Making the Hard (Exercise) Choices

Making the Hard (Exercise) Choices


Question: 

I serve our country abroad, and am getting ready to go back overseas. We have a Rogue yoke rack, Texas/BC powerlifting bar, and lots of plates/accessories. The weight adds up, and we are dangerously close to our maximum allowance, the exceeding of which would be no bueno for our bank account. I am thinking about taking fractionals up to 5kg or maybe 10kg, and leaving heavier plates behind. Instead, I would take empty sand bags (maybe Rogue) that I could fill up overseas in order to save on weight. My question for you is whether you think this would work, and what would be some of the negatives of doing so? I would assume that loading the bar with hanging sand bags would make it more difficult in terms of having an unstable load, but maybe easier in the sense that the load would hang closer to the ground and maybe not feel or be as heavy as normal plates.

Also, I plan to contract a local welder once we arrive for making conditioning implements, like a prowler...so that side of the house is covered.

Answer: 

Just so I'm reading this correctly: you are going overseas, bringing weight equipment and can only bring so much due to cost.  To offset the cost, you are thinking of using sandbags as "weight plates" i.e. attaching the sandbags to the bar while you squat, bench, etc.  Personally, and this is just me, I think this would be dangerous.  And when trying to solve a problem, you are essentially making a host of new ones.
If you look at some of the strongest people in the world (Olympic lifters) - all they have is a bar, plates and a very simple squat rack.  From there they can press, squat, clean, snatch, deadlift, row, curl, lunge, good morning, push press and probably a dozen or so movements I can't think of off the top of my head.  Just looking at the problem and what you have listed above (not assuming anything), I'd ditch the power rack and hold onto the barbell and plates.  Even without the squat rack, you can clean, snatch, front squat, press, row, deadlift, lunge, curl - not ideal but at least you can do it safely.  And people have gotten strong without the aid of anything special - in fact, having LESS choices can make things easier - less thinking.
Plus, if you are getting a Prowler built, pushing this horrible but awesome sled will build your legs - something I've personally witnessed.  Maybe not as effective a squat but when the prowler is coupled with deadlifts, presses, cleans, snatches, curls, rows, lunges/step-ups, things will be fairly complete.  Bring some chalk, one pair of solid collars and you'll be fine.  
I hope this helps - let me know if you need anymore help. Good luck and remember there are a lot of people in the United States who are patriots and support this amazing country.
Above: Peyton Hillis  (just because he's awesome)

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