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What is Alive Ultimate Sandbag Training?

sandbag fitness equipment

Sandbag training for a long time was always known to be very different than any other form of strength training. Wrestlers and martial artists would use early forms of sandbags because they knew they could perform exercises that just weren’t possible with other pieces of fitness equipment. Since these great athletes knew that their sport demanded that they work in compromised positions and unpredictable situations, it made sense that much of their training would focus around early sandbags. These concepts are what make me keep evolving and re-inventing what we call Dynamic Variable Resistance Training (DVRT).

sandbag training

 If sandbag training has been around forever, what makes DVRT any different? Man, I bet you if those old time athletes could have seen what was truly possible with Ultimate Sandbag Training exercises and more importantly, seeing the progressions and problem solving that DVRT offers their love for sandbag training would have been to all new heights! However, what I want to focus on today is the idea of what draws so many of the modern athletes, coaches, and fitness enthusiasts to DVRT , that is the idea of being a “live” weight.

sandbag training

While old time books had some interesting ideas, they weren’t necessarily brilliant in what we now know about movement and keeping the body strong as well as healthy. 

Why did we create DVRT (Dynamic Variable Resistance Training)? It just wasn’t what the idea of “sandbag training” invoked in people. Throwing, heaving, and running with sandbags is what dominated many people’s minds, but that sold the tool and what could be done so short! There was SO much more about how we could improve how people moved and performed that I realized focusing on the system would only enhance the tool. Plus, by sharing a system of training, it would help people see that Ultimate Sandbags weren’t a novelty training tool, but a staple in their training. 

sandbag training

Only with DVRT have we officially studied the differences of Ultimate Sandbags against other tools. The results have been interesting showing the Ultimate Sandbag creating greater demands than other free weights of equal weight!

The old time strongmen had some interesting ideas but they didn’t have a system of using sandbag training. They did know that odd objects like sandbags were essential for building total body strength because these tools taught your body to move with greater accuracy and because every repetition was different, you just couldn’t get off easy with any movement.  You don’t have to be an exercise physiologist to know that the most obvious thing about sandbag training is that it moves and shifts. This makes no two repetitions the same, even current strength coaches have noticed about DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training. Renown Strength Coach, Charles Staley, called DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training, “non-cooperative”, while best-selling fitness author and coach, Alwyn Cosgrove, called our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training system part of the future of strength training because it was “alive”.

Like I said, most people would think both of these outstanding coaches would simply be referring to DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training having a shifting weight, which makes it feel like it has a life of its own! However, the instability that people think about with the Ultimate Sandbag in the sand shifting is only one of really three ways we can have instability.

One of the most unique aspects of Ultimate Sandbags is how many different loading positions we can create on the body. Not only does each give us a way to make the weight feel heavier or lighter, but we can actually stress very specific attributes of the movement.

What DVRT UK Master, Greg Perlaki shows is how we can use different loading positions and patterns to make these single leg drills so much more effective. 


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Our DVRT coaches show even in squatting how many different ways we can load the body to create higher levels of squats, or teach very foundational levels of movement. 

When people think of what makes sandbags “unstable” they often fail to realize the impact that dimension has in creating instability. That is because most tools actually try to keep their size standard so you don’t have to adjust to a weight that actually has different sizes (barbells and competition kettlebells come to mind). While that is great for being a competitive lifter, if you are looking to achieve higher levels of adaptation, having different sizes creates different stability demands. That is one reason that 100 pound Ultimate Sandbag feels A LOT different than a 100 pound barbell.


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DVRT Master, Cory Cripe, shows that even what looks like a “simple” Ultimate Sandbag workout is very challenging with the instability of our bigger USBs.

So, we have loading position, we have the size of the Ultimate Sandbag, and we also have working in different planes of motion that really add levels of instability. While more progressive workout programs use some plane of motion training here and there, I can’t think of another that has a definitive system of how we use these planes of motion. Since we use all 3 planes of motion when we move in the real world, it makes sense that we do so in our strength training as well. However, how we move through the different planes should be as purposeful as how much weight and how many reps we use.




DVRT Master, James Newman, shows how we can use planes of motion to challenge stability of even familiar movements. 


sandbag training

What DVRT allows to do is move far more freely in all three planes (sagittal, frontal, and transverse) and even better, move in all three planes at once! These reasons alone would make for a great case for DVRT being the foundation of any great functional fitness program. In order to illustrate how these DVRT concepts develop not just different fitness, but better, check out this workout from DVRT Master, Troy Anderson.

Want to find out how to use such a unique system to be a solution to almost any fitness goal? Check out our DVRT Online Certifications/Courses & Workouts for 25% off HERE. You can also save 25% on our Ultimate Sandbags and when you do you will get our DVRT Foundations course (with free workouts in it) for FREE HERE

DVRT Warm-up: 30-45 Seconds of Work, 15-20 Seconds of Rest

2-3 Rounds

Ultimate Sandbag Training MAX Lunge (work on hip dynamic stretch)

Ultimate Sandbag Training Lateral Lunge High Pull

Arc Press Thrusters (focus on increasing squat depth)

Work Series: 30-60 Seconds of Work, 30-45 Seconds of Rest

3-4 Rounds

-Lateral Lunge Chops


-Lateral Lunge Chops Opposite Side

-Staggered Squat Press


-Staggered Squat Press