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Powerful Workouts During Covid

I think it goes without saying that 2020 has been one of the most challenging for any of us. There is no way to count the ways that this year has put all of us to the test. One of the ways that I have been able to keep my sanity was reflecting on a game-changing book I read in my early 20’s. Before there were books like “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck”, or “The 4 Hour Work Week”, there as a very famous book called, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. Yea, not the shocking title of books nowadays, but it was considered foundational to anyone who wanted to achieve more.

It truly was a book that helped me greatly both professionally and personally. One of the quotes that helped me so much was, “It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us.” For me, I had struggled with personal challenges, and starting new businesses (both my gyms and DVRT) was overwhelming and always came with giant hurdles. For a time I wanted to be a victim, but then I read this quote and realized that I got to decide how I react and what I do with what happens in life. The “secret” of success is largely doing what others won’t, taking control over how I felt and perceived what was thrown at me was everything.

I share this now because right now it is super easy to let what is happening in the world take us over. The stress is real, but how we react to it and what we decide to do in spite of it means everything. For many of us in the fitness industry that means adapting to a completely new and unpredictable landscape. We can be angry, sad, and all the normal emotions, but ultimately, WE have to decide what we are going to do.

Being a coach, I  have always considered myself a problem solver, this is just another problem to solve. So, can we have great powerful workouts whether we are outside, at home, or in a completely different type of gym setting? My answer is a resounding YES! In fact, we have had so many people tell us they have never had such great workouts than what they have right now because they are forced to really focus on good training principles and prioritize the most versatile training equipment to accomplish their goals. Instead of jumping around to novelty, people have become really dialed in on techniques, methods, and programs and they have seen their results really skyrocket even though their training seems so different. How do you do it? I think there are really 3 relatively easy steps.

Don’t Think About What You Don’t Have, But What You Do!

I’ve written a lot over the years about how my gym was the mistake I don’t want others to make. It was full of tons of “stuff”, but it was more about me having more toys than any other place. I didn’t have great value on the tools I had, I just wanted more of them. As I saw my business struggling I wanted to make a shift and part of that was really re-evaluating how to provide people better. Both better results from their workouts as well as the training experience as well. Quickly I started to shift my discombobulated gym into far more of a streamlined training center that had purpose and focus. Yes, part of that was placing emphasis on tools that provided me versatility, progression, and the best opportunities to teach proper strength training concepts in our workouts.

home gym

That didn’t mean JUST Ultimate Sandbags (although they would play a big role), but tools like kettlebells, resistance bands, sliders, and suspension units. What most people don’t realize is that these tools have a great ability to build synergy rather than just doing the same thing in workouts just with a different too. How do I mean?

Physical therapist, Jessica Bento, shows that using progressions of these tools allows us to fix common issues like shoulder issues due to weak serrates anterior muscles. We don’t just train the serratus but teach the body how to overall function better as it is designed to move in life. These training tools provide us the vehicle to better workouts through what they teach us in how to use our bodies smarter.

DVRT Master, Cory Cripe shows that we can have immensely powerful workouts by utilizing these tools for what they do so well. Make us move with more accuracy, stability, mobility, and overall purpose. People often devalue these tools because they don’t look as heavy as a big barbell, that is a HUGE mistake. The loads aren’t equal because these tools create elements of instability, they move in unique ways, they are very difficult to just muscle because they take proper movement and don’t just move up and down!

It Isn’t How Much Space You Have, But What You Do With It

Before COVID, I got to travel the world and see gyms in over 13 different countries and be at some of the top training facilities in the world. Time and time again I noticed something really important. It wasn’t how much space you had, but what you did with it. Whenever I consulted with gym owners I reminded them that the number one thing you couldn’t replace is space! For the gym owner, space is money, many times I saw gyms literally throwing money out the window because they were so poorly using their space in the workouts. The really efficient and successful gyms were masters at maximizing space and making their workouts like a fine-tuned machine.

sandbag workouts

Right now gyms all gyms are having to maximize their space and truly can’t afford to waste space in their workouts. This doesn’t mean sacrificing your workouts, but being more mindful of how to use great tools to enhance both the results and training experience.

Robin Paget shows a workout that takes minimal equipment and space but gives tons of variety and purpose. Training the whole body in multiple planes of motion and building all-around functional fitness without having to run around to various pieces of equipment or utilize a ton of room in her gym.

Lina Midla shows how even home workouts can be smart and economical in the space and equipment we use. The key isn’t space or the amount of equipment but the knowledge you put behind both! That takes us to our last point.

Methods & Systems, NOT Equipment!

I can talk about this because I was a huge abuser of it! That is doing the same thing just with a different piece of equipment. I did so mostly to just do something different for myself or a client, not giving much thought to WHAT made the use of a different tool unique in my workouts. As I wrote about earlier this week (HERE) about bands and Ultimate Sandbags, they have a lot of similarities in concepts, but apply them very differently. The point is our workouts shouldn’t just be randomly switching around equipment, exercises, or methods, but having a purpose in our workouts. That is why we don’t talk about Ultimate Sandbags, we discuss our Dynamic Variable Resistance Training (DVRT) system and how to use it to give direction to your workouts.


If you have been missing it, DVRT UK Master Greg Perlaki has been doing a great breakdown of our DVRT progressions on his Instagram HERE. 

The above progressions he keys on in the squat series are changing load and body position to make squats easier or more intense. These simple but incredibly effective concepts transform our workouts and the tools we use. Instead of using an Ultimate Sandbag, kettlebell, band, or medicine ball like a barbell, why not use them for what they offer so uniquely in developing better results? Of course, that means you have to understand what makes them powerful and how they can impact your workouts.

As Greg shows below, you can help so many fitness goals at once in your workouts if you follow systems versus exercises. You can see how he is teaching proper pressing for full-body strength, building upper body mobility, core stability, strength in the upper body as well as how not to hurt one’s shoulders. There is SO much we can accomplish in smarter workouts IF we chose to focus on what we do have and not what we do not. I’ve said for years, you don’t have to do every exercise, you have to do the RIGHT exercise! That is what we want to teach you about DVRT and still empower you during this tough time where we DO have the power to still achieve positive things.

Save 25% ALL throughout DVRT and when you invest in our Ultimate Sandbags you will get our NEW POD training program. A year’s worth of progressive workouts with regressions and progressions done for you. Best of all, we show you how no matter where you are training you can still achieve so much in your fitness. Just use the coupon code “train ” HERE . You can also get our POD program along with other great workout programs for 25% off HERE with the same code “train”.