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This Sandbag Workout Will Incinerate Fat

A woman taking part in a high-intensity sandbag workout. She is performing multiple sandbag exercises as part of a HIIT CrossFit circuit.

In our previous article – The 5 Best Sandbag Exercises – we discussed the many positive fat loss and fitness benefits of training with sandbags. As well as identifying the benefits of sandbag training, we also included comprehensive tutorials of 5 exercises that you could include in a sandbag workout of your general training sessions.

This sandbag workout features three of those five exercises and two standard movements. If when reading through the workout plan you encounter an exercise that you're not sure how to perform, follow this link The 5 Best Sandbag Exercises where you can access the relevant tutorial.

This sandbag workout incorporates a healthy combination of cardiovascular and muscle endurance exercises. The blend of cardio and muscle endurance will help you burn fat while also promoting fitness gains. Furthermore, the exercises are dynamic multi-plane movements. So, as well as carving lean defined muscles, this workout will also develop functional strength and body coordination.

In addition to being the perfect workout for those looking to lose fat and improve fitness, this session is also ideal for people who compete in contact sports.

How it works

Firstly, you’re going to spend 5/10-minutes warming up. I don’t mean to lecture, but warming up is a crucial aspect of physical training and you should never engage in exercise without having completed a progressive, whole-body warm-up (for the benefits of warming up follow the link).

Concluding the warm-up you are to work through the 5 sandbag pyramids. Starting with the first pyramid, you will perform 1 repetition then complete a 100-metre sprint. Slowly jog back to the sandbag and now perform two repetitions. As soon as you’ve completed your reps jump straight into the sprint. Repeat until you have progressed up to the 10th repetition.

At this point, you could take a rest or just get straight into the next exercise pyramid.

Method of modification

This sandbag workout is fully modifiable. For example, you could replace the run with any cardiovascular exercise you so choose. Skipping or rowing are great substitutes for running if you’re not a fan.

Furthermore, if the workout is bit much for your current level of fitness, simply reduce the pyramids down to five repetitions as opposed to 10 repetitions. And finally, if you’ve yet to buy a sandbag, you can replace the training equipment – a kettlebell would work well – or simply perform bodyweight exercises.

Another simple way of modifying this workout is by reducing (or increasing!) the sprint lengths. They are set at 100-metres. However, that distance is not set in stone. You could reduce it to 50-metres or even 25-metres. All I will say is if you do reduce the sprint length try to increase the sprint intensity.



10-minutes of light jogging and calisthenics. Slowly jog 100-metres (or thereabouts) and complete one press-up. Jog back then perform 2 press-ups. Repeat until you reach 5 press-ups. Now change the exercise.

Sandbag Workout

1: Sandbag bent-over rows

Bent-over rows are one of the best upper-body strength-building exercises. They are unparalleled for developing back and arm pulling power. Sandbag bent-over rows are performed exactly the same as the barbell version.

This table shows the ascending exercise pyramids that are part of this sandbag workout.

2: Sandbag squats

If you want strong legs and quality quadricep separation, then you can’t keep avoiding squats. Sandbag squats offer a lighter alternative for those who don’t enjoy this exercise. But if they start to get too easy, you always have the option of adding a plyometric jump.

This table shows the ascending exercise pyramids that are part of this sandbag workout.

3: Sandbag hang cleans

The hang clean is a super hip extension developer. And strong hip extension translates to improved performance across a wide range of fitness and sporting disciplines. Sandbag hang cleans are performed the same way as the barbell version.

This table shows the ascending exercise pyramids that are part of this sandbag workout.

4: Sandbag lunge to side twist

You’ve got to remain focused when performing sandbag lunge to side twists. If you’re thinking about what’s for dinner or what’s on the box, you’ll wind up losing balance and potentially your footing. Remember to step to the side as you step forward so as to create a wider base.

This table shows the ascending exercise pyramids that are part of this sandbag workout.

5: Sandbag hang cleans to overhead heaves

The final exercise is an extension of the third. After performing the hang clean explosively heave the sandbag over your head. To take this exercise to another dimension perform a burpee into press-up prior to the hang clean - aka The Full Monty!

This table shows the ascending exercise pyramids that are part of this sandbag workout.


5-minute gentle jog including a 5-minute whole-body stretch.


Enjoyed this circuit? Has it left you hungry for more? Click on the image below and get your copy of the Hungry4Fitness Book of Circuits Vol. 1.

Circuit training is one of the best forms of physical exercise for maintaining and increasing overall fitness. A well-designed circuit will provide a great cardiovascular workout, strengthening the heart and lungs in the process, whilst also improving muscle endurance and developing functional strength. This unique combination, of fat burning and muscle building, which singular exercises, such as running, cycling, swimming, or weights cannot give, will help to sculpt a lean defined physique.


(As we are very interested in user experience here at Hungry4Fitness, we would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance!)

Blog Author

Adam Priest, former Royal Marines Commando, is a personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast.


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