Tuesday, June 30, 2015


By Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner

DVRT Master Chief, Senior RKC, OS Instructor and MFF Metal Head

Being injured sucks. It takes a level of patience to let things heal. With the nickname of Fury, it probably won’t surprise you to know that patience is skill I often don’t possess. Well, we all have our burdens to bear. After participating in a 3 day certification (no, it wasn't DVRT;), I've been dealing with a slightly torn supinator in my left forearm and some pain in my left shoulder. The tear has had a pretty severe effect on my ability to grip and the shoulder hasn’t been feeling stable or sturdy. After two weeks of chilling the hell out, I was dying to move. Dying to move, but super cautious not to create any setbacks.

Here’s what I did:

Kettlebell Swings x20: Light weight to keep pressure of the left arm.
Pistol Squats to box x5 per side: These were just to parallel using my fire escape as a box.
Incline Push-ups x15: Again, these were to fire escape to keep undo pressure off of the shoulder and forearm.

*As little rest as needed for 5 rounds

I focused on quality of movement and everything felt great. I decided to try loading my pistol squats, but was super concerned about how my arm and shoulder would feel. I came up with two options to try. I ended up giving Pistols a shot with a 12kg kettlebell and a 20 pound Core Ultimate Sandbag. The results were interesting but not entirely surprising. The kettlebell demanded more grip but less shoulder stability. Neither was awesome in my current state. Darn it though if your desire to stay on track doesn't make you work through some discomfort. 
ultimate sandbag training
The Ultimate Sandbag was the clear winner!

The outer handles allowed me to pull the Core apart the whole time demanding less crush grip force and truly activating my lats the entire time to keep the shoulder feeling packed, happy and healthy. Another benefit was the wider distance between hands allowed me to use less counter weight to get the same sense of stability on the way down.
The simple idea of manipulating the way the load was held allowed me to actually train. If I were more healthy I could have held the Ultimate Sandbag differently to focus more grip. However, the goal was to get me to train and not feel the pain that has driven me crazy! 
Most people just grab a weight and they don't think about the simple, but important nuance of things like how they hold a weight. With just a simple alteration to what I was doing, I was able to both train and keep some of my sanity and joy in training.

Now the important point I’m trying to make here isn’t which tool is better. This piece isn’t a kettlebell versus Ultimate Sandbag battle.

What this piece IS about, is the DVRT System that provided me the coaching fundamentals to take a look at a problem, devise some options and create a safe plan of action. In other words…

F&#k yeah DVRT!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and again, and again... infinity), Dynamic Variable Resistance Training is a fully realized strength training and coaching system. Given my current situation, I was able to figure out the best possible holding and body positions to accomplish the task at hand. There will be times when the kettlebell would win in a comparison. Regardless, I would still be using it through a DVRT lens.

I hope this concept makes sense. When you are training or going through a workshop or cert, are you learning how to use a tool? Or are you learning how to train/coach people with a deep and growing system. Systems equal success regardless of implement. A tool is just a tool. Don’t be a tool.

Check out a DVRT certification or workshop near you HERE.

Yours in strength and fury!
-Fury out

Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner’s superhero headquarters is Mark Fisher Fitness in NYC. Fury’s a DVRT Master Chief Instructor, Senior RKC, and an Original Strength. He is available for classes, semi-privates, instructor training and programming at MFF. He also has availability for private training at Catalyst S.P.O.R.T. Check out www.coachfury.comfacebook.com/coachfury IG @furynyc and Twitter @coachfury for more info.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Today I had the supreme pleasure of teaching an Original Strength in-service to my family at Mark Fisher Fitness! Two hours of OS Resets and fantastic questions flew by. Big thanks to the best team in the world for the opportunity! 

-Fury out

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


by AL KAVADLO on JUNE 9, 2015
NYC PCC Workshop 2015
Last weekend, the Progressive Calisthenics Certification made its return to New York City with a sold out crowd of over 40 calisthenics enthusiasts from all over the United States as well as the rest of the world. Attendees hailed from Norway, Sweden, Spain, Guatemala, Australia, Austria, Singapore, England, Canada, and of course, my hometown, the Empire City herself. It was truly a melting pot of bodyweight strength practitioners!
Though calisthenics has existed since the days of the ancient Greeks, the modern street workout movement has its roots right here in NYC. Many of the world’s best-known calisthenics specialists hail from the Big Apple. It’s no wonder we had such a strong group of bar athletes in the house!
NYC PCC One Arm Chin Up
The city that never sleeps certainly hasn’t been sleeping on its calisthenics game. As always, new personal bests were happening left and right. From the muscle-up to the pistol squat to the human flag, attendees were constantly breaking new ground, unlocking new skills and refining existing ones.
NYC PCC Chamber Press
Besides becoming better practitioners, we also devoted a lot of our energy toward becoming better at training others. Everyone at the PCC gets to experience both ends of the personal training equation throughout the weekend.
NYC PCC Partner Cossack
It’s great to see more and more ladies taking to progressive calisthenics. This weekend’s event had the most female attendees of any PCC so far. It’s an honor to welcome 15 of the strongest ladies I’ve ever met into the PCC family!
Time flies when you are having fun, and that would explain why the whole weekend seemed to go by in a New York minute. When the 3-day whirlwind was over, we were left with over 40 newly minted PCC instructors, a whole lot of wonderful memories and connections that will last a lifetime.
It’s been more than 2 years since the inception of the PCC, and the world’s #1 bodyweight certification continues to go strong. Next up is our long-anticipated debut in the United Kingdom and then it’s back to the US for our return to Alexandria, VA (there are still some spots left for both these events!).
A PCC certification is like a license to drive: it’s a big responsibility, but it can take you places!
2015 NYC PCC Group Photo
About Al Kavadlo: Al Kavadlo is the lead instructor for Dragon Door’s Progressive Calisthenics Certification. Recognized worldwide for his amazing bodyweight feats of strength as well as his unique coaching style, Al is the author of five books, including Raising The Bar: The Definitive Guide to Pull-up Bar Calisthenics and Pushing The Limits! Total Body Strength With No Equipment. Read more about Al on his website:www.AlKavadlo.com.



By Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner
DVRT Master Chief Instructor, Senior RKC, OS Instructor & MFF Force of Nature
ultimate sandbag training

One of the things I love about the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training System is that it removes the need for excuses. You only have one Ultimate Sandbag? We got you. The Dynamic Variable Resistance Training System provides us with the ability to challenge ourselves at any level by using different principles of progressive overload (aka making s**t harder). It’s time to make the most with what I got.
Kim and I just moved into a new place a few weeks ago and all of my gear isn’t set up yet. What I do have is a 25 pound Power Ultimate Sandbag and the DVRT smarts to make my life difficult.

What the hell am I talking about? Renowned strength coach and Purposeful Primitive author Marty Gallagher has a great saying, “we make the light things heavy, so the heavy things are light.” That statement jives amazingly well with one of our approaches to progressive overload: SPEED. You can make something very light feel very heavy by simply adjusting your speed/tempo.

Another way we can make something light feel heavy is by adding complexity. Adding different levels of complexity can make a relatively basic movement way more taxing on the body.

On a personal note, I love playing with speed and complexity for two reasons.

You directly challenge your weak links within a certain movement. Please keep in mind that these challenges need to be winnable. It is all too easy to jump the shark by making a movement too difficult. Form is key!
While we still use our normal tension/bracing techniques, you can really tap into your reflexive strength and fire up your stabilizers. These are key elements that crossover in both DVRT and Original Strength.

Ok, time to put this into practice. Here’s how I made my life tough with only a 25 pound USB.

A. Elevator Squats with Press Outs x5
You will pause several times mid squat and do a press out. You can make this even more difficult by adding more stops on the elevator and moving slower.

B. Lateral USB Drag to Push-up x5 drags per side/10 total push-ups
Adjust speed of the drag based on the surface you are pulling on. Keep the USB on the floor. Don’t lift and move. Drag it!

C. USB Deadbug Variation x5 per leg
Press the USB up while pulling the outer handles apart. Slowly lower the USB overhead while lowering one leg at a time. Be sure to lower the USB overhead within a safe range for your shoulders and keep your tailbone off the floor.

You can try this for 10-15 minutes and see how many rounds you get, or you can just go for 3-5 rounds moving nice and slow. See which one takes longer?

There you have it. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.

Want to know how to really optimize the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training System and gain an edge in your fitness? Don't miss our upcoming DVRT educational programs HERE

Later folks!

Thanks for your time!


Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner’s superhero headquarters is Mark Fisher Fitness in NYC. Fury’s a DVRT Master Chief Instructor, Senior RKC, and an Orginal Strength. He is available for classes, semi-privates, instructor training and programming at MFF. He also has availability for private training at Catalyst S.P.O.R.T. Check out www.coachfury.comfacebook.com/coachfury IG @furynyc and Twitter @coachfury for more info.