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The Evolution of Ultimate Sandbag Training

DVRT Master, Ian Vaughn (Creator of DVRT Strength & Muscle)

Having been into DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training for the past few years has been really exciting. Seeing the evolution of the DVRT system and Ultimate Sandbag has been one thing. However, another you can always count on is that Josh and Jessica are thinking ahead of the game. A great example is when they came out with something I wasn’t expecting from DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training…..the ARES sled!

I was excited as one of the oldest tools I’ve been using since my high school football days are sleds. I’ve done all types, love the drive it takes from the legs and pushing and pulling techniques you can also apply to it. However after the new release of the DVRT Adaptable Resistance Exercise Sled (ARES) I’ve been very surprised how much LESS weight I need to with perform it and how much more emphasis I need in my movement patterns. Hmm, sounds similar to what DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training is all about right?!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very used to loading plate after, after plate and felt like my DVRT journey started all over again when I first got put in my place buying a 100 pound Burly Ultimate Sandbag and trying to press it with no real education on it first. The past couple months with it have been humbling and been a fun twist to add continuous walking max lunges with it for example for me and my athletes.

sandbag training

The biggest benefit you’ll instantly find about the ARES is it’s portability and how easy you can set it up; having one or two Ultimate Sandbags/kettlebells to accompany it. It comes with towing straps and a cinch belt. The usage you get out of these two hooks ups can change the way you view sled workouts. The ARES can be used on everything except asphalt. So it’s important to remember when loading the sled to keep surface friction in mind. Rubber floors would be surface high friction, turf flooring surface would be normal and I believe park grass is best to get a idea of what weight is best (plus you’ll get more room to play around with it instead of turning around back & forth).

The best part isn’t how much great training you can do with the ARES, but if you understand DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training, the ARES gives just another great layer to this powerhouse system. So, let me share with you some of my favorite ways to get huge “bang for your buck” from one of my new “go to” tools.

ARES Towing Strap Favorites:
Squat Rows & Raises are a good starting exercises to see what weights will work best with sled. These work posterior chain of the body very well and teach the feet to really root to the ground as you pull.

-Perform 4 SETS of 12-15 Reps with either (or 2 sets of each)

Walking Overhead Lunges with the ARES are no joke. This one took me awhile to get right because there’s so much core work in this one to keep your arms extended overhead and maintain tension on the strap as you lunge left to right. Be sure to keep your eye gaze forward and don’t resist the straps; keep the hands punched up toward the sky:
-Perform 15-20 Yards / 3 SETS

The Single Arm Shuffle Press Out really bring another dimension into sled work…holy crap my obliques we’re crying during this one because I had to keep the handle in line with my spine the time not slouching to the dragging direction. If that wasn’t enough, the feet need to stomp into the ground to gain stability and strength with the knees & hips in a athletic hinged position. DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training never stops surprising me!
-Perform 15-20 Yards / 2-3 SETS on each side

Then lastly for the straps are Single Arm Rotational Press Outs. DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training has always been about trying to work and progress different patterns and plane of motion. Well, this ARES exercise does just that in ways you might not expect!

Tie off the strap into one handle, stand sideways in a athletic position with the handle in the rear arm, punch it forward pivoting the rear foot, and then take couple steps forward to get tension on the towing strap again to repeat it. Be sure to pull your free hand as the other is pushing to get more torque and strength pivoting into the ground. After performing this, it dawned on me I’ve ever done a rotational type movements with regular sleds before. Important lesson you can still apply DVRT concepts to the ARES and think beyond typical push/pull movements in one plane of motion
– Perform 6-8 Reps each side / 3 SETS

Next time I will cover some amazing functional fitness drill that are given a whole different dimension with a simple change to your ARES sled.

If you want to save 25% on Ian’s NEW DVRT Strength & Muscle and our DVRT Warrior HIIT program use coupon code “spring2018” HERE now! If you want to save 25% on our ARES Sled and get a jump start on our end of summer sale use the coupon code  HERE. 


sandbag training


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FB Page: Viking Valhalla Training Center: HERE