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The Real Evolution of Functional Fitness

DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training and the Rise of Fury

By Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner
DVRT Master Chief Instructor, Senior RKC, Original Strength Instructor


Why is DVRT so damn important to me?

I’ll tell you. The Dynamic Variable Resistance Training system is the lens that I view all of my training and programming through. I had a lot of questions when I started out as a Coach. It wasn’t as though I hadn’t been to my share of fitness certification programs. Many times they did a good job showing me how to use a specific tool, but I wasn’t sure how you put all the pieces of the fitness puzzle together. I would go back and have more exercises, but I wasn’t sure if I really had better solutions.

I thought DVRT was going to be much of the same, but DVRT didn’t show me a bunch of sandbag exercises. Don’t get me wrong, we learned a lot of movements, but it was never really about just learning a cool new exercise. I was really drawn to how each exercise was explained in having a very specific purpose as well as how each movement built a layer upon the next. When you begin to really understand the why’s and how’s of something, there is a really great sense of empowerment that comes with it. That sense of confidence that you really are armed with the skills and knowledge to help people transform their lives. 

Whether or not I’m using Ultimate Sandbags, kettlebells, barbells or bodyweight with someone, I orchestrate my approach to their goals through the principles of the DVRT.

Here are a few key points that are always buzzing in my brain.

1) Weight is not the be all end all of strength training. Heavy DOES NOT fix everything in my book. Getting stronger does.There are so many more safe and effective ways to build strength than adding plates to a bar. I didn’t really understand that until I went through my first certification with DVRT/Ultimate Sandbag creator Josh Henkin. Being “strong” is something you gain a whole new appreciation with in DVRT. Just when you think you have conquered one challenge, you find a new one. To me, that is exciting as you start to really find how much of your untapped potential you have yet to reach!

ultimate sandbag training

2) We need to not only move in all directions, but to be strong as we move in all directions. This is a biggie within the DVRT system. I loved what DVRT Master, Kari Negraiff, said, “we become strong in 360 degrees of motion.” We move and train in all of the planes of motion. You know why? Because that’s how me move in the real world and in athletics. This is true functional strength and bulletproofing. Yea, it sounds like that “functional” training buzz word stuff, but in there is a real way to make it applicable and fun. Once you open your mind you start to see how much your training was once limited. It isn’t just expanding your toolbox, rather, giving you the instructions on how to really build real world strength and fitness.

3) Don’t just work the stabilizers. Don’t just work the primaries. The way approach stability and instability within the DVRT/Ultimate Sandbag nails both of these crucial muscles groups. We all like to THINK we are hitting the important areas of the body, but with DVRT I learned how much we were really missing! It wasn’t about just building up smaller stabilizers or sometimes the neglected muscles of the body. More importantly it was building them in conjunction with the natural movements of the body and that is just freaking cool!

Mark Fisher Fitness member, Gabe Schwartz, saw significant results in both strength and muscle gain when DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training was added to his program. Gabe will also claim that DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training is his favorite part of his program. Score. These results were so noticable, that Gabe was named MFF’s  client of the month for February 2015. Double score.

These results are not unusual though. My fellow DVRT Master Trainers,  Chad Skrederstu and Ana Skrederstu of 168 Fitness in Pasadena, recently shared the amazing story of their client who not only lost 34 pounds in just a few months, but he actually can out perform many fitness pros in some pretty impressive feats. Including dominating our Clean and Press test with 48 repetitions with an 80 pound Burly in just 5 minutes. If you haven’t tried it, that is freaking amazing!!

Seeing these types of results really shouldn’t be that surprising though. I mean, this stuff works, that is why we get so excited about it. As Chad so greatly put it about DVRT…

“It’s a strategic training system that provides a roadmap for results for all types of populations . In 2015 programming is our biggest competitive advantage over other personal trainers and strength coaches.”

 Yea, it really does give coaches and users and edge, that is what we want to do, give you real world results.  

Those are some of the reasons DVRT is so important to me. Here are a few reasons why it should be important to you.

Knowledge is power. You will, without a doubt, leave a DVRT certification or workshop with a whole new way of seeing fitness that you will be able to apply directly to your clients.

This is a very effective and safe system that is loaded with practical progressions and regressions.

-Our community is awesome. We’re here for you long after the cert or workshop is over.

This isn’t a sales pitch. I’m a part of this system because I love it. There I said it. It was a game changer for me. Being able to share this knowledge with other fitness professionals is why I worked so hard to become someone that could actually teach DVRT as well. I want as many fitness professionals to experience what DVRT can do for them as DVRT had key part in my success. Come check it out and see if it can do the same for you.

Check out to find a workshop or certification near you HERE

Can’t make it to one of our live events? Try our 60 days of our awesome DVRT membership program HERE

I hope to see you at a workshop or certification or workshop soon!