Archive for the ‘Spec Ops Fitness’ Category
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.
Learning how to balance tough Special Ops level training with injury prevention is a constant battle and a delicate balance between recovery, logical progressions, nutrition, hydration, and knowing when to put in 100%. Now that last part is a bit tricky because in Spec Ops training you need to give 100% all the time right? Well — not really — you have to know when to turn it on and when to back it down so you do not injure yourself. Here is an email from a 28 yr old trying to get the most of his last few months before the age limit no longer allows him to attend SEAL training:
“Stew, I am 28 and a SEAL candidate working hard everyday to prepare myself for what is to come. I am a former boxer and have found that when I do the sprints in your Navy SEAL Fitness book , I ache for a day and I am borderline pulling a hamstring. How do I do these workouts at my age and not hurt myself?”
Walking through Whole Foods, what would you expect a Cross-Fit Champion would load up on?
Eggs? Wheaties? Raw Meat?
How about…Peanut Butter and Chocolate Milk?
Yep…turns out getting ripped and winning championships involves little nuts and big udders.
Red Cape Not Included…
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. And probably just like you I though, Man…how’d he do that?
After some research I discovered his secret for packing on massive muscle in such a short time. Let me share with you my findings.
What are the Best Supplement Ingredients for a Healthy Brain?
There are many brain vitamins and supplements which can significantly enhance focus and improve well-being. Research is discovering that just like every other part of your body, nutritional support is important for keeping your brain “young-like” no matter how many candles are on your cake. Face it, it doesn’t matter how big your biceps are, or how fast you can recover from a 10 mile run, if you can’t find your way home after a workout because of brain fog.
In that past, losing your memory was just an “accepted” part of growing older. Today, science in the lab and in the kitchen is bringing us places in the brain where we haven’t been able to go before.
Here is an email from a young man who seeks some advice about adding weights to his training plan. He is not only pre-training for the next track / cross country season, but also is preparing for Navy SEAL training after he graduates high school.
Stew, I was curious if I start to add some weights to my off-season program would it affect my running negatively? In other words, would it make me slower? I am also wanting to add Navy SEAL workouts into my training so I will be adding in swims, swims with fins, and various PT workouts. I read in a previous Navy SEAL article you mentioned about learning to be a good team player prior to joining the service — well I am doing that but I want to be the best team player I can be and in this case it means running faster. Any advice?
Team sports in high school go a long way in developing needed skills you will use everyday in the military. Simply being on a team with a competitive spirit is a great foundation to build upon once you join and you will especially need these skills in the Spec Ops community.
What’s My BMI? And other useless questions…
The BMI, or body mass index is a measurement that some doctors and other administers use to determine if a person is obese, or right in line with where they should be to be healthy. However, health and a healthy lifestyle really have more to do than the number on a scale.
For example, there was a man in Mexico that weighed in at 1200 pounds. He was desperate to lose weight and nothing seemed to work for him no matter how much or how little he ate. The curious thing was that based upon his blood work…he was normal and had all the “stats” of a healthy individual. However, most people (including this man) would agree that living in a 1200 pound body is the furthest thing from healthy.
Some people mistakenly believe that “supplements” refer only to the stuff that meatheads use to juice up and bulk up, creating muscle that’s all for show with no real strength to back their play. And…there are some old-school philosophies out there that still support this antiquated way of thinking.
But make no mistake…supplements backed by science have a place. You see the results on the sports field. And, you see the result on the field of battle. Still there are skeptics that ask if there is any validity for the best vitamins for men training for military?
Rhabdomyolysis is a word that not many people have ever heard or experienced. But recently, it has unfairly made the headlines with regard to difficult training programs such as CrossFit. I am not a CrossFitter, but this issue is part client and part trainer problem and not simply a CrossFit problem. Truth is, “Rhabdo” as many people refer to it, is very common in MANY challenging training programs such as military bootcamps, police and fire academies, even professional football, and body building. It is a deadly condition that should be studied by anyone who is a trainer, but also taught to students who are seeking challenging workout programs in harsh environments.
Defined, from a 2010 US Armed Forces study on active duty cases, Rhabdomyolysis is the breakdown of muscle cells with release into the bloodstream. If not treated, Rhabdomyolysis can be fatal and you can have kidney failure, heart attack, or stroke. It is definitely not a condition to make light of or wear as a badge of honor.
Some people think that training of the Navy SEALs is just like any other military training…until they go to special ops training in the military.
Only then can you fully appreciate the physical strength and mental fortitude required to get into a top military unit. You’ve got to have more than just muscles and speed. A lot of guys have that. In this video, you get an insider look at just one part of Navy Seal Training.
Fitness training, staying on track, and building a workout plan that gives you the best results can be tough. You’ve gotta find time to workout, figure out what to eat, find where to buy the best food and dietary supplements, and keep up on the latest fitness information so you know you’re getting the most from your training time.
That could be a full-time job one its own. Now, add in a hectic schedule that includes weird shifts, deployment, and moving around the country. It’s easy to just forget about it!
Ah, but don’t despair…there’s an app for that! And we’re going to cover a few of the most popular ones in this article. Keep reading!
What if you could increase the “strength” of your respiratory muscles? Would that improve your training results and result in better performance when you run, swim, bike or any engage in any other activity that involves breathing?
That’s exactly what was asked in a runner’s study to find out how respiratory muscle training could improve overall performance.
Most of us would agree that to improve physical performance you need to condition your heart, build your muscles, and practice your game or skills. But how many of us think of respiratory muscle training as a key component to improving lung function…and your game?
I’ll admit it; I am hooked on bodyweight exercises. I have been working out for 2 decades, rotating through dozens of different workout fads, but one aspect to my workout programs that have always been consistent are the use of bodyweight exercises.
In sport training, the research results for water training and water running suggests that when you do your workouts in an aquatic environment you may get better results. What kind of better results? Think about great lung capacity and better oxygen consumption. It turns out that what works for man and beast for rehabilitation training may actually have untold benefits for your everyday workouts!
The role of women in military is evolving. Well, at least the “official” policy seems to be changing for female soldiers in the United States.
I say “official” because the debate surrounding the decisions military administration revolve around women in combat. But the reality is that women have been actively involved in combat in just about every war in history, even if it was in an “unofficial” capacity. Heck, if Martha Washington can fight on the battlefield (she wasn’t just sewing stars on the flag!)…maybe a modern military woman can as well. No sewing needles needed!
If you are seeking a job in the military or law enforcement professions, you will likely see an entrance exam that requires you to score well in sit-ups, curl-ups, or crunches. All are abdominal exercises with different hand placement that test core strength and endurance and can be a challenging exercise to improve if you are not getting your repetitions in each week. Here is an email from someone who has improved in pushups and pullups but needs help with the last PT element of the Air Force PAST test for PJ and CCT:
“Stew, I have used your pullup and pushup push plans and actually increased my pushups from 50 to 88 and my pullups from 12 to 20 in just two weeks. Thanks! I have neglected my sit-ups however (62 in 2 min); and need some ideas on the quickest way to increase my reps for the AF PJ two minute PAST test for situps. Do you have a “Situp Push Plan” like your pull / push plans? I am trying to get my situps to 85–100 for the PAST”
Yes, I have been working on a Situp Overload Plan to help create a better foundation to increase situps by 50–75% in just 14 days. It is a little different than the Pullup / Pushup Plan where you take your current maximum and multiply by five for 10 straight days – add in three rest days and test on day 14 for recovery from the overload and max out into a new level of scoring.
Questions like these make me appreciate the younger generation more and have hope for the future of our country. This young man wants to serve this great country of ours, but yet is struggling with the decision of the Army or Navy. Here is his question:
Sir, I’m currently a junior in high school, and I’m having some trouble deciding upon a branch of the military. At the moment, I am PTing with the Army, with plans to go infantry and eventually Ranger. But whenever I decide on that, something just says, “SEALs!” and then I have more trouble. I haven’t signed any paperwork with the Army yet, and I would very much appreciate any help or advice you could give me. Thank you
Sure there are inter-service rivalries between all the branches of our military but in the end, we are all on the same team. Here are some things to consider about your decision:
Update: Have you ever had a moment in your life when someone or something changed you forever? Yesterday, I had that moment. In a rustic dining hall packed with veterans, lobster, laughter and an whole lot of camaraderie, I met Travis Mills. His jovial spirit and engaging smile don’t serve to mask the tragedy he’s been through…those traits are who he is and who he has always been. Travis has a divine spark within him which manifests as a burning desire to support, encourage and lift others up especially during difficult times. This is his story of help and hope for fellow veterans and their families.
Some call it “Peruvian Ginseng”.
I have a buddy who swears by the benefits of Maca root. He calls it the peace keeper.
Let me explain. His wife just gave birth and as you can imagine pregnancy can really screw up a woman’s hormones. My buddy got to the point where he just wasn’t sure what he would be walking into when he opened the door at the end of the day. Was he walking into enemy territory…or were there friendlies on the other side of that door? Now, this is a true story so just bear with me and I’ll get to the science a little later.
Over the past decade CrossFit has motivated and turned the fitness community into a daily competition with quick workouts of the day (WODs) in a group or online group atmosphere. There is not a day that goes by that I do not see a WOD posted up on a Facebook page or shared on Twitter, so people are very excited about their fitness these days. Which is GREAT! And you cannot argue with results. People see results with CrossFit workouts more than not. However, this question is asked quite often and it is about time I post on it as people tend to get a few things confused when it comes to Special Operations fitness. This question is specifically asking about Navy SEAL training and using CrossFit to prepare for BUD/s:
Stew, I know you recommend calisthenics and no lifting when preparing for BUD/S, but what do you think about CrossFit workouts to prepare for SEAL Training? I know many SEALs, Army SF, RECON guys do CrossFit and recommend it for their own training. What is your take on it?