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New Era Of Functional Training


With the New Year on the horizon it can be almost impossible for people to think about their fitness programs. I really get it, family, events, it gets crazy fast! That is why I wanted to hit one more fun blog to hopefully inspire you to keep moving forward even though everything (sometimes everyone) is telling you to do the opposite:) What you are going to see in DVRT (our dynamic variable resistance training system) in 2019 is the introduction of more tools in our functional training programs. 

Last week I shared with you a great post about why and how we were implementing Lever Bells into DVRT. The same can be said about many other great tools. This isn’t really new, rather we have tried to help people understand the power and depth of Ultimate Sandbag Training before we included too many other functional training tools. 

functional training

When we do so it is always with the purpose of teaching people something that couldn’t be done with something else. Saturday, I was on a podcast where the interviewer asked, “I have barbells and kettlebells why do I need Ultimate Sandbags?” This is a GREAT question, but it doesn’t have as much to do with Ultimate Sandbags but how we choose any tool! 

Sadly, most coaches use different tools just as a “change of pace” or “variety”. Is that horrible? Not really, but it does give little value to the tools themselves. As I explained on the podcast, if you are simply buying tools to give you a new version of doing the same thing, then you are chasing a really expensive form of fitness. 

If we use a functional training tool to achieve something that is unique, then those tools have HUGE value and are something we will use in the long run. After all, even many fitness professionals fall into the trap of “playing” with a new toy for a few sessions and then leaving it the corner to gather dust. You can’t really blame them as if there is no real benefit to use “that or this”, then you tend to go back to just what you feel good at right? 

functional training

Helping people understand what functional training means and how we use the tools to create solutions is what we have always been about!

So, what are some real examples of how we use these functional training tools to really create benefits that show their immense value. The other week I wrote a whole blog (you can read HERE) or how we build progressions of the kettlebell swing without doing the swing. That is the idea behind functional training, realizing how the body works to use specific exercises to teach lessons of movement that allows us to keep growing our fitness!

Jessica shows how Ultimate Sandbags and kettlebells can be used to build off of one another rather than making you feel like you are choosing one or another. This made a great post showing this very idea of going from establishing the concept of the kettlebell swing to progressing it more 3-D to represent how we really move in life! 

The same can be said in building progression on more general exercises like band lateral walks. While traditionally not performed with weight, most people miss a great opportunity here to connect the body more, we actually start to understand with functional training. That means learning that no muscle works in isolation so with that in mind, the glutes work with the core and lats so how do we bring these concepts to life? You can see in the post below some ideas that transform even your most familiar exercise. 

Combining Tools

At first glance, combining multiple tools into one exercise looks to be just trying too hard. However, if we delve a bit deeper and think about what functional training lessons we are trying to teach, then it becomes obvious that these drills can have great value!

Teaching how to brace one’s core through tension is key in building better movement. How do we create that tension? It comes in how we use the tools in “breaking the handles apart”, gripping in specific ways to allows us to connect these chains of the body. We have long said, it isn’t about what tool you use, but how you use that tool! 

We can also combine implements to to accentuate a concept. In the case of the drills below I first use the Ultimate Sandbag on the shoulder of our Up Downs while pressing the kettlebell to accentuate the lateral stress on the body. Teaching the body how to resist movement through feedback and tension allows us to build greater interaction of the core and lats in all these exercises. 

Similar, but different, as DVRT Master Cory Cripe shows, we can use the Ultimate Sandbag in a reactive way to challenge your core and whole body integration. Rotating the unstable Ultimate Sandbag around the body as he lunges makes him engage his feet and core to a higher level. Pressing the kettlebell helps us learn that pressing up requires us to create a stable foundation in the core and lower body. 

I hope you are ask excited for 2019 as we are. We believe that the best form of DVRT is to continue to evolve and bring you not just new, but better ways of achieving your fitness goals!

functional training