!

The Strength Company