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10 Really Well Thought Out Ways to Make You Better!

10 Really Well Thought Out Ways to Make You Better!-DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training Part 1

Don’t Miss Our Upcoming DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training Certifications & Workshops HERE

Ok, if you couldn’t tell I can be a bit of a smart ass. You see them all the time on social media, well I do at least, posts from fitness professionals that typically start with x number of “random thoughts”. In truth, most of the thoughts don’t seem very random at all, but actually pretty well thought out. So, I thought it would be good to share with you 10 ways you can use DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training concepts to make your fitness A LOT better! Trust me, I actually thought about these!

1. Single Leg/Arm Work vs. Bilateral Work

An age old argument in fitness, should you do exercises with one leg or arm as a primary focus or just stick to the “classics”. Most people end up not saying anything more relevant than “do them both!” Ugh, thanks a whole lot for nothing! Of course this could be a whole post in itself but let me make it simple. When you do predominately one leg or arm type of exercises your body is called upon not just to lift a weight, but resist excessive movement. A great example can be seen in our Shoulder Lunges. Yes, you have to lift the Ultimate Sandbag up and down, but you also have to resist the twisting and lateral pulling motions that make most people have problems with their “balance”. The reality is they don’t have balance issues they have an inability to resist other forces during movement. This is a lot of the essence of functional fitness and real world strength. This type of training takes a lot from the nervous system so it should be done FIRST before you more load dominant exercises like squats, cleans, and presses. 

ultimate sandbag training

The Arc Press Lunge is one of the most powerful of both upper and lower body unilateral movements. 

Don’t believe me? Okay, what if I asked you to walk a tight rope 20 feet off the ground? I gave you two options, the first being to walk the tight rope when you are fresh and the other when you are quite fatigued. Which you think you would choose? If you don’t like falling from great heights I am guessing you will want to walk the tight rope when you are fresh. This is because your nervous system is still fresh and your coordination and balance are better. That is why these types of drills should come earlier in your workouts!

2. Training Exercises vs. Movements

The great shift from bodybuilding to functional training was the idea we weren’t so much trying to target individual muscles, but rather natural movements of the body. That was a HUGE paradigm shift! However, like fitness goes, we lost our focus a bit and became more about exercises than movements. What do I mean? Something that I often ask our students at our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training programs is, “what is the difference between a deadlift and a hip hinge?” 

While this may sound like a weird SAT question, the whole thing is to get people to think a certain way. In case you didn’t know, the answer to my question is that a deadlift is a hip hinge, a hip hinge doesn’t have to be a deadlift.” Why does this matter? Well, we are getting good as an industry in telling people if they do these 4 or 6 exercises they MAGICALLY become better at a lot of other things. The reality is this is not the case!

I’ve seen it time and time again, someone who is a great at deadlifting actually can’t reproduce the hip hinge when we start stepping and moving with the Ultimate Sandbag, or when we hold the Ultimate Sandbag in a different position. There have been plenty of good Olympic lifters that have come to our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training programs and while they are pretty good at Cleaning the Ultimate Sandbag, once you ask them to do Rotational variations or lateral movements, the technique looks foreign to them. 

We forget that there is something called the S.A.I.D principle (specific adaptations to imposed demands), basically you get good at what you practice! The magical transfer that supposedly happens from one exercise to another doesn’t happen nearly as much as the proponents of these lifts would have you believe. In fact, before the time of specialization, lifters would perform A LOT of different movements to prepare their bodies not a handful!

3. Therapy is Fitness? 

I’m going to cheat here a bit. As many of you may know, Jessica is both my wife and a physical therapist  (not sure which job is harder:). I get to hear a lot of different stories of patient situations and challenges. Not only the patients themselves but the different issues that face a therapist in what they can do and time they have compared to the fitness professional. Let me say this, therapy and fitness training are NOT the same thing!

Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t think you can’t work on rehabbing or improving an area while still getting more fit. Rather, we have to distinguish when we should be focusing on more therapeutic treatments, or are we trying to improve strength and coordination in an area. Um, what’s the difference? Therapeutic treatments may mean some different techniques than trying to improve the function of a region or pattern. A great example is the lift and chop that is often used in therapy for diagonal patterning which helps re-education of the core and nervous system. Now, if we don’t have pain we can work on taking the simple pattern and progressing it through multiple levels. 

In fact, why shouldn’t we take CONCEPTS of the therapeutic model and try to make more athletically based drills around these ideas? Something we see a lot in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training. 

4. Absorbing Force

Let’s face it, we LOVE to talk about what we can lift! However, the real hero many times is what we can resist. We already talked about that in one form in the unilateral based drills in our first point. The other way is learning to decelerate. I love strength coach, Robert Dos Remedios’ comment, “I’ve never seen an athlete get hurt starting, but rather stopping!” So much of our training is focused on teaching people how to produce force, but much less is done to teach people how STOP or absorb forces. 

This is something we spend a considerable of time doing in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training in a variety of ways and actually goes a long ways in reducing injury and improving performance. Yea, I get that you might do some plyo landings, but that is typically WAY too little and incomplete way of teaching this all very important concept that most don’t talk enough about!

5. Twist and Shout!

This is always a trick question, if I asked you if you thought rotational training was important, most would probably say a resounding, YES! If I asked you what you did to teach it, if we were lucky you might name a few medicine ball drills here and there. A few issues here….

For one, most rotational drills with medicine balls require power. If you haven’t built a foundation of strength in this pattern, then how are we suppose to optimize power? Doesn’t make a lot of sense right? That is why in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training we work through a specific series of progressions teaching the pattern, improving rotation, strengthening rotation, and finally producing power in rotation. You mean the same way we teach movement in the sagittal plane? Yea, that is funny right?;)

The other issue is that most people might perform one rotational movement here and there. The truth is, as you become more advanced in your training the work in the other planes of motion should be relatively balanced. Since rotational training is how we produce the MOST power in most athletic actions (punching, kicking, throwing, hitting, etc.) it makes sense we should really make this a rather large part of our training. 

Because rotational training is extremely metabolically and neurologically demanding, these drills should be done first or early in the workouts while the nervous system is most fresh! 

Whew, part 1 of this series hopefully was pretty enlightening and challenging some of the ways you maybe thought about fitness. I promise if you start with these concepts your workouts are going to become LIGHT YEARS ahead of almost anything out there today! Wait till you see the second 5 ideas coming soon!