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The Torque Test: Becoming an Anti-Fragile Athlete with DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training

Master DVRT Instructor Troy Anderson Coaching
Fragile… Old… Invalid…

NO ONE wants to be defined by these words.

Whether you are a hardcore athlete, or one of the millions of "mental athletes." No matter what population most folks fall into, their mental jukeboxes are stuck playing vinyl, 8-tracks, or cassettes of the Beatles, Bee Gees, or Michael Jackson.

In other words, many people’s minds are stuck playing an outdated version of what they 'believe' is the best version of themselves. (Personally, I like to believe that we are like fine wine and if we keep 'turning the bottle' we get better with age.)

There is another slightly more modern obstacle—the blood lust for instant gratification. Everything had better "Make me happy right now darn it!" Or else my 2-millisecond attention span will wander ...look, a squirrel!!

I need a 'like', a 'happy meme', some 'grumpy cat', a 'positive comment', some 'cute puppies', a deadlift 'PR'… and I need it NOW!!

Instant gratification and being anti-fragile are worlds apart.

I get it, sure it feels awesome to "pick up something heavy" or "slam a ball". The rush is nearly euphoric, and the tangible feedback is incredible. This makes sense to nearly anyone:

See heavy weight + pick it up = strong. See ball + throw ball hard = athletic, powerful, capable, better, "anti-fragile".

But, it’s NOT quite this simple—all is NOT as it seems.

Here at DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training, we like to lift the lid and look a little below the surface. Being anti-fragile isn't as linear as we'd like it to be, and as a matter of fact it is a much more layered process.

When we introduced the clean & press test at our certifications nearly a year ago, then and now there are many people who have a very hard time believing that 50, 60, 70, 80, or 100lbs can feel much heavier. It is evident in the degree that they don't train and subsequently fail the test! Trust me, you need to train with the Ultimate Sandbag in order to pass the DVRT physical tests—do NOT show up "cold"!

All is not as it seems—they've been LYING to you, weight is not WEIGHT!

Outside the sterile gym confines, being a "Milli Vanilli" or "1-RM wonder" is not enough in the real world. Rarely in the real, sporting, or tactical world are you required to do an effort 1, 5, or even 25 times.

A perfect example is a story relayed to me by a law enforcement officer friend of mine about colleague who had to fight for his life with no back up for 4 minutes. Scary stuff!

While it might not seem relevant to you, the point is that to BE truly be anti-fragile, you need more than just strength.

Repetitions + resilience = reward (anti-fragile)

The need for standardization—knowing if you are doing GOOD—is not lost on me. While I rarely do research when I write, for this post I dug into the archives—Siff, Zatsiorsky, Kraemer and Fleck—to dig up some real nuggets. I found a bushel basket of mathematics and physics concepts, and a pile of scientific words and phrases: rate of force development, speed-strength endurance, force couples, and TORQUE.

Torque is the calling card of the signature DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training movement, the rotational lunge.

I also found:

1) Kraemer & Fleck: heavy resistance training does NOT always increase power performance and may decrease it.

2) Kraemer & Fleck: loaded jump squats (at 30% isometric strength) produce greater vertical jump results—more than at 100% and 0% isometric strength.

3) Zatsiorsky: transmutation of strength gains into velocity gains is NOT easy.

4) Zatsiorsky: working muscles should be the same as those in the main sport movement and the type of resistance should mimic the main sport as much as possible.

5) Zatsiorsky: sport specific training is for qualified athletes, NOT novices.

6) Siff: speed-strength endurance refers to the ability to produce great power continuously without serious decline in power.

This leaves us with a true 'comparable' standard based on the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training system—with pinch of science, and a TEST.
The DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training Torque Test:
(This is NOT, I repeat NOT a 'beginners' test)

Here are the rules:

DVRT Rotational Lunge

5 Minute time cap

50 Reps per leg


Level 1: 20% of bodyweight
Level 2: 30% of bodyweight

(All but the heavier weight classes will use the Power size Ultimate Sandbag.)

Is there a sporting application? Absolutely! Consider some of the most popular international sports with quickly repeated efforts (basketball, soccer/futbol, and rugby).

The greater application for a general populations or maybe for "baby boomers" is to keep them "dirty dancing" or to prevent them from tripping and falling. Broken hips kill.
DVRT Rotational Lunge for All Ages

It's pretty accepted that with age the ability produce power goes away quickly. The perfect recipe or "fountain of youth" might just be a little bit of training for the Torque Test.

Either way, if you are hardcore athlete or a "good 'ol days" athlete, the Torque Test is a standard to help you on the podium or at least keep your posture vertical, with a little pep in your step.

DVRTBookCover thumbnailTroy M Anderson NASM PES, DVRT/Ultimate Sandbag Master Instructor, RKC, is the creator of Alpha Kettlebell and the owner of Anderson Training Systems. For all things edu-taining go to All hate mail and other correspondence can be sent to

DVRT, The Ultimate Sandbag Training System is now available in paperback and ebook format.