I’ll be honest, I am not a Crossfitter. I am not pretending to be a Crossfitter. However, I can’t deny the fact that every place I seem to turn I see something about Crossfit.
In all honesty, I have a lot of mixed emotions about Crossfit. In the end though, it is huge! In fact, if you were under a rock this weekend, maybe you didn’t hear about a not so small event called the Crossfit Games.
An event that sold out an entire stadium and probably had even more watching from their computers, the Crossfit Games are the top competition for anyone involved in Crossfit. It is their Super Bowl.
If you can watch it and not be impressed by the fitness and drive by some of these athletes, I will say there is something wrong. It is such an event that even many that claim they are not Crossfitters will be so motivated that they will try some Crossfit workouts.
So, how does this have anything to do with DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training?
Listen, I understand that Crossfitters are very protective of their community, I totally get it! But, I want to share with you something I really was inspired by from a Crossfit Coach himself!
Michael Krivka has been a Crossfit Coach for five years and been in the martial arts for 35 years! As he and I were talking about training I wanted to really understand Crossfit. I loved that Michael’s passion seemed to be more in regards to the philosophy than any set programming or exercises.
I came away with really two main concepts…
“constantly varied functional movement at high intensity”
“training for known and the unknown”
I was completely intrigued!
It struck me that in many ways DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training was a great vehicle for Crossfit workouts. The DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training programs definitely fit functional movements at high intensities. However, what raised my eyes even more was the “training for the known and the unknown” concept.
Like any sport, Crossfit can sometimes be prone to being too specific in its training. While that is not the goal, it happens. For example, Olympic lifting is highly emphasized in Crossfit for both its ability to produce great power, the intensity, and athleticism.
Yet, Olympic lifting is typically done with the barbell most of the time and in the same stance. Isn’t that how Olympic lifting is done? If you are looking at the sport of Olympic lifting then yes, but there is a problem. The barbell becomes rather predictable in its movement. While every repetition may be slightly different, the fact remains that they are more similar than they are different.
Power and athleticism occurs in many more ways than the position we set-up in our Olympic lifting postures.
This is the very essence of DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training. While we can emphasize the same types of lifts (after all it is what the lifts represent rather than the lifts themselves that are important), every repetition is distinctly different. Following the preparing for the “unknown” concept?
Add in the fact that a Clean, for example, in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training can be done from a variety of body positions, angles, and planes of motion. In many ways I see this as a far superior means of having variety but with greater overall purpose and progression.
Sounds good, but what is the reality? Is there anything to substantiate this?
I wanted to see myself! I did a little experiment to see if what I was telling you about DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training was true!
I took a 90 pound Burly Ultimate Sandbag and compared it to a 155 pound barbell. I don’t have access to an EMG unit or force plates, but I used heart rate as a means of measuring intensity.
I performed a ladder of two movements, Clean and Press, and Front Loaded (Front Squats with the barbell). The goal was to keep body position stable and other variables stable and just look at the impact of the different imlements.
First ladder was the 90 pound Ultimate Sandbag. The results were:
Time: 3:22-Burned 68 Calories-Average Heart Rate was 169 High was 181
I let my heart rate come back down to 60% and then attempted the same routine with the 155 pound barbell. The results?
Time: 3:57-Burned 81 Calories-Average Heart Rate was 172 High was 181
Again, let myself rest to heart rate of 60% then performed one more set of the Ultimate Sandbag Training again. Final results?
Time: 3:13-Burned-66 Calories-Average Heart Rate was 173 High was 182
What does this all mean? If you broke down the numbers you would see the following results.
Ultimate Sandbag Training first round: . 336 calories per second-ave. hr 169-peak 181
Barbell ladder second round: .34 calories per second-ave. hr 172-peak 181
Ultimate Sandbag Training third round: .34 calories per second-ave. hr 173-peak 182
What we see a 90 pound Burly Ultimate Sandbag is pretty much equal to a 155 pound barbell. So what?
We have to start assuming that the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training is stimulating more muscles than the barbell, especially of equal weight. The way a lighter weight can stimulate the same type of intensity than a higher weight tells us that something changes during the performance of the sets.
In fact, strength coaches Vince McConnell and Robert Dos Remedios have said that a Ultimate Sandbag 150 pounds often feels like a barbell weight well over 100 kgs or 220 pounds!
Why not just lift the heavier barbell? You can do that, but it isn’t going to be the same as using your DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training. The fact that so many smaller muscles are being used changes the dynamics of the lift (this very theory is currently being studied at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with some exciting results). The movement, dimension, and unique feel of the Ultimate Sandbag perfectly plays into the idea of “known and unknown”.
Here is the best part…once you get comfortable with the Clean with the Ultimate Sandbag in the foundational position, you can start moving and all of sudden completely change the dynamics of this exercise. Moving closer to satisfying both foundational concepts of Crossfit.
If you think I am suggesting you drop what you are doing for your Crossfit training and/or functional training and only use DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training that is not true. I am hoping to give you an edge in using the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training exercises and concepts in a manner that brings your strength to life!
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