back to our ITSB. In case you forgot, that stands for Inner Tube Sand Bag. This is the sand bag that men lift. I know a duffle bag filled with a bunch of “blocks” of taped up smaller sand bags can be hard to lift. But:
Pound for pound the ITSB will be harder to lift. Guaranteed! No handles and no limitation on the movement of the sand inside the bag creates’ an entirely different animal. You are going to have to be an animal to lift an ITSB, especially when you build up to heavier and heavier bags.
So, man up. Get rid of the “block” filled duffle with all the fancy, comfortable handles and straps on it and make an ITSB. After all, you are only making someone else wealthy considering the cost of those fancy-girlie-type sandbags. If you want handles on your training equipment, grab a barbell or dumbbell or KB.
Enough of that. Let’s get down to business!
Part of the impact of training with an ITSB comes from the fact that you don’t hold the bag at arm’s length all the time.
Learning to control this moving object, as we lift it, forces us to use muscles we didn’t know we had. It forces us to get up close and personal with the sandbag. It doesn’t stand off from us like a barbell. In many lifts or exercises, using a barbell or similar piece of equipment creates a fear of the impact.
What do I mean?
You ever get banged by a bar, dumbbell plate or KB?
At the very least it can cause bruises or worse, and you will do your best NOT to get banged by it again because it hurts. And it’s not a good hurt.
Now, this is no problem with an ITSB. You can get up close and personal with the thing. Yes, it will smack you as you rip it off the floor and heave it up to catch it. Some part of the ITSB may balloon out to a degree from the shifting sand. It knocks you in the arm or shoulder or chest and knocks you back a half-step.
You suck it up and grip tighter and man-handle the thing into position.
It fights you.
You toughen up, shift the bag with a hitch and re-grip as the ITSB floats up a second and then it slams back down against you.
But you are ready!
With a heave and grunt and straining muscles you wrestle it overhead.
Now, it doesn’t just hang there from straps in your hands. It is supported by your splayed out fingers as you struggle to keep it overhead. The sand shifts in the bag, you step sideways and back a bit and control the bag. Reset, and then you slowly lower it down to your chest.
Drop it or control it down to your bent knees and then the floor. I like dropping with control down to the chest or shoulder and then to the thighs and then dropping it to the floor.
Time for another rep.
But it’s more than a rep. It’s a wrestling match to see who will win.
In the end the ITSB always wins, but you walk away tougher and stronger for the struggle.
Now, this impact of the ITSB smacking into you hardens the body to impact. Lifting a bag and catching it with the arms and/or body forces you to brace for impact. It forces you to receive that energy from the inertial mass of the ITSB and absorb it. You can re-direct that energy and momentum in some lifts with the ITSB. The ITSB has some give to it, so the impacts do not bruise or break bones.
The odd shape that changes as you lift it forces you to adjust on the fly, so-to-speak.
Very athletic type training going on here. Other than wrestling with another human, there are few things that give this kind of input that you have to adjust to as you lift.
Certainly with barbells and dumbbells and KB we have to adjust as we lift the weight. With those objects we move our body around to adjust our center of balance. We move around the implement or we move the implement around us. But the weight doesn’t change shape in your hands. It doesn’t shift around and move.
With an ITSB, we move around the object but at the same time the object is moving around us to a degree. So, now we are lifting in another dimension. Using Bb’s, Db’s and Kb’s is working in three dimensions. Using an ITSB is like training in a fourth dimension.
Take a month and train with an ITSB, you won’t regret it!