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Sandbags, Boot Camps and the Warrior Mindset

This morning saw the end of week three on the Wild Geese Boot Camp.

Week three is my favourite, the group have bonded, they know what’s expected of them and they buckle down hard and get stuck in.

There’s no wasting time teaching exercises, that’s all been done in the previous two weeks. Everyone is fired up and ready to get stuck in.

Last week I introduced my Booties to a friend of mine. A friend who has helped me create some brutal workouts, a friend who takes no prisoners, ever.

This friend is a humble sandbag.

It kicked everyone’s arse.

So this week I brought it back out, and listening to the gang before we started the warm up I could hear the murmuring. They were saying things like:

“I’m gonna lift that f**king sandbag today” “No way is that sandbag is going to f**king beat me today”

“Nice, the sandbag is out again, that’s a tough drill”

And when we ripped into the circuit the guys ripped into the sand bag with an aggression level rarely seen. It was awesome. One lad, Colm, especially impressed. Last week the bag thoroughly humbled Colm, today he was out for revenge. As he stood towering over the bag he had a look in his eye, when I called start he bent down, slammed his hands powerfully into the sides, grabbed a big handful of canvas in each mit, dropped his hips and launched the bag skywards. He cleaned it like it weighed nothing, but he wasn’t done, you could see the abs tighten, the legs firm up as he braced, looked up and pressed hard and aggressively.

He was the first one on the bag, when I told the gang to get a to a station ready to begin the circuit, he walked straight over to his old nemesis, and set an example for everyone else to follow.

Today Colm didn’t just lift the bag, he owned it.

This is the Wild Geese spirit, this is the warrior mindset.

As tough and brutal as a Sandbag Clean and Press may be, a warrior is even tougher and even more brutal. A warrior knows that physical hardship is only half the battle.

He knows that a battle must first be won in the head before it can be won on the field or in the ring.

“Iron” Mike Tyson used to stare at his opponent from the moment he laid eyes on him right up to the fight started. He would stare aggressively, challenging his opponent to match him. As soon as the opponent looked away, he knew he’d already won. The fight had already taken place without a single punch being thrown.

Developing a mindset like this is hard work, it may be the hardest thing you every do, but in doing so you will become greater than you ever thought possible.

You will accept and relish any challenge thrown at you. You will push on with tenacity and courage.

You will not stop.

Yes you may fail, but that will just serve to make you stronger and more determined.

Chris, one of our kick boxers and the man who organised the first Boot Camp is a prime example. Taking to kickboxing in his late twenties and early thirties he wanted only to prove to himself that he can do it. In the ring his nerves constantly got the better of him and he took a loss after loss. Eventually things changed, his focus sharpened, his body hardened, his determination never waivered and now he doesn’t just step into a ring, he stalks into the ring. No longer is he a mild mannered executive trying to prove himself. When the glove go on, his face changes, his body language changes, he becomes a warrior.

A sandbag is cheap and cheerful to build and keep at home. But it will kick your arse like few other training tools. If you are interested in developing not just the physical strength, but also the mental strength to take on whatever life throws at you, keep an eye out here as I’ll be giving you step by step instructions on how to build your own and some of the very best exercises and routines to use.

For now, here’s an example of the Clean and Push Press exercise done with my old bag: [youtube=]



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