Right off the bat I’ve got to say I’m extremely happy with my bruteforce sandbag and that I think everyone and every gym should get one. I bought the black strongman shell, I really wanted the digicamo but at the time they only offered the shells in black (I would have needed to buy a kit with inner bags to get the digicamo). Since buying mine they now sell shells in any colour. At the time I didn’t have the cash to get the inner bags, so I decided just to use my own inner bags (seen here) but these eventually started to leak sand, no big deal but the bruteforce inner bags would have been better.
The product information that came with the bag only warned that hitting it with a sledgehammer wouldn’t be good for it and not to set it on fire, all else is fair game. Sounds pretty tough to me. I’ve been dropping it from overhead and shoulder height for months now and never seen any sand left on the concrete, and no damage to the bag, so I’m happy.
The weight limit on the bag is just under 55 kg which is plenty of weight for most movements, but quite light for dead lifts. However Mark De Grasse from My Mad Methods loaded his up with kettlebells to 300 pounds for dead lifts with no issues from the bag or handles. And on the bruteforce facebook page there’s a photo of a bruteforce bag with 900 pounds hanging from a handle, so it would seem the weight limit is really just a limit on how much sand the bag can hold. Meaning you could probably build up to quite a bit of weight for dead lifts if you have the plates or kettlebells for weighting the bag, no barbell necessary.
The bag is great in terms of usability, leagues ahead of any homemade bag. The 8 handles are all useful for simulating most movements you can think of and the material itself is easy to grab a handful of. The material isn’t abrasive, so it’s not going to take your skin off if you want to do some shirtless shoulder get ups etc. The bag packs down to smaller than a sleeping bag, so it travels well, and looks like it could be hosed out easily, though I haven’t tried.
All in all, I think a bruteforce sandbag is an excellent addition to any backyard, garage or commercial gym and is well worth the money. Next up I’d like to get one of the barebones kits to really test my grip strength.
For Matt Palfrey's guest post on the benefits of sandbag training click here, or you can go directly to the source for workouts and other articles - Sandbag fitness. Matt has also produced an ebook on sandbag training with 30 weeks worth of programs, stay tuned for a review of that too. And if this post convinces you to buy a bruteforce sandbag, please head over for sandbag fitness and follow the links for there.