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Kettlebells Suck!

sandbag training

You might have A LOT of questions about today’s post! I don’t blame you, in the day and age of internet marketing you might think this is a cheap excuse to get you to click on today’s post. No seriously, I think the way most people use kettlebells just sucks! I’ll explain why in a moment, but I want to address probably your other question….

“Why is the Ultimate Sandbag guy talking about kettlebells?” 

Some of you know my story, others may not. I’ve been using kettlebells LONGER than I have sandbags. In fact, it was discovering kettlebells in 2002 that set me on a path to discovering what real movement based functional fitness was all about. I was so incredibly inspired by the potential kettlebells possessed and the problems they could solve, I dumped most of everything else in my training. 


Funny to look back on one of my first articles on kettlebells in 2005 for the Dragon Door publication, Vitalics. Shoot, so long ago I had hair!! Well, sorta.

This wasn’t an easy process as at the time I was renting space from a very big gym. The gym was packed full of equipment, no shortage of good, varied, and “new” training equipment. However, the idea of kettlebells was VERY foreign. I lugged kettlebells from my car (that would low ride from my house) to the gym and unload all of my kettlebells for the day of training clients. 

What kettlebells allowed me to do for so many different types of clients is why I went through all of this effort. It would have been MUCH easier to just work with what the gym had, but I wanted to provide my clients with the best! From post-rehab to some professional athletes, kettlebells were such a cornerstone of what we did. 

Part of what made me lose my excitement for kettelbells though was the oddly dogmatic view that people started to create with them. I felt out of place with what we were doing with kettlebells because it didn’t revolve around the “Big Six” (swing, snatch, press, clean, front squat, and turkish get-up). Okay, it did at some level because we used these drills, but we didn’t use ONLY these drills. 


When people say that kettlebells have ALWAYS been used a certain way it shows what they don’t know about the history of this type of training. 

What made me fall in love with kettlebells in the first place was how we could challenge movement in so many different ways. Now it was becoming evident that people were so hyper focused on just lifting more, they forgot the beautiful things that kettlebells could show us and help us with movement. 

People began to lose the difference between an exercise and a movement and were doing exercises INSTEAD of progressively sophisticated movements. Such a misunderstanding caused me to run into more and more people that to teach enjoyed kettlebells, but battled back, shoulder, and even hip problems. This shouldn’t BE! Kettlebells have long been touted to help such issues, but only if you use them with the right intent and true understanding of how the body works. 

A lack of appreciation of building greater movement is why I found people that used kettlebells all the time, but then couldn’t do foundational movements like even lunge!  

After over a decade of sharing our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training program, I’ve made a decision that I can either pretend to ignore the issues we have in teaching functional fitness, or be part of the solution. The truth is that I love kettlebells and believe there is great synergy with our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training, but not how most people use kettlebells! 

The more and more I work with coaches all over the world, I see how important it is to show how DVRT applies to ALL training implements. Not because it benefits us, but because it unlocks a world of problem solving and results that can help so many people. 

All of this is why I wanted to start sharing some of the fundamentals of what Strength Coach, Troy Anderson, and I have been working on for almost a decade. That is a progressive system of applying DVRT principles to kettlebell training. I knew the right time had come when our DVRT Master, Raymond Lee, saw some of our content and said, “you should call this Progressive Kettlebell Movement.” That is how simply some ideas are born and did give rise to moving forward with talking more about Progressive Kettlebell Movement (PKM). 

Instead of dropping a bomb on you and shaking your world too greatly, we wanted to introduce a new way of thinking. Not just of kettlebells, but of overall functional fitness. Where you do things with great purpose and respect the immense value of tools like kettlebells and Ultimate Sandbags.  

Don’t think we are leaving our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training though, we ARE going to show how their is such power in combining them though! 

We truly hope this ushers in a new age of kettlebell, Ultimate Sandbag, and overall functional training. Check out our PKM and DVRT programs and let’s welcome in smarter, a bigger world, and greater solutions to this wonderful training tool! Check out our DVRT and PKM programs for 25% off with coupon code “thanks” HERE