Suitcase Workout

During my last trip to New York’s LaGuardia Airport I learned two things. First thing was don’t arrive with your luggage without weighing it before hand at home. Believe you me your airline carrier smiles every time your suitcase is an ounce over the 50 pound limit. A nice stiff 90 dollar overage charge was my penalty. Thank you Delta Airlines, who I have chosen to fly with 18 times in 2008 and 8 more times this year, thank you for taking 90 dollars away from my personal wealth, I really appreciate it. Now I am a lowly thousandaire.

Heavy Suitcase Workout. Photo by dlisbona.

Lifting the obese suitcase made me realize the second lesson of the ordeal, -it was something amazing. The suitcase demanded the muscular capabilities of my core, arms and legs.

The contributing factors to the suitcase’s effectiveness as a workout tool are 1) its natural cumbersome nature, 2) the variations in weight that can be achieved and 3) the uniqueness of the movements that can be performed with the luggage. Now yes of course you have to get over the initial feeling of “this is silly I’m training with grandma’s suitcase”. But after you come to terms with that awkwardness you will come to find this out of the box training a real strength gainer. So here’s the work out I performed immediately following my landing and boy did the folks at baggage claim think I was weird.

Suitcase Training
From now on we will call the training tool a “case” for purposes of sounding cool and as a tribute to my boy Howie Mandel. Fill both your cases with about fifty pounds of clothing if you’re feeling strong, nothing fragile that can break. 35 pounds is a good starting weight for beginners. Warm up by taking both cases and rolling them behind you, I call that “dragging”, we have to develop a lingo so we can develop a following.

After warming up go right into the business end of the training, after this quick, intense workout you’ll be recruited by all by the major airlines to be a tar mat grunt.


Grab two cases from the handle that is attached to the long side and perform 12 reps of Deadlift-Shrugs, take the cases off the ground to a deadlift position and progress the same movement right into a shrug and hold it.

The next movement is a hard core challenge, grab the case and lift it over your head and Gorilla Press it for 10 reps.

Movement number three is the something I like to call the Walk of Determination or the “Hell Walk”. Grab both cases by the long side handle, lift off the ground, squeeze the handle tight and go for a methodical long walk with the cases. DON’T LET GO! When you want to let go, INSTEAD walk an extra 30 feet. When you have to let go continue for 15 feet and when you are in the burn zone keep on going, don’t stop until the bags drop out of your bloody hands–Just joking, but you get the point take the Walk of Determination to failure. The burn is incredible, achieve that.

The suitcase toss is the final movement of the workout, my brain child. The “Case Toss” is a fun workout that I perform in my back yard. I must admit this one was inspired by the anger that derived from learning I would be charged 90 dollars for the 56 pound bag. Warning don’t perform this one at the airport unless you want to be tasered and tackled to the ground by the TSA.

Load the case with an overweight amount, I chose 70 pounds, and picture the ticketing or check in agent informing you of the good news that in addition to your over priced ticket you will be shelling out more cash for the extra poundage. Utilize that anger folks! Lift the bag by the handle on the long side and bend your knees. In terms of form this movement is similar to a discuss throw. Incorporating the natural torque of the move and toss the luggage as far as you can. Aim for 10 throws.

Following that you have one more order of business, I know I said it was the final movement but I lied.

Lay on the ground, chest up and proceed to press the case, akin to a bench. Shoot for 30 repetitions and burn some calories.

After that if you still got some in you perform the Walk of Determination to wrap up your Airport workout.

I hope the Suitcase Workout contributes to getting you in refined shape for your next flight or trip.

Happy flying.

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  1. Matt SNo Gravatar says:

    Sounds like fun…

    Sort of reminds me of some of the ‘playground workout’ templates out there!

    Just goes to show, there is no excuse not to train — ever!

  2. Great blog!!! Have you tried the Atkins or maybe the South Beach Diet yet???

  3. Great article… I should’ve found this web site when I was not so fat before. πŸ™‚

  4. nice experince you write here, actually i had similler situation with bags. i would fill bags in stuff life books and etc, and workout with them. but that was befor i got my fintess wights and etc πŸ˜€ goot exercise for the morning.

  5. ProNexinNo Gravatar says:

    I can only picture this type of workout being performed at the airport and the strange looks being given by those around lol. This does for sure sound like a great workout- and it is so true how you can work up a routine with pretty much any type of solid heavy-weight object. Airlines are out of control these days, now with their charges of $15 per bag plus overweight charges if applicable- its quite disgusting I must say. Too bad you can’t throw the luggage at those charges lol.

  6. Suitcase Training. LOL :). We can exercise almost anywhere to burn some calories. It’s just depend on the individual, actually. No pain, no gain. By the way, good article. Gotta lose some weight now. Thanks for sharing, again :).

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