Friday, May 11, 2018

Product unboxing and setup: Rep Fitness Medium Sandbag

Rep Fitness is currently offering a sale on sandbags, and I was looking at the fact that I was on pace to maxing out my strength equipment so I was beginning to plan what I was going to do next.  I currently have dumbbells, medicine balls, a sand kettlebell, and suspension trainers.  I was not interested in barbells because of their size and I think with a pre-schooler in the house I thought it would be a hazard.  So sandbags seemed like a good addition as it is two handed, but not as dangerous in the house as a barbell.


Rep fitness medium sandbag filling
Rep Fitness Medium Sandbag with 50 lbs sand


The Rep Fitness bag is essentially a reinforced duffle bag with two filler bags to hold the sand.  They are supposed to be 25 lb and 50 lb, but I filled them to 15 and 35 (i.e. I used one 50 lb bag of construction sand to fill them with).  Like all sand based weights, the Rep Fitness is shipped without sand, so I needed to fill it.

Rep fitness medium sandbag filling
The box with the sandbag, along with the sand, Homer (Home Depot) bucket, and a scale for filling the filler bags

First step is opening the box.  The bag comes with two filler bags that are intended to span the length of the bag. Note that this is different than some of the cheaper ones, which would have more square filler bags.

Rep fitness medium sandbag filling
Shipping contents.

The next step was to pour sand into the bags.  I poured the construction sand into a bucket, and poured from the bucket into the filler bag.

Rep fitness medium sandbag filling
Loading sand into the filler bags.
To start out filling the bag, I would hold the bag standing with the opening open, and folding the top over the outside to keep the bag open while I was pouring in.



Rep fitness medium sandbag filling
Bag with 15 lbs of sand

After filling in the bag, I closed it folded it to remove as much air as possible, then folded it down (there is velcro on the inside of the bag, and velcro to fold the top down one.)





Rep fitness medium sandbag filling
Folding down the top after putting in sand.

After closing off the bag, I shaked it so the sand that was in the bag could shift naturall from side-to-side.  Next I filled up the other bag, then laid the bags down and spread the sand out on both filler bags.  I then used duct tape to further seal the end and keep the end folded down.


Rep fitness medium sandbag filling
50 lbs of filled sandbag

Rep fitness medium sandbag filling
Filled filler bags with sand spread across the length




Rep fitness medium sandbag filling
Filled sandbag

The bag has seven handles.  One pair on the ends, one pair vertical, one pair oriented horizontally, and one centerline handle.  The first time I tried to do a clean with the bag I smacked my nose, which I gather from videos is not uncommon.  

When I only have 35 lbs, the bag is harder to manage than I expect comparing it to using dumbbells.  And when the bag is only partially full, there is a lot of flopping around, so cleans and swings tend to fly around more than expected, making workouts harder.

I have used it for a few workouts.  I especially use it when I want something heavy (compared to my 20 lb sand kettlebell) but my kids are around, because sand is not as rough as metal.  I use it for clean, deadlifts, bicep curls, shouldering, and rotations.  The big difference compared to dumbbell weights is the fact that weight is not concentrated on the handle, so all dynamic movements have a big inertia component that I have to fight to stop a dynamic move. 

All in all, a good addition to the home gym. It provides a different type of load, and I don't mind having it on the floor where the kids might kick it as the sand is not an issue.

With this, and the sand kettlebell, and the dumbbells, I have the full set of equipment that Myatt Murphy describes in his book Push, Pull, Swing: The Fat-burning, Muscle-building Dumbbell, Kettle-bell, & Sandbag Program.  So I will be reviewing that book soon.

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