SSG Ken Weichert's Archive:

Ken Weichert

Ken Weichert (a.k.a. "SGT Ken") is an international speaker, six-time U.S. Army Soldier of the Year, Master Fitness and Master Resilience Trainer, and veteran of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Desert Storm. In 1998, Ken founded the longest-running Boot Camp fitness program in America, START Fitness®. Ken has led thousands of Soldiers and civilians to better health through Operation Fit to Fight, a tactical fitness instructor training and testing program designed to prepare Soldiers for Basic Combat Training ("Boot Camp"), deployments, leadership schools and post-deployment recovery. Ken was the focus of an Emmy award-winning feature on CBS, and has been featured numerous times on ABC, NBC and FOX news. Ken was featured in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Business Times newspapers, and 7X7 magazine. Ken has also written over 100 fitness and health articles for magazines such as GX®, Backpacker®, Outside®, Health®, and for the National Guard website.

10 Tips to Beat the Heat Head-​​on

Beat the Heat

I could not believe this was happening! I had all of the classic symptoms of heat exhaustion—muscle cramps, nausea, weakness, headache, dizziness and confusion. Worst of all, I had decided to hike this unrelenting trail alone.

It was a beautiful summer Saturday in Northern California, just north of San Francisco. I decided to hit the trails in Muir Woods to get a good workout. Instead of inviting friends, as I usually would have, I grabbed a water bottle and set out alone to trail run for six miles.

I normally try to beat the heat by working out before sunrise, but this time I slept in and thought I would be OK to trek at midday. I felt great after the first three miles, so I decided to change routes and triple my total distance. I thought to myself, “At this rate, I will be back in no time.” Boy, was I wrong.

Fit for Duty: Operation Pushing for Power

  • April 10, 2012
  • Army Fitness
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Pushing for Power

In this episode, we’ll be focusing on upper body and core strength. All you’ll need is a figure 8 resistance band, dumbbells and a normal resistance band. Plus, nutritionist Capt Brianne Newman has tips on good eating habits and we how to properly rehabilitate an injury.

You can find all of my episodes on the the Fit for Duty channel on the Pentagon Channel which can also be downloaded on iTunes.

Fit for Duty: Operation Hold for Effect

Operation Hold for Effect

In this episode we are hitting the weight room and targeting the entire body. Plus, we have tips on good eating habits and information on the proper time to take protein supplements in “Train Smart Stay Strong.”

You can find all of my episodes on the the Fit for Duty channel on the Pentagon Channel which can also be downloaded on iTunes.

Fit For Duty: Back to Basics

  • February 24, 2012
  • Army Fitness
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Army Workout

Time to go back to basics with resistance training routines we know and love. Plus, “Train Smart Stay Strong” has pre and post-​​workout nutrition habits and tips on how to get the “burn” back into your workout.

Fit For Duty: Operation Breaking Barriers

No gimmicks or money back guarantees; just hardcore strength training workouts that target the entire body. Plus, in our Train Smart Stay Strong” segment, CDR Dave Keblish rehabs a torn hamstring.

Fit For Duty: Operation Breaking Barriers

  • November 29, 2011
  • Military Workouts
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No gimmicks or money back guarantees; just a hardcore strength training workout that targets the entire body. Plus, in our “Train Smart Stay Strong” segment, CDR Dave Keblish rehabs a torn hamstring.

Fit For Duty: Back & Triceps

Learn which muscle to work out and why with MSgt Mike Skaggs in the weight room. Plus, we discuss the importance of having a workout partner and we have advice on properly rehabilitating an injury in “Train Smart Stay Strong”.

Fit for Duty: Operation Heavy or Not

  • July 22, 2011
  • Army Fitness
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Fit for Duty: Operation Heavy or Not

Work every muscle in your body and burn more than 700 calories! We are back with “Operation Heavy or Not.” Plus, CDR Dave Keblish provides some advice on how to keep your feet in good condition.

Hope you enjoy the workout!

Fit for Duty: Operation Deep Impact

SSG Ken Operation Deep Impact

Muscle up for a deep-​​impact, full body workout! This time we’ll target the entire body using aerobic training and strength conditioning. The equipment you’ll need includes:

1. Figure 8 Resistance Band
2. Weight Ball
3. Dumbells
4. Plyo Box

Also, nutritionist Capt Brianne Newman touts having a workout partner and compares running with bare feet and the latest shoes.

Fit for Duty: Operation Rapid Response

  • June 29, 2011
  • Army Fitness
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SSG Ken Bodybuilding Workout

Get ripped with this toning and body building workout. Plus, we have information on proper calorie intake and the importance of properly rehabilitating an injury.

Hope you like the workout!

Fit for Duty: Operation Slim Gym

SSG Ken's TRX Workout

Team, I’m back with episode two! Get in the best shape of your life with the TRX Suspension Trainer.

If you don’t already know, Fitness Anywhere Suspension Training is a revolutionary method of leveraged bodyweight exercise. Easily set up the portable TRX Suspension Trainer and you’re in control. Safely perform hundreds of exercises that build power, strength, flexibility, balance, mobility, and prevent injuries, all at the intensity you choose.

Fit for Duty: Operation Tread and Shed

SGT Ken Circuit Training

Air Force MSgt Mike Scaggs and I are the two featured Pentagon Channel Fit for Duty fitness instructors for the next year. The shows are now being posted to their website, iTunes, and airing on the Fit for Duty channel. My first episode is a workout that features a 6-​​station fitness circuit that targets the entire body using standard gym equipment. Are you up for the challenge?

Hope you like the workouts. Hooah!

Tactical Fitness Leadership Course in San Francisco

  • August 19, 2010
  • Military Workouts
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Tactical Fitness Leadership

Hello, Military Fitness (“Boot Camp”) Leaders!

I have 8 slots remaining for my Tactical Fitness Leadership (TFL) course in San Francisco, California on 02 October 2010. I have 10 slots remaining for the course in Nashville, Tennessee on 09 October 2010.  We are still offering the entire certificate course for a flat rate of $355 ( U.S. ).

What is included in the tactical fitness leadership course?

1. Tactical fitness leadership training and testing (8 total contact hours)

2. Instructor manual (Over 160 pages)

3. Reference library on a DVD-​​R (Includes over 80 workouts on PDF, over 30 iPod-​​ready video clips and over 40 iPod-​​ready audio workouts, and many more features)

4. Fitness Field Kit (FITKIT).  Note: See below for details about the FITKIT.

Pull-​​up Training Basics


A Pull-​​up Training Program for Beginners

I have been receiving a lot of requests for “pull-​​up improvement plans.” Although the pull-​​up is not an event of the current Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), it is an exercise that is practiced by many Service Members of every branch.

I have noticed that people will either love the pull-​​up or hate it. If you have grown up performing the pull-​​up, you will more likely be able to perform the exercise as an adult. If you have never performed a pull-​​up and attempted to perform it for the first time as an adult, you may find the exercise impossible to perform. The pull-​​up is an exercise that requires past performance or precise physical conditioning in order to reach the bar at all.

It is never too late to learn how to perform an exercise safely and effectively. This fitness program is for the person who has never performed a pull-​​up or has not performed many in the past.

Are You Fit to Fight? Working with the WWE

  • June 28, 2010
  • Air Force Fitness
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WWE Fitness

Recently, I was asked to participate as an audience motivator and military fitness specialist for a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) event. Following are some notes inspired by my experiences:

5 minutes before the show –

A few thousand people were jammed up against the metal fences that served as temporary barriers between the fans and the wrestlers on the WWE main ring. A wrestler called the ‘Big Show’ was taking questions from the fans.

“Stand here please, SGT Ken.” The stage manager said.

The stage manager directed me to a section of the backstage area, right next to the ramp that leads to the ring. The floor was marked with masking tape in a big “X”, just in case I could not see where he pointed in the dimly lit backstage area. Once my feet landed on the mark, I realized that I would soon be jumping in the ring. I took a few deep breaths to shake off the nervousness.

“Focus on the objective.” I said to myself.

Top 5 Tips for Running Safely

Top 5 Tips for Running Safely

1. Carry identification and a cell phone (urban), and sometimes carry a first aid kit (wilderness)

One time I was trail running in Muir Woods, just north of San Francisco while training for the an outdoor adventure race. On the tenth mile of my run, far away from any road or ranger station, I came across a hiker that had broken his ankle from a fall. I always kept emergency numbers recorded on my phone, including the number for the nearest ranger station. I was able to call for help. By the time the ranger arrived, I had already splinted the hiker’s ankle and carried him to the nearest fire escape road. Note: Always be prepared. It may not be you that needs the phone or first aid kit. It is better to have and not need, than to need and not have.

2. Dress for the occasion

Always check the weather report prior to your training. Don’t be the runner or hiker that overheats in hot climates as the result of wearing too much clothes, or the person that gets frostbite or hypothermia from not wearing enough clothes in cold climates. Don’t forget some sort of reflective belt or flashing light of some kind. It is always best to wear clothes that can easily be seen by others. Note: When the weather is poor, it may be best to run indoors on a treadmill.

Top 5 Tips for Proper Running Form

Top 5 Tips for Proper Running Form

1. Look where you are going

A common mistake made during running fatigue is dropping your head into your chest. Maintain focus on the ground 20 feet in front of you and strive for running in a straight line. Your head and neck should remain relaxed at all times. Note: Especially when running in cold climates, it is best to inhale through your nose and to exhale through your mouth. This warms and cleans the air that you supply to your lungs.

2. Lean into it

Another common example of poor running form is when people lean back while running. This creates a pulling action in the hips that is very counterproductive. Use gravity to your advantage lean slightly forward, but maintain proper alignment with your head, shoulders and hips.

Operation Back to Basics: An Effective Workout for Travel or Home

Travel Workout

An effective workout for travel or at home when you are short on time!

By SSG Ken Weichert (a.k.a. “SGT Ken”), Master Fitness and Master Resilience Trainer

Former NFL rushing leader, Emmitt Smith, was known for performing quick and explosive workouts that required little or no use of exercise equipment. A lot can be learned from Emmitt Smith and his workouts. His physical strength and endurance helped him lead the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl victories (1993, 1994 and 1996) and he is ranked #1 in the all-​​time rushing leader list.

Emmitt Smith’s workouts are effective, and most of his workouts take less than 30 minutes to complete.

Fitness Training with TRX!



It was one of those demanding days where I had more work to do than
time available to complete it. A few hours later, I was finally finished with
my task list and ready to dash from the office. I glanced at my watch and
realized that I had no time to drive to the gym. Fortunately, near my desk
stood several fitness items that Stephanie and I were testing for potential
Fitness Field Kit (FITKIT) additions for future Operation Fit to Fight missions.
It was the perfect opportunity to try something new and to share the
information with GX readers all over the world! For this issue, I grabbed the
TRX , a body weight suspension training system.

Fighting Fitness Training: Burn 700 Calories in 60 minutes!

  • October 15, 2009
  • Military Workouts
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Journal entry, Samarra, Iraq:

My gums went completely numb after slugging back my third sugary shot of hot black tea. I was at an outdoor tea stand in Samarra, Iraq, similar to an outdoor American coffee shop, conversing with a local. The shopping center was particularly crowded this blistering 125° mid-​​afternoon. This was the kind of heat that gave a new meaning to the phrase, “boiling point.” My eyes stung from salty sweat-​​streams pooling down in rivers from my helmet. Between the intense caffeine and sugar overdose, I had this false sense of Superman strength raging through my veins.