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DVRT Deadlift Progressions For Better Strength & Stability

ultimate sandbag workouts

Cory Cripe, DVRT Master (Creator of Dynamic Strength Workout Programs & Movement Strength Training , Don’t Miss Cory’s Chicago Level 1 & 2 DVRT Certifications in October HERE, Early Bird Ends Sept 20th)

ultimate sandbag training

It’s mind blowing to think at this time last year my gym, Fitness Lying Down, was forced to close its doors for in-person training. And as far-fetched as it might sound, DVRT has been instrumental in helping me and my staff to keep FLD afloat during these last 12 months and I’ll tell you why!


I knew DVRT and the Ultimate Sandbag was unique and without knowing the entirety of the system, or the nuances of using the USB, I was determined to make it prominent in our training when I first began FLD over six years ago! It all began when I went through a hands-on course at the Perform Better 3-Day Summit in Chicago and experienced the USB. At that time I was seriously considering the possibilities of opening my own gym and this all made sense in regards to cost, practicality of the implement, and the lack of space the Ultimate Sandbag took up.

core training

To go from that experience to teaching the DVRT education myself has been a really rewarding journey.

The above reasons are reason enough to include the Ultimate Sandbags not only in a small gym setting, but also in home gyms across the nation. But when I traveled down the rabbit hole of DVRT and found out how much you could do with one simple fitness tool, I felt like Aladdin singing, “A Whole New World!” Terrible movie reference on my part – but remember, it’s been awhile since I’ve written a DVRT blog!

We have been blessed to have clients newly join FLD both physically and virtually during the last twelve months and we’ve had conversations with our new sandbaggers about their former gyms sending out bodyweight workouts in the beginning for members to do at home, but those stopped after a couple of months – or, at best, were recycled without any ways to progress or regress and this whole time the gym is still collecting their normal monthly dues.

Being able to help people during this challenging time has definitely made me appreciate what we do even more as coaches as well as really think about being a strong problem solver. 

Hearing about the monotony of exercises from our newbies during their previous Zoom workouts also made me thankful for how we implement DVRT. They would reflect on how many sessions can one go through doing the same air squats, planks, and jumps before you’ve had enough? In no way do I want to sound as if I’m looking down on this way of training, 2020 was a very challenging year and trying to offer members & clients the gym experience with limited equipment at home was no easy task for any gym owner!

BUT – I will say that this is where DVRT helped set our training apart from other gyms during the lockdown. Without this indispensable system I would have struggled so much more with providing the value our clients needed while at home. Our immediate response was to give everything away! Well, maybe not “give” it away, but foster our equipment to good homes. Getting the Ultimate Sandbags, kettlebells, bands, and whatever else we could into our clients’ hands was so effortless because we weren’t handing out 7’ barbells with plates and awkward equipment. Just providing less obstacles for people allowed us to make fitness seem more accessible. The MOSt important part is obviously what are we going to actually do?

Fortunately with the DVRT system we can do A LOT with very little. A great example is a series that Coach Cari Satre and I have been sharing on Instagram in DVRT hip hinge progressions. These videos are a great example of how much we can do with just one weight!


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A post shared by Cari Satre (@coachcariii)

Along with Cari we show how we build a foundation with the deadlift to change the load position to increase the intensity with the front loaded good morning to then progressing to our sprinter deadlift to challenge stability and strength at the same time. All making the same weight feel increasingly more challenging. 


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A post shared by Cory M. Cripe (@corymcripe)

Once we understand we can increase the intensity of an exercise like the hip hinge with our DVRT principles of load and body position, we can start combining both of these variables as you see above but also add one more in the different planes of motion. You see Cari and I use our deadlift and front loaded good morning positions to challenge strength and stability with which direction with move and the length of our step (we can step back with small, or larger steps to increase the demands). This allows us to maximize our training tools but also develop functional strength of the core and glutes to a higher degree because these muscles be working at a high level to keep the quality of our hip hinge with these changing environments. In other words, these are means we can make the same weight feel lighter or heavier depending upon the position of the load, the position of our body, and the planes of motion we move in.

If you are wondering if real people can actually do this sort of training, I can tell you from our clients the answer is a STRONG yes!

Hopefully the point that you are seeing is not that there is just a lot of “stuff” we can do with the Ultimate Sandbag, but rather the DVRT system lays out how we can build progression in any movement with other elements other than just going heavier. This doesn’t mean that we CAN’T go heavier, of course that would be great, but like Impact Athletic Performance shows below, most of us are going to be working with clients in “pods” that means we need to have other means to help find the RIGHT level of the exercise for each person.

sandbag workouts

When you see us perform what looks like crazy DVRT exercises, the reality is everything is based off a previous level of the movement. This is different than most programs because people often just look for “different” ways of doing an exercise/movement, rather than how we built it or where we are going with it. Advanced DVRT hip hinge drills that Cari and I show in rotation are built off of LOTS of practice and building up strength in the drills that you’ve seen up to this point. We don’t just pick something difficult, we choose something purposeful. That is what keeps me so motivated with my clients is that I feel like I have so much more purpose to their training and know we are going with it. As some clients come back for live training, others are going to stay online a bit and in either case I know I have a method to help both find their better!

Don’t miss Cory teaching our DVRT Level 1 & 2 certifications in Chicago coming up in October, you can still sign-up HERE and get our early bird (not much time left though)! You can also SAVE 25% OFF on our entire site with the coupon code SAVE25 HERE, plus any USB package order will receive MRT Workouts that has over 80 workouts for FREE! Coupon codes exclude live events, gift cards, and online coaching. Can not combine coupon codes.


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A post shared by Cory M. Cripe (@corymcripe)