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How Ultimate Sandbag Training Can Make You Crazy Strong

sandbag fitness equipment

I’ll admit it, when I started off with Ultimate Sandbag Training in 2005, I didn’t really have DVRT well planned out. Don’t get me wrong, I was already seeing with my own clients how Ultimate Sandbag Training could bring a whole new dimension to their training and get better results, but I didn’t have it all spelled out. Even though DVRT was still coming together as a system, I knew there were certain things we were doing in the gym that I could immediately recommend for people and help them move better and get stronger faster.

ultimate sandbag training

Even before we had Ultimate Sandbags really rocking and rolling, I was writing about the benefits that I believed sandbag training could offer any fitness program. 

A lot of it had to do around the idea of using Ultimate Sandbag Training for stability training. Heck, what got me even interested in sandbag training from the start was how many old time strength athletes found sandbag training to be the most challenging odd object to use. While this is something that basically anyone can understand, what wasn’t so clear was how this benefitted one’s training other than making your workouts way harder.

So, at the start I just loved the challenge of lifting a “non-cooperative” weight. I mean, how could someone who already had over 10 years of lifting under their belt get humbled by an 80 pound Ultimate Sandbag, that’s no weight right? Well, I think we all know that a perfectly balanced weight is WAAAYYY easier than something that always has some movement to it right? Again, so it makes training difficult, but does it make training better?

How Instability Of Ultimate Sandbag Training Makes Your Crazy Strong

Alright, let’s finally clear up some confusion about Ultimate Sandbag Training and getting really, like really strong while also improving the way you move. Instability accomplishes several goals that relate to helping us create great functional strength and movement skills. For one, if a weight is slightly unstable (if it is too dramatically unstable it is almost as useless as standing on wobbly, bouncy objects to get strong) we have to be more precise with our movement. Muscling a heavy Ultimate Sandbag is almost impossible and I’ve seen plenty of people try.

One gentleman came to a DVRT certification years ago. This was a BIG guy, like the type you would not want to start a fight with type of big. When it came time for our Clean and Press test (50 reps in 5 minutes) he looked confused. He was honest that he hadn’t prepared at all for it (um, evidently doesn’t read all the emails sent) but felt really confident as he told me he could press a 225 pound barbell overhead 20 times straight, um, okay, that is pretty impressive. However, I knew how lifting in Ultimate Sandbag Training was so different, you couldn’t JUST be strong, you had to know how to move well and use your body in smart ways.

ultimate sandbag training

If a 120 pound Burly Ultimate Sandbag can smoke a former All American football player like renown strength coach, Robert Dos Remedios, who is 6’3 and 250 pounds, then I think we can make anyone really strong.

I gotta give the guy credit, he gave a full out effort for the whole five minutes. A 100 pound Burly Ultimate Sandbag though absolutely CRUSHED him!!! You know, where he is sprawled out on the ground gasping for air, already having a sweat angel forming around him. More than just being smoked by the test, he was completely humbled in how many repetitions he just flat out missed because he was so use to just using brute strength to lift. The instability in Ultimate Sandbag Training taught him an important lesson that being strong is important, but so is knowing how to move well!

From a coaching perspective, I love the fact that I can learn so much about what someone is doing well and not doing so well by how they perform our various Ultimate Sandbag Training drills. Especially because as we go heavier in DVRT we tend to also use larger Ultimate Sandbags. The size of an Ultimate Sandbag is something people don’t think about because no other tool uses dimension to build progression or create instability. Since different sizes of Ultimate Sandbags CAN weigh the same, as you go larger they become more unstable and unpredictable. In such situations we really see how no two repetitions become the same so we use A LOT of muscles, burn a lot of calories, and build crazy amounts of strength all at the same time.


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

 DVRT Master, Cory Cripe, shows above how 2 Ultimate Sandbags can make the same drill VERY different in just the dimensional changes they create.


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

Above, Cory demonstrates how changing holding position can also make a weight feel more or less stable. 

Dimension is one big aspect of how we build great strength with instability, trying to clean and press a Burly Ultimate Sandbag is VERY different than even using a Strength at the same weight. However, dimension can also challenge our strength by how it is placed on our body. If we use drills like the Front Load, as Ultimate Sandbags get larger they demand more of our core and upper body to work with our lower body to keep our form and not compensate in a movement. We REALY notice theses Ultimate Sandbag Training differences in Front Load, Shoulder, and many of our other DVRT holding positions. So, instability can start forming in many different ways.


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

Of course that dimensional difference in larger Ultimate Sandbags shocks people when we give the weight movement. In drills like MAX lunges, Shoveling, and more, when the Ultimate Sandbag moves in a different direction or gains momentum in a direction (like a lateral clean to balance as you see below), we REALLY amp up not only the muscles involved, but our understanding of how to use our body most efficiently.

Using these strategies as you have seen throughout this post helps us accomplish so much. We can definitely train hard, but we also build qualities that make our body move better, become more resilient to injury, and strength that will transfer to anything in or outside of the gym. I wanted to share this with you because a lot of people shy away from heavier and larger Ultimate Sandbags because they can only see using them like an alternative barbell. That’s a shame because there are so many great ways to employ bigger Ultimate Sandbags to not just stress the body, but to provide better feedback in one’s movement and how to move better.

This is why we I asked Cory Cripe to create a program based around only our heavier and larger Ultimate Sandbags. Cory (as you can see throughout the videos here) has done a great job implementing our Strength and Burly Ultimate Sandbags not only into his own workout programs, but those of his clients at Fitness Lying Down as well.

This week we have a special opportunity to build up or start your DVRT gym! Whenever you invest in our Burly Ultimate Sandbags/Water Bags, you can get a Force Ultimate Sandbag (only doing sand versions) for FREE with code “freeforce”. Just use the code HERE for a VERY limited time!