Archive for the ‘Spec Ops Fitness’ 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…”
There are many military training programs that you would assume you have to pass a mile swim as one of the regular fitness tests. For instance, Navy SEALs, Air Force PJ, Navy Divers / EOD, Navy SWCC, Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer, Navy SAR Swimmer, Marine RECON, Army Combat Divers, and I am sure there are others who have to endure the one or more mile swim test. But a doctor recently asked about a one mile swim test he is training for when he goes to Navy Flight Surgeon school. Guess what? They have to pass a one mile swim test wearing their flight suit! I guess you learn something everyday.
Here is his email: Stew, I’m a family physician in the navy. I’m applying for the flight surgeon course and one of the requirements is a one mile swim test in flight suit. I’m a decent swimmer but I don’t have a good plan to prep for this. Would you have any suggestions?
Each year, it is estimated that the military discharges nearly 300,000 Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard members. For those of us who have been in the military or are members of military families, the transition to the civilian word can be challenging. My husband, Mark, worked tirelessly to develop an initiative here in Maine called the High Tech Patriot Program (HTPP) helping guardsmen and women attain high tech jobs. It was a win-win for the employer and the military member. Here are some of my other favorite organizations that may provide support to you and your family.
Every so often I get an email from a future Special Ops student who is preparing for the challenges of some of the toughest training programs in the world (SEALs, Special Forces, AFPJ/CCT, RECON / MarSOC and foreign groups for SAS, SBS, and the Foreign Legion):
Here is the question: Stew, I have been training pretty hard mixing in weights, calisthenics, running, swimming, and a few non-impact cardio options for additional heart / lungs work. I find myself not keeping up with others in the group or even meeting max repetition / faster times standards in the PST. I am feeling pretty discouraged with the workouts but I stay motivated to train with my buddies. Any advice?
Running and swimming are great for cardiovascular improvement when training for the Navy Seals. We’ve talked in previous articles about the benefits of running so in this article we’re going to cover swim training with intervals.
Since you’re goal is to be prepared for duties as a Navy Seal then you want to create a fitness training program that uses the principle of “specificity of training.” This is just a fancy way to say workout and practice doing what you will actually be doing on the job. And when you’re training for the Navy Seals, you’ve got to swim.
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.
Training to be a Navy Seal means more than just passing the physical test. It’s more than making it through Navy Hell Week. Sure, these things are important but the rubber hits the road the minute your boots hit the ground on an actual mission.
You have to train so that you’re building muscles and endurance that have a direct impact on your job. You have to practice to that each maneuver becomes second nature…as natural and effortless as breathing. You need the kind of training that will actually help you in your job.
What do I mean by that? Well, cycling gives you a great cardio workout and helps improve the heart, true. But it’s not going to give you a huge advantage when you’re humping an 80 pound pack over uneven terrain to get to your target.
Last time I checked, soldiers don’t ride bicycles into combat!
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.
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.
“The warfighter is an elite athlete, it is time that training approaches that are scientifically based are updated within the military to match the functional demands of modern warfare…”
This was the observation in an abstract published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health as they talked about strength training for the warfighter.
Military Fitness Training and tests like the APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test) or “PT Test” and the PFT (Physical Fitness Training) are going to make a leap into the 21st century…finally! Beginning last year, studies in select areas began for the use of updated testing criteria through the Army Physical Readiness Test (APRT) and Army Combat Readiness Test (ACRT).
The idea behind these changes is that soldiers will be better prepared physically if they train how they fight.
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.
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:
Is Cortisol bad? Is it only related to stress and gaining weight? In this article we’re going to discuss why athletes and trained soldiers have and need higher cortisol. We’ll also talk about the role of recovery supplements.
So what are recovery supplements and why are they needed for physical and emotional stress? For most people, when you mention the word “cortisol” they think about stress and gaining weight. This is because main stream media often links the two. This leads everyone to believe that cortisol and stress are bad and should be avoided. But is that really true? And…is avoiding stress even possible for someone that actually gets out of bed in the morning?
Stress is not all bad. It’s unmanaged stress that causes all sorts of problems.
There are many military related fitness events these days. The GoRuck programs teach valuable lessons such as team work, persistence, and require a never quit attitude pulled from an untapped reservoir of your own mental toughness. These can be great schools for your own personal growth, a corporate team building exercise, or actual Special Ops preparation. The GoRuck Challenge (www.goruckchallenge.com) is one of those events taught by former Army Special Forces soldiers than can teach you to engage your mental toughness through a challenging 10–12 hour event. The cadre have performed hundreds of these 10–12 hour Challenges all over the world. The highly professional cadre let you see a city like you never imagined! Now there are other options for you to progress no matter what fitness level you are:
Go Ruck Light, Go Ruck Challenge, Go Ruck Selection, Go Ruck Heavy. Each progress logically
A soldier considering Military Training for Elite Operations like Buds Seal usually focuses first on physical strength and endurance. And while that’s important if it’s all you focus on then you are likely to fail. To succeed and thrive you need something else. You need “extra”.
Just like there are a lot of talented singers with a good set of pipes; not all have what it takes to become even mildly successful, rich, or famous. They fall to the wayside at the local karaoke bar.
There really is more to being a SEAL than meets the eye. A muscular body and a crew cut are not going to be what gets you into the most elite force in the United States. You need heart (as in dedication, perseverance and steady will), and you need a strong heart (as in a strong cardiovascular system to support the physical and mental demands of being in Special Ops).
Buds seal training has gained a lot of exposure lately thanks to Hollywood. The general public fills up movie theatres to be entertained by big screen heroes and villains. Batman and the Joker, Spiderman and the Lizard, Hans Solo and Darth Vader. Sure they are made up, but the big screen can make even the highest office in the US believe that heroes and villains are meant for Hollywood.
But ask any soldier working special ops like the Navy Seals and you’ll know that the U.S. has real-life heroes with real-life villains to conquer. And Hollywood is usually nowhere to be seen when it happens.
After the capture of what may be one of modern-day history’s biggest villains, Osama Bin Laden, and the success of the Box Office hit Act of Valor, men all over the country are interested in joining ranks with this elite class of hero. But what does it really take to become part of the most elite military force? You may be motivated by the movies – but do you have the conviction to do the job? What does it take to get through Navy Seal Training?
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:
Health Screening 101: Blood Testing (Part 1)
Without a better understanding of Health Screening Tests, looking at blood screening paperwork can be both overwhelming as well as invoke attitudes of apathy for borderline healthy / unhealthy numbers. Here is an email from an officer who is 33 years old who admits he needs to lose a few pounds, but is concerned with his recent blood work numbers:
Stew, I know you are not a doctor, but can you give me your opinion on these numbers? The left column is my most recent numbers from last week (Nov 2012) and the numbers on the right are the ranges I should be in to be considered healthy. I know I need to eat better, exercise, and get more sleep, but where do I start? Should I be overly-concerned and start taking medication to deal with this?
Wow, great question. I too get overwhelmed when I look at all the different blood test elements and ranges when some are good, bad, or borderline. And, yes, I am not a doctor, but I know several and have interviewed them to help me write this response to your questions. But to help demonstrate where you need to focus, we are going to use the TRAFFIC LIGHT System created by Specialty Health in Reno NV, to help drive home the importance and understanding of these scores as everyone thoroughly understands the standard traffic light: