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DVRT at the Dragon Door Health and Strength Conference

Katie Petersen With Ultimate Sandbag
The inaugural Dragon Door Health and Strength Conference recently wrapped. Dragon Door delivered a fantastic event, and Josh Henkin put together an awesome DVRT presentation for it. But, as fate would have it, yours truly ended up giving the presentation.

Two common obstacles we tend to face when talking about DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training are:
  1. People think DVRT is just about the sandbag.
  2. They also think that all of it could be done with a kettlebell.
But, I would respond that:
  1. DVRT is a rich and fully developed system of strength training.
  2. No you can’t.
Our presentation focused on DVRT’s training for real world, 3-D strength. We train for movement quality instead of training specific muscles. We challenge the body to grow strong and resilient in different ways—far beyond just adding reps or increasing the load. The end goal of DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training is to give you the freedom to move with strength and efficiency in all planes of motion. I think that sounds like a wonderful way to live your life.

For example, you can train your client to achieve a 500 pound deadlift, but how will that carry over to the quality of your client’s daily life? At a certain point, that type of training begins to have diminishing returns as risk escalates. DVRT provides other, more effective options. We look at strength training through movement. The deadlift is a hip hinge, but a hip hinge doesn’t have to be a deadlift. Also, a hip hinge isn’t restricted to just one plane of motion, we can perform hip hinges in the frontal, transverse and sagittal planes.
Michael Anderson and Janice DeAngelis with DVRT Book

Challenging stability is another large component of DVRT. And no, I’m not talking about standing on a Bosu. Ultimate Sandbags feel dramatically different depending on their size, load, and filler material. We play this to our advantage. We are dealing with a LIVE implement when we’re using Ultimate Sandbags. We spark up our stabilizers, reflexive strength and metabolic output when we train with an unbalanced and constantly changing Ultimate Sandbag.

We also train for instability. (Stop! Leave the Bosu alone!) When training instability, we can either alter our body position or the holding position of the Ultimate Sandbag. The DVRT System often works with X-patterns that really connect the body as a whole. For example, you may have a great traditional squat while holding a Ultimate Sandbag in the front hold position. But, the same Ultimate Sandbag will challenge your body in an entirely new way if you place it on your shoulder. I can take that a step further and have you stagger your feet, placing the left foot back a bit, while the Ultimate Sandbag is on your right shoulder. I can talk and write about this forever, but the best way for you to understand and believe what I’m saying is to try it yourself. Often, people see the movements and hear the concepts—but then imagine that they can just do the same thing with a kettlebell. As I said before, no, you can’t!
Al Kavadlo Ultimate Sandbag Overhead Press

Josh built some hands-on time into the presentation. Between the laughs and knowledge bombs, I could tell the attendees were enjoying the presentation. I got excited and nervous when the hands-on section started. My old friend and DVRT/Senior PCC badass Adrienne Harvey helped with some of the demos. The mighty Nicole Ross and "Batman" himself, Senior RKC Mike Krivka also tried moves like MAX Lunges, Shoulder Squats, Lateral Ultimate Sandbag Drags and the Clean and Press.

The group soaked it up and there was a lot of applause. I was stoked about doing a pretty decent job. I was pumped as I started to hear some great feedback.
2015 Dragon Door Health and Strength Conference Group Photo
Then an even cooler thing happened.

Almost a third of the attendees came down and started getting their hands on the Ultimate Sandbags during the break. People started trying the movements and asking questions. It was awesome! I opened their eyes to the system AND the Ultimate Sandbag. Even on the second day, people were still coming up to try out the Ultimate Sandbags during breaks. This was a huge win for me and DVRT.

Now it’s your turn to get hands-on experience with DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training: click here to find a DVRT certification near you!

-Fury out

Steve "Coach Fury" Holiner’s superhero headquarters is Mark Fisher Fitness in NYC. Fury is a DVRT Master Chief Instructor and Senior RKC. He is available for classes, semi-privates, instructor training and programming at MFF. He is also available for private training at Catalyst S.P.O.R.T. Check out his website, or follow him at:, and for more info.