DIY Gym Equipment – The Kettle-bag/Ruck-vest

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Following on from last week’s post on rucking, carrying a weighted backpack over distance, we are going to look at a number of different ways to use our new bit of training kit.

Whilst rucking is a superb way to workout, sometimes we just want to do a bit of targeted strength work. Well, as luck should have it, the weighted rucksack can fill in this gap if we don’t have access to dedicated weight training equipment. It’s not perfect, but it is far superior than doing nothing, and it’s a great option for those who travel a lot.

If this is your thing and you are wanting to invest in a piece of kit that is both functional (as useful for everyday use), robust, and purpose built for working out, I highly recommend the EmPack from Evolved Motion.

This pack is bombproof, has multiple handles, and comes with bladders that can be filled with water or sand to create the weight. It comes in 3 sizes. I’d like the heavy one please if anyone is wanting to buy me a present.

For those of you that don’t want to spend out, then you can just use your backpack from the last week’s post. The same caveats apply, it needs to be as sturdy as possible depending on the weight you are using. And bear in mind that we will be using it for uses that it wasn’t intended for, so don’t use your best or only pack.

Kettlebells play a massive part of my training life. What’s not to love about them. They are basically a cannonball with a handle. Nothing makes me feel more manly than when I don my leopard skin leotard and start swinging my ‘bells.

“But wait Glenn, what if I don’t have a kettlebell?”

I feel your pain, sister. That’s why I’m showing you the Kettle-Bag. Not ideal, but we are living in less than ideal times.

Grab an old or sturdy rucksack. (Please note that we are not using the bag for its intended purpose, so I cannot guarantee that your bag will survive. Mine is fine.) Get some weights. These can be weight plates, dumbbells, some of those cans you’ve been hoarding, or a small family member (please don’t!). Wrap them in a towel or blanket to avoid it digging into you, and stuff it into the bag.

Alternatively, and in my opinion, a better option is to use a sand bag ‘pill’ as described in the DIY Sand Bag post.

Make sure the bag is done up tightly and ta dah! Job done. If swinging (as in the first 3 action shots), hold the straps close to the top. or alternatively use the handle at the top of the bag.

Ironically, I had a 16kg kettlebell in the rucksack as my weight.

Once you’ve added the required weight you can also treat it like a sand bag and use it in a plethora of movements.

Sand Bag Grappler’s Complex

If you wear it as it was intended then it makes a great adjustable weight vest. You can just pop it on and perform any of your favourite bodyweight exercises for a more difficult workout.

If you really hate yourself then why not try the ‘Chad’ workout? 1000 step ups onto a 24″ box, wearing a 20kg backpack, for time. I did this with only 10kg and thought I was going to die.

So you can swing it, carry it, throw it, wear it, lift it, push it, pull it, drag it. Whatever you like. Be sensible with the weight, be aware that it’s not indestructible, and make sure you know the form before attacking a workout with gay abandon.

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