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July 2010
July 2010 TOC

July 2010

Overview

Recently, there has been a surge in popularity of strength training programs. We at S.W.A.T. strongly considered rebranding as a fitness magazine to take advantage of this trend, but reluctantly decided that an occasional article on the subject would have to do.

In our July 2010 issue, we explore the use of sandbags for strength workouts. While unconventional, they offer advantages of being readily portable and offering adjustable weight, while they are flexible and soft enough to be used for exercises like the "shoulder get-up".

Among other features in this issue are reviews of the LWRCI M6A2-PSD in 6.8mm, the Masterpiece Arms MPA1 Defender, Smith & Wesson's Model 58, and the Springfield Armory EMP.

July 2010 PRINT

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July 2010 PDF

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  • THE SANDBAG CHALLENGE

    Old-School Functional-Strength Workouts

    by Chris Adams

  • EXPLOSIVE CONCLUSION

    Colt LE6940 Saga Ends After 17,600 Rounds

    by Patrick A. Rogers

  • MAINTAINING A FIGHTING MINDSET

    Morrigan Consulting Close Quarters Carbine

    by Rob Sloyer

  • MOVING TARGET SYSTEM

    Do It Yourself!

    by Steve Baughman

  • WINDSHIELD WIPER

    LWRCI M6A2-PSD 6.8mm

    by Abner Miranda

  • SUPER INGRAM

    MasterPiece Arms MPA1 Defender

    by Bob Pilgrim

  • SUB-CALIBER CARBINE DRILLS

    Maximizing .22 Trainers

    by Ethan Johns

  • HAPPY MEDIUM

    Springfield Armory EMP

    by Ned Christiansen

  • A CLASSIC RETURNS

    Smith & Wesson Model 58

    by Leroy Thompson

In the past five years, there's been a resurgence of functional strength workouts among avid weightlifters.

I refer primarily to "caveman"-style workouts with large, heavy objects such as big truck tires, rugged oldschool military calisthenics, and routines involving challenges somewhat reminiscent of strongman competitions.

So-called functional strength training involves lifts that demand balance and control, with weights that sometimes shift, such as sacks filled with sand. Lifting odd objects develops the deeper stabilizing muscles of the spine and pelvis and strengthens the various abdominal muscles in a manner you just can't get with conventional exercises.

Movements often replicate those of traditional weightlifting exercises, but require more effort to control and balance, which can translate into more intense workouts. Instead of moving and controlling a weight through a single plane of movement, muscles are challenged in all planes of movement. Some trainers have packaged and successfully trademarked various styles of odd object training and have legions of followers. This is due in no small part to the fact that it works--and works very well.

The problem with this style of training for many people is that it usually requires a facility equipped with a big assortment of gear. These gyms are relatively few and far between, and getting to them during downtime can be problematic. Want to do kettlebells? You might need a full set, and that's a lot of iron. Is that truck tire too heavy to flip? Hope you have the next size down.

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