As a competitive trail runner and powerlifter in the 100kg class, I recognise the need for my body to be strong. Not only to be able to lift heavy weight but also in its ability to absorb the impact forces placed upon it with every stride I take when out on the trails. In order to optimise my performance, I allow my body to fall forward as I run, taking full advantage of the power of gravity in order to achieve maximum efficiency and speed during training sessions or in competition. This requires a large amount of core strength to execute properly, and for longer than a period of a few minutes.
Enter the sandbag!
The main difference between the sandbag and the barbell lifts boils down to the fact that heavy sandbag zercher squats and cleans place the arms further away from the body than a classic barbell lift. This substantially increase the amount of stress placed on the trunk, making the weight feel heavier but not taxing the peripheral nervous system as hard as a heavy set of loaded squats. This allows me to recover more effectively and, as anyone who trains for multiple disciplines will attest, recovery is paramount to success.
I like to perform a 10-15 minute complex on a Saturday morning before my training run. The accumulated fatigue from the sandbag work allows me to adapt to running on tired legs for a greater training effect.