You might think I’m crazy, my neighbors probably think I’m crazy and if you listen to me your neighbors might think you’re crazy.  And you might be crazy if you listen to me, but you will be in better shape.  Try sledgehammer training.

In the effort to get fit you don’t have to rely on traditional methods of training or standard types of fitness equipment.  Dumbbells and barbells are great, as are kettlebells, but there are other non-traditional implements that can be used to improve your overall physical fitness level.

This brings us to the sledgehammer, as in a large, heavy hammer wielded with both hands.  There’s not much technique involved, but there is the need to exercise caution, so don’t go and swing away at something for 20 minutes the first time you try this kind of training.  You need to acclimatize your body to the overall demands that sledgehammer training will put on your body.

I wish I could say I thought of this program all by my lonesome, but alas it is not true.  For this, I give credit to Mr. Reinhard Engels who has come up with a simplistic yet brilliant approach to the indoor use of the sledgehammer.  He has worked out a simple yet effective total-body routine that can be performed indoors in a small area in about 15 minutes, with a 10-pound sledgehammer.

Completing Reinhard’s “Shovelglove” routine is the prerequisite for embarking on a full-fledged, out-doors, bash-the-heck-out-of-a-tree-stump training program. And here’s a quick note on the concept of “hardcore” as it applies to working out.  Hardcore is a state of mind, in that a person is willing to deviate from convention and use all the tools and knowledge available in order to come up with an interesting, fun and effective way to train.

Hardcore isn’t going to a gym and struggling and straining and making loud noises in order to do curls or leg extensions or the bench press.  Being big or wearing old, ripped, tattered workout clothes don’t make someone hardcore.  If you’re hardcore, you don’t train with belts, wrist wraps or spend most of your time on machines.

Don’t be intimidated by the concept of hardcore, embrace it. Once you’ve spent a month or two with the “Shovelglove” you can venture outside and seek out an old tree stump, log or railroad tie or score an old tire from a local auto repair shop.

All you need is a 10-pound sledge, safety goggles (to prevent anything you hit from shooting into your eyes) and the willingness to work hard.  This kind of training is great for every part of your body from your fingers to your toes, and especially works on your core.  Core training is all the rage these days and nothing will work your core like 20 minutes swinging a sledgehammer. The first time you head outside after you warm up with some “Shovelglove” moves, spend only 10 minutes actually hitting something   You will be generating quite a bit of force so you don’t want to overdo and suffer an injury.  Working on terrain, and not on a level gym floor, will force your body to move in ways that you probably aren’t used to, which is another reason that you don’t want to do too much right off the bat.

Do yourself a favor and take your time, as the best approach is to “sledge” for about 10 minutes at a time three times per week.  From here, you can add time to your sessions until you can go for about 25 minutes at the most.

You will be amazed at how sledgehammer training will improve your physical fitness.  Buy a sledgehammer now.



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