The John Welbourn Sandbag Challenge


What happens when a former NFL Lineman, 310 lb BEAST challenges you?

You step up and go BEAST mode.... and then quickly realize BEAST is what I will always be chasing....

John Welbourn came up with a sandbag challenge from ground to overhead but because my shoulder is a bit tweaked now, we made a slight adjustment and went ground to shoulder.

Thanks to John and his crew for the inspiration. This challenge was a good ol' gut check for mind and body.

Test this for yourself and time yourself.

It's also a challenge we need to sneak in for our Gladiator STRONG team!

See below:

Stay tuned for Part II with our bodyweight challenge to finish off this thrash session.

And, stay tuned for the results as to whether or not I was successful at getting John Welbourn to travel to NJ.

Challenge for YOU: Video yourself shouldering a 130 lb sandbag for 30 reps. If you can beat 2 minutes, 17 seconds, I'll hook you up with The Underground Strength System.

Title Your Video: The Underground Sandbag Challenge

Comment Below if you beat the time with a 130 lb sandbag. 

Like all good things in life, you must EARN it!

Drop a comment with your video link, even if you don't beat my time, SHARE, it will be cool to see how everyone does with this Sandbag Challenge. 

Live The Code 365,


Recommended Resources:

The Underground Strength Coach Certification

35 Responses

  1. I have to give this a GO! this looks like a ball buster!

  2. BRUTAL.

    Man I wish I had a sandbag to give this a go with!

  3. Isnt it more probable if one uses his relative body weight? Like, 130lb has different meaning to a 80kg man and a 60kg man.

  4. if i could do that weight in that time, i wouldn’t need your underground strength system. i would already be badass.

  5. That’s crazy Z! How do you make a sandbag weighing 60kg? What do you put in it?

  6. Yo Z!
    Love the challenge! Good to see even you struggle but keep fighting!! I may have to come up with something for us chicks! lol We don’t need to be that manly! HA!
    What do you have those bags filled with?
    As Always U Rock!

  7. Hey guys, thnx 4 the kind words!!

    The sandbags are made with play sand, some of them have pea gravel in as well.

    The Bag I used has several bags mixed in which makes the grip pretty rough!

  8. Mellon, MY bad!!! ha ha

    soooooo few women follow me here

    you can adjust it for sure, maybe try a sandbag of 30-40% bodyweight and go from there.

  9. Nick, I weigh 220, the bag was 130.

    For starters a challenge would be 50% bodyweight, then 60 %

    keep me posted, bruddah

  10. FOR GLORY! Don’t stop before your heart stops! If this doesn’t get your guy there then you should put together a video challenge for the underground followers and send the videos to him. Load the inbox!
    Anywho! Killer video!

  11. Zach,

    Nice one!! Brutal, man. I May take you up on this challenge using 60% of my bodyweight though, which would be 90lbs. I’m a little bit of a lightweight (155), but I’m working my way up there, nonetheless.

    Good luck to all who try this!

  12. Nice Work Zach!

    Yesterday was leg day, should be recovered by Friday to give ‘er a go! Looks like a beauty

  13. noel vegan fitness star says:

    Would have love to do this challenge, but need to get myself a sandbag

  14. Yo ZEE you got some pounds up on yourself there? You seem bigger than usual 🙂

  15. I’m coming after your time Z stay posted. I’m amped

  16. Thanks for the info Z!
    That’s ok there are only a few of us chicks!
    We love ya anyway!! HA!

  17. Thanks for the challenge Z- I’ll get at it. Some people need to realize tho that strength is strength it doesnt matter too much how much a man weighs with ground based movements am I right? I loss 35 pounds in 3 months and my deadlift went up 65 lbs. My theory is that I got 30 lbs stronger and was able to put the 35 lbs that I was carrying in my gut and backside on the bar. A 300 lb man when he stoops down will be standing up lifting 530 lbs a 155 lb man will be lifting 285 lbs(bodyweight +sandbag). It’s like you say no excuses. I’m gonna try the challenge thanks Zach

  18. Well weighing in at 192#, the 130# sandbag was too heavy for me to even shoulder 1 rep on each side without my form being complete shiz, I could see injury trying to hit 10 each side let alone 15. I am going to give this a go with 95#. My absolute strength is not there on this movement, yet. I am going to start adding in this movement on Max effort days as a finisher. Humbling experience.

  19. Great challenge. Had the flu yesterday but did it anyways. Took me 3:12 and felt like I was going to die. Can’t wait to do it this weekend and see how close to that 2:17 mark I can get.

  20. Matt Schifferle says:

    Great challenge Zach!

    I did 30 with my 100# Sb in 2 minutes 7 seconds. I weight 175.

  21. Is there a deadline to get the challenge done by? I’ve got a highland game competition on Saturday, so Sunday is the earliest that I can attack the challenge.

  22. Keith Fine says:

    hmm sounds killer!!! I’ve only got a 90lb bag but @ a body weight 150 lbs i’ll give it a go and let you know how it goes.

  23. Yo Zach I’ve been trying to load my video to youtube for about 35 min. but for some reason my internet is REALLY slow right now! Hope you’ll take this as it’s coming in after 9pm here on the west coast! I’ll post as soon as it’s ready!

  24. OK, finally got it. Here’s the video and I also posted it on the Underground forum.

    My left elbow is tweaked so I’m not able to lift a sandbag right now, but this is one of the athletes I train.

    He’s reppin’ the Lions Cage for me!

    1. Josh, GREAT work, my brother. The 140 lb bag is TOUGH!!! Great to see you getting after it!

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