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NYC gym classes use sandbags for a killer workout

Forget dumbbells — these bags provide a new way to burn.

At Pedal NYC, sandbags make up half of a tough 30/30 class. At Pedal NYC, sandbags make up half of a tough 30/30 class. Credit: PEDAL NYC and Mr. Ray

Gym classes across the city are utilizing sandbags in their workouts for a full-body burn.

“Not only do you get the benefit of weight training, but they offer a great cardio workout because you can easily do jumps with them and pick up, slam down, toss, catch and lift them,” says Ray Wallace, who leads spinning-TRX-sandbag hybrid classes at Pedal NYC (33 West End Ave., 212-561-5435). He says he also likes them because “they let you move the way the body was intended to.”

Mark Merchant and George Vafiades of hardcore training studio As One (1845 Broadway, Third Fl., 212-956-3024) like the versatility that sandbags provide. “Just one bag can have so many different functions,” Vafiades says. “Unlike dumbbells or weights, a sandbag can not only be used for lifting purposes, but we use them for dragging, pulling and even as props to modify certain exercises for our members.” As One incorporates sandbags into every one of their classes.


And it’s not just bulky bags that have an impact. All classes at Cyc, the new spinning studio inside DavidBartonGym (4 Astor Pl., 212-595-6800), will have you lifting mini-sandbags for the weights portion. If you think a tiny weight won’t cause you to feel the burn, taking a class with founder Keoni Hudoba might change your mind.

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