Archive for the ‘Running & Cardio’ Category
If you have been a user of my workouts for any of the past 15 years, you will notice I do not do jump roping as part of my written programming. It does not mean I disapprove of jumping rope, in fact, I have many years of jumping rope when I wrestled and played football in high school and played rugby in college. We also used jump ropes while on deployments when visiting on submarines or boats when in the SEAL Teams. I just never pushed jump roping as a training option when the focus of my writing has been mainly running, rucking, swimming as a cardio foundation.
However, after learning about this new jump rope called the Crossrope (www.crossrope.com) at the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Tactical Strength and Conditioning Conference, I actually have added jump roping to my training programs.
Training in the summer months takes some special consideration especially if you live in a hot and humid environment like the South, East Coast and Midwest. However, training in arid and hot environments like the Southwest and Western U.S. require the same considerations. Dryer climates can actually be more dangerous as you do not sweat to stay cool (it just evaporates almost instantly) — but you will notice salt stains on clothing just the same.
Here is a question from a trainer down in Charleston, who needed some ideas other than the typical “stay well hydrated, avoid the heat of the day, etc…”
I was fortunate enough to be invited to the movie premier of Man of Steel before the rest of the world. I was shocked to see how ripped Henry Cavill (Superman) got. After some research I discovered his secret for packing on massive muscle in such a short time. Let me share with you my findings.
First, let me state that Henry Cavill worked with a top fitness expert named Mark Twight. He owns a gym called Gym Jones in Salt Lake City. Mr. Twight is the same person who worked with the cast of 300. Guys, if you haven’t seen this movie, ask your girlfriend/wives, I guarantee you they remember this movie fondly. The movie 300 had more six packs in it than Animal House.
Ok, let’s go through Henry Cavill workout routine that got him huge for Man of Steel, then we will discuss his meal plan.
Here is a great email about how many people feel after a long day of work or sport practices and you have to also prepare for a fitness test in the military or special ops training in your near future.
Stew, I am a specialist in the Texas National Guard and I have an extremely hard time with my APFT. My civilian job involves constant lifting, pushing, pulling etc…of heavy objects, I can feel myself getting stronger but my pushup score is declining during tests. I have increased my workout to try to compensate but it doesn’t seem to be helping. When I perform pushups during the test it feels like I’m fighting my chest and shoulder muscles to move downward. I’m wondering if the constant heavy workout is affecting my range of motion and making pushups harder for me? Have you ever heard/encountered this? How can I get my APFT score back up?
Competitive sports training whether it’s on a military sports team or for recreation requires ability and skill. Some argue that skills can be learned; but, ability is something more innate.
This may or may not be true. After all, there are plenty of zero to hero stories out there that tell how someone with little skill or ability was able to overcome the odds and win an event as a results of their desire and passion.
There is no doubt that cross training can build muscle and endurance. But does that transfer to making you better at your sport? In fact, some studies suggest that training programs like the use of weighted objects (such as wearing a weighted vest when you run to make you run faster once the vest is removed) actually do little more than provide the perception that you’re running faster once you’re lighter.
Are you getting ready for military bootcamp? Navy Seal Buds Training? Or an endurance event like the Marine Marathon or Ironman event? Or are you simply trying to stay in shape so when you strap on that Kevlar vest you know you’re ready for anything that comes your way?
In any case, guys that try too hard, too fast with their personal sports training programs can end up tired, fatigued, burnt out, and actually have trouble concentrating when it matters the most.
These are just some of the signs that you might be overtraining.
If you’ve been busting your butt on the treadmill over the last few months and need a change of scenery, it’s time to head outdoors and hit the pavement running! Here are a few tips that’ll prep you for the differences and help ease the transition.
Upgrade your running shoes. You don’t want to run on a road in worn out shoes and end up hurting from shin splints. Upgrade your shoes by going to a store where they watch you run. One of my favorites is Fleet Feet. I first discovered them at their Syracuse location and still go back on my trips from NYC. They just suited me up in the new Boost shoe by Adidas. My run feels lighter, which is critical when going from the treadmill to tougher outdoor routes where you deal with different types of terrain and weather patterns.
Train first. Because jogging outdoors is generally more intense than the belt assisted forward motion of the treadmill, you need to train your body to adapt. Instead of jogging 6 miles per hour at an incline of zero, you should reduce your speed and increase your incline. When you bring your speed down to 5.5 and run with an incline of 2–3, it will simulate running outdoors where you’re the one who pushes the ground away under your feet, not the machine.
Sports training involves various conditioning methods like a speed training program, endurance training, or strength training. Each
has a purpose based on the desired outcome.
You might have an upcoming sports event or want to stay fit for military, special ops, or Seal training. Or, you might be training for an event such as the Marine Marathon and you want to learn how to run faster.
Here is an email from a security officer I have known for a few years who primarily does personal security details nearly everyday of the week.
Stew, I am trying to get back into workouts but with 18–20 hour travelling security details, I barely have time to sleep before I am up again preparing for the next day. This last month has been brutal with travel, daily security details, and eating like crap. I am ready to turn this around and start working out hard again. What do you recommend and where should I start?
Have you ever heard the phrase, ” Your nerves are shot?” Basically you are over stressed and need to focus on the basics right now. Truly though, your central nervous system takes a beating when you are not sleeping well and having long stressful work days which can negatively impact your personal life (thus more stress), and not eating right.
Hey Stew, I am working on a project and was curious what your opinion on today’s warrior and Special Ops fitness and which training disciplines best achieve this?
Great question! Over the past decade Special Ops Fitness has morphed into a new fitness genre along with military, police, and fire fighter fitness called Tactical Fitness. In fact, the National Strength and Conditioning Association has created the Tactical Strength and Conditioning Certification Program and hold some of the best conferences I have ever been to. Speakers include those physiologists and athletic trainers who train active duty Special Ops Team such as Delta Force and SEAL Team Six. But the real progress in training is in the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, FBI, Border Patrol, and other federal law enforcement programs. Now many of our nation’s branches of service are hiring sports team trainers to run their indoctrination (boot camp), special operations maintenance and injury / rehabilitation programs for instance.
Tysen Ober is a 23 year old soldier who recently returned from an overseas deployment to Kuwait. With no job, no school, and no relationship awaiting his return, Tysen knew this was his moment to do something big. And boy is it big! Tysen will be running 3,500 miles from California to Maine to raise money for wounded warriors. His hope is to inspire others to “get out, get active and get involved in giving back to this country.” His drive and vision inspired me to talk about how far we can all go with the right attitude (see the bottom of this article for ways to support Tysen’s quest).
There are several marathon training programs to help prepare you for race day. And, those workout plans will vary depending on your own personal goals. However, you will see some similarities. The kind of running that you will do may include: Tempo runs, Interval training, and Marathon Pace running.
No matter the pace, duration, or miles covered during each training day, every run should include a warm-up, a cool-down, and a good, healthy stretch to avoid muscle strains, tendinitis, joint pain or shin splints.
Good questions with answers below…
(1) How long is a workout? Should it be a half-hour or a full hour?
Depends on your goals and current fitness level. 30 min is great for a beginner / maintenance plan or high intense workout. 60+ min is needed for longer events like marathons, triathlons, spec ops training, but fine for a body building workout. Like I said — all depends…
Mine are usually 2–3 hours long full of calisthenics, running, swimming mix in the summer and shorter with weights and light cardio in the winter — see how
There is one key component to reaching your fitness goals, regardless of your current fitness levels. Consistency.
That may sound oversimplified but that doesn’t make it any less truthful. However, most people have lives that make this one component very difficult to obtain.
If you’re serious about your fitness goals, if you’d like to transform your body from the state it is in now to that of a modern day Spartan on the inside and out than what I’m about to share with you can help you achieve your goals.
Eight Weeks. Is that enough time to get your butt into shape?
That’s what a lot of people wonder after the nerves settle, the farewell and good luck parties are just a memory, and the trash talk has passed. They wake up and suddenly realize they are two days into their first week of military fitness training and the cold harsh reality is that it’s only just begun…and secretly they wonder what the hell they’ve gotten into.
Yep…it happens to the best of us.
You wonder if it’s all worth it. And, at the end of the day, when the dust has settled, the muscles have been stretched, the body re-hydrated and belly filled with more (quality) calories than you thought anyone could eat…you think, yeah, maybe this will work…but first you have to get through eight weeks of Hell.
You’ve seen the movies and military bootcamp training clips, right? A staff sergeant up in your face yelling and screaming for you to do more, push yourself harder and insulting your mama and her combat-boot wearing ways.
Most guys respond with an “I’ll show you, you S.O.B.” kind of attitude, fight back and kick it in gear building mental toughness and physical endurance.
For some, this works. For others it’s a recipe for disaster. They actually do push themselves beyond their physical limits and their body quits…way sooner than their mind, pride, ego and spirit do.
If you are entering military bootcamp training with a body that’s not fully conditioned, then you could be setting yourself up for a setback in training. And that sucks.
Here is an email from an active duty airman who is training / trying out for the AF Para-rescue program (AFPJ). He is having issues with his running portion of the PAST which is arranged after the 500m swim.
I have been doing PAST workouts for several weeks. So far, I have done a practice PAST every Monday for the Past 4 weeks, today being the fourth one, and the running seems to kill me every time. The scheduled PAST that I have officially coming up is during the last week of March, somewhere between March 25–29.
It could be your transition or you need a better recovery program. Can you run well normally without the swim first? Perhaps you need to train for your transitions and do more swim — runs and read:
This is article 3 of the 3 part series of Health Screening 101. The first two articles in the series of Health Screening 101 are the following:
In this article, we will discuss the changes in his Health Screening Test after four months of following a Low Carb / Paleo diet, an exercise program, and a statin drug.
Previous Article in the Series: Health Screening 101: Blood Testing (Part 1)
In this article, we will discuss the recommended courses of action to obtain healthy screening numbers posed to us by an officer with recent blood screening questions. The goal of the recommendations below is to turn the subject’s next blood test into fewer RED LIGHTS and eventually ALL GREEN LIGHTS.
Exercise, Diet, & Medication Recommendations
An exercise program should help you burn the glucose from your body as well as reduce your fat stores. To effectively do both, it is recommended that you start off your workout with resistance training (weight training or calisthenics) for 20–30 minutes to burn your blood sugar (glucose) and glycogen first. The higher your heart rate the more sugar you are using for energy. This is anaerobic training which requires your body to burn glycogen in order produce energy for the challenging demands of this high intensity exercise. Follow your anaerobic training with an easy paced, “fat burning”, aerobic training program like walking, jogging, biking, swimming at a pace that you can still hold a conversation but just barely. See below for a sample full body workout with cardio program:
You have to truly want it if you are to make waves in your fitness levels.
The military is comprised of some of the brightest minds and fittest individuals in the world.
We aren’t lacking in the initiative department.
We all want success but successful running takes more then wanting.
There are no short cuts in this sport and I know far too many service members are self-sabotaging themselves into believing they don’t have what it to takes to run their specific 2-mile goal time or 5K to marathon performance goals.
I am here to tell you, you do have what it takes but you had better be willing to make the sacrifice to better your life and your fitness to earn a breakthrough.