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Building A Bigger Bench Press with Ultimate Sandbag Training

sandbag exercise equipment

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

It was early evening in August preparing for my Freshman year of High School and the second football practice of the day had ended. Walking off the practice field there it was: a narrow, steel bench with a pad attached to it and two arms that held the iron bar loaded with weight. I watched as the upper class men removed their shoulder pads and started repetitiously lifting the heavy bar off of their chest, and as each lower grade entered into this sacred area adorned with iron and steel … a little more weight was removed to accommodate the weaker class.

Finally, after witnessing this liturgical movement of grunts, shouts, and high fives – musically accompanied by AC/DC and the sound of plates clanging at the top of each rep – it was the Freshman’s turn.

I watched as my classmates took turns banging out their repetitions; ahead of me was a Freshman who was the same height, weight, and even shared my first name … he got under the bar and lifted the weight for the desired amount of repetitions. The set-up was perfect for me, so I laid under that bar and gripped it tight, ready to participate in this communion of masculinity.

Like everyone else, I received the “lift-off” where someone helps you remove the bar from the racked position and lets go of it at the top, so now it’s just me and the weight. I slowly lowered the bar to gently, lightly touch my chest and then … I … could … not lift the bar off my chest! I squirmed, I wriggled, I arched, I huffed, and I puffed but the bar was going nowhere!

Of all my insecurities at this age and how I was constantly being fed so much humble pie in and out of the weight-room, it’s amazing that I kept chugging away at this impossible journey of “getting strong.” Here I am, though, enjoying this not only as a lifestyle, but a career and now I bench – well, come to think of it, I really don’t bench anymore. Hmmm … why don’t I bench much anymore!

For one, efficiency. I am in a position in my life where I, and the people I train, have no time for unnecessary exercises. When it’s time to play we want the biggest bang for our bucks and unfortunately, the bench press doesn’t make the cut! While you were busy loading your barbell, preparing for your set, performing your set, and then unloading your barbell (because you have gym etiquette) I all ready rocked THREE multi-purposed movements and had more brain/body connection.

And another reason: practicality. Even though there are benefits from doing the bench press, I would argue there isn’t much carryover to real-life activities. I’ve also seen too many people (myself included) who truly never learned how to actually press doing the bench press – causing shoulder & elbow problems. Have you ever seen someone pick their feet off the ground, arch their backs, and push the barbell on one side before the other? That’s what I’m talking about – no learning experience!

That’s why I came up with my 3 favorite DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training pressing drills that will have you forget about the irrelevant bench press!

You might be surprised, these Ultimate Sandbag Training drills don’t have us bench press the Ultimate Sandbag, but build the qualities of real world upper body strength. You will be SHOCKED that even though you won’t be bench pressing, how your bench press strength will go up drastically through learning how to use your body smarter through these Ultimate Sandbag Training pressing drills.

1. Ultimate Sandbag Training Lateral Plank Drags
The ability to maintain a quality press with the stance arm while dragging the USB across your body will allow more opportunities for your lats and core to participate than if you were to bench press while keeping your shoulders & elbows safe.

sandbag training

2. Ultimate Sandbag Training Tall Kneeling Press Outs
The integrity of your plank will be put to the test with this powerhouse exercise! As you’re pressing the USB in this disadvantaged position you will truly understand and appreciate how to properly press using your core and not the arms and shoulders. WARNING: you will miss out on the essence of this move if you rush it; go slow!

sandbag training

3. Ultimate Sandbag Training Leg Thread
Such a deceiving DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training press drill. Most people would look at this and think it’s a side plank kind of exercise … and they’d be right! BUT, my favorite part about this effective drill is the movement of your body around the stance arm. When controlling your body’s movement around your stance arm, your press receives a wide range of benefits without moving! The stability learned while performing the Leg Thread will allow more mobility in your shoulder when you need to press outside of what traditional exercises limit you to.

sandbag training
If you’re receiving awards for how much you can bench press, then by all means, please bench press! In fact, try these Ultimate Sandbag Training drills as a focus for the next 4-6 weeks and let me know what happens to not only your bench press strength, but the health of your shoulders as well!

BUT if you’re the 99.9% of people who aren’t winning prizes for their bench press performance than you deserve more when it comes to your pressing exercises!

Check out Cory’s dynamic strength training program and so many more and save 25% with coupon code “holiday” HERE