Last weekend I had the honor and privilege of assisting Josh Henkin and Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner at the DVRT Level I and II Certification Combo at Mark Fisher Fitness in New York City. It was a great experience all around. Teaching at my first certification, meeting a ton of great new people, spreading some DVRT knowledge bombs as well as getting to experience a unique fitness facility in the process all made for an amazing weekend and experience…
Side note – Anywhere that has a giant unicorn puking up a rainbow on the wall has to be an interesting place and it was – probably deserving of its own blog post.
I wanted to share a few takeaways and random thoughts I had from the weekend and didn’t have a standard flow or format so Im just going to bullet them off as I would a random thoughts post.
Always the Student
I wasn’t really nervous in any way until a few clients and friends started asking if I was nervous about being the teacher and instructor at a certification rather than the student. I still wasn’t really as Im fully confident in my knowledge of DVRT and its many intricacies to be able to teach it effectively and have been doing so with clients for years but I was still a little nervous because I didn’t know what to expect and it was still a big mindset shift initially going from student to teacher.
And then it wasn’t.
Because you are and I am and will always be a student of movement, learning and anything really for that matter.
The first thing I noticed was right off the bat, even though I was one of the instructors, was I was learning the entire time. I think I ended up with more notes than I did when I took the certifications myself a few years ago – that’s partly because I didn’t have to participate in the training as much – but mainly because I was able to see more layers and a greater understanding of the system, movement and fitness in general but also had big breakthroughs on how we can effectively coach the exercises more thoroughly.
It was simply a great reminder that no matter how much knowledge you have in something, there is always more to be learned.
Everyone gets caught up in the sexy, the flashy and the advanced. I can be guilty of it as well even though my most commonly used phrase tends to be “the best exercise(s) for you is/are the one(s) that meets your ability level, not the advanced flashy one you perform poorly.”
And this weekend was a very thorough reminder that mastery comes from an elite and comprehensive knowledge of “the basics.”
One of the best and most effective ways to clean up and increase your Ultimate Sandbag Clean and Press? Learn to pull the handles apart and create a lot of “core” and lat tension during a perfectly performed Ultimate Sandbag Deadlift. It isnt as sexy as the Clean and Press but it is damn effective and worth spending time on and perfecting.
My favorite superhero Coach Fury demonstrating the Ultimate Sandbag Training Deadlift.
Masters of their crafts are all experts and students of the basics and it’s no coincidence. There is always value in perfecting the basics.
True rotational training and true 3-dimensional movement has to be the most ignored aspect of fitness. I think it is mainly because it is challenging and you need a foundation built to do so and the general population simply doesn’t have the education to see the effectiveness of it.
After all I still hear in person and see on facebook that deadlifts will hurt your back and squats are bad for your knees. At this point in fitness education and the progress of the fitness profession, that is beyond ignorance and bordering on insulting. The way one deadlifts or the way one squats (probably because they don’t know their true ability level) is the reason they may hurt you, but it isnt the exercise.
We do far more advance exercises ALL the time.
Staggered Stance (Ass to ground as well) Squat w/ Asymmetrical Front Load and Suitcase Loads – Seems pretty advanced to me. But squatting in a controlled environment with more than 10 (or some arbitrary number) pounds is bad for your knees…
How do people carry groceries? How do people pick up their keys when they drop them? How did you get out of your car? What happens when you have three kids and you have to carry one and some groceries/shopping bags like the picture above?
Yet we train on machines and do things that are solely front to back or up and down when nothing in life or sport happens that way. And we dont squat because it is bad for knees and dont deadlift because “you’ll blow a disc!!!”
Sarcasm, of course.
So why wouldn’t we actively train rotation? We absolutely do and you absolutely should if you aren’t.
I always say it is great to accomplish things from a physical perspective yourself but I get just as much if not more enjoyment out of creating the ability to accomplish physical feats in others through my coaching. Doing it yourself isnt nearly as impressive as being able to coach someone else through something as they have a significantly different movement history, ability level etc and it takes skill and craft to be able to help them rather than yourself who you know really well. It’s similar to the old adage that “just because you got yourself in shape as a young male doesnt mean you know how to train a “middle age” female.”
My business partner and owner of LEWIS Fitness & Performance, Geoff Lewis has been learning the DVRT system under me since we merged facilities and started in business together in October 2013. I’d been helping him learn and then train for the Clean and Press Test that is now a standard to become DVRT Level I certified.
And he was the only “heavyweight” or 210+ pounder to pass the Clean and Press Test and I must say he smoked it and it lit up the room. I kind of wish he had gone in the first wave rather than the last because it fired everyone up.
Big props to Geoff for crushing the test, especially after a long morning of lifting and learning as well.
While teaching the cert, there was a participant who had taken the certifications before and was there to deepen his learning on the system again as well as help us assist and teach the certification with anything we may have needed. It was great meeting him and we hit it off quickly because he is a “fitness nerd” like I am and he asked a lot of deep, involved questions about the system, the Functional Movement Screen (our assessment protocol) and implementing both for programming while owning a facility.
A lot of his questions, the quick answer was “it depends.” And then having to explain the certain situations that would govern the answers being different depending on the situation.
I think the fitness profession more than any other loves “black and white” answers and absolutes because a large amount of people think they know everything and can do it themselves so they want the easy answer to be the right answer but it is so far from the case. The answer is usually gray and “it depends” on a multitude of factors.
-Are you symmetrical? If not, how asymmetrical are you? And where?
-Does the person need mobility? If so, where?
-Does the person need stability? If so, where?
-Does the person need strength? If so, where?
-Do they need one of those one place and another in a different place?
-How do they move front to back, side to side and rotationally?
The first thing new clients say when they are in their first month at Twoguns Training Systems is they are surprised at how much better they feel. The reality is when you have a program that adamantly attacks your weaknesses is all facets and maintains your strengths in an approach that is truly 360 degrees of mobility, strength and stability – your body moves infinitely better, which means you move more often and more effectively and burn infinitely more fat in the process while feeling great while you do it. And that is the power of DVRT more than anything else.
Which exercise is best for you? It depends 🙂
That is all for this post, as always if you have any questions or curiosities dont hesitate to reach out and ask. I look forward to hearing from you.
Owner and operator of the Twoguns Training Systems, a 10,000 sq foot facility in Erie, PA and the leader in fat loss in the area. You can find more information at www.twogunstrainingsystems.com and he also has a blog centered towards fitness professionals at www.dannytwoguns.com. He can be reached at [email protected]
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