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A Better Way to Real World Strength with Ultimate Sandbag Training

sandbag exercises

Ian Vaughn, DVRT Master, (Creator of DVRT Real World Muscle & Strength and DVRT For Obstacle Racing

A year ago when I got my brand new shipment of Ultimate Sandbags, I put the old all black Ultimate Sandbags  in my trunk. After all, they were still in great shape, but c’mon, I wanted the gym to have the new ones. My older Ultimate Sandbags became foundational to my outdoor Ultimate Sandbag training:)

At this point no other trainers we had at the gym ever touched and Ultimate Sandbag them because they did not want to learn (all the trainers work as independents). However, after displaying the colorful new Ultimate Sandbags in the cool rack…all the sudden I had trainers that never showed any interest before wanting to use the Ultimate Sandbags but NOT DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training. There is a BIG difference!

sandbag training

It was interesting what they naturally gravitated towards. They quickly grabbed a few of the the new USBs and started having their clients load them on their backs. This might sound familiar, they told them  to run around the entire building in the summer heat (Palmdale, CA is a desert mind you). They of course brought back the Ultimate Sandbags all complaining of back pain. The trainer then proceeded to give the ones who complained “a lighter weight” USB and the rest “do burpees” as he was texting on his phone. You can all imagine how my face looked during this.

When I approached the trainer after, asking “WHY are you all the sudden using the Ultimate Sandbags?” He looked puzzled, and then replied “because they looked cool and we needed something new to do….I think I saw it on CrossFit”.  I of course told him either learn how to use them properly with me (for free) or not don’t use them at all. That may sound harsh, but the safety of those who entrust us with their fitness and health is our foremost concern. Plus, DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training isn’t about “sandbag training” it is about learning to move well and improve the way your body works.

sandbag training

We don’t do this in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training both because it is bad for the body and it takes away from a great opportunity to develop the core!

Probably to no one’s surprise, he choose the second option and currently has zero clients.

I’m not telling this story because “I told you so”, but more so bringing a point you can’t force someone to learn what YOU hold true value too. After learning the DVRT System, I realized the Ultimate Sandbags were more of a vehicle to the philosophy.  What this inexperienced trainer thought was effective was doing a high amount of work with a brand new shiny toy because they “looked cool.” The trainer never had a WHY, so therefore he never knew WHAT to do.

Sadly, this is not unique in the fitness industry. We are often taught exercises not really systems.  It takes time, effort, and practice to truly bring value to something and sadly in this generation many think they don’t need too. “If a 16 year old can do it, it has no value” – Dr. Cal Newport states of his book Deep Work. It is sadly a big reason that many trainers leave the industry before even 18 months in it!

So what would have I taught a inexperienced trainer or beginner fitness enthusiast who actually wants to learn how utilize the DVRT Ultimate Sandbags?

First off, I want to make this very clear…

there’s no point loading a Ultimate Sandbag on the back your neck.  

As you can see above, loading a USB on your neck won’t do much but kink it forward causing unnecessary neck pain by pulling the USB into it. This also results in no lat or core engagement; putting all the load on the spine all by itself in a poorly flexed position.

We SHOULD be focusing on what DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training allows us to do really well which is improve core strength and connect the kinetic chains of the body. Try putting an Ultimate Sandbag in a front loaded position and now try walking with it. This now gets the body aligned with solid posture to engage the right muscles. My lats and core have to work overtime as a walk with this front loaded carry; maintaining the Burly USB’s mass and weight by keeping forearms vertical and ribs hidden down bracing (breathing behind the shield). It’s very important you DO NOT cheat this movement by leaning back and keep the spine as straight as possible as you walk. Walking 15-20 yards and back will give you the real challenge of Ultimate Sandbag Training.

While the Ultimate Sandbag is awesome for carrying, by no means is it JUST a carrying tool. Using our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training system it’s also a incredible strength tool to train in 3-D. A great and simple example is all our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training exercise that use the shoulder position.

A big apart of my job is not just get my students strong, but prevent injury if I notice a weakness in their movement patterns — especially in a laterally plane. A lot can relate to this when the ankle randomly rolls in while walking or the knees buckles in when steeping to the side. One of my favorite simple complexes with the USB Shucking with Bent Over Rows. When shifting now left to right each foot has to maintain even stability (not ankle rolling on the extending leg and adds a bigger challenge to the bent over row to keep the forearms vertical as they drive up into the row:

Lastly, we do NOT need to focus on performing hundreds of reps (or running around in circles in the summer heat with a USB on your neck) to prove the value of a workout. You’ll find the toughest Ultimate Sandbag training movements, are the most simple and require minimal reps to attain maximal effort.

Simply changing the position of the USB makes all the difference with any movement. A good example is the squat pattern, all you have to do is shoulder or bear hug the USB to feel the difference with this classic strength movement. Pavel has a great quote, saying “it does not matter if you can 1,000 punches if none of them can knock out your little sister.” So a “100 rep squat challenge” isn’t necessary to prove your strength…it’s more so making it weaker because it puts the emphasis on the rep count and less on the power of the movement.

If you like to put this all together in a workout format. Try this DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training Strong Workout I put together. Never confuse simple with easy – these exercises require you’re full attention to using the right muscles and not compensating.  

If you love these workout ideas, don’t miss the chance to save 25% on our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training programs with coupon code “spring2018” HERE

sandbag training