Confused because you know I am a gal who likes to lift heavy? That’s fair, hear me out.
I mean, a heavy deadlift is awesome. It builds loads of strength, helps create a strong trunk to prevent lower back pain and feels bad ass. Most people should deadlift. But will being able to deadlift 100lb barbell help you pick up a squirming/shifting/wiggly kid or dog (or cat if you are a cat person, I don’t know your life and I don’t know if there is a house cat that big. I’m just a dog mom over here who loves sandbags…which brings me to my point…).
Not all weight is created equal, which is why we LOVE our odd shaped tools like sandbags at MSC to give us REAL WORLD strength. Being able to safely pick up a load that is moving and shifting helps improve grip strength (the #1 indicator of overall strength and insanely important to longevity), builds a stable core, and improves movement patterns to help you to react and move to changing elements in real life. Reflexive Strength is the body’s ability to anticipate, prepare, and respond to movement before and as it happens. Though traditional strength training using barbells and dumbbells will build some serious strength that is immensely beneficial (and will increase bone density, get your heart rate up, build muscle, build confidence and make you feel awesome), but in the real world you won’t be able to stop, set up properly and brace to catch your kiddo who is jumping off the couch. You need to be strong but also be able to move and react with strength. Sandbag training and odd shaped kettlebells help us to build that reactive and reflexive core and are the perfect supplement to traditional strength training.