Archive for the ‘Running & Cardio’ Category
I was recently asked by an Army veteran if there were other fitness tests out there to challenge/ test people who want to be “Tactically Fit”. This particular veteran likes to stay as fit as he was while serving more than 10 years ago and still manages an above average Army PFT for age groups 20 years younger. These are great health and fitness goals to ace a basic PFT, but is it really a Tactical Fitness Test? No — See the multiple dimensions required in creating a foundation to be “tactically fit” in order to have the ability to perform some of the most dangerous jobs in the world — defending / protecting our country and communities.
Tactical Fitness is the new fitness genre and I personally define it as: The ability to perform military, police, and fire fighter job related skills such as running, rucking, swimming, buddy rescue, equipment carry, requiring upper body and lower body strength and muscle endurance. I have been wanting to make an all inclusive tactical fitness test for a while now. The test below has no scientific study behind it, these are simply my opinions what tactical athletes should be able to do. However, all these events are commonly used testing events used by many military, special ops teams, SWAT Teams, police and fire fighters.
These are the twelve events I call the Tactical Fitness Dirty Dozen that I pulled from various military, police, and fire fighting fitness tests to create an all inclusive fitness challenge for those of you who want to be ready for anything. There is a grading system that is quite generous in basic pass / fail standards as well as a max point system of 100 points.
The events justification:
25# Pullup — Weighted pullups are required as most gear a tactical operator wears will weigh anywhere from 15-25lbs minus the back pack. Minimum is 2 reps / maxing is 10 reps. 1 point for each rep for a total of 10 points and minimum of 2 reps.
Body Weight bench press — Upper body strength with combination of moving your body weight for multiple repetitions to test pushing power of the tactical athlete. Minimum points for 5 reps (2 pts) and maximum (10) points for 15 reps.
Dead Lift (1.5x BW) — Can you lift more than your own body weight. Practicing this event alone will help a tactical athlete learn proper lifting techniques and build a stronger foundation to move heavy weight when required. 1 rep P/F but 2 points per rep until 5 reps for more points. Minimum points for 2 reps (1 pt) and maximum (10) points for 5 reps.
Fireman carry — Can you rescue your buddy and carry for 100yds? Pass / Fail criteria (5 pts pass)
400m sprint - Can you run fast (no gear)? 60 seconds max points / 80 seconds minimum standard. Sometimes speed is essential.
Minimum points for 80 seconds (1 pt) and maximum (10) points for 60 seconds.
300yd shuttle run - Can you run back and forth quickly (6 x 50m shuttle)? 60 seconds max / 80 seconds minimum standard.
Minimum points for 80 seconds (1 pt) and maximum (10) points for 60 seconds.
Illinois Agility Test — You will have to zig and zag while running at full speed, changing direction often. Max points of (5) if completed under 15 seconds. Deduct a point for every second slower than 15 seconds until 19 seconds(1 pt). Slower than 19 seconds = fail.
Plank pose - Can you hold the plank pose for 1 minute minimum. Get extra points for every minute after that and max out at 5 minutes. 1 point 1 minute. Add a points for each minute up to 5 minutes. Max points 5 points.
3 mile timed run — The three mile timed run. Can you run 3 miles without stopping? Then you pass. If you get 18 minutes you max the test and can pick up a few more points if you can keep it under 23 minutes. 10 points for 18 min / 1 point less for each 30 seconds until max point time of 23 minutes.
50 lbs ruck in under 1 hour (4 miles) - This is the minimum standard for Army rucking times. Can you pace yourself at a perfect 15 min mile with 50lb back pack or weight vest. No need to go too fast on this event. It is about finishing on a steady pace. No extra points for getting under 1 hour. 10 points pass or fail.
Swim - Can you swim? - If you cannot swim you are ineffective on 75 % of this planet. Be an asset not a liability to your team, yourself, and your family. This is a basic survival skill we all should know how to do. 5 Points for just knowing how to swim.
500m swim — Any stroke. Swim 500m non-stop and you pass. Get 500m in 6 min or less and max out the swim test. You can get extra points until the 11th minute. 5 points for maxing the swim / 1 point less for every minutes until the 10th minute.
25m Life saving buddy tow - Can you dive to the bottom of a pool (8-9ft) grab a unconscious buddy and tow him 25m to the other end of the pool? Pass or fail — 5 points.
Here is a chart to make it easier to understand:
|Exercise||Pass / Fail Criteria|
|4 mile ruck (50lbs)||1 hour maximum time|
|25# Pullups max reps||2 – 10 reps|
|Bench press (bodyweight)||Pass or fail 1 rep: 5 reps — 15 reps for extra points|
|Dead Lift (1.5x bodyweight)||Pass or fail — 1 rep
(2–5 reps for extra pts)
|Fireman Carry (P/F)||100yds of equal bodyweight|
|400m sprint||60–80 seconds|
|Shuttle run 300yds||60–80 seconds|
|Plank pose (P/F)||1 minute minimum / 5 min max|
|3 mile run (P/F)||18 minutes to 23 minutes for extra points|
|IL Agility Test||<15 secs to >19 sec|
|Swim – can you swim?
|Yes / no|
|Swim 500m timed||6 minutes – 11 minutes|
|Swim – Buddy Tow||Pass/fail – 25m rescue swim|
Max points is 100 points if you ace everything. You can still pass with as little as 40 points. You must pass all events to pass the test. Give it a try and see where you stand. Practice and your weaknesses and think your way through this test as you can arrange to best fit your optimal scoring potential. The interesting thing about this test is you can arrange the events in any order you wish. Get creative and develop your own strategy for better performance. The test can be broken up into two sessions or challenge yourself and go for all events in one long testing session.
“The Dirty Dozen” Tactical Fitness Test eBook is here.
Endurance training and endurance sports can be tough on your body. They challenge you beyond what you think you’re capable of. They also allow you to reach levels of fitness so you can experience peak performance and health. That’s why many people try to improve their endurance by using endurance supplements.
When herbs and supplements are paired with proper diet and exercise, you can see amazing results. Endurance Supplements can play a KEY role in helping you reach your fitness goals by improving your body’s endurance.
If you’re interested in improving your endurance, look for products made with these endurance boosting supplements.
Cordyceps: The mushroom that will keep you going!
The slow transfer of oxygen from red blood cells to mitochondria is one of the biggest problems people exercising to improve their endurance face. The obvious solution is to improve that transfer, right? Cordyceps is a Tibetan mushroom which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for lung protection and to balance Qi. In clinical studies the mushroom has been shown to cause significant improvements in feelings of fatigue, oxygen uptake, and endurance exercise performance.
Rhodiola: Improved Oxygen Transfer, Energy and Endurance
Rhodiola has been shown to help improve oxygen transfer from lungs to red blood cells. The root’s anti-fatigue effects are a result of an enhancement of oxygen efficiency.
When the root has being studied on people living in high altitudes, they saw that the root had beneficial effects on blood oxygen levels, time to exhaustion, VO2 peak, and pulmonary ventilation during endurance exercises. Himalayan Sherpas were the first people to discover the health benefits of this Himalayan root. They would chew on the root for an energy and endurance boost when they would climb high mountains.
Quercetin: The Nutritional Supplement that Improves Blood Flow
Quercetin is an antioxidant that improves blood flow by dilating blood vessels. This antioxidant has been used to improve blood flow in individuals with high blood pressure and heart disease. On the sports training front, research has shown that taking 500 mg of quercetin twice a day for 3 weeks before, and during 3 days of long and intense cycling sessions, reduces the number of upper respiratory infections in the 14 days following heavy exercise.
Siberian and Indian Ginseng: Centuries-old Natural Energy Boosters
People have been using ginseng, a natural energy booster., for thousands of years. However, there are two particular species of the ginseng plant that can help you improve your endurance. Siberian ginseng (also known as Eleuthero) and Indian ginseng (known as Ashwagandha) can provide resistance to physical stress and also help boost your energy levels. They used in traditional medicine as “adaptogens”, herbs that can help the body adapt to stressful situations. Some people claim that Eleuthero tends to have more of a noticeable affect on energy than Ashwagandha. High-quality supplements that use Siberian Ginseng as part of their formula offer someone working in extreme climates and in high-stress situations an advantage. Adapt is the name of the game, right? NS Formula.
Resources for Endurance Supplements:
Early in the 2013–2014 football season, I had every confidence that I would be watching my beloved Packers play in the Superbowl this Sunday only to see my hopes fade as Aaron Rodgers was out with an injury for several games and, of course, a playoff loss that quickly ended their season. So, I turned to my runner up, the Patriots, and, yet again, my dreams were dashed as were theirs when they lost to the Broncos. Undaunted, I pinned my faith to the fast & furious 49ers. As you can tell, I don’t place any bets on my predictions! At least my fourth favorite is playing in the Superbowl this year, although, I’d better not say to whom I betroth my allegiance for fear of jinxing the outcome. The reason for my football rant is seated in what you’ll be doing this Sunday and beyond. Drinks and snacks will be the norm for Superbowl Sunday and, while it’s okay to share good cheer, you may want to rethink your cocktail concoctions.
Training large groups with varied fitness levels is one of the most challenging things to accomplish with success. Success will be defined by the group’s increased fitness levels as well as not injuring people who maybe ill-prepared for new and challenging exercises. Here is a great question from a new PT coordinator concerned with adding new ways to test the group in exercises /events not common to the Air Force PFT.
My unit has placed me in charge of the PT program which is a combination of remedial PT failures as well as the top fitness levels on our base. We are – for the most part – a competitive group and though we do focus on the PFT exercises so we stay on top of the test, I would like to change it up and add new fitness testing exercises to challenge our team. I recall you writing that there were about 10 to 12 exercises that have been deemed as acceptable (validated) for most military and police fitness tests. However, there will certainly be some naysayers who will be less than enthusiastic about fitness programming and evaluation on a department-wide basis – even if it is for fun. I know you have a lot of experience in this area, so I wanted to see what your thoughts were on the best exercises / tasks for testing purposes.
What Do Runner’s Eat? Whether you’re new to running or a competitive marathon athlete; endurance –based exercises like running require you to pay attention to your extra nutritional needs. If you don’t, you’ll notice changes in your body structure that may not be what you hoped for (like getting way too thin) or even worse, you’ll experience a lack of energy after your workout.
Although running may not seem as physically intense as weightlifting or martial arts; runners of all levels need to be pay close attention to vitamins and minerals as well as caloric intake. Your quality of nutrition will ensure optimal performance and help you avoid over training.
Training for Army Bootcamp requires mental preparation and physical preparation.
Even though most people don’t think about physical exercise providing any mental benefits…it does. Why? Because exercise allows you be physically prepared for your Army Bootcamp training. And, the more physically prepared you feel, the less mental stress you will experience. The less mental stress, the better you will be able to engage and focus in the “classroom” style learning as well as the “field” adaptations and problem solving you will encounter physically and mentally.
What’s Hell Week Training?
Five days and nights in maximum overdrive. It’s wet. It’s cold. It’s tough. And for most it’s their first real test of endurance. And, most don’t think they are ready. Or they do, until the boots hit the mud and a part of them just wants to cry to mama. Can you survive? Can you adapt? Can you reach the peak and push back against your minds natural resistance? Will you become a Marine?
The body has a way of adapting to physical stress but only when you give it what it requires to deal with that stress in the most healthy and positive way. You need the right food combinations and nutritional fortification. And that fortification of your body’s vital systems needs to begin long before Hell week. Long before the buzz cut. And long before your first inspection. That fortification, that Hell Week Training Diet needs to start the moment to get the urge to wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor.
Every year runners all over the country look forward to participating in Marine Marathon training with the hopes of crossing the line at our nation’s capital. This event, with it’s undertones for patriotism and celebration of America also does a great job of promoting physical fitness and highlighting the skills of the Corps. This marathon is the third largest in the country and usually attracts at least 30,000 athletes famous, infamous, and just hoping to cross the finish line before the sun rises on a new day!
What do you need, besides a pair of running shoes and little bit of determination to meet your goals?
Diet for marathon is a critical part of the training process. Food is the fuel that helps you build endurance and enhance your workouts. Consider some expert tips that will maximize your performance in October at the Marine Corps Marathon.
The makers of the Insanity workout plan claim that it’s the wildest and most intense workout that anyone ever saw. Coming hot on the heels of the P90X program, it ushers in a new era of workouts. Men and women who previously thought they could only get the ripped abs and great arms they wanted in a gym can now tone up at home. Beachbody states that anyone can get in shape using the workout plan, but not everyone has the same experience.
The Insanity workout comes with ten discs. One of those discs is a fitness test that users take before using any of the workout plans. According to the manufacturer, this test lets users see how strong they are in different areas, and they can compare their strength and fitness to how they feel after using the program. Even those who do well on the fitness test might still have problems with the workout plans.
Want to be the best? Then master the basics.
A strong foundation of nutrition and training is vital. Most of you already know that, right? But where people tend to mess up is what they do beyond the plate and beyond the gym. You also need muscle recovery. Hard training takes a heavy toll on the body, so we’re going to talk a little about rest, about real food, and about how you can use science to give you the edge for your training, results and overall performance.
Often injuries or illnesses occur and derail our fitness and progress made over many months and years of effort. This can be extremely frustrating to any hard charging military or fitness buff. Getting back into it after several weeks or months of recovery time can be a shock to the system and a bruise to the ego if efforts and expectations are too high. Here is an email from a British Army soldier needing help after an illness sidelined him for several months:
Stew - Well my fitness has gone completely! I am serving in the British army, unfortunately just over five months ago I was struck with kidney stones. The doctors immediately stopped me from doing all physical exercise until this week when they have finally given me the all clear to start again! I was feeling completely wasted after a ten minute jog and struggled to complete a measly 10 mins on the static bike! Could you please advise me as to whether any of your other programmes would help me in starting to get back to fitness, any help would be more than gratefully received!
Want to know how Hugh Jackman got so ripped for his movie Wolverine? Well, you can hire his extremely expensive fitness trainer Mike Ryan or you can build your own workout program based on advice from Mr. Ryan. If you don’t have Ryan on speed dial then read on.
Hugh Jackman really got cut for this movie. The keyword here is cut.
To look really great with your shirt off, adding muscle mass is only half the battle, in fact, less than half if you ask the ladies. An impressive looking body starts with well– defined muscles, so follow this Hugh Jackman workout program to get some impressive muscle definition.
Every year — it never fails — many engage to correct all of their wrong-doings, unhealthful habits, and other self-helping notions in the form of New Year RESOLUTIONS. “Resolution” is one of the most over-used words during the end of December and January each year, but by February it is gone usually along with our energy to better ourselves. So, I recommend instead of making a resolution, set four quarterly goals to help you reach where you want to be next year at this time. Take a look back at 365 days ago. Seems like yesterday right? Why not create a logical goal setting formula that will work for you with a little bit of effort and some good habit building skills? Where people fail with their resolutions is that they try to fix too much at one time. Stopping smoking, starting an exercise program, eating healthy foods in an effort to lose weight can be too much to take on all at once. Try another approach to success.
When I was 19, I could eat whatever I wanted and not worry about the intake of calories. Fast-forward a couple decades and those “glory days” are long over. However, losing weight isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Even common household items you have in your house right now can help you burn calories and lose weight without ever hearing the dreaded word “diet”. Below are a few of my favorite household items that can help you consume less calories.
Building up your running is a constant battle for many recruits especially when they are also trying to build muscle to handle the stress of PT, rucking, and other weighted events in military training. Maintaining running for USMC fitness tests can be challenging as well for active duty Marines especially when you are deployed and spending most of the day wearing your kit / ruck. Here is a question from a USMC recruit trying to prepare himself for faster USMC fitness standards on the run:
I am currently able to accomplish the USMC PFT with 19 pull ups, 87 sit ups, and my 3 mile time is 25:00 minutes. Do you have any information and ways to reduce the time on my run? I rigorously work out 5 times a week including cardio and strength training. Thank you for your time and assistance.
Like many people who are into fitness and exercising, you were likely to have started due to either improving your body image or athletics, OR a combination of both. My personal story was a combination of both. I started lifting weights at 13 years of age and mainly cut my teeth on the widely popular Joe Weider weight lifting books mixed with a healthy dose of calisthenics. Calisthenics has been a constant in my life ever since being introduced to them back in grade school. YES — Back when you had Physical Education everyday in school. The President’s Fitness Test was a competition among most students in our class. Therefore, my fitness foundation was calisthenics, free weights (some powerlifts / some body building sets), and whatever sport was in the season throughout middle and high school. (football, powerlifting, track, wrestling, baseball)
Once I joined the military, I realized quickly that there was much more to learn about fitness training. Not only are there workouts that can get you strong, create endless muscle stamina, enable you to run, swim, and ruck, BUT (this is for you body builders) you can actually keep most of your muscle. With proper nutrition and creative balance of weights, calisthenics, and cardio, you can not only be cardiovascularly fit, but strong, lean, and still have muscle mass. Just look at most active Special Operators today.
Protein: Much More than Cow
Eating enough foods high in protein is critical for building muscle. Protein not only promotes muscle growth, it also ensures muscle recovery and allows you to manage your weight by allowing you to feel fuller, longer. Now, when most people think protein, they think bovine. But…don’t limit yourself to the dairy! There are so many more protein-rich foods to enjoy!
Eating protein rich meals after working out is required for gaining muscle mass. The quality protein you consume after that workout helps to repair the damage. Most people grab a whey protein drink, chocolate milk, and take BCAA supplements. It’s quick, easy and it works. As you read this article, you’ll learn which other foods are high in protein and help build muscle.
What’s so Special about Saw Palmetto?
You may have heard about the benefits of Saw Palmetto, a plant native to the southeast. It’s nothing special to look at yet has a long history of medicinal uses which include preventing urinary disorders in men and boosting libido.
Native Americans are the first know users of this plant by including the nutrient rich berries in their diet. Men should consider using saw palmetto as a preventative measure for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), otherwise known as enlargement of the prostate gland.
Want More from Your Workouts?
What you get out of your body and the level of your health and physical performance is directly related to what you put into your body. You can’t blame your mama or bad genes forever. Sooner or later you’ll realize that you and you alone are responsible for your health. Sure, your gene pool may “load the gun” so to speak, but your lifestyle choices pull the trigger.
You want better performance? Skip the junk food diet and opt for a healthy sports diet …even if you’re not an athlete! Why? Because in order to fuel your body with the nutrients it needs you have to do better than the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) . To get into shape and stay fit, you should analyze your diet plan—no matter what workout plans you are following. Maximize your performance and create an ideal muscular system using these helpful tips.
Between Halloween candy, Thanksgiving stuffing and Christmas cookies, your body will take a brutal calorie beating this holiday season. This is the perfect time to start or change that workout routine.
Your body has an amazing ability to adapt and for most people, working out consists of what I call a “zombie workout”, which involves going to the gym and doing the same exercises over and over. I see people actually yawning while working out. Your body can’t possibly be getting an effective workout while yawning!