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FITNESS by j e f f csatari Real-World Muscle


Believe it! An inexpensive sandbag can get you fit for Scouting outdoors.


THE BARBELL BENCH PRESS is the quintessential “muscleman” exercise. But how practical is it, really? When was the last time you found yourself lying prone on the trail and had to push a bear off of your chest? The muscles used in Scouting


activities such as hefting camping gear, drawing a canoe paddle, shouldering a heavy pack, or climbing a steep and rocky trail are difficult to train using traditional gym equipment and classic strength-building workouts. You’ll be better prepared for the


kind of physical demands of a typical camp-out or other outdoor activity by doing what trainers call functional fitness exercises that mimic real-world ways of using your muscles. So, pick up a sandbag. A building-


supply, store-bought sandbag or a fitness sandbag filled with sand, pea gravel, or kitty litter for heft is inex- pensive and effective equipment for building muscle that matters. You’ll find that sandbag training is


more challenging than lifting a well- balanced barbell because the bag’s weight distribution shifts as you lift it. The instability calls into play more muscle fibers to balance the shifting weight, which burns more calories and builds muscle for the way you use it camping or on the trail. Try this ultra-practical regimen


with a simple sandbag. To achieve best results, do up to three sets of these lifts one to three times a week, resting for one day between workouts. ¿


JEFF CSATARI wrote The Belly Off! Diet and co-wrote Norman Rockwell’s Boy Scouts of America with his father, Joseph Csatari, official artist of the BSA.


38 S COUT ING ¿ MARCH•AP R I L 2 0 1 1 1 SANDBAG DRAG


TOTAL-BODY RESISTANCE EXERCISE BUILDS PULLING STRENGTH AND MARCHING POWER.


1Place a heavy sandbag (or two) on one end of a large old blanket or heavy-duty tarp. Stand facing the blanket and grab the two corners farthest from the weight. Lean back and walk backward to drag the weight. Pull it around your yard until you tire.


2Rest, then repeat the exercise, this time with your back to the blanket and pulling it forward as if you were a husky pulling a dogsled.


Do one to three sets of pulling in each direction. 2 1 BEAR-HUG SQUAT


GOOD PREP FOR HEFTING HEAVY DUFFELS AND ARMLOADS OF FIREWOOD, IT EXERCISES THE HIPS, THIGHS, ABS, AND UPPER BACK.


1Clasp your arms around the midpoint of a sandbag that’s not filled completely.


2Keeping your chest elevated, bend your knees to squat as deeply as you can but at least until your upper thighs are parallel with the ground. Avoid leaning forward with your torso. Pause, and then press up through your heels to the standing position.


That’s one repetition. Do 10.


2


PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAN BRYANT; MODEL: SCOTT MILES


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