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Does Your Strength Training Make You Strong?

sandbag training

What does it mean to be strong? When I asked the question a few weeks ago at our Power & Resiliency Summit, it definitely got the conversation going! We tend to think being strong as just being the amount of weight we can lift. However, we know that a powerlifter and a gymnast are both really strong, but in different ways. If we have a hard time defining something as simple as being strong, what does that mean for our actual training programs? 

strength training

At the summit I covered what does it really mean to be strong as there are so many different types of strength. What are we really looking to achieve?

My point in having this conversation was having us think about strength in more diverse ways. Groups like Crossfit I believe have done some things right in making us think that there are many different types of strength. However, I think the application of some of the ideas are not ideal, I do think we can take away the concept that strength can’t be JUST what we can lift. 

In fact, the science tells us this as most injuries occur from lacking strength to RESIST unwanted movement. That means our strength can’t just focus on what we lift, but also what we resist. Our DVRT principles are set up for this very idea. The reason we look to manipulate concepts like body and load position is to challenge not just what the body can lift, but forces we can resist. 

strength training

It is why strength and conditioning coaches like Robert Dos Remedios call our MAX lunge one of the most important strength training exercises. 

As DVRT UK Master Greg Perlaki shows, we can illustrate this point very well with our overhead press. If we have you in a bilateral position, military, sprinter, half kneeling, we are going to challenge your body to integrate the body to the highest levels. When we introduce slight instability we challenge the body to be able to function both in developing and resisting force. We don’t want to see leaning to the side or back, hips moving forward or ribs flaring. Keeping everything connected it the ultimate goal in changing the environments of our press.

Greg shows that our strength training has many more solutions open to us than we often think possible. 

The same goes for as we move to the Arc Press. By itself the Arc Press forces us to resist the desire to want to lean back and to the side. Making our body work harder to not just lift the weight, but these forces trying to throw our body out of position. Adding in again, a sprinter stance, military, or half kneeling makes these concepts amplified. 

That is why when people ask us how to make our Ultimate Sandbags just a bit lighter or heavier, we don’t change the actual weight, we change holding and body positions. For one, it means we need less equipment to accomplish more and we get MORE out of these strategies than just moving the weight up and down. 

Challenging the placement of load and or weight is what Greg shows to be a much bigger world of strength training. 

What does that like in our system of progression? Keeping with the idea of pressing overhead we would follow these steps….

-Bilateral Overhead Press

-Military Overhead Press

-Sprinter Overhead Press

-Tall Kneeling Overhead Press

-Half Kneeling Overhead Press

-Hover Overhead Press

While that gives us six great progressions and solutions to building a strong and resilient body, it also gives our strength that much more carry over. The coolest part is that by just changing to our Arc Press, we could go through the whole series. Oh and don’t forget our off-set press which is an in between our two handed and Arc Press. Following this same like of thinking we now have 18 ways to progress our overhead pressing. 

No, not just give us more variety, but meaning in how we make the movement easier or harder. How we can target specific goals of an exercise and be able to truly customize a program for a person or customize a group training environment. The point being in providing more solutions to getting you to be strong in as many ways as possible, not as specific to one movement or not. After all, we ultimately are trying to get people to perform their best out of the gym, not just in it!

If you want to see the full potential of our DVRT system in making strength training smarter and more effective like Greg shows so well, check out our DVRT Online education HERE for 25% off and get the same savings on our Ultimate Sandbags AND a FREE Core Strap with code “save25” when you pick up ANY Ultimate Sandbags HERE