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Ultimate Sandbag Challenge for Real World Fitness

sandbag workouts


A few weeks ago I got a really cool opportunity to speak to a college class about the world of becoming a fitness professional. I love having opportunities to speak to the next generation of fitness and strength coach professionals so nothing I loved more than getting questions. One that I got I found particularly interesting as they were just getting introduced to what DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training helps with coaching.

The question was, “how confident are you that Ultimate Sandbag Training can deliver results as good as if you are using things like barbells and dumbbells?”

While some would think I would think such a question about DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training is insulting or I would be offended, the truth is quite the opposite! I love it because I know it is an internal discussion most people are having with themselves. So, let’s attack it.

I responded that I was 100% confident. Not because I am a “sandbag fanatical”, but I look at what are we trying to actually accomplish when we talk about real world fitness. Most people think of it as a singular idea, “just lift heavy stuff!” Man, that makes for a great meme for social media, but is it really what we are looking to achieve?

If we look at how we move in life and sport, we realize that strength is more than just “picking stuff up” otherwise there would be tons of people that could lift big weights. Strength coaches look at the science of movement and strength (yes, there is a science), to understand strength training is multi-faceted.

As late, great, strength scientist, Dr. Mel Siff once said, “To me, the sign of a really excellent routine is one which places great demands on the athlete, yet produces progressive long-term improvement without soreness, injury or the athlete ever feeling thoroughly depleted. Any fool can create a program that is so demanding that it would virtually kill the toughest marine or hardiest of elite athletes, but not any fool can create a tough program that produces progress without unnecessary pain.”

How does that relate to DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training and my confidence in being able to deliver a result that isn’t AS good as people are use to seeing with barbells and dumbbells, but actually BETTER! Again, it has nothing to do with anything “magical” about the Ultimate Sandbag, but how we use it to train real world fitness.

As my good friend Troy Anderson said….

There my friend is where we jump off into world for fitness and performance. Instant gratification and being Anti-Fragile are worlds apart. I get it. It feels awesome to “pick up something heavy” or “slam a ball”. The tangible feedback is incredible. It makes sense to nearly any set of eye-balls.

See Heavy Weight + Pick it Up = Strong

See Ball + Throw Ball Hard = Athletic/Powerful

Capable, Better, Anti-Fragile, but does that mean real world strength?

All is a NOT as it seems.

Here at DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training we like to lift up the lid and look a little below the surface. Being anti-fragile isn’t as linear as we’d like it to be as a matter of fact it is MUCH more layered or laminated if you will.

It might not seem relevant to you; but the point is to BE truly be anti-fragile you need more than STRENGTH.

RepetitionS + Resilience = Reward/Anti-Fragile

While I rarely do research when I write, for this one I dug into the archives, ya know Siff, Zatsiorsky, Kraemer & Fleck and I dug up some real nuggets.

I found a bushel basket of mathematical and physics stuff and a pile of big words like: rate of force development, speed-strength-endurance, force couples, and TORQUE…

TORQUE is the calling card of the signature  DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training movement: Rotational Lunge

Here’s what else I found:

1) Kraemer & Fleck: heavy resistance training does NOT ALWAYS increase power performance and
may decrease it.

2) Kraemer & Fleck: loaded jump squats (at 30% isometrice strength) produce greater vertical jump results more so than the 100% and the 0% groups.

3)Zatsiorsky: transmutation of strength gains into velocity gains is NOT easy.

4)Zatsiorsky: working muscles should be the same as those in the main sport exercise and the type of resistance should mimic main sport exercise as much as possible.

5)Zatsiorsky: this type of training is for qualified athletes, NOT novices.

6) Siff: speed strength endurance refers to the ability to produce great power continously without serious decrement.

So where does that leave us?

With a true ‘comparable’ a standard based off the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training system with pinch of science, a recipe if you will or more apt a TEST. Everyone doesn’t love testing? I get it, but so many times people ask how are you know that you are doing well at DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training. So follow me here…

The DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training Torque Test.

[This is NOT, I repeat is NOT a ‘beginner’ test]

Here are the rules:


5 Minute Time Cap

50 Reps per Leg


Level 1 20% Bodyweight
Level 2 30% Bodyweight

This leaves for the great majority of people using the Power Ultimate Sandbag, but something unique happens when you go heavier, the Ultimate Sandbags go BIGGER. This amplifies the real beauty of “alive strength training” that DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training has to offer.

Changing dimension of Ultimate Sandbags really starts to amplify balance and deceleration!

Is there a sporting application, absolutely! Looking thru the lens of some of the most popular internationals sports. Sports with quickly repeated efforts like basketball, soccer/futbol, and rugby.

Don’t worry, even if you are not an athlete, this type of DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training standard is great for people that are looking for functional fitness. The combination of stability, mobility, strength, and power are all elements that apply to anyone that wants to look or perform their best!”

I love Troy’s idea and I think the Torque Test combined with our Clean and Press test give the best functional standards of real world functional training. Where we ARE strength training, but doing so by not just lifting heavier, but thinking about strength in a more well rounded way. Try this standard and see where your strengths and weaknesses may lie!

Remember, this isn’t about toughness, this is about finding where we need to develop more of our functional fitness. Progress, take a step back, and hit us up if you have questions. We believe the results of DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training that is why we are giving 30% all throughout our DVRT site (except live events) with coupon code “thanks” HERE