Supercharge Your Conditioning and Cardio for a Meagher $20

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Editor’s Note: This article by Thad Forehand originally appeared at Machine Muscle.

Gaining static strength, when combined with the correct nutritional intake, builds muscle, changes body composition and makes us much more functional in day to day life.

There is another aspect of the equation that we often overlook. Who cares how much you can squat if you get winded walking to get your mail? Your Monday National Bench Day Title is cool, but good luck trying to tie your shoes without assistance.

Where are your reverse bands now?

Let’s face it. Times are tight. We scrimp and save but can we really be frugal with our health when it is one of the most valuable possessions we own? Yes you can.

Here are two options that can be used separately or together to get your conditioning up to par. You are an athlete. Be proud of it and put in some work.

Go Get a Free Tire

Old TiresOur first component starts with a trip to the dump. Most recycling centers have a place for you to dispose of your tires. They have to pay to get rid of tires by weight so your local sanitation operator will be more than happy to let you have one.

Now head out to a home improvement store to pick up the rest. What you need:

  • Car Tire: FREE
  • 60# bag of concrete: $2.75
  • Eye bolt w/ washer: $0.75
  • 3 Chain spring links: $4.50
  • 10ft Circular tow strap: $6.00
  • 6ft of medium chain: $6.00

GRAND TOTAL = $20.00

How to Make a Dragging Sled

Drill a hole in the tire and attach your eye bolt. Clear off a place in your yard and pour the concrete into your tire. Make sure your concrete covers where the eyebolt is attached and let it sit until it cures.

When you’re ready to use it, attach a chain spring link to the eye bolt. Now, double your chain and attach the ends to that same eye bolt.

After completing that, pull the chain tight and clip your second chain spring link to the end of the chain. Loop the circular tow strap through the eye bolt and put it on each arm. Clip it in place to hold it steady and you’re all set.

The Sandbag

Our next adventure in functional conditioning will take us to an Army surplus store. At my local store I picked up a used green duffle bag and some mesh filler bags. If your local store doesn’t offer the filler bags, pick them up at the home improvement store when you’re shopping for your tire accessories.

Play sand would be optimal for the bags, but if you don’t want to spend the money check for spare dirt in your yard. What you need:

  • Army duffle bag: $15.00
  • 5 filler bags: $5.00
  • Sand/dirt: FREE

GRAND TOTAL + $20.00

Cardio

Don’t be afraid to add a little extra weight to your sled. You might even want to pull two at the same time.

How to Make a Sandbag

Cut the straps off of the duffle bag so they aren’t in the way and put some sand in your filler bags. I like to measure about 40lbs of sand per bag.

Most bags hold 50lbs but I like to keep them loose so that your sandbag is more pliable. Load your sandbag to a desirable weight and you’re ready!

Sandbag & Dragging Sled Workout Options

Here are just a few of the MANY options with this cheap, yet effective combo.

Tire sled workout options:

  • Tire pull for distance. Pick a distance and walk it while towing your tire.
  • Speed pulls with a timed rest break
  • Speed drags with a timed rest break
  • Loop tow strap around waist and do backpedals
  • Rows
  • Pec flyes
  • Rear delt pull aparts
  • Chest press

Sandbag workout options:

  • Sandbag carries for distance
  • Sandbag carries for speed
  • Sandbag clean and press
  • Sandbag load to height or over a bar for reps

Tire/sandbag medley workouts:

  • Carry sandbag down and drag tire back.
  • Carry sandbag down and place on top of tire. Drag tire back and carry sandbag down.
  • Pull sled down and carry sandbag back.
  • Pull sled down, carry sandbag back, drop sandbag, clean and press sandbag.
  • Pull sled while carrying sandbag.

The possibilities are literally endless with this combo. You’ve never seen a kid as happy as when they are being pulled on a sled, so no excuses mom or dad!

Don’t be afraid to add a little extra weight to your sled. You might even want to pull two at the same time.

Will your neighbors think you’re crazy? Yes. Will your neighbors be as strong, fit or as awesome as you? Definitely not.

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