Operator Ugly Goes Competitive

From one of our Military Athlete Bob Thomas:

I have been associated with Rob Shaul since 2010. Operator Ugly was designed as an excellent overall test of work capacity, strength, cardio, and mental toughness. Six exercises (front squats, bench press, deadlift, 25 meter sprints of 60 sec on and 60 sec off, pull ups, 10 minutes of Heavy Bag Getup with 80/60 lbs sand bags, and a finishing 3 mile run in either Integrated Body Armor (IBA) or equivalent weight vest make up the event. The Navy complex at NAS Pensacola/Corry Field decided to hold Operator Ugly as a competitive event from July 21 to July 24. 1st through 3rd female would receive trophies/medals. All competitors and trainers who worked any of the event received a drinking stein.

Posters were in each established weight class male and distributed to those areas where the highest concentration of highly fit men and women could be found. Rescue Swimmer School, Marine Corps Headquarters, Aviation Flight School, all the fitness centers and Survival School were among the more prominent places chosen. In all, 8 competitors reserved a slot to test themselves. We were not really sure what to expect for competitor numbers but were satisfied for the initial rollout. As you can imagine there, were numerous people who came out of the woodwork, afterwards, claiming that they would have entered if they had known about it.

Number 1 stud of the event was Brandon Eastman, Petty Officer 2nd under 160 category who scored 155 and finished the 3 mile run in 26:32. He had a truly amazing 80 Heavy Bag Get Ups. Our lightest competitor was 138 lbs. and the ‘Big Boy’ PVT Logan Hollins, USMC at 203lbs. We had only 1 female and she did not complete the run. There was some push back from those who stated that the scenario was “Over the top.” and that folks needed to train for several months. That was not the case.  Granted it is a given that you can not have a haphazard exercise program or be a meathead only and expect to get through this event. The opening line of the flyer states “Only for those men and women who REALLY BELIEVE they have what it takes.” Most of the competitors were individuals who had their own work out programs and were used to a high intensity style although they all agreed that the 80lb sand bag got their attention very quickly and was the single event that most had not executed prior to the competition. I talked to several who did not Class, compete who claimed the 25 meter sprints and 3 mile run with vest within 30 minutes were ‘sticking points.’ Many would do very well with anything weight related but got very nervous with a run requirement and 3 mile run with weight under 30 minutes. Overall response was very good and we will run the competition again next year. We plan on doing more work both strength and cardio with vests and IBA’s so that working with additional weight will become more common. We are an aviation training base and a crypto training base so the fitness levels of a spec ops or infantry base is not the same.

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