Archive for the ‘Weight Training’ Category
When the Spartan 300 Workout came out after a very popular movie with nothing but ripped up actors playing the Spartan Warriors, many people started doing this type of 300 total rep workout spread over six exercises of 50 reps each. Here is just a sample of many combinations that are fun to add running to the max repetition circuit OR complete the 50 reps THEN rotate to the next exercise.
Spartan 300 Run / PT
1/4 mile run at goal timed run pace (all runs)
Push press 50 (barbell 50% bodyweight)
1/4 mile run
Kb swings 50
1/4 mile run
1/4 mile run
Overhead weighted walking lunges 50/leg (hold 25–40#DB)
1/4 mile run
TRX Atomic Pushups 50 or weight vest pushups / bench press 135#
plank pose 2 min
You can either keep completing the reps for each exercise until you get 50 total then run. OR if you want to run MORE, you can max rep set / run 1/4 mile keep that exercise / run combo until you get 50 reps. Good Full Body Workout… Optional: Cool down cardio 30 minutes of swim, bike, elliptical, easy.
Ok — this workout is no joke and not for beginners. This is one of our favorite combo circuits where we focus on the following type of exercise groups: Upper body PUSH, Upper body PULL, Legs, Abs, and Full body Movements. This one is a mix of a circuit and a max rep set of the pull, push, leg and the full body and abs are done to your wishes.
Pull, Push, Legs, Abs, Fullbody Max Reps Sets exercise circuit:
Max Reps sets of first 3 (Murph Workout*) — then “rest” with abs / full body each set:
Pull = pullups 100 reps
Push = pushups 200 rep
Legs = air squats 300 reps
Abs of choice 50
Fullbody exercise of choice: options dead lift, hang clean, power clean, push press, KB swings, etc…Heavy or light moderate reps sets. 5–10 reps of these fullbody exercises.
There is so much to learn about workout properly, it can be as confusing as you want to make it. However, there are some simple tips, tricks and hacks that anyone can do to make working out easier and more effective. Below are some simple fitness hacks that you can incorporate today to take your fitness to a higher level.
Name: Five Minutes ON — Five Minutes OFF
This workout will have you doing a hard 5 minute cardio followed by a hard 5 minute circuit usually of 4–5 exercises with minimal rest in between. The 5 minutes of cardio are often Tabata Intervals or increasing resistance each minute sets where you make each minute harder than the previous minute for a total of 5 minutes. Repeat this 5 times for a 50–60 minute cardio / resistance combo workout.
For instance, the workout we created is explained below, but it is one of those that you can create your own using the following protocol:
Pick exercises from the following categories: Push / Pull / Full / Legs / Abs
Repeat 5 times
5 Minutes ON Cardio: *5 minutes of Tabata Intervals (bike, elliptical, or row machines)
5 Minutes OFF Cardio: Full Body Circuit (no rest in between)
PUSH — Bench press 135# — max reps for 1 minute
PULL — Pullups (weighted or not) — max reps for 1 minute — change grips, shake it out, keep pulling for 1 minute
FULL — Hang Cleans / Push Press complex — do hang cleans into push press for 1 minute (light weight). Some opted for Kettlebell swings / snatches as well.
LEGS — Squats (weighted or non-weighted) / Box Jumps / Step Ups for 1 minute
ABS — Situps 1 minute or your choice of flutterkicks, TRX rollouts, etc…
*Tabata interval is a challenging cardio interval where you do 20 seconds fast as you can followed by 10 seconds easy / slow to try to catch your breath. It is a nice thought but you really don’t catch your breath.
Favorite Workout of the Week # 1–8 for previous weeks.
Former Marine Instructs Program That Aims to Move Number of Women in FDNY from Worst to Best in the Nation
While most New York Sports Club (NYSC) members are training to lose weight and look better, a group of brave women are hitting the gym with a bigger goal: to save lives and hopefully join the elite Fire Department of New York City (FDNY). NYSC is partnering with the United Women Firefighters Association by offering free training classes three times a week to women who are preparing their bodies for the FDNY Academy’s grueling physical exam.
I come from a family of patriots. We all support our Veterans, our military service men and women and our country regardless of the date on the calendar or the status of world events. My grandfather is part of the Greatest Generation as a WWII Veteran. My uncles are Veterans of the Vietnam War. I am a the spouse of a GWOT Veteran who served our country valiantly during a career that saw both peace and conflict. So, during a time when we celebrate our Nation’s birth, it seems fitting to also thank those who graciously and unselfishly support our troops, respect our flag, and serve our Veterans. This week, while we’re spending time with family and friends, I want to introduce you to a couple of patriots & patriotic organizations that have inspired me.
As the Military Gets Pickier With Recruiting, showing up to see your local recruiter out of shape, overweight, and/or with less than average ASVAB scores will quickly crush your dreams of serving. During the past 15 years of writing about military fitness, this is not a new problem (overweight / out of shape recruits), however in a period of downsizing, the military has the ability to select only those who are ready to go and fully qualified. Here is a very common email from a young man seeking to serve his country but knows he has a journey to get there:
I want to lose weight to join the Navy however, I barely workout now, and I’m over 300 pounds. Any advice? — Rob
Did you know there are about a million ways to break a toe? Well, maybe not a million but I can tell you that a door frame, an asphalt driveway, or a box of National Geographic magazines will usually do the trick. To say I was accident-prone when I was a kid is pretty much an understatement. From broken toes and arms, to endless bruises, abrasions and sprains, I was always sporting a cast or a splint of some sort. I wish I could blame it on some right of passage into adulthood, but, alas my klutzy nature has landed me in more than one painful situation over the years, like the heavy wedge I knocked into my foot while splitting wood with a sledge hammer this past weekend. If you find yourself exceptionally attractive to accidental incidents, it’s time to learn some simple ways to go from clumsy to carefree this summer.
Ah the push-up, probably one of the best exercises of all time. Who could disagree with that? (Ok, maybe the squat, but the push-up is certainly up there as one of the best!). To build solid muscle and strength you need to keep you muscles guessing, which means varying up your routine and the below interactive infograph does just that! Each silhouette leads to a video of the push-up being performed.
Ever get tired of the same workout products being pushed out by massive business conglomerates? Luckily, with the help of crowdfunding, just about anyone with a new product; or even idea to bring to market can showcase their imagination, and you would be surprised at what you can find!
Never contributed to a crowdfunding campaign before? It’s easy, simply click the “contribute” or “back this project” button, and when the campaign ends (if it reached its funding goal) you will get the product you chose.
This Memorial Day Workout — will easily be the favorite workout of the week for many weeks to come. In the past few years, the CrossFit world has been naming workouts after American Heroes (Hero WOD). This particular workout is called the Memorial Day Murph and was one of SDV Team 1 SEAL, LT Michael Murphy’s (CMH recipient) workouts he did prior to SEAL training. It just so happens to be one of my long time favorites done with situps vs squats to help prepare for the PST exercises (pullup, pushups, situps)
The warm weather is upon us and the skimpy clothes are coming out of the closet. If you always wanted to look great in skimpy clothes but didn’t want to spend an hour a day at the gym, then use the below time-saving workout tips to tone up and look great.
Whether it’s due to deployment, PCS travel or a family vacation, we’ve all found ourselves in an airport lounge more than a few times, I’m certain. Rather than slumping down in my seat with my eyes transfixed by my smart phone or tablet, I prefer to look up and observe my surroundings. Life tells a story when you take a moment to really see what’s going on around you, doesn’t it? A few years ago, I observed a group of tall young women likely off to a team sports event as they had their warmup suits on and duffles full of gear. When their flight was called for boarding, one decidedly petite member of the team got up and turned to get in line. I noticed how small she was and wondered if she had what it took to compete. Doubt turned to certainty when I read the back of her jacket: “Speed is good…Trample the Weak. Hurdle the dead.” Okay, so maybe you’re not that ruthless, but at least willing to take it up a notch. What better time to see what you’re made of than right now?
I consider my sister-in-law, Dana, a real sister to me. She is kind, compassionate, fun, wonderfully opinionated and loves me unconditionally. I always welcome her advice and recommendations and she has never steered me wrongly. Last summer she said I must watch The Avengers movie. What a fun ride! It was cool to see so many of my favorite characters like Thor, Ironman, and the Hulk joining forces to fight evil. The only challenge was that I knew nothing about Captain America. Friday night, I finally watched the first Captain America movie and can’t wait to see the sequel that apparently was a blockbuster at this past weekend’s opener. What caught my attention was the desire this scrawny little guy had to serve his country and sacrifice for the greater good of mankind. Fortunately, you don’t have to look too far to find those willing to raise their shields to protect our country. From our incredible service men and women to every day difference-makers, we all have a little bit of Captain America in us.
Plyometrics became popular for Olympic-bound athletes. And many professional and elite athletes are familiar with workouts that include vertical jump training to improve their performance on the track or on the court. But you’re a soldier. Is it possible that plyometric training can provide some value for the military?
The short answer is yes. Let’s talk about what plyometrics is, and isn’t, and how you can use it to improve your performance on the battle field.
They key to the best workout plan is balance. You need just the right amount of push and pull and you need to protect your back. Avoiding back pain while working out is all about balancing the muscle groups your strengthening and stretching, and how often you are rotating those exercises.
The goal is to keep the muscles that support your back strong and flexible. And while most of us work our core, we either do too many of one type of exercise and not enough of the other (causing an imbalance that leads to back pain), or we think we are working one muscle group when we are actually working another and thus NOT getting the results we really want.
There is more to bodybuilding than just pumping iron. True, resistance training will result in crucial muscle tears that are required to build muscle; however without providing your muscles a strong foundation at the most basic level you won’t get the results you desire.
Think about building anything — like a skyscaper. Wouldn’t you agree that it’s important to build that physical structure, with quality building materials all laid out on a strong foundation?. Your body requires the same kind of thought and planning. Just like a building that is intended to be around for year, it requires the best quality and best mix of nutrients. This helps to sustain your gains for the long haul and allows you to build muscle to last.
Bottom line: Nutrition is crucial for muscle growth and retention.
Many people confuse the training programs groups like active duty Special Ops perform to maintain their fitness levels for the demands of the profession with how they prepare for challenging schools like BUD/S, SFAS / SFQC, and PJ training to name a few.
Here is a question to better describe a very common issue with candidate training program selection:
Stew, I have been watching some Youtube videos showing active duty special ops guys working out like SEALs, Rangers, SF, and others. They are huge and lifting very heavy weights so I have been lifting more and doing less cardio. Is this OK? I am preparing for BUD/S for the next year and trying to gain some muscle mass.
Every now and then, I get motivated by a workout week that I created. This week I created a program that is centered around suspension training, but each day has a combination specialty that challenges you in a variety of ways. You need variety to your workouts, but make sure the workouts you select are still specifically developed so you will still reach your goals. Whether the goals are weight loss, military service, special ops preparation, or law enforcement, adding suspension training can enhance your overall workout experience. Below are some fun and challenging sample workouts recently tested by our group:
I often get emails from people young and old about getting prepared for military training, and also from veterans who want to be in the shape they used to be when they served in the military. Many are looking for veterans to help them get into “fighting shape”. Here is a list of many former military officers and enlisted who train civilians to not only lose weight and get healthy, but prepare for military training too. If you are a veteran in the fitness business, send me a paragraph and link of what you do and I will add to this page.
Military Fitness programs are popular. In fact, many former military personnel of all ranks and services are now getting into the fitness business — myself included. Check out the list of veteran-owned fitness businesses around the country:
Boot Camp Fitness, Inc. — Created by former Army sergeant, Jay Johnson of Dallas TX, who has become the Official Fitness Trainer of The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (Enough said! THAT is a success story in the fitness business!). He has been featured on many television shows and magazine publications for his creative workouts that yield great results.
British Commando Fitness — British Army Commando “Sol” Sollerer has retired from the British Army, married an American, and has started his own fitness business in the Annapolis MD area. Also working as an assistant boxing coach at the U.S. Naval Academy, Sol has planted roots in the US and helping active duty and future military candidates prepare for service. Still competitive as well, Sol assists with the Heroes of Tomorrow program in Severna Park, MD giving the students a taste of how nice a drill instructor will be when they join. He is also involved in high school / college team sport mental toughness and team building training.
Hostyle Conditioning - With the help and support of Curd Hos, Owner and Operator of the best training facility in Orleans, Ontario—Curd is helping CPT Smash take the youth strength coaching platform by storm, as well as developing ongoing programs for older adults to help increase the awesomeness within Ottawa, CA. The youth program engages kids as young as 9–13 years old in our bootcamp style training, that will help them move better, get stronger and enhance their overall level of conditioning far beyond what the other kids are able to achieve nowadays. The upper level athletes (15–20+) are slotted into semi-private training sessions to really focus on certain performance goals for their sports in order to make them super tough athletes that are unstoppable on the field, ice or track!
Extreme SEAL Experience - Former SEAL Don Shipley puts on a great training program complete with shooting, survival, mission planning training in the Chesapeake VA area. See his youtube channel for great footage of the training they put on for civilians and wanna-be’s.
The Health Colonel – Bob Weinstein, LtColonel, USAR, (ret.) can be found on the beaches of Fort Lauderdale, FL conducting early morning workouts with his students. Training many out of shape and overweight people per year, he also prepares young men and women for the physical demands of the military. If you are looking for a motivational/health speaker, The Health Colonel is your man. He motivated me by telling me that “the United States has enemy soldiers within its borders — they kill more than 3,000 people a day, their names are cancer, heart disease, and stroke.” I immediately responded, “yeah and over 20 million people are being held hostage by diabetes in America.”
NavySEALs.com, SEALFIT.com, UnbeatableMind - Mark Divine has evolved into a fitness / mental toughness powerhouse. His programs / store enable any fitness enthusiast, SpecWar candidate pick and choose what he needs to make himself better — mentally, physically, and more. For gear, books, ebooks, training, hellweek simulation, etc.
Owen Richardson — NeoLife: Owen is an active Navy Reserve IS1 and promotes the neolife club products for two reasons: “When I was deployed to Iraq in 09–10, I saw you guys (SPECOPS) everyday with tons of energy. Last year I was talking with Chris (SEAL Team 8) and he told me this was the same vitamins they took day after day. I started on it without promoting for 3 months, once I saw the benefits personally, I started telling everyone about it.” NeoLife has different products for different lifestyles, and at a reasonable price. A months supply of vitamins or weight loss shakes will run about $40
Platoon Fitness.com – The folks at Platoon Fitness located in Philadelphia PA and throughout Pennsylvania and New York City was founded by Todd Scott, a Navy veteran. They have been in business for over 10 years and have indoor and outdoor training facilities with over twenty fully certified trainers who train everyone from working men and women, stay at home Moms, and kids too. They also offer franchising opportunities and training for instructors.
The Sergeants Program – Patrick Avon opened one of the first military group training businesses in the U.S. Patrick is a former Navy enlisted man who has created a military fitness empire in the DC/Virginia area, catering mostly to overweight executives — he also gets several students per year who seek a career in the military. He has over 45 instructors in 35 locations, all certified with a nationally recognized program. He also has his own outdoor boot-camp certification program. Check out his site for his annual Jolly Fat Man’s run/party.
The SEAL PT Course – Jack Walston — former Navy SEAL in Houston TX and Central Park Manhattan NYC — has been doing SEAL PT for over a decade. He has weekly workout plans for locals as well as a SEAL Training/Special Forces mini-camp that will test you to your limits. This program actually mimics many of the events experienced in Hell Week at SEAL Training, including a 24 hour non-stop period of training.
SEALGrinderPT.com - Brad McLeod, born in Thomasville, GA, grew up in Tallahassee, FL. He is a former Navy SEAL and graduated from SEAL training in BUD/S class 132 against all odds. Despite having no athletic background and having life long asthma Brad climbed his personal Mount Everest and made it through BUD/S the second time and went through Hell Week twice.
Training Philosophy for Spec Ops: Our philosophy on workouts is to try to keep as many functional movements as possible that have carry over to your day to day sport or occupation. SEAL grinder PT is dedicated to working out and improving your mind and body to unleash the inner warrior in you. The grinder PT is a mixture of the same exercises that SEAL recruits perform on a daily basis at the BUD/S training camp in Coronado, California. We are also throwing in a few CrossFit style drills, some exercises from SEALFit, Mountain Athlete, Gym Jones and a few others you may not have seen before.
SWAT Personal Training – Ron Holland (former USAF) out of Tucson AZ, created an outdoor and indoor fitness business in 1991 after a career in the military and police department. He has a one week in-residence boot camp where they create a military indoctrination environment (0500am wakeup!) He has recruits run, PT, eat a well balanced and nutritious chow, and hike 2 –12 miles in the Tucson area desert. Also water skills, aerobics, yoga, stretching, and other anti-aging programs are taught in a teamwork/military style program. It is very informative and positive feedback and teamwork is highly encouraged.
SEAL Team PT – Former Navy SEAL John McGuire has translated his experience into a one-of-a-kind, non-military fitness program, offering the dual benefit of world-class fitness and team-building to people of all ages and walks of life. Offered in the Richmond, Virginia area since 1998, SEAL Team PT has legions of satisfied, fit, and fulfilled graduates of all ages. To date, SEAL Team PT has graduated over 175 basic fitness classes, conducted more than 50 custom-tailored corporate team-building programs, and led more than 40 SEAL Teen and SEAL Pup classes for youth and children.
StewSmith.com – My website/fitness business has evolved since 1998 when I resigned from the Navy. At first I had a fitness business with as many as 40–50 hours of group PT and personal training a week. Now, after writing everything down for years, I created programs that have helped thousands prepare for military, special forces, and law enforcement physical fitness tests. I still do some online training and local group training in the Baltimore/Annapolis MD area, but my group workouts during the week and weekend are free to those who want to join me on my swims, runs, PT etc. Once on month, we test with a variety of PFTs and we also do quarterly Spec Ops Triathlons — Run, Swim, Ruck. These workouts now give me ideas which to write as I see issues, troubles, and ways around personal obstacles with a variety of students. I figure if I am going to write about training — I need to train.
VO2MAXUSA.com — With 24 years of fitness programming experience, Kevin Hite of VO2MAX,LLC is uniquely qualified to serve his community’s preventive health care needs. A former US Navy search and rescue swimmer with a B.S. in Health and Wellness (The Citadel, 1990) and member of The American College of Sports Medicine, Kevin offers health risk appraisals, fitness assessments, personal training and 24/7 gym membership from his studio in Chapin, SC. 803.422.8584.
Products Invented by Vets — SEALS / SF Specifically:
The TRX - Fitness in a Bag! Former SEAL Randy Hetrick has created another device that is easy to carry and so versatile I still cannot name all the exercises you can do with this thing. My latest count is over 200 exercises. In an article, I compared his TRX to a Universal Weight Machine and for a 1/10 of the price it easy outperforms the machine tenfold! This is great for travelers as the straps are easy to pack and unfold in seconds. See some of the videos on his site.
The Perfect Pushup and Pullup - My former SEAL buddy Alden Mills has created awesome fitness products that capture the most beloved and most hated exercises we do in the SEAL Teams and at BUD/S. The rotational motion of his products challenge the best pull-up and pushup performers. In fact, his products cut my reps in half and after a few years of using the Perfect Pushup, they still work like new and continue to make my pushups tougher. Supplemented with some weights, the Perfect Pushup and Pull-up are great additions to a home weight room.
The Fit Deck - Former SEAL Phil Black is probably the real genius of the bunch to take an idea and turn it into a successful business. When on a deployment or just bored, the SEALs as well as other military groups, do a workout with a deck of cards. Usually it required some imagination: face cards = 10 pushups, aces = 25 pushups / 25 abs, jokers = 50 reps of anything…BUT what Fit Deck does for you is take out the mystery and when you shuffle the deck and start to flip the cards you get told what you need to do. Now he has Pull-up Decks, Kettlebell Decks, Navy SEAL Decks, Navy SEAL Audio Series on Acing BUDS, Combat Sports Decks and so many more — even some for kids.
Refactor Tactical - Army SF veterans create tactical gear that works. Designed by the operator for the operator. Check out the gear list and training videos. Anything from bags, caps, survival bands, medical gear, fun t-shirts and more — you can find it on their store and talk with other operators on their blog.
Any of these make great gifts for your fitness guru in the family or those seeking a profession that requires some form of fitness test.
After a brief discussion with the veteran trainers, we all agreed upon a few things. We focus on teaching on a basic level of fitness, habit building, and just adding basic fitness as stretching, walking/running, light PT, and drinking water to people’s lives. Let them see and feel the progress they are making. Take them as they advance and PT them harder, but you have to give them a plan that works.
The plan I have here works…it will help people lose up to 25lbs if they just following the simple directions:
1- Stretch Daily! This is very important if beginning a fitness plan. See Stretch article.
2 — Drink more water — up to a gallon a day
3 — Do something everyday for 45 days straight – even if that is just walk after dinner. This FREE 45 day plan shows you how.
4 — Repeat above — do not worry about food intake yet, but if no results are seen in 3–4 weeks then focus on a food plan as mentioned in plan above.
Look up one of the above veterans and try a boot camp workout program this year. If you know of another veteran operated fitness business that is not listed, please send the website address/contact information and I will place it in an updated article archive so I have close to a comprehensive list. Please email me atStew@stewsmith.com with your questions.