Tuesday, December 9, 2014


by Mark Love, HKC, ACE

I trained today. The main lift I did was the deadlift. For my last set, I used 315 pounds, for three repetitions. This is not a lot of weight, regardless of whether we talk about absolute strength or relative strength. Plenty of men a good deal older than me can do better; hell, plenty of women can do better. 315 x 3 is not even close to my lifetime PR (and even that number is no big deal). So, you might think it odd that I pumped my fist and felt like King for a Day.

You see, it was the first time in a very long time I deadlifted any amount of weight that started with the number three. There was a long spell during which I never did the lift at all (mistaken training philosophies). Then there were setbacks, the kind that leave one with a broken body, and for longer than I like to think about, a broken spirit. So, modest as the performance was, it was something of a big deal for me.

Now, you might wonder, why am I going on about all of this? (I, like a lot of introverts, would rather have my teeth pulled sans Novocain than talk about myself.) Well, I got to thinking that maybe other people could relate. Maybe one of you has been through a tough time—maybe you're still in it. If so, let me tell you, I saw bits of my old, best self today—bits I'd not thought lost, but forgot existed. I saw a glimpse of a guy who used to be a pretty fierce competitor, who used to take pride in achievement. And I left that workout so happy I found myself doing things I sometimes forget to do: I smiled more, offered more compliments, listened a little better.
So, if you can relate to any of this, I humbly offer one piece of advice: go create a victory for yourself. It doesn't matter if the performance is still way off what you used to do; it only matters that it's better than you've been doing. And it doesn't matter what kind of victory—it might be that you smile at people more, or tell someone who needs to hear it that you love them, or you put down the Double Stuff Oreos and eat some real food, or maybe you go lift something kinda, sorta, a little bit heavy.

It might feel like that victory is a one-off. Maybe, but maybe not. It was only six weeks ago, that I didn't even attempt the clean and press test at my DVRT certification, because the pain in my hip kept me from generating enough force to do the workout (don't worry, Coach Fury, I will not let you down—I'll submit my video soon). Now, I'm picking up more weight than I had in a long, long time (and I had more in the tank!). Next thing you know, you'll be doing bigger stuff, too.

I hope this comes off a lot closer to helpful than to self-indulgent (because, damn, it really feels self-indulgent to this ISTJ). If you made it all the way through, thanks for your time.

-Mark Love

Mark Love has trained clients from teens to 80s, homemakers to (multiple time) world champion squash players, in and around Philadelphia for the last 18 years. He is certified with ACE, TRX, and has recently become a proud HKC, working toward his RKC. When not training clients or himself, he lives as the introvert he is, reading everything he can get his hands on, listening to a ridiculous amount of music, and finding clever ways to sneak out of social engagements. You can reach Mark via email at: markjlove@mac.com

Sunday, December 7, 2014


I thought I lost this video to an iMovie crash last month. I was surprised (and stoked) to find it working today. Here's the scoop, on my 40th birthday I challenged myself to a 40kg (88lb) kettlebell press per arm on the minute for 40 minutes. I turned 42 this year and thought I'd use 40kg x2 for half the time. So here's a double 40kg press on the minute for 22 minutes. I feel stronger than ever. Enjoy!


Friday, December 5, 2014


From Skateboarder to Strength Coach-DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training

How to Get Results in the Real World

Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner
DVRT Master Chief Instructor, Senior RKC, Original Strength Instructor & Other Stuff
ultimate sandbag instructor

-What is your philosophy in fitness and what made you interested in DVRT?

As coaches, we have a responsibility to better the lives of the people we train. We also have to find safe, honest and effective ways to do so. It’s that simple. This is the core of how I view what I do. Someone may come in off the street wanting to lose 20 pounds but there’s always a deeper reason as to why they chose that goal. The psychological effect on a person when they start moving well and feeling stronger will often have a greater impact than the goal of losing some weight. This isn’t meant to undermine their initial goal, we’ll get that, but we can offer so much more to people.

My friend, mentor and DVRT Master Instructor Gavin Van Vlack first introduced me to Ultimate Sandbags and the previous incarnation of DVRT (then called LIFT). The idea of moving with load in all the planes of motion immediately hooked me. As a skateboarder, I was always twisting and turning (and falling) in all directions. Why shouldn’t we train in multiple planes. The way the DVRT System progresses and regresses movements was a huge eye opener for me. DVRT is at the core of how I view everyone I train.

-What surprised you in using and teaching DVRT?

Initially, I was very surprised with how little load we needed to make something challenging. Having come more from the world of kettlebells and barbells, I was shocked by how heavy a 60 pound Ultimate Sandbag could feel when matched with the right DVRT movement.

As I continue to get deeper into the system over the years, I’ve grown to fully appreciate how much DVRT has to offer as coach. Viewing the people I train through the DVRT lens has refined my process of coaching, cueing and programming. I had never expected it to have such an impact on everything I do.
ultimate sandbag training

-What do you think are things that people don't know about DVRT?

The biggest misconception is that it just a “sandbag” certification. I will fight to change that view with my dying breath. DVRT is a complete and well-rounded system. As I mentioned earlier, it is the foundation of how I coach people regardless of the implement or goal. DVRT is powerful stuff.

-What results have you seen with clients?

The things I’ve been the most proud about have been significant changes in the quality of person’s movement. In my opinion, improved quality of movement, means an improved quality of life. I’ve also seen many people get exceptionally strong using the DVRT system. Hannah Fons is a perfect example of this. Hannah’s dedication to training has not only led her to becoming a DVRT II Coach and a straight up beast strength-wise.

-What are some tips you can tell us to successfully add DVRT into a fitness program?

Whether it’s private, semi-private or group training, DVRT is very easy to put into practice. You won’t need much gear to get significant results. I suggest starting by assessing your current clientele and try to see where there may be some shortcoming with either their results or their current programming. Then take a moment to see what aspects of the DVRT System will best fill in those blanks. Start simple. Then let it grow organically. In short time, you’ll begin see DVRT’s influence on your overall coaching method.

ultimate sandbag training

-How can people reach you if they want to contact you about how to use DVRT to raise their game?

I’m here to help. For more info you can check out my website coachfury.com orfacebook.com/coachfury. The best way to reach me directly is through email at coachfury@gmail.com.

ultimate sandbag training

Want to learn more how Coach "Fury" has used DVRT to help people have a 100% pass rate in the challenging HKC kettlebell certification? You can read about it HERE