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The Bodyweight and DVRT Connection

Part of the DVRT Cyclone series

Whenever bodyweight training is mentioned, images of grace, athleticism, and flexibility often come to mind.

In contrast, many people associate weight training with brute strength, rigidity, and the absence of movements other than just picking something up and putting it back down.

Some may see these two systems as perfect compliments, but the reality is much different.

Old time strongmen knew they needed to fill in the "holes" in their strength. These holes remained even when bodyweight training and weight training methods were combined.

In the classic book, Dinosaur Training, legendary strength author Brooks Kubik specifically discusses going beyond "typical" strength training methods. He recommended getting "into the muscle areas you normally don’t work. You worked the ‘heck’ out of the stabilizers". (Kubik, p. 115)

Yes, kettlebells and bodyweight exercises are great tools for enhancing the stabilizer strength critical to developing a functionally strong body. However, those both involve using an unyielding implement.

There is something different, unpredictable, and beautiful about trying to maneuver, manage, and move with a weight that fights back the whole time! As Brooks Kubik points out, you will "feel as sore as you do because the bags (sandbags) worked your body in ways you could not approach with a barbell alone." (Kubik, p. 115)

Not scientific enough? Here’s the advice of former Air Force Academy strength coach, Allen Hedrick:

"…But, applying the concept of specificity, it makes sense that training with a fluid resistance is a more sport-specific method of training as compared to lifting exclusively with a static resistance. Because in most situations, athletes encounter a dynamic resistance (in the form of an opponent) as compared to the static resistance. Further, because the active fluid resistance enhances the need for stability and control, this type of training may reduce the opportunity for injury because of improved joint stability." (NSCA Journal, Vol.25 Number 4)

Understanding how to use and connect with your body is so important—it’s also why the PCC and bodyweight training are so beautiful. Calisthenics and bodyweight training teach us to make these mental and physical connections. However, it is equally important to learn these concepts with an external load—because they become very different.

Renowned strength coach, Alwyn Cosgrove, described why this type of training is not just different, but VERY important for your health and longevity:

"Let’s say you can deadlift 100lbs. Now try to pick up a 100lb child who doesn’t want to be picked up! It’s an entirely different type of strength—one that grapplers and mixed martial artists can attest to. I can remember my brother coming to visit and squatting over 200lbs very easily. I gave him a 100lb DVRT Ultimate Sandbag and asked him to clean and front squat it. He couldn’t do it. The bag moved around too much."

My goal is not to just get you to pick up a sandbag and go to town. As with all forms of training—bodyweight, barbells, sandbags—having purpose, intent, and technique in mind is what delivers results. The end result of our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training program is dictated by the three P’s: purpose, progression, and programming. Whether we’re training with our bodyweight or an Ultimate Sandbag, we have the potential to achieve great things. The knowledge of how to use both can make this physical greatness a reality.

In my next article I will discuss how to make strong connections between your bodyweight training program and DVRT Ultimate Sandbag training. Your results will go to the next level by combining these powerful systems!

DVRTBookCover thumbnailJosh Henkin is the author of DVRT, The Ultimate Sandbag Training System now available in paperback and ebook format.