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Gyms Are Re-Opening Now What?!

Even if you aren’t open right now, the reality is you will be shortly. While so many gym owners have been fighting to reopen, the question is, are you ready all around? Meaning, not only are you on top of the cleaning and the social distancing, but is your programming and the way you going to run your training really mapped out? Running gyms right now is going to be the ultimate test on who has really thought about creating the best solutions possible.

Many are still scrambling to figure out how to adapt to the new landscape of gyms. While none of us have all the answers, we have been working hard at DVRT to support you and make sure you are on the right track! That is why I wanted to devote this blog post to helping gyms see that this new time in fitness doesn’t mean we can’t still offer amazing training and maybe develop a model we love so much we will use it moving forward.

unnamed 2 - Gyms Are Re-Opening Now What?!

So how do gyms navigate creating powerful workouts that still accomplish the goal of our clients? Let’s break down some of the most important strategies!

Movement Patterns

I really believe the past 15 years of trying to share with people not just DVRT but what functional training really means gives us such a huge advantage. More than ever, understanding how the body functions allows us to create smart workouts and allows our gyms to thrive, not just survive!

The first key is to think about movement patterns. Why? When we think about the 7 foundational human movement patterns (squat, hip hinge, lunge, push, pull, rotation, and locomotion) we have direction of where we are going to spend our time and see how we can adjust our training to meet any fitness level!

low backs

The above comes right out of renown spine expert, Dr. Stuart McGill’s textbook. Within each of these categories we have TONS of options of how to develop these patterns. Focusing on movement patterns as I’ll show allows our gyms to be amazingly adaptive and effective.

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There is no arguing that squats can play a big part in building a really strong lower body, but is there more to gain from the squat than just muscle (I am far from against more muscle but…)? We forget that squats are first and foremost a movement pattern and that means we look for quality of movement first. Especially of ankle, knee, and hip mobility. These 3 areas are big for both power production as well as creating better injury resilience for the low back. Unfortunately, they are also 3 areas that people often struggle with especially in the squat. ______________ The reason that I love using kettlebells and our Ultimate Sandbags for squatting is because they allow us to not only build strength, but increase these mobility needs as well as integrating better core training. Research has shown time and time again we can develop the same strength and activate the same level of muscles with less load in front of the body than causing potential spinal issues with heavier loads on the back. Additionally, these progressions allow us to teach people how there are more variables to our training than just load, but how we can use load strategically to build and challenge a great squat. _____________ I’ve place the toughest squat first where you see a sprinter squat (heel to toe where the back heel is elevated)  and using the kettlebell and Ultimate Sandbag in the shoulder position isn’t just to be different. The Ultimate #Sandbag tries to pull us in the frontal plane so it is like a moving side #plank, where the kettlebell we squeeze and drive our elbows in to maintain tension. That is the whole point of this post. Don’t just look at where we use the weight, but HOW we are using the weight to create feedback and stability to the drill. Building great squats or lower body strength doesn’t have to be complex if we have the right systems in place!

A post shared by Jessica Bento (@jessbento_physiotherapist) on

In the post above physical therapist, Jessica Bento shows how can progress the squat by just changing how we hold different implements. Tools like kettlebells and Ultimate Sandbag are going to be a huge focus in patterns like squats because they don’t take up a lot of space in our gyms, we can manipulate them to fit different fitness levels without needing a ton of equipment and we can progress them through a multitude of means.

Sweet Momentum Fitness shows how using the concept of our Press Outs we can make different squats more accessible to people. Increasing core stability helps us with better hip mobility and overall stability as we move to more challenging patterns. Using such squats actually INCREASES the amount of muscles we use as well as the overall functional fitness qualities we develop like mobility, stability, and multi-planar strength. That all leads to dynamic workouts that deliver on a multitude of fronts.

You can see the same in even familiar exercises like bent rows where we can use these same concepts of altering load position (in this case how we grip the weight), our stance, and our planes of motion. If anything, gyms are going to be surprised at HOW MANY options they actually have!

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There isn’t anything different about doing a bent row right? After all a row is a row is a row. However, research has shown by changing how we grip and the position we place our body stimulates different muscles in the body, especially that of the core, but the upper back as well. What we find so unique about using the Ultimate Sandbag for bent over rows is that we have more options to manipulate such training to gain better results and functional strength. ___________ The bent over row is such an important lift because not only does it build great strength and muscle of the upper back, but it teaches us the importance of core endurance/stability, as well as how to achieve a proper hip hinge that feeds into movements like deadlifts, cleans, and so much more! ___________ The Ultimate Sandbag allows more gripping options than any other tool. The center of mass is further from our grip so the weight is heavier than an equivalent dumbbell or barbell. The instability makes us have to react to the weight moving and what we wanted to show is how we can manipulate the position in which we row to get great power through the glutes, core, and upper back. These are going to be important strategies in getting more out of equipment as we go back to trying to achieve a sense of “normalcy” in the gym. ———- Great work @corymcripe @thesandmaven @rdpaget @joelgun10

A post shared by Josh Henkin's Ultimate Sandbag (@ultimatesandbag) on

We can’t have stations, we can’t have people sharing equipment, we can’t give up the space we have available without maximizing it to its potential. So, having a simple system where we can adjust these other variables allows our gyms to achieve me with less.

Let’s also not forget that we shouldn’t expect people in a group setting to be all doing the same exercise. Yes, they can all use the same movement patterns, but at different levels. That means we are customizing our group training and gives gyms a HUGE advantage during a time where people are really lowering, not increasing the level of service because they don’t know how to adapt.

For many people, the fear is that they won’t be able to keep up with everyone else and who likes feeling like they are being left behind. It is way cooler to think that we can use our gyms to show people they CAN do it and we are there to guide them in learning how to use their bodies smarter. A great example is this post Jessica made about overhead pressing…

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There isn’t anything different about doing a bent row right? After all a row is a row is a row. However, research has shown by changing how we grip and the position we place our body stimulates different muscles in the body, especially that of the core, but the upper back as well. What we find so unique about using the Ultimate Sandbag for bent over rows is that we have more options to manipulate such training to gain better results and functional strength. ___________ The bent over row is such an important lift because not only does it build great strength and muscle of the upper back, but it teaches us the importance of core endurance/stability, as well as how to achieve a proper hip hinge that feeds into movements like deadlifts, cleans, and so much more! ___________ The Ultimate Sandbag allows more gripping options than any other tool. The center of mass is further from our grip so the weight is heavier than an equivalent dumbbell or barbell. The instability makes us have to react to the weight moving and what we wanted to show is how we can manipulate the position in which we row to get great power through the glutes, core, and upper back. These are going to be important strategies in getting more out of equipment as we go back to trying to achieve a sense of “normalcy” in the gym. ———- Great work @corymcripe @thesandmaven @rdpaget @joelgun10

A post shared by Josh Henkin's Ultimate Sandbag (@ultimatesandbag) on

So many people think they can’t press overhead, but the reality is for most people that they don’t know how and use the wrong progression of the movement. This isn’t difficult, it is just different. Having a few kettlebells, super bands, mini bands, and Ultimate Sandbags opens up such a big world if we focus on 3 variables…

-How we hold a weight

-How we stand with the weight

-The planes of motion we emphasize

If this is so effective then why don’t more people do it? Well, for one, most people are stuck thinking the barbell is the center of gyms universe. Ironically, most of the tools we are recommending don’t function in the same manner of the barbell. Kettlebells, bands, bodyweight, Ultimate Sandbags, they either don’t change their weight at all, or it isn’t as easy to adjust. So, if this is the case, why do program 99% of our tools to only function like 1% of them?

Sure, increasing weight is an option for us and should be used when necessary. However, our goal is to show you other options that allow gyms to be more successful with less. Doing so WITHOUT sacrificing the quality of the programs. When people train this way they see a much bigger and better world ahead of them. Fitness pro, John Rhodes, has been training with us online for the past several months and with the pandemic has been using very much what we have been describing. His results?

“I started working with Jessica Bento in November. At this point in my life my workouts were all over the place due to working long days. Having Jessica program my workouts based off my physical assessment and available equipment has made a huge impact on my life. She checks in to see how my workouts are going and if I need to anything changed. If I have any questions she is always so fast with a response to make sure my experience is nothing but the best! I would highly recommend working with DVRT Online training with Jessica or Josh if you are wanting to take your fitness to the next level.”

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Workouts don’t need to be complicated but they should show intent of the movements being performed. In the first and second blocks from my workout today @jessbento_physiotherapist had me doing 1️⃣ Lateral Goodmornings to Front Loaded Max Lunge (L)2️⃣ Tall Kneeling Press 3️⃣ Lateral Goodmornings to Front Loaded Max Lunge ( R) 4️⃣Rear Step Rows. 🟥The Lateral Goodmornings to Front Loaded Max Lunge focus on our hinge pattern but instead of working only in Sagittal plane we took it into the Front plane which adds different level of intensity, stress on body, and core stability. Going straight into FL MAX Lunge stresses total body strength in order to not drop the hip, control movement down and Thoracic spine rotation instead of segmenting the movement to where the motion comes from the lumbar spine. 🟥Tall Kneeling Press makes the OH press harder because lack of stability from standing. This dials in your core to keep me upright versus collapsing forward. Key point is my feet are grounding me and helping the movement not just be an upper body movement. 🟥 Rear step Rows focus on our hinge pattern but now adding an upper body motion. The Rear Step causes the body to fight rotation while creating core stability. 🟥Bear Hug Squats with pause makes your body own the movement by providing full body tension during the pause so you don’t collapse forward. 🟥KB Cleans from PKM helping me focus on being explosive but catching the bell in the most ideal position as well. @corymcripe @joshhenkindvrt @ultimatesandbag @fitnesslyingdown #friendsdontletfriendsabcrunch

A post shared by Johnny Rhodes (@jrhodes810) on

We can and will share more, but we want to keep the focus on your gyms and how we are going to build success for you! This is a time to pivot and discover a level of success you may have not thought possible.

That is why we created our DVRT pod training program. It is exactly the model we have been discussing and we show you how easy, versatile, effective, and fun these ideas can be! You can the year’s worth of training programs, over 350 drills, and regressions to every drill for under $25 when you use code “save25” HERE. When you do so this week we will ALSO give you our DVRT Dynamic Warm-up program for FREE. We want our fitness community to not just re-open but succeed and exceed their expectations, that’s what we are about!

sandbag workouts