Friends of mine are trying to get into backyard lifting with an olympic bar and bumper plates. But due to the pandemic, there is a 4 month wait for weights (haha) everywhere they’ve called.

I don’t want these guys to wait 4 months to start lifting in their backyards, so I’ve suggested that they use what they have at hand.

Nearly everybody has access to a bag, and dirt, sand, or stones. Even if you don’t – you can buy a 40 lb bag of sand or pea gravel for $6 at your local hardware/landscape supply depot.

Damn near every lift you can perform with an olympic bar you can do with a dirt bag. The obstacle is our own preconceptions of what working out should look like. I’ve certainly gotten in my own way many times, not working out because I don’t have the right gear, the right weather, the list goes on.

All anyone needs to work out is the right mindset. There will always be a voice in your head trying to figure out a reason not to work out. That voice never goes away. The people who get results are the people who let that voice say what it has to say, then work out anyway. It took me a very long time to realize that I was never going to be free of that internal voice.

I still struggle every single time to simply start a workout. But we all know what happens once we do – we realize that we’re having a pretty good time of it – and by the end we’re damn satisfied with the sheer fact of having worked out.

You don’t need to know what to do with the dirt bag once you have it. Just lift it. Get it on your shoulder and do some lunges. Look up barbell lifts on YouTube and try to copy the basics: back squat, front squat, power clean, deadlift, kettlebell swing. Just make your body work under the weight – you will get stronger in a very practical, functional way.

Turn off your mind, and lift the weight any way you know how.