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Bodyweight and Sandbag Training Programs:
Build real world, functional strength!
Authored and published by Owen Johnston
This book is part of my full guide, also available for free at my website:

Owen Johnston –


Owen Johnston –
Copyright Information
Bodyweight and Sandbag Training Programs
Fitness Instruction
Authored and published by Owen Johnston
© Owen Johnston, 2017. Licensed under the Attribution NonCommercial
NoDerivatives 3.0 License -
You are encouraged to share the book, print it out, and upload it to other sites. I want
to change the world one life at a time, and help people ditch the gym! You can build muscle
and strength with bodyweight. Work out for free anywhere! Don't buy the scams and
misinformation sold by the fitness industry.
“Every day, we change the world, but to change the world in a way that means
anything, that takes more time than most people have. It never happens all at once. It’s slow.
It’s methodical. It’s exhausting. We don’t all have the stomach for it.” - Mr. Robot
You can order a professionally printed edition of the book through Simple Print
Service. Visit the page below, upload a PDF, and follow the simple ordering process. I do not
make a single cent from orders made through this service.
About the author
I have over 10 years of teaching experience, including martial arts instruction, strength
coaching, and personal training. I have worked with many types of athletes, including
professional boxers, amateur wrestlers, karate students, and gymnasts of varying levels of
ability. Visit my site for more information, free downloads, and strength training playlists:


Owen Johnston –


Owen Johnston –
This guide is intended for people of good health and physical condition. The training
methods and advice in this guide may not be for everyone. Always consult your physician
before starting a new exercise program. I am not a physician, and as such, nothing in this
guide should in any way be taken as medical advice or a substitute for medical advice. Also,
this guide should not be used to replace advice from your personal physician.
Physical activity always carries with it a risk of injury. When you practice the training
methods in this guide, always practice proper safety precaution, use proper technique, and
apply common sense. The author can not assume any responsibility for any injury, illness, loss
or damage that may result from following the training methods in this guide.
Lastly, this guide is not a replacement for formal instruction. Be sure to seek out a
competent, qualified instructor who may carefully observe your progress and provide
feedback. This guide is intended primarily to be a supplement to, not a replacement for,
formal training.


Owen Johnston –


Owen Johnston –
Table of Contents
Sandbag training introduction
Ditch the gym: calisthenics introduction
Bodyweight + Sandbag Training Programs – Introduction, Tactics etc
Beginner bodyweight + sandbag training program
Intermediate bodyweight + sandbag training program 1
Intermediate bodyweight + sandbag training program 2
Advanced bodyweight + sandbag training program
Short and brutal bodyweight + sandbag strength program
Bodyweight + sandbag bodybuilding program – weekly split
Bodyweight + sandbag bodybuilding program – daily double split
Abbreviated bodyweight + sandbag bodybuilding program




Owen Johnston –


Owen Johnston –
Sandbag training for real world strength
Sandbag training is incredible for building “real world strength”, and is also relatively
inexpensive. Sandbags usually cost a few dollars each at a hardware store. Sandbags can
normally be purchased at a hardware store for a few dollars each, and commonly weigh 40 to
45 pounds. Military surplus duffel bags also tend to be inexpensive, especially compared to
the overpriced bags sold by equipment manufacturers. They are also quite common, both at
army surplus stores and online. Also, there are some retailers that sell military style duffel
bags online. I highly recommend purchasing duffels from Rothco, an Amazon seller, as their
bags are heavy duty, and the price range is reasonable.
You can perform almost any type of lift with sandbags. Also, because the sand shifts
around, it forces you to stabilize the bags, giving you a harder workout. Sandbag training is
very useful for firefighters and combat athletes, such as cage fighters and wrestlers.
So, why waste your cash on a gym membership, or on "traditional" weights and
machines, which can cost a fortune? Also, machines guide you through the motions and do
not build massive strength that requires muscular synergy and coordination. The body was
built to work holistically - train it that way! Sandbag training builds the kind of "uncivilized"
brute strength needed to move real world objects - not just in the bigger muscles, but even the
stabilizers and hands. Many trainees in gyms focus on only the beach muscles - biceps,
triceps, pecs - but sandbag training builds all over strength and muscular balance, so needed
for muscular health.
Pour two sandbags into a duffel and try a few lifts - fireman's carry, clean and press,
curls, squats, swings. Pour one sandbag each in a pair of sturdy backpacks and hold them
anyway you like while walking. Build up to walking a quarter mile with them. It works the
legs, back, and especially the arms. Eventually try bear hugging a duffel bag with two
sandbags in it while walking. Build up to 3, 4, or even 5 sandbags in your duffel. If you are
experienced in progressive calisthenics or gymnastics, try wearing a sandbag while
performing chin ups, dips, and other exercises. This is one of many methods that can help you
progress towards much harder movements such as one arm chinups.
I have designed a series of sandbag + bodyweight training workouts, which are given in
the Calisthenics Programs article later in this guide.
Last, but not least, read "Dinosaur Training" by Brooks Kubik, as well as articles on
awkward object lifting (which I will link below), for many more ideas.
I have a Sandbag Training YouTube playlist. Visit my YouTube channel to view it and
many others

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