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Slow Training For Fat Loss?

Occasionally I like to talk like the old man that has been around fitness for over 20 years. Sometimes no other reason than to share with you how interesting it has been to watch the fitness industry evolve and change over the years. Especially when it comes to fat loss training, fitness has definitely changed!

When I began in the late 90’s, I did and recommended what was pretty standard protocol. You do some strength training, you do 30-45 minutes of slow steady state aerobic work (on an empty stomach preferably right?). In fact, if you wanted to priorate fat loss, it was more about aerobic work than strength training.

Educating people has been the biggest way we have seen DVRT evolve as the industry does!

Thanks to better science and education in our industry we found out that this wasn’t really the case. That fat loss training was really dependent upon good strength work, high intensity interval training started to replace the slow steady state work, and HOW we performed our fat loss strength training changed dramatically.

For me, this was awesome because I had wanted to take how I started with working in strength and conditioning with athletes and bring it to general population. Not because I believed that people needed to train as intensely or insanely as an athlete, but there were so many concepts of training that could benefit the average person in both health and fat loss when it came to proper strength training.

Seeing how many coaches believed the same, we know see many people at the local gym doing Olympic lifts, kettlebell swings, box jumps, sled pushes, you name it. Overall, I am glad to see this change, but I think we lost sight of another way to build strength and help with fat loss that is really important…..Slowing things down!

I was reminded of this the other day as I was interviewing fitness expert Alwyn Cosgrove (you can hear that interview HERE). In speaking with Alwyn, he reminded me how surprising it is for most people when they slow down our DVRT movements how incredibly intense they become. How they see at his renowned gym, Results Fitness, heart rates and conditioning effects that are insane and they aren’t moving quickly.

I always love talking with Alwyn because he is a coach that challenges the way we think!

It isn’t just the idea of slowing down Alwyn reminded me, it was by slowing down that people started to really get the impact of the instability of the Ultimate Sandbag and our DVRT movements. Often as people try to rush through an exercise they lose a lot of the qualities that make it so great. Fat loss isn’t just about bursting and going as hard as you can, but teaching your body how to be smarter!

That is the other great aspect of using some of our slower DVRT movements for fat loss training. Teaching people to move better, use the right muscles, and qualities of functional training that make them better at other exercises, gives us a better recipe for helping people with their fat loss goals than simply trying to beat them up every time. As you can imagine, most of us our more likely to keep training if we feel good, not horrible from our training.

So, what are some great examples of fat loss movements of DVRT that allow us to slow things down and get a HUGE metabolic effect?

Favorite #1: Up Downs

Such a simple drill, but again, the devil is in the details. Taking one’s time, being deliberate with their feet and creating tension against the Ultimate Sandbag teaches how to integrate the whole body at once. We build incredible stability, strength, and mobility all at once.


Here is a more advanced version of the Up Down using the Ultimate Sandbag for stability and challenge of lateral strength while using the kettlebell to somewhat balance the other side but to build hip, core, and shoulder connection in our pressing. A great drill to help people not just with fat loss, but to help with learning other movements like the get-up.

Favorite #2: Lateral Drags and Bird Dogs

Why did I list two DVRT exercises here? Well, because they are really the same. The Bird Dog drags lead us to performing the Lateral Drags well. If you are just tossing the Ultimate Sandbag back and forth you are missing the bigger point. Understanding how we are using the ground and connecting the body while creating deliberate friction into the ground is what makes this such a powerhouse exercise not just for the core, or shoulders, but fat loss training too!

Doing Lateral Drags right takes a lot more awareness than most people think!

Favorite #3: Bear Hug or Front Loaded Squats

Most of the time when we think of squats, we think of just a lower body exercise. What makes these two DVRT versions of the squat so great for fat loss, but also performance and mobility improvements is the fact we are integrating the entire body into the movement. It isn’t just about the legs, but how we use our feet, our arms, and our core all in a synergistic manner. The result is a squat that humbles even the strongest on the barbell, but gives you a new appreciation for smarter functional training.

Just by changing holding position, we can make that same squat much harder and engaging of the core and upper body!

This isn’t the full extent of where you can take your fat loss training in a smarter direction with DVRT. It is to give you ideas on how slowing things down can be the simple magic to make your training so much better. There is a place for quick, explosive lifts, but don’t underestimate the power that slowing things down and really making sure you own the movements can deliver to your fitness goals!