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DVRT Water Bags for Better Functional Fitness

ultimate sandbag training equipment

The best innovations are those that create solutions for real problems. For me, it was tough, being on the road A LOT it was difficult to keep on my fitness goals and to train like I wanted. Sure, there were the cheesy hotel gyms with 25 pounds dumbbells from 1980, the random band, and a stability ball that had seen better days, but these weren’t serious options for me to keep me towards my goal. 

It didn’t dawn on me what I could do differently as usually getting one of our Ultimate Sandbags from where I was teaching wasn’t a practical option either. Then we got a call from the U.S. Army Special Forces Recruiting Battalion. The head of the program reached out to me because he wanted me to create a fitness program. 

sandbag military training

We are proud of the relationship we have had with many branches of the military, police, and fire departments. 

There were a few stipulations to the program design. For one, it couldn’t be Crossfit (you can get mad at me all you want, but that was the first condition given to me). The second was he wanted each workout to be different (ugh, this posed numerous issues in my head). Third, the goal of the program was not only to help soldiers to pass the Selection process, but to do so with lowered injury rates. Lastly, he wanted soldiers to be able to perform these workouts literally anywhere. This meant there would be situations where sand may NOT be an option. 

While I was very excited about the prospect, I was also a bit overwhelmed by some of these challenges. I am a big believer in following a program so that we can build specific qualities and see what is working and what needs to be changed. 

Addressing the two of the goals specifically seemed to be very challenging. One was the idea of making every workout different but not lose our purpose with what we were trying to accomplish the overall goal. That is where people go wrong so many times, they want entertainment, not success. 

strength training

Still one of my favorite quotes from Alwyn Cosgrove. Training is to achieve an outcome, the outcome isn’t the exercise. 

However, in DVRT we have a system that shows us how we can have the same movement at different levels. Usually we tend to think of these as progressions of exercises, but what I wanted to do was use these different levels of drills to offer some periodization to the program. Instead of altering intensity through the use of varying loads or repetitions, I did so through what level of the movement we used. So, some squatting drills focused on more stability/mobility, others more maximal strength, and others were a combination of both. That allowed me to make each workout different, but very purposeful at the same time. 


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We squat A LOT in DVRT, just the TYPE of squat we use changes to address different fitness goals.

Whew, got one of the big hurdles out of the way. What were we going to do about the other though? How would we solve not having sand for Ultimate Sandbags? That is where the idea of creating water bags began. If we simply changed the insert of our Ultimate Sandbags to those that could hold water, then we could provide the ability to do DVRT pretty much anywhere in the world. 

Our DVRT water fillers opened up a much bigger ability to offer great training anywhere and increase the stability demands of many of our DVRT exercises. 

That was about 12 years ago and that experience bred our Selection program that some may remember, but also our DVRT water bags. What we discovered since that point was both the opportunity of providing strength training anywhere without having to sacrifice the quality of our training. 

ultimate sandbag military fitness

The other was building even more layers to our DVRT program. The use of the water bags provided another stability component in our system that gave important feedback to exercises like MAX lunges, Shoulder Squats, Shoveling and many more drills. We found that if there was any compensation to these movements that the water bags exposed where we weren’t creating proper tension or positioning. 

These are some great ways to demonstrate the unique attributes of our DVRT Water Bags.

The point of using our water bags isn’t just to make training more difficult, but actually better. You aren’t suppose to be actually feeling a lot of movement of the weight when you lift. That is because a big part of what we are trying to achieve better movement accuracy that the water would provide you if your movement is off. Cory Cripe shows some ways that would definitely come into play and how our reactive stability would have to be on point.

Of course the real key is how we build some great workouts! Leave it to Cory to show how he used the water bags to create a powerful hotel workout.

Get our DVRT water bags HERE for FREE when you invest in any of our Ultimate Sandbag Packages (does exclude our kick starter) and save 20% using code “summer”. This means you will get our sand AND water fillers while saving on your Ultimate Sandbag.