As a fitness writer, I find I need to train people as well as personally train in order to develop new ideas, learn from group dynamics, and just stay motivated in order to produce new and innovative training programs. My personal workouts have evolved into the Heroes of Tomorrow program where I train future military, special ops, police, and fire fighters for FREE in the Severna Park / Annapolis area. I received a good question this week from an Army veteran who wants to stay fit after his Army career. He asks,
“Stew, you seem like you are still working out pretty hard what I gather in your late 30s / early 40s. What do you do? I have a decent amount of time before work and like to get up early still and get it done. What did you do this week? — 38 yr old Army Vet.”
Thanks, I am turning 44 this year and still work pretty hard as you will see below. We just so happen to be in what I call Phase 3 of my Four Cycle Periodization Program. We break it up through the year instead of doing the same old workout week after week. I like to change up the goals and make four different quarter goals in a 52 week cycle. Each cycle roughly takes 13 weeks and we usually peak with a Monster Mash routine or a Navy SEAL PST, AF PAST, etc to test out of one phase and start into another.
In a nutshell, it looks like this:
Phase 1 — March — May: Calisthenics Build Up to Max REP sets, and steady increase of running and swimming distance / speed.
Phase 3 — Sept — Nov: Mix of Weights / KBs, Barbells — Olympic Lifts — tapering down on high rep calisthenics, less running, build up of rucking, more swimming with fins for distance. Only lifting 1–2 times a week.
Phase 4: Dec — Feb: Weights — Olympic Lifts, Still do pullups / dips (sub max — weight vest), less running, more rucking, more swimming with fins / distance. Lifting or rucking most days of the week. Shorter workouts in time and doing fewer reps / more weight is the goal this phase.
Below is the workout that we did this week. It is after our tough Monster Mash Fund Raiser (4.5 hour workout) so we took it a bit easy this week in the beginning. Next week we will get into more full body lifts and rucking / swimming with fins.
I have been doing this style of routine for over 15 years now and feel it has the been the answer to my health and lack of injuries each year. About the only injury I get is a mild tendonitis during longer running periods that can be rolled out pretty easily with my foam roller.
So back to the question: We are now preparing for ruck marches and lifting cycle for Fall and Winter. The following workout is what Stew Smith’s local group of candidates training for SEALs, Special Forces, Maryland SWAT Team, AF PJ, and Fire Fighters did this week:
Recovery Day after PST or Monster Mash Saturday.
Pick an Exercise of each group::
Fullbody Mix #1:
Fullbody Mix #2:
5 x 100m of:
10 x 50m sprints any stroke — rest 15–20 seconds
Cardio / Lower Back:
Burpee Pyramid Warmup:
Push — Pull Combo: Repeat 3 times
Upper / Lower Combo: Repeat 3 times
Fullbody / Abs Combo Repeat 3 times
Swim / PT: Repeat 3 times
Cardio / Lower Back
Run 1.5 mile run / Stretch
Pyramid / Run Mix:
So as you can see, we push it out pretty hard each week. Some weeks are tougher than others and as we get into the dead of Winter the workouts are shorter weight room / swimming for cardio workouts. After a long tough year, we are starting to taper down and get ready for a new tougher cycle in the Spring.