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Slaughtering Excuses - Staying fit in Aspen: Part II: “But, I don't have any fancy equipment!”

Matthew Seyler's picture

Building versatile equipment for next to nothing:

The sandbag weight is simple, economical, and as effective as you make it.

The sandbag:

  • Can be shouldered or thrown in a pack for more challenging hikes and runs.
  • Works for almost any standard lift or press imaginable.
  • Is a great awkward weight to carry for farmer's walks.
  • Can be built as an effective kettle-bell alternative.
  • Is incredibly cheap and easy to make.

  • All you need is an empty sand bag, two small trash bags, water, access to some dirt or sand, and a roll of rigger's/duct tape. You'll probably want to do this outside.

    1. Fill the trash bag with the desired amount of sand (it will need to fit inside your sand bag).
    2. Wet the sand until well saturated – this will add density (the desired weight in a smaller package). You may need to get your hands dirty and massage it in to ensure the water gets evenly distributed.
    3. Add or remove sand as necessary. A scale can be used to achieve a specific weight.
    4. Pack the sand down well and tie a knot to seal the open end of the bag, being careful not to trap any pockets of air inside.
    5. Place it inside your remaining plastic bag and repeat step four.
    6. Now toss this into your sand bag, fold over the excess material and begin tightly wrapping tape around the bag until all of the surface area is covered. An extra layer or two will add durability.

    *Note: You can get creative by adding handles, and shaping it for your specific needs.

    For my especially crafty and resourceful readers, visit for an incredible compilation of free “do it yourself” equipment tutorials, including a more tedious but refined sandbag design that allows for on-the-fly weight adjustments. Homemade dip belts, medicine balls, squat racks – you name it. This outstanding resource should not be neglected.

    By being ever wily in the procurement of supplies, and inventive in construction, you can create an entire set of equipment personalized to fit your goals for little to no cash.

    [Continue to PAGE 3 for tips on purchasing gear and more]