April 2018 - LTC Ed's Journal

by Ed Arntson April 26, 2018 3 min read

April 2018 - LTC Ed's Journal

Is there something that you need to bring back to your training routine? What was old must now become new. 

Is there an exercise - or series of exercises - that you used to perform routinely as part of your training regimen that has now faded away? For 6 months? A year? Two years? 

Do you NEED to bring it back? SHOULD you bring it back? 

I recently brought an exercise back into my routine that I hadn't done in about 3.5 years. 

What is the secret, magical exercise you brought back? And what powers does it hold? 

It is - wait for it - the SAND. BAG. GET-UP. That's right, the Sandbag Get-up - or SBGU for those indoctrinated in the ways of the SBGU. 

The SBGU is awesome. The SBGU is hard. The SBGU is simple. These are three great principles for a great exercise - or series of exercises. Effective, hard, simple. BOOM - incredible recipe. 

What is a SBGU you ask? Well, my friend, it's quite simple. You pick up a 40#, 60# or 80# sandbag, put it over your shoulder, lay down, and get back up. Simple right? Sure - in theory, but in practice it's a damn hard exercise that primarily focuses on your core, your lungs, your mind and your legs. And all in about 10 minutes! Put 80# on your shoulder, lay down and get back up for 10 minutes. It's effective. 

Look, if this thing were an infomercial for the SBGU - you'd already have bought 3 of them - even if I told you that you have to fill them yourself. Wait, I have to buy it AND fill it up!? How do I get more of these super simple sang-bag thingys that cause me to work extremely hard? 

I first learned of the SBGU through the Mountain Tactical Institute's founder and head coach, Rob Shaul (back then it was just called Military/Mountain Athlete). Rob incorporated this incredible exercise into multiple work capacity and stamina sessions and included it as part of his Operator Ugly fitness assessment, which is a series of strength and work capacity based events. 

I did SBGUs often for a period of 5-5.5 years, always seeing improvement in my overall core and leg strength while doing them - and certainly improvement in my work capacity. 

Why did I stop doing them? 

Well, some of it was my job. I was extremely busy for 2+ years and it takes a bit of work/coordination to lug around the sand-bag and find a good spot to use it...most regular gyms don't have a place where you can just get insanely sweaty/dusty and then leave. 

Some of it was - you guessed it - they were just hard. SBGUs are very challenging...it was easy to leave them out of my programs. 

The reasons I started doing them again, however, far outweigh why I stopped doing them a few years ago. 

  • Improved core strength. 
  • Improved work capacity. 
  • Improved mental fitness. 
  • Improved leg strength. 

What exercise/training run/ride/swim have you stopped doing that you used to do? Is it a hill run? A hill ride? The extra 10 minutes of paddle board work in the pool? 

I'm guessing you've got the time to layer those key exercises/training sessions back into your training program, and that in most cases - you SHOULD layer them back in. 

If you've deliberately left something out because it's hard and slightly inconveinent...consider adding it back in as you head into the summer months of training - it just might make the difference you've been looking for. 

Train hard. Train smart. 

Talk to you soon.

-Ed

Ed Arntson
Ed Arntson

"I've been taking Perfect Amino for 9 years now. I continue to take PerfectAmino because it offers unparalleled recovery from challenging training sessions. As an Army officer who is constantly on the go, Perfect Amino is the best product to fit my busy lifestyle. I also take Bodyhealth Complete + Detox multi-vitamins every day. If you're looking for the best multi-vitamin on the market - stop looking. BH Complete + Detox provides your body with everything it needs and keeps you going strong."


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