“I didn’t think I was going to like it.” he said point blank.
“Ben” had just completed a 40 minute group sledgehammer workout with 5 others including me. We had just completed the cool down and the group was giving me feedback on the workout. They said:
- It’s a great upper body workout.
- I feel like it will really help my shoulder mobility as I’ve had some shoulder issues.
- It was fun!
- I noticed how just changing the grip made a huge difference with some of the exercises.
- and of course, I didn’t think I was going to like it.
But he did like it and so did the others – watch the video at the end of this article.
As I continue to spread the word about the benefits of sledgehammer training, I’ve been looking for groups of unsuspecting fitness enthusiasts to introduce sledgehammer training to.
Sledgehammer training may sound a little strange at first but when you think about it, it’s no stranger than:
- A medicine ball having its own workout
- A stability ball having its own workout
- A barbell having its own workout
- Dumbbells having their own workout
- Suspension trainers having their own workout
- Kettlebells having their own workout
I could on.
Other than striking a tractor tire with a sledgehammer, why would anyone want to use a sledgehammer to get in shape?
- They’re asymmetrical. All of the weight is at one end which results in a secret ingredient. Unknowing. This unknowing causes the other side of the body to react, to wake up due to the activation of the muscles through tri-planar motion. The body has 3 planes of movement. They are transverse, coronal and sagittal. The body exists on a three-dimensional plane, but so often we exercise in only a one-dimensional way. By incorporating all three planes of movement into your exercise routine, you will increase your range of motion, prevent injuries, and provide greater stability for your body. Can you see the value in that?
- Long levered load. Huh? Here’s a test to show you what I mean. Grab something that weighs 5-10lbs. A dumbbell works well. Hold that dumbbell at arms length to the side or to the front. Depending on the weight, you can probably hold it for a long time without too much trouble, right. Now do the same with a sledgehammer that weighs the same as that dumbbell. Try to hold it at arms length by picking it up at the bottom of the handle. Good luck on even lifting it up from the ground! The handle is the lever, the head of the sledgehammer is the load. When you move the sledgehammer around your body using an organized workout routine, you will get amazing results. You’ll build muscle, burn calories, improve hand-eye coordination, improve flexibility, agility and athleticism.
- One. You only need one sledgehammer. You don’t need to buy a bunch of different pieces of equipment. I’ve been using the same 8lb sledgehammer for a couple of years. Over time, I will add a 15lb, a 20lb and maybe a 30 + lber. But to start out, you only need one. Women should start with a 4-6 pounder, men 8-10 pounder. You’ll see what I mean when you watch the video below.
- Build muscle, lose fat. Most of us know the benefits of strength training. If done properly while following a good diet and getting proper sleep/rest, you will build muscle or lean tissue. More lean tissue all over your body results in a higher calorie burn. All day long. Bigger muscles burn more calories. Eat more, burn more. How awesome is that?
- Fun. Watch the video below. Notice when I have the group do “fast feet”. With a little creativity and imagination, sledgehammer training becomes, dare I say, FUN!?
I use a sledgehammer in my own training regularly. It just feels good. It wakes up my body unlike anything else that I’ve tried. It’s perfect for a at home workout, a class workout, bootcamp workouts, sports specific training and more. Watch the video below to see some of the action.
And yes, “Ben” did like the workout. You’ll see him say it himself at the end of the workout.
You can read more about The Sledgehammer Workout here
Thanks to Maurice Harris at Coach Mo’s Elite Fitness for letting me train and shoot the video at his gym!