A Merry Rogue

One working Dad's journey to find "healthy".

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How To Make A Homemade Sandbag

When Ted and I began to talk about putting together our outdoor workout (see here and/or here), one of the things I wanted for the workout was a sandbag.  I had seen several online videos and figured it would be a but kicking exercise to toss into a workout.

The routine I came up with was to use the sandbag to do a circuit of 5 pushups, 5 bent over rows, 5 squat lifts, 5 overhead presses, and then run with the sandbag on your shoulders.  Turns out it is a "kick your butt" kind of exercise.

Having read or watched several "How-tos" on how to make them, I'll let you know a few things that most people leave out.  First, we'll start with the price.  Most will say that you can make this for about $30 or under. Problem is that you can't buy one set of the items by themselves.  So I will tell you the price I paid total, even though all of what I bought was not used in making the bag.

So here is how to make your own for around $40 bucks.  I stopped at 2 stores to get all the supplies I would need.  If you look harder, you could find some of these for cheaper.

1 Military sea bag (the thick canvas kind) - $20 (Military Surplus store)
2 contractor bags (heavy duty trash bags) - It was about $7-$8 for a roll of them. (Home Depot)
2 Rolls of Duct Tape - $6 (Home Depot)
1 bag of Pea Pebbles - $1.97 (Home Depot)
1 bag of Rubber Mulch - $5.97 (Optional - Home Depot)

First, take one of the contractor bags and cut open the Pea Pebbles and empty it into the contractor bag.  Then do the same for the Rubber Mulch.  I did a bit of mixing after I added both to the bag.

I then put the bag onto it's side and shaped it to roughly the size of a large pillow, wrapping the excess bag around it.  I then taped the bag shut and then proceeded to duct tape the entire bag.  This will help the bag to be stronger so that it does not bust open.  This of coarse is not a guarantee.  It may still bust open.

A little piece of advice . . . don't do this on pavement
My fiance always tells me to double bag when we are at the grocery store.  Of coarse I never want to, but that small percent of the time when the bag actually does break is annoying.  So . . . I double bagged it.

You'll notice I moved to the grass
If you are someone who takes the time to tape the bag, you may not need the second roll of duct tape . . . I did.

After the duct taping, you are ready to put the sandbag into the canvas sea bag.  In a lot of instructions, they tell you to cut off the handles.  I left them on.  I am not exactly sure why, but I may have a use for them some day.  Notice the duct tape on the straps to "tie" down any stray ends.

Fantastically!  The exercises that we do with this could be a workout routine of it's own.  The second time through the routine I couldn't get all five overhead presses out.  Of coarse after everything else I did that involves shoulders & arms, it really isn't surprising.  

Now this is my first attempt and at making one, and I would probably do a second slightly different.  The one thing for sure is that I would not use the Rubber Mulch.  I would also try to find a scale to use to better plan out the weight of the bag.  The Pea Pebbles weigh about 50-55lbs.  The Rubber Mulch about 25-30lbs.  This was the best guess by one of the workers at Home Depot.  Now given that they store these outside, the Pea Pebbles were quite damp so add a few pounds.  At best guess, Ted and I figure the total weight of the bag to be about 90lbs.  This is a very heavy bag.  A 50-65lb bag would have worked just fine.

Next time I plan to use a scale and just two bags of the Pea Pebbles and weigh out the amount of pebbles i want to use.


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