I’ve written a lot about my low back injuries because I know a lot of you can empathize and more importantly relate. Nothing disheartens me MORE than hearing people give up on what they want to achieve in life and their fitness because of injury. I hope in some small way our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag workouts have shown you how you can still do great things.
I also think sharing my stories helps you realize all of us have our own battles and yes, even get REALLY frustrated at times. It was almost six years ago that I had my neck fusion after losing almost complete use of my right arm (several car accidents and head injuries from sports did not help!). If I had to choose at this point in my life which is more problematic for me I would have to say it is my neck.
That surprises even my surgeons to some degree because your low back supports more of your body. However, in both I have had significant nerve damage which makes lifting and feeling as strong as I once had very difficult. I guess that is why Jess can never really understand why I love to train to the uber cheesy Rocky 4 song, “No Easy Way Out”
As much as I would love to go back to the way my body was the truth is I can’t! It is a tough thing for many people, we can do great things but we often can’t go back, especially when it comes to something like nerve damage. That is why in so many ways DVRT Ultimate Sandbag workouts are like meditation for me. They are an important time to connect to my body and feel things that come easily to other people without these injuries.
Because DVRT Ultimate Sandbag workouts are as important for me mentally as they are physically, I stay really consistent with them. Four days out of the week I follow Coach Dos’ Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT) protocols (okay, with some slight Josh alterations).
What has been cool is when I recently saw my pain doctor (yes, when you have four spinal surgeries you have a pain doctor for a variety of reasons) he made notice of what Ultimate Sandbag workouts had done for me. In fact, he said, “man, you are looking good, looks like you have put on some solid muscle!”
I’m not going to lie, I was pretty happy to hear that. During any workout even Ultimate Sandbag workouts, I can’t use as much muscle as others do because of all my nerve damage in my spine. So, the fact that using Coach Dos’ protocols with my Ultimate Sandbag workouts had made a noticeable difference was pretty cool. Especially when you consider that most of the people that a pain doctor sees are just seeking narcotic prescriptions, I’m pretty unique.
Am I going to be mistaken for The Rock any time soon? Probably not, but the fact that I can lose body fat and gain muscle is great not only from a cosmetic perspective (you are lying if you say you don’t care how you look!) and from a health one.
It does remind me something that my friend/mentor/colleague Alwyn Cosgrove, once said about our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag workouts. You have to feel them to really get it! So, I wanted to share with you one of my Ultimate Sandbag workouts that I feel likes make a world of difference. Best part? I use one Ultimate Sandbag, two kettlebells, and it kicks my butt.
Try the following (I used an 80 pound Strength Ultimate Sandbag and 20 kg kettlebells)
Forward Step Deadlift 20 seconds of rest 40 seconds of rest each side (increase length of step before you increase weight)
Multi-Directional Crawling 30 seconds of work, 30 seconds of rest, the slower you move the better!
Max Lunge to one side of the body 20 seconds of rest 40 seconds of rest each side, quick pause at bottom.
Alternating Kettlebell Rows 30 seconds of work, 30 seconds repeat the circuit for 4 rounds.
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