Learn the Sandbag Toss and Chase for a Tough but Fun Workout


Illustration for article titled Learn the Sandbag Toss and Chase for a Tough but Fun Workout

Photo: MilanMarkovic78 (Shutterstock)

It has come to this, the week of the sandbag fitness challenge in which I try out the infamous toss and chase. Outdoors. In the heat. If I survived it, you can too.

Toss and chase is simple. You pick up the sandbag, throw it as far as you can, and then run over to it. Then you repeat the process, like a game of ping-pong in which you have no opponent, only yourself, and the ball weighs 20 or 50 or 100 pounds instead of nothing.

Sandbags are not really optimized for throwing, so you cannot throw them very far. The good news: your run is short. The bad news: that just puts the tosses closer together.

Anyhow, here’s me looking like a complete goofball tossing a 50-pound sandbag around:

Turns out it’s not so bad! I was glad to rest after 10 reps, but it wasn’t a “collapse in a puddle of sweat” kind of workout. The heavier the bag is, the tougher, of course. I found I could do 10 reps of a 35-pound bag in about the same time (one minute) as a 50-pound bag. For comparison, I squat 200+ pounds and power clean around 130. Scale up or down according to your strength, or just do more reps if your bag is light, fewer reps if your bag is heavy.

Since you’re working hard for a short time, and then giving yourself a chance to rest, this is the kind of interval work that you might call “conditioning” if you hate cardio, and “HIIT” if you love it.

Oh, and trim your fingernails before you start. Those suckers are gonna snag.