Much progress has been made in the area of Marriage Equality in the United States – far beyond what many older LGBTQ persons dreamed would occur in their lifetimes!

The Board of Directors of Interweave Continental works hard with our congregations and their Interweave chapters to create change and establish a more just society for LGBTQ persons (see our November 2013 newsletter to learn more about Interweave Continental and its Board of Directors).

In addition to Marriage Equality, we draw your attention to these important areas that need our active support:

our youth, who are coming out at younger ages.
the growing number of elderly LGBTQ persons, who face inequalities in health care and housing.
violence against transgender persons.
Please use the following issues of our newsletter, Interweave Connect, to expand your insights into these topics:

LGBTQ Youth (September 2012)
LGBTQ Elders (April 2013)
Transgender Persons (October 2013)

Please click on the Newsletter tab on our website to see the latest issue of Interweave Connect.

Be sure to see us at LA Pride Festival in June


Sandbag Workouts On A LGBT Fitness Course

With the growth and progress in equality in the USA, there are now LGBT fitness courses appearing. We attended one of these courses where we used a sandbag to workout.

It is possible that you have probably seen someone or a group of people training using sandbags whether it’s in your local gym or on TV. They are very popular with serious bodybuilders, in CrossFit and military training across the world. If you haven’t seen sandbags, you might be wondering why you should try them, which exercises to perform using them or how to use them and if they are beneficial.

What is a Workout Sandbag?

Just like its name, it is literally a large bag made from a heavy-duty material and then filled with sand. They can be found online and in sports stores, and there are also those that are handmade.

Sandbags training has existed for years and is one of the oldest tools of exercise used by wrestlers and martial artists. Now that they are more common and even the Navy take part in sandbag workouts. Getting workout or fitness sandbags like these when combined with a well thought out sandbag training plan is probably one of the best workouts if not the most efficient tools for building strength and conditioning.

It is considered an excellent functional tool for training because it’s an unstable weight which prompts our core to put more effort or work harder to stabilize irrespective of the exercise.  Workout sandbags have a shifting center of gravity, and whether your exercise is core-focused or not, your core will be compelled to move in different ways than when using a stable weight such as a dumbbell.

Different Ways of Using Sandbags for Training

1. Power Clean and Press

Target: Hips, glutes, and quadriceps

This form of training generates forearm strength and is common in a sandbag workout for beginners. It can offer a better grip and gives you a challenge when balancing because of the rocking of the sandbag. It requires you to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and over the sandbag.

Lift the sandbag from the ground and pull it upwards as it gathers momentum. You should hold the bag at both ends or with a Zercher style grip and utilize the power generated by your glutes or hips while performing the exercise. Transition into pressing the bag overhead quickly and try not to lean too far back. Perform the motion in reverse, and that will constitute one repetition. Repeat the process several times.

2. Reverse Lunge and Good Mornings

Target: Core, lower back, glutes, and hamstrings

Place the sandbag behind the neck while holding the side handles and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lower into a lunge as you step backward with your right foot only. Use your left foot to press and rise back up to your starting position.

Bend your knees with your flat back and engage the body parts mentioned above by sending your lower chest towards the floor and your hips straight back. Perform it several times and then repeat them with your other leg.

3. Thruster

Target: Shoulders, core, and legs

Combine both the overhead press and front squat and make it more effective by working both lungs and legs. Hold the sandbag with both hands at chest weight and squat by sitting back and down. Press both legs to move upwards as you also press the weight overhead as you return it to the chest. Repeat the movement several times.

4. Sandbag Deadlift

sandbag deadlift

Target: Hamstring, hips, and glute

The deadlift is an excellent training and staple exercise that is performed by athletes in any sport. To perform it, you will need to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and over your sandbag. Bend your knees and set your back with a neutral spine and in a correct position. Grab your sandbag by the handles or material on each side and lift it up until you have stood straight upright and your arms are also in a straight position as you lift the bag. Repeat the movement several times.

5. Rotational Lunge

sandbag rotational lunge

Target: Core and legs

Grab your sandbag by the handles in each hand in front of your body and stand tall. Step one foot back into a reverse lunge while bending the front leg knee as you rotate the sandbag outside the bent front knee. Return to a standing position and then lunge back your other leg while bending the front knee of the other leg as well while rotating the sandbag outside the bent front knee. Repeat the process several times.

Hopefully, this has shown you how workout sandbags are efficient in building power, strength, and conditioning and by performing the above exercises while using them, you will achieve great success. Like any other exercises, you will need to be consistent and also check your diet as well. Anybody can exercise using workout sandbags, and you will never know how effective they can be until you try them.


Interweave Continental is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Mark DeWolfe Award and Interweave Sermon Award.

Susan Gore received the 2015 Mark DeWolfe Award for her distinguished service to the LGBTQ community both in Unitarian Universalist settings and within the wider community. Further information about Susan Gore is available on Interweave Continental’s Awards page.

Dawn Fortune received the 2015 Interweave Sermon Award for hir sermon “Every day, we give up pieces of ourselves to live in community.” Further information about Dawn Fortune and copies of the sermons submitted for consideration for this year’s award are available on the Awards page.

Both award winners were honored and the winning sermon was preached at Interweave Continental’s annual banquet, which took place during the Unitarian Universalist Association’s 2015 General Assembly in Portland, Oregon.