I started lifting barbells 20 years ago…
I first began kettlebells 12 years ago…
DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training began almost ten years ago.
Why do I share with you these seemingly meaningless “facts” about me?
Well, for one, I always want to let you know that we write these blogs from a point of experience. Not a week, a month, or even a year or so. No, rather YEARS of working with different methods and tools.
Of course, as I realize in writing this that years of doing something doesn’t ever mean you do it well, or are a master at your craft. Experience like knowledge has to have purpose and it is what each of these experiences have taught me. Working day in and day with people that made me realize what truly works and how to give people an exceptional result not ordinary fitness.
I wanted share with you some of the experiences that I believe were really turning points with me in producing such great things for people.
No Vested Interest!
Ha! Some may say, reminding me we actually sell the Ultimate Sandbag. Yes, but let me explain how I got here.
Barbells were my first exposure to lifting. In fact, I remember being pinned on the bench press by JUST the bar with my older brother watching over me at just 14. Went I trained for sports from high school up through college, the barbell was the center of everything.
When I worked at the Strength & Conditioning department of the university this was reinforced to me once again. Then my first training job, you better believe ALL my clients lived on the barbell. Then a funny thing happened in 2002.
Heavy barbell lifts were not unfamiliar to me as this Zercher Squat from pins was well over 400 pounds
A friend of mine told me about this “new” thing called kettlebells. He told me they weren’t new at all, but they had been absent from the fitness industry for a long time! With HUGE amounts of hesitation and a large amount of convincing, I learned how to use kettlebells. You know what? I found something BETTER than barbells.
GASP! How could one utter such words?
Um, because I could do more with them, I could teach people movements faster, they provided my clients better results and options. I tell you this not selling kettlebells, or really caring if you wish to argue. I can do that all day with science and practical experience.
However, in the next 12 years I saw sadly kettlebells fall into some sad fate. Relegated to less than a handful of useful lifts by some and wild random exercises by others. People had forgotten the simple yet, incredibly powerful elements that made kettlebells such an exciting and effective training method. It was teaching people to move, not always up and down and not always like rigid pieces of stone.
That is when I started working with kettlebells I found myself leaving barbells further and further behind. I wasn’t in the business of making competitive powerlifters (heck, not sure if that really is a business at all;). No, my job was to get people to realize a fitness and athleticism they didn’t think possible or knew they ever had.
Movement should come in many forms, not just up and down
But Results Dictate Real Training
THIS is what really spawned DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training. During an interview today, I was retelling the real history of DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training. I know people love to tell me that I didn’t invent sandbag training. Never said I did.
Yet, with all this supposed knowledge and perfection of sandbag training, very few ever used it. In fact, the only time I really saw sandbags was when people didn’t have access to anything else. Yes, it was the poor man’s piece of equipment they used until they could scrape enough money for a cheap barbell, dumbbells, or heck, even a gym membership.
Trying to create a fitness program around sandbag training was stupid by all accounts. Why do such a thing?
You think DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training was met with excitement? Open arms by the fitness community? LOL! Nothing could be further from the truth.
I didn’t care though, I saw what was happening in my gym day in and day out. I saw people transforming in ways neither they or I could have ever imagined. Being persistent with DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training wasn’t a motive of riches, rather one of just belief. That fitness could be more than the stale and sterile gym that so many people identify with fitness.
Now almost ten years later I think we have just been scratching the surface. Change is never easy, not the system, no, the process of change is one filled with tons of mental and emotional conflict.
I never used kettlebells or Ultimate Sandbags to be cool or to get rich. Just a belief that they could provide something special to anyone that was willing to dedicate themselves to the process of not learning and exercise or two, but mastery. Movement mastery for themselves, exploring what fitness could be beyond calories and sweat. A special feeling when you nail that perfect repetition, reach a new level of fitness you thought impossible, or a drill you didn’t think you had the skills to nail.
DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training is not elitist, but the system can make you feel elite!
Now almost a decade later I have seen a lot of “stuff”, I have been asked to try a lot of “stuff”. When people ask me about a program, fitness “trend”, or tool, I say it is a lot like a good relationship. If it is just superficial desire and excitement it will die off almost as quickly as it came to be. However, if it is rooted in strength, if it challenges you, but the challenge rewards you with great things, if it can stand the test of time you have something truly special.
Of course you may say doesn’t the barbell fall into this category? Maybe for some, but there are also many that live in unhappy marriages. Day after day thinking that “this is what is best” and not brave enough to think there can be something more. The simple move away from the barbell was deciding that divorce was best, the funny thing? Even with those telling me I’m crazy, it doesn’t work, and so on, never a day goes by that I think it was a bad decision for myself or my clients.
I’m not asking you to do anything drastic in your life, but rather be brave enough to be different. If DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training popped up yesterday I could understand your hesitation and cynicism. However, ten years of being an industry leader I think says something very different.
That is why we keep putting out programs that have one goal. Giving you the power, strength, and knowledge to transform your fitness for yourself! If you won’t do it, who will?
What makes me sad is not whether people choose to use the tools or programs I know work. No, what makes me sad is when people are too afraid to change to actually achieve things they REALLY want to have! Don’t let fear be the decision maker for your goals.
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