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It actually surprised me to hear! The head of a rather big fitness website told me she no longer strength trains!! Now, before you condemn her or think she is becoming a “cardio queen”, I actually think what she said was really important. You see, she loved deadlifting heavy, hitting kettlebells hard, and some pretty intense bodyweight training. Everything by most accounts that is pretty good stuff to be doing.
So, why in the world would she say that isn’t into strength training anymore? As she explained to me that her life became more hectic and demanding, it was hard to keep her body actually feeling good from the training she was performing. Her time to train became increasingly more challenged and combining that with the “hard and heavy” stuff meant that she often felt far worse from her training than she did good!
This actually makes quite a bit of sense and exposes a BIG problem with how we think about strength training. Many of you may have heard the old fitness saying “your body grows out of the gym, not in it!” While we can argue the level of truth to that statement the POINT is that recovery is a HUGE part of the success of any training program.
Exercise being a good thing is still a stress to the body. That stress, good or not, is something the body must recover from and the heavier and more intense you go, the more you NEED that recovery. What complicates things is that we also have a lot of life stress! Family, money, jobs, you name it, we all have it. That puts a serious drain on the body’s recovery as well!
So, am I saying you can’t train hard and heavy?
NO absolutely NOT!!! However, so many of think that the ONLY way to make progress is to go harder and harder, or heavier and heavier. We see strength as an overly simplistic idea of lifting more, rather than learning how to teach our body to move smarter and more efficiently.
That is why DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training is so important as a SYSTEM!! There are those that are trying to teach people how to self-regulate their training, so THAT isn’t new. However, many times they can be overly complicated, or on the other end, overly simplistic. Most of all, most of these self-regulating systems are all or nothing. Instead of asking “what type of squat is good for me to do today?”, they ask, “should I squat today?” That is because they see squatting as an exercise and not a movement.
There have been times I was planning on doing something like heavy Front Loaded Squats, after the first set realized my body wasn’t having it! I could have dropped squats completely, but teaching my body how to get better at movement and identifying WHAT wasn’t working in the squat pattern is MORE important to me. So, that means maybe I went to Bear Hug, Press Out, or even Lateral Squats. The point here is I didn’t get away from strength training, I used our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training system to find a BETTER form of strength training for me that day!
It is something I have said time and time again, “you don’t have to do any specific exercise, you have to do the RIGHT exercise!” What I really mean is if you understand movement you can determine the right level of that movement for you that day. If you understand DVRT you will see that this could mean MANY layers and opportunities to still train hard relative to what your body wants and is capable of doing.
In the video above, you can see how DVRT Master, Drew McConaha, has broken down our Ultimate Sandbag Training Lunge progressions into different levels sot hat all the group could participate. Whether that means changing the loading position of the weight, the speed, the direction, and so on. This is why Coaches like Drew are changing fitness, because they realize EVERYONE has an ability to do a movement if you start them at the right level!
At the same time, DVRT Master, Raymond Lee, shows how we use DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training concepts with other tools like kettlebells. Is this strength? Absolutely! Is the load actually LIGHTER? Yes, but we know strength is more than what we can lift. It is the combination of how well we move, how we can absorb and resist forces, as WELL as the forces we can produce!
If we change the definition, or at least how we THINK of strength we can shape it to fit what we need from it. You should NEVER be fearful of or wanting to sacrifice your strength development. What CAN change is what that means to you!