Believe it or not, I do really like it when you guys write in with thoughtful questions. Like when I was sent this great one from Todd M….
I really love what you guys are doing with DVRT and Ultimate Sandbag Training! However, I know that I still want to use some of the other stuff I have in my gym. You know, my kettlebells, TRX, medicine balls, and barbell. Is that possible or do I just select one Ultimate Sandbag exercise to add into my routine?”
Todd, we actually get this question a lot, it was even a big one when we did a DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training certification with the US Border Patrol. Here are a few easy ways to make programming easy, then some ways you can look a bit deeper.
Programming can really scare people because they think it is too complicated. So, let’s take out some of the fear.
Step 1: The Movement
Here is a list of fundamental human movements…
Not so scary right? Now, this short list has lots of options. For example, we can push above our heads (like a military press), or out in front of us (like a push-up). We can perform these drills with one or two arms/legs. These movements can be taken in certain planes. Overall though we want to pick exercises that cover as many of these movements at once to create a great workout because DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training should crossover to ALL your training implements.
That means we want to look at about 4-6 movement in our program.
|Exercise||Movement||Plane of Motion|
|USB Shoulder Lunge||Lunge Movement/Resist Rotation||Sagittal/Frontal|
|Spider Man Push-up||Pushing/Pulling Movement/Resist Flexion/Resist Rotation||Sagittal/Transverse|
|KB Single Arm Swing||Hip Hinge/Resist Flexion-Extension/Resist Rotation||Sagittal/Transverse|
|Pull-ups||Pulling Movement/Resist Flexion-Extension||Sagittal|
|Side Plank with Leg Lift||Resist Rotation/Lateral Flexion||Frontal/Transverse|
A few quick notes…
Do you HAVE to use other tools in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training? I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, if I use a different implement it is going to be because I can’t do something with the Ultimate Sandbag. In the above example, I am using a kettlebell because it is the BEST tool for doing straight swings. The moral of the story is don’t let variety be simply your guide as you lose value of what your other tools can provide!
The order of the exercises was also thought out to go from most to least complex. This will help because your nervous system fatigues actually before your muscles do! You will also notice how we selected exercises that cover at least a few of those movements we described up above that means we are being efficient with our training and the fact we cover multiple planes of motion is even better!
Step 2: Reps and Sets
While this could be a whole blog post in itself (maybe it can if you guys want), but this is really about making programming simple. So let’s keep this kinda simple. There are generally three ranges of reps protocols.
You might guess, 1-5 is for heavy maximal strength work, 6-15 is more adding muscle and base strength levels with some strength endurance, 15+ is primarily strength endurance. Generally you want to match the goal to the right exercise and the exercise to the right rep scheme. While any exercise can generally fall into any category there are some good general guidelines to follow.
The more complex the exercise the moderate to lower repetitions you perform. That would include things like MAX Lunge, Clean and Press, Front Loaded Good Mornings, single leg training, etc. More flowing drills or less complex drills can be higher repetitions if the load matches (which is important in initial phases of training, don’t try to go too heavy too fast)
If we took our above workout it might look like the following…
|USB Shoulder Lunge||6-8 per side||Less stable exercises generally start with more moderate reps|
|Spider Man Push-up||8-10||Less complex movements with slight instability can often be done for higher reps|
|KB Single Arm Swing||10-12 per side||More of a drill that relies on deliberate momentum so higher reps work better|
|Pull-ups||3-5||Pull-ups are a great example of a “heavy” bodyweight exercise for most people so lower reps|
|Side Plank with Leg Lift||10-15||When we use exercises that need longer time under tension, we want to make sure the rep ranges allow us to do so.|
Not so bad right? Making sense? What about sets?
I love using full body circuits because the whole body gets trained rather equally. If you just want to get more “fit” or leaner that works really well. The only time I really alter this is if you have a goal on a specific exercise or performance goal. A great way to work is to give yourself a range of about 3 sets. What do I mean? You can give yourself 3-5 sets as a circuit. That way if you are feeling great, have more energy and time to train you go for 5 sets, you are tired and spent, maybe 3.
My hope is that this type of introduction will give you more meaning to your workouts. Programming doesn’t have to be scary, complicated, but it can be incredibly effective and make your training fare more efficient! Got questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org/dev
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