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Kettlebells vs. Sandbag Training For Optimal Fitness

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It reminds me of the epic recent battle of Batman vs. Superman. How can you possibly choose between two totally awesome things? Kettlebell and Ultimate Sandbags? The key is maybe not choosing one or the other, but to really understand the differences and uniqueness of each tool. Unfortunately, far too many people trade one off for the other without really getting to  know why. 

Trust me, I get that there are plenty of exercises that look very similar. Yet, even the most familiar looking types of drills have significant differences. The importance of understanding these differences gives you the power to choose the RIGHT training tool for your fitness results. 

That’s why I have scoured the internet to find some of the most commonly stated benefits of kettlebells and Ultimate Sandbag Training to give you guys more than, “use this or that, it really doesn’t matter.” 

Unique Center of Gravity

Most kettlebell users will tell you that the dramatic difference of a kettlebell versus a dumbbell is the how far the center of mass of the kettlebell is from the handle. Traditionally, a dumbbell and barbell has us grab right at the center of mass of the object. Having the center of mass further from the handle not only creates a unique movement of the implement, but also makes the same weight feel heavier. 

If we can agree to this then we have to understand how Ultimate Sandbag Training amplifies this concept. You see, kettlebell handles have weight to them. If you grab a 35 pound kettlebell, 35 pounds is not just in the ball. Now, I’ve never taken the time, or not really sure how to distinguish how much weight is in the ball versus handle percentage wise. What I can tell you is that there is basically NO weight in the handles of an Ultimate Sandbag. 


That means the mass is all away from where you are gripping and depending on the size of the Ultimate Sandbag the distance grows. For example, the center of mass ends up being further away on a Burly Ultimate Sandbag than a Power because of the dimension. 

Kettlebells Build A Strong Grip

Due to the above point, a lot of kettlebell drills have a part that requires huge amount of effort of grip, and the handles tend to have some size to them, kettlebells do a great job working grip. 

Yet, if I look at article after article about why you should use “sandbag training”, almost without fail the first thing I see relates to grip strength. Now, you might be thinking, “yea, but those are for sandbags with no handles right?!” If you understand the previous point about grip and distance to center of mass you will understand you tend to have to grip HARDER than gripping closer to the center of mass. The handles of the Ultimate Sandbag actually have you work your grip A LOT. 

Going deeper though we can really appreciate the infamous “grip” idea. Most people think grip strength only relates to crushing types of grip. Grip legends (yes, this is a thing) like, John Brookfield, will tell you there is far more different types of strength. Such as pinching, supportive, crushing, and wrist strength. The great thing about the Ultimate Sandbag is we can hold it so many different ways and stress all these different types of grip. Trying using some of the following….

Press Out Variations


Arc Presses

Off-Set Variations

Grip Curls, Rows, Cleans

You can see that we have handles, but really we have so much more. 


Helps Your “Cardio”

Both tools are amazing for driving up your “cardio” because they are so dynamic and involve so many muscles groups at once. However, that doesn’t mean the same. Kettlebells are relatively easy to groove. For example, in the world of kettlebell sport, athletes perform ten minute challenges of kettlebell snatches and clean and jerk. Brutal for sure, yet, most people could NEVER imagine of doing the same in the world of DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training. 

Performing the Clean and Press standard for anything over five minutes might be outlawed in most countries. The reason for the difference is the ability to efficiently groove kettlebells so you do gain efficiency in the movement. An Ultimate Sandbag makes each repetition different enough where while you can get better for sure, you never really “groove” the lift. So, depending upon your goal you need to realize the differences.

Develop Power & Strength

What I love most about these tools is they can develop incredible strength and power in ways that are just hard with a lot of other implements. The ability to use kettlebells one handed, the instability and 3-D nature of Ultimate Sandbags allow you to hit ranges of motion, angles, and positions that are just impossible otherwise. 

Here is the kicker, you can accomplish the most unsuspecting loads. Now, I know it is WAY cooler to go on social media and post about the hundreds and hundreds of pounds you just lifted. Let’s be honest though, if that strength doesn’t relate to something what is the point?! 

It isn’t that the weight of kettlebells and Ultimate Sandbags is easy. Most guys are pretty tough if they can handle double 70 pound kettlebells for reps or a 100 pound Ultimate Sandbag. Ladies, you can’t be beat on double 35 pounders and a 60 pound Ultimate Sandbag. 

The key though it isn’t just about lifting heavier, but smarter. Learning how to make these weights feel heavy, how to build up to them, and realizing how concepts other than load make you strong. In fact, this type of training is consistently the type of training we use to build people back up that have abused their bodies in traditional heavy lifting. 


Cost, Space, Efficiency

These are my three favorite reasons for both these tools. In fact, DVRT Master, Troy Anderson, did the calculations and found that using these two tools takes up a third less space than that even the traditional barbell. Crazy right?! 

The cost of having these tools makes it a no brainer for anyone wanting to get real results either in a gym setting or at home. While many fitness pros get you spending literally thousands of dollars before you get to the REALLY good stuff, for a few hundred dollars you can do amazing things for people or yourself. Isn’t that the beauty of these tools, the power isn’t in the flash or the expense, but in what you can do when you know how to use them. You can literally make a thousand dollar piece of equipment useless when you optimize these tools.

Now, you may be wondering if this is going to be one of those cheesy articles where I leave it saying you should use both. You should, however, only when you know when you are trying to achieve with one another. I’ve said for years that you should only use a tool when it does something BETTER than something else!

To help you out we have done a lot of the work for you. With our 25% Spring Cleaning sale going on (use coupon code “spring2016”) you can check out our many kettlebell and DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training programs like Synergy, Body Armor, or a cool complete series HERE

Don’t just use tools, have purpose, a plan, and progression and the results will be the symbol of sophisticated but simple training!