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How We Make Strength Training Smarter

functional training

Cory Cripe, DVRT Master (Creator of Dynamic Movement Strength)

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to have my fourth DVRT program released! It’s amazing how much work goes into these programs from designing a stellar fitness experience. I never realized it myself until I started actually putting these programs together.

Between shooting videos of the exercises (and there are over 300 in this one), editing the videos, downloading them, uploading them, linking them to the program itself, writing the content, and all the other behind the scenes stuff! Plus running a small gym in La Crosse, Wisconsin and, most importantly, loving a beautiful family and keeping their love tanks filled. But it is so worth it in order to spread the DVRT love and help our community grow!


And this time it was even more of an experience having the help from fellow DVRT Master Instructor (and good friend) Sean Lettero. We had a blast filming the Dynamic Strength Training exercises and going over the program itself while hanging out last November in Las Vegas … even if one night we ate too much pizza before recording – teachable moment! 😉 I even had the privilege of going on a hike with DVRT Boss, Jessica Bento, while I was in town and I’m not even mad that she snuck a USB into my backpack!

So why did I feel the need to make a fourth DVRT program – that’s right FOURTH! Being at the Perform Betters, instructing DVRT workshops and certifications, and talking with people via social media I get the feeling that there are a lot of fitness professionals & enthusiasts that love what they experience with the DVRT system, but struggle to apply the principles and make it work in their training with all the layers of progression and regressions.

This program is here to answer those needs as I go through each exercise and offer 3 levels of intensity:

Level 1 – Beginner

Level 2 – Intermediate

Level 3 – Advanced

And I’m incorporating the MRT protocols set up by Coach Dos because … well … THEY’RE AMAZING! And what I like about the set-up for this intelligent way to HIIT (iHIIT?) is how it can be used as a marker of what level should be used.

For example:

Let’s say it’s 15:45 day – always my Monday sessions! – and we’re going after some overhead presses using our Ultimate Sandbag. Level 1 might be saying to stand, with feet shoulder width apart, and the reps we are looking for are 5 to 8 in 15 seconds.

Simple changes to your stance can end up being a BIG result in your progress!

So, here you are, Level 1, and you are getting 6 to 7 overhead presses for the first two weeks, but then week three you realize how you are now making it to 8 to 9 reps in 15 seconds. That is a good indication you should be moving to Level 2, military stance – feet close together. All of a sudden you’re back to 6 to 7.

What happened?

Just that small change in body position has created a more intense experience and your body’s response is to find more stability and strength in a more unstable environment. Still using the same USB, but it feels heavier and more challenging! But, of course, you are getting after it and in another few weeks BOOM we’re back to getting 8 to 9 presses in 15 seconds.

Welcome Level 3! Now you find yourself on both knees pressing overhead and can’t believe how much more intense this body position is with the same USB you were rocking not too long ago and realize more time needs to be spent to really master pressing overhead in this position!

You see on the right me in a tall kneeling position. On the left, this would be a progression of the hip hinge moving into a rotational pattern. 

This program is a great way to solve many issues for fitness pros out there trying to implement DVRT into their group training programs. How easy it is to have an overhead pressing station and a group of people at different levels and seeing Level 1 is too easy for one, so you have them on their knees pressing overhead, but then you see someone struggling with the military Level 2 position, so you instruct them to bring their feet to shoulder-width and watch how the press became more successful for them because of one simple coaching cue. And you didn’t have to run and get a heavier, or lighter, USB – so much time and energy saved and your clients benefit from this smarter way to train!

That’s what I love seeing at my gym, Fitness Lying Down, is how a station could have three different exercises going at the same time – all the same movement – but meeting clients where they are at for their safety and success. DVRT has made me look and sound a whole lot smarter than I actually am. And our clients eat this up and love it because it’s so different than their other fitness experiences, and they can recognize how there is a system in place and not just throwing random exercises at them for the sake of getting sweaty and tired!

Now what happens when Level 3 has become, I don’t want to say easier, but better understood and mastered? It never hurts to visit Level 1 and add a few more grains of sand into your USB if you are able. I still remember when I was using my 60 pound strength for a kneeling overhead press and getting 8 to 10 reps in 15 seconds, I knew (and somewhat dreaded at the time) what needed to happen next.

It was time to stand back up, blow the dust off of the burly, and get it going at Level 1 with a heavier USB! At first, it seemed almost impossible! Overhead press an 80 pound burly – WHAT!?!?! However, it got done and it got done 6 to 8 reps in 15 seconds and the strength that started to come from using the burly USB has been amazing, let’s say “dynamic!” 

Also with Dynamic Strength Training, there will be a breakdown of the protocols that will be best for beginners, intermediates, and advanced. The 15:45 protocols can be pretty challenging for beginners because there needs to be a solid grasp on the DVRT fundamentals in order to satisfy the rep range required. However, taking beginning clients through the 30:30 protocols will allow them the time to discover and learn the intent of these various DVRT drills and then be successfully built up as they progress – systematically – the way it should be!

Luckily I have an awesome team that pushes me and believe in helping people find their better!

There is no doubt you will find many opportunities and options as you make your way through Dynamic Strength Training Program and learn to optimize the DVRT system in your training. I can’t wait to get this into your hands and would love to hear the feedback you have. Enjoy and keep those bags filled!

For a limited time, Cory’s Dynamic Strength Program is available for FREE along with our Ultimate Core Strap, Super Band, and our NEW L.I.F.T. Rotation and Lunging Modules. Over 5.5 hours of detailed instruction and 250 pages of coaching, progressions, and detailed pictures! Check it out HERE

sandbag training