Many fitness authors recommend certain training products for financial reasons. These individuals disregard the importance of variety, instead preaching the superiority of one particular product or system. For example, if I invented a new training Widget, I would have a financial incentive to market Widget training programs. It would be in my best interest to market the heck out of my Widgets and Widget certification programs. I may even go so far as to discredit other training systems in an attempt to generate interest in my Widgets.
Fortunately, I do not engage in this activity, but there are plenty of well-known "gurus" who preach the superiority of one specific training device over all others. It is unfortunate that certain "professionals" encourage this narrow-minded training approach. I personally train with dumbbells, barbells, bodyweight exercises, medicine balls, sandbags, heavy bags, etc. You name it, and there is a chance I train with it.
The answer is really quite simple. I believe in the importance of variety. It is important to "attack" the muscles from different angles, with different training devices. You cannot train the same way all the time, and expect continuous improvement. The body is an amazing creation. It is capable of adapting to tremendous physical stress. When you exercise, your body responds to the stress with a reaction. At first, you begin to grow stronger, more powerful muscles. If you continue to train with the same movements, the reaction becomes less and less. This process, known as habituation, is something that we must prevent.
You can prevent habituation by targeting the muscles with an ever-changing assortment of exercises and movements. By incorporating variety, you prevent staleness and the frustration of hitting a "plateau". As an athlete, it is your responsibility to continually improve. We are not in the business of maintenance. Do not waste your time arguing between weight training and bodyweight calisthenics, or kettlebells and dumbbells. Do not choose one training system over all others. Mix it up and incorporate variety. If you train the same way all the time, your improvements will come to a screeching halt.
The sandbag is just one of many training devices that you can use to continue your lifelong quest for strength and power. The sandbag is not a panacea or replacement to all training devices, but it is a worthwhile, inexpensive addition to a complete training program.
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The use of dumbbells gives you a much more comprehensive strengthening effect because the workout engages your stabilizer muscles, in addition to the muscle you may be pin-pointing. Without all of the belts and artificial stabilizers of a machine, you also engage your core muscles, which are your body's natural stabilizers.