I actually LOVE it! When you guys write in questions, I truly love it! Mostly because I know you guys are thinking, pondering, trying, and wanting to know how to use DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training better!
So, we received this question and I thought it was really intriguing. Something we are trying to do a better job here at DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training is giving you better criteria and standards so you can know if you are doing well within the system and how to use it to solve a wide variety of goals.
Let’s jump into today’s question and definitely shoot us more at firstname.lastname@example.org/dev /* */!
“I have heard that you can increase your 1RM on Strength and Power Barbell lifts, by implementing Sandbag training into your existing programme.
From one source I have read, lets say for example that your Barbell Deadlift 1RM is 400lbs. Your maximum lift would be about 60% of that on a Sandbag due to the degree of difficulty you would have in controlling a sandbag…this is far less than 400lbs…
at 240lbs Sandbag Deadlift 1RM. 160lbs difference – very significant.
Then how could it be claimed that using Sandbags to achieve new personal bests on Barbell 1RMs is possible? What is the science behind the claim, would you know?
Could it be that if you was to let’s say, stop training in Barbell lifts for 6 weeks. This 6 weeks period would be Sandbag Training on similar lifts that you perform on the Barbell.
e.g. Barbell Deadlift To Sandbag Deadlift, using alternate grip for stability..with the heaviest weights that you could do for that 6 weeks..
And then test Barbell Deadlift for new 1RM on week 7..?
Would this work? Is there any scientific studies or studies/tests been completed by serious lifters who have combined both methods, Barbell and Sandbag training in order to achieve greater Barbell 1RMs?”
This is a great question because I actually think whether it is the deadlift or not, a lot people wonder can DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training really make you strong since the loads look so much less. Wouldn’t make sense right? Well, it wouldn’t if you try to replicate the same exercises. Let me give an easy example.
A few years ago Powerlifters were surprised to find that the kettlebell swing really helped improve their deadlift. I mean, most were using no more than a 72 pound kettlebell, how is that possible? I mean, these are guys that had 600 plus deadlifts! Well, the swing brought up aspects that the deadlift couldn’t. There was improved, eccentric strength, power, and mobility in the hips. In other words, it improved weaknesses in the hip hinge that wasn’t being developed by the barbell deadlift.
The same is with DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training. The first rule of DVRT is to understand, it isn’t a barbell, kettlebell, or dumbbell. It has some REALLY unique attributes that when maximized can produce incredible results!
Okay, having said that, let’s go back to the question. My first recommendation is not to try DVRT Ultimate Sandbag deadlifts to improve more proficient deadlifts. In DVRT the deadlift is a foundational exercise to build some basic strength, but after people can comfortably deadlift around a 75 pound Strength Ultimate Sandbag, then there really is no point continuing.
Partly because as Ultimate Sandbags get much heavier, they also become larger. That means the range of motion reduces and the effectiveness decreases. That is why we have some awesome alternatives such as changing our holding position (i.e. Front Loaded Good Mornings), body position (i.e. Rear Step Deadlifts), or both! If you try to apply these principles you will find that your deadlift goes up and your body actually feels much better. But I digress.
I believe such percentages are trying to be helpful, but they actually keep you from using what makes DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training so unique. The reason that Ultimate Sandbags feel heavier than other weights of equivalent weight is not due to instability. In fact, the weights you are describing wouldn’t be unstable at all, rather very compact. It has to do with weight distribution. The handle being so far from the center of mass (unlike a barbell), make the weight feel much heavier.
Strength can come in many forms, most neglect some of the most important!
When I have worked with great deadlifters we look at an array of ways to improve their lifts with DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training. Some need more stability in their hips and legs. Front Loaded Single Leg Good Mornings, Shoulder Step-ups to Balance, even Lateral Front Loaded Lunges work great. Others need a combination of power and stability so Rotational Lunges, Shoveling, Staggered Cleans, and others will be emphasized. You could address each in a six week phase. Since 4-6 weeks is perfect for a cycle, we could make a three day a week program somewhat of the following..
USB Rotational Lunges x 6-8 repetitions with a heavier load
KB Renegade Rows x 4-6
USB Front Loaded Good Mornings x 10-12
USB Half Kneeling Arc Press x 3-5 per side (alternating knees each round)
Perform 3-4 Sets
USB Front Loaded Single Leg Good Mornings x 8-10 per leg
Pull-ups x 5-8
USB Staggered Cleans x 4-6 per side
USB Lateral Drag to Push-up x 5-6 per side
Perform 3-4 Sets
USB Shoulder Step-ups to Balance x 6-8 per side
USB Rows x 8-10 with 2 second hold at the top
USB Front Loaded Squats x 6-8 with 2 second pause at bottom
USB Clean and Press x 6-8
Perform 3-4 Sets.
You could use this as a circuit or group them in pairs. Part of the goal is to improve fitness, part is to improve stability, part is to improve weaknesses that might be neglected. In other words, a strong program. Now, retest, I bet you would find that you improve in ways you didn’t expect! Of course, using appropriate Ultimate Sandbag loads are necessary, so you should be able to finish a set, but find it challenging. Once you can hit all sets at the top end of the repetition range, increase the weight.