I discovered what I call “The Ultimate Conditioning Tool” by accident.
I had joined the bandwagon of buying and bringing a sledgehammer to my fitness bootcamp at Elizabeth Milburn park in Cedar Park, Texas back around 2006. But other than using it to do overhead swings onto a soft tree stump, the sledgehammer wasn’t used much. As kettlebells, sandbags, kegs, ropes, the burn machine and other odd objects have grown in popularity, I always knew that the sledgehammer was being underutilized.
As mentioned in “The Sledgehammer Workout”:
“The sledgehammer is asymmetrical which lends itself to a unique blend of balance (and imbalance) when used in exercise. There’s a big gravitational pull on the heavy side of the sledgehammer which is a totally different feel unlike anything else. It forces your core and the muscles on the other side of the body to compensate by working harder and unknowingly.
If you’re using a sledgehammer at the park, in your driveway, etc chances are – the ground is not level. The unknowing is what makes sledgehammer training so effective. Your muscles MUST engage in order to compensate for these imbalances. If done intensely enough – this cuts down on the need for long abdominal workouts as the core muscles will be completely shot.”
There are many people who have gotten wise to the benefits of sledgehammer training and have begun experimenting with it for some time. Bernarr Macfadden, 1868-1955, a fitness pioneer, publisher and author of over 100 books, wrote an article in 1902 entitled, “The Man With The Sledge”. This short informative article includes pictures of Mr. J.H. Barnes of Brooklyn, New York demonstrating exercises with a sledgehammer. The pictures are black and white and show Mr. Barnes demonstrating exercises for the biceps, triceps, back, abdomen, shoulders and legs.
When I first saw this article, it blew me away. It aroused my curiosity and is partially responsible for my writing “The Sledgehammer Workout”. While Mr. Barnes was not massive, he definitely had built some quality muscle with the sledgehammer that he found in his basement. The sledgehammer weighed 11 lbs according to the article. Mr. Barnes stood 5’7” and weighed around 140lbs in the pictures. The article concludes by informing us that he had grown so fond of using the sledgehammer for 10-15 minutes everyday for exercise, that he no longer used dumbbells or Indian clubs.
It just goes to show you that there are no excuses when it comes to finding ways to exercise. Sledgehammers come in all sizes, weight and are reasonably priced.
One of my favorite benefits of training with a sledgehammer is that you’re not limited to “close” exercises as when using kettlebells. Kettlebells have their place, but I prefer to work out and away from my body in the sagittal, transverse and frontal planes. I believe that sledgehammer training strengthened and healed my achy right shoulder due to working with it “out and away” from my body.
Below is a sledgehammer workout that you can try. All you need is a sledgehammer and a timer. You can use a smart phone timer, etc. I’m using an 8 lb sledgehammer in the workout below. If you’re brand new to this type of training, lighter is better.
Hit “PLAY” below, turn up your volume and let the video load!
You can probably see how effective this kind of training would be for golfers, baseball players, volleyball players, football players, wrestlers, mma fighters and of course just overall fitness.
TRY IT AND SEE
Expect to burn around 10-12 calories per minute when doing the sledgehammer workout if you’re using enough intensity. You’ll also benefit from something called Excess Post-Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) which is a fancy name for elevating your metabolism for several hours after the workout due to the strength component of the workout. EPOC consists of a series of process which include: hormone balancing, replenishment of fuel stores, cellular repair, innervation and anabolism.
Make no mistake – this is a good thing.
So there you go, I’ve given you some powerful reasons to implement the sledgehammer into your training, a workout to do that only takes minutes to do 1 round and 18 minutes to do all 3 rounds. Be sure to warm up properly first and expect some stimulation and soreness in unexpected places within a day or 2. Nothing serious or harmful just typical muscular soreness that comes with trying something new.
P.S. If you’re interested in the full product, “The Sledgehammer Workout” – you can find it at www.thesledgehammerworkout.com