Rob and crew, I recently competed at the Festivus Games this weekend at Crescent City Crossfit in New Orleans, and while I was surrounded by crossfitters I got to thinking about the other side of the functional fitness world. The two of us that went to compete finished 10th and 11th in the Intermediate mens class, much to the surprise of the coaches and athletes there. The comment we heard time and time again was "these guys have awful form", particularly when doing ground to overheads. Apparently strict pressing 225 is frowned upon, and also being able to muscle through a power clean is looked at oddly as well. During the row/thruster/burpee workout we both could not move as fast as the more experienced crossfitters, but I also know that if the workout went another 10-20 minutes that it would have been a different story, as I discovered at last years 31 Heroes event. What this brings me to is how do we really assess fitness through the functional fitness arena? Or is that really even necessary? And lastly, the one thing that I have noticed about the crossfit community is that there is a community in place, both on the crossfit main website and at the affiliates. It’s something that I think may help all of us MA’ers push a little harder at times when we know someone else is suffering and growing, as opposed to often being the one "crazy" guy in the corner of the gym pushing himself to extremes.
Anyways, that was longwinded, my apologies. Thanks for the great programming and keeping me humble, every damn day. I look forward to punishing myself tomorrow and hopefully will get out to a certification course sooner than later.
Q: "How do we really assess fitness through the functional fitness area?
A: Outside performance is the measure we go by. "Functional Fitness" is measured by outside performance. Gym numbers mean nothing – performance outside the gym is all that counts, especially for athletes who’s job takes them in harm’s way. Please understand, CrossFit is an official sport now, and with that comes rules, technique, bias – just like any other sport. I’ve found outside performance has had both a harsh and a liberating effect on our work. No matter how brilliant we think our programming may be, if the training doesn’t transfer outside the gym, it’s judged unworthy and gets cast aside. This means we’re not beholden to any one approach or philosophy, and thus the programming is constantly improving and evolving. Our work now is significantly different then even 6 months ago.
A: Early on Glassman and Crossfit took advantage of the social networking aspect of the internet through people being able to type in their own WOD scores, and through the crossfit message boards. This went viral and led to the certifications, affiliates, ESPN etc. But with that came a lot of chest thumping and righteousness. I’ve always been drawn to the ideal of the "Quiet Professional" – and feel this is the type of athlete who is subsequently drawn to our programming, both on the military and mountain side.
I am new to your site and was wondering if the above mentioned programs have swimming in it and if they would get you prepared for any venture of Special Operations. I incorporate rucking into my workouts with my Alice Pack now. I like to take on new workouts. Would these programs get you in grey shape to be ready for any test selection going forward? Thank you Sir in advance for all your input and wisdom. Look forward to a new challenge.
The plans are "sport-specific" to their individual selections. The BUD/s plan has much more swimming then the DEVGRU plan. I recently just build a plan for the USMC Basic Recon Course – this includes extensive swimming and rucking: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=53&&cart_ID=88
I have been a follower of Military Athlete ever since my deployment to Afghanistan a few years ago. Since then I have left the military and am now a college student, and am in terrible condition as I have not sustained any regimented training program for close to 18 months. While I was in the in the military I was in excellent shape as was required for being in a Special Operations Forces unit. I have decided it is in my best interest, personally and professionally, to return to military service in about 12 months. I have looked at many of your training programs and since I am in seriously horrible physical shape this is what I have come up with in terms of a regimented PT program for the following year, leading into my goal of attending SFAS:
On-Ramp Training Plan- 6 weeks
Hypertrophy for Skinny Guys- 4 weeks
357 Strength Training Plan- 6 weeks
Work Capacity Training Program- 7 weeks
Rat 6 Strength Training Program- 8 weeks
Ruck Based Selection Program- 8 weeks
Bataan Death March Training Plan- 8 weeks
I was thinking of doing about a 52-58 week program to get my ass back into shape and prepare for SFAS while attending school full time and this is the order that I thought of as best. However, I would appreciate any and all input you have regarding this.
I am 5’9 and 140lb (I have lost weight- usually hovered around 155/160lb- and strength to being out of the gym and having a terrible diet- I have picked up a good nutrition plan to attain a weight of 170lb by hopefully the September time frame)
I have naturally always been a smaller skinny guy, but I have successfully been through the rigors of Ranger School and spent a rewarding 4 years and 4 deployments in the 75 Ranger Regiment, the latter of which were as a fire team leader.
My biggest concerns are to obviously to successfully complete SFAS and join the SF National Guard Group located very close to my current residence, and to not become injured during train up and accordingly to not over train. I have to be able to put on the weight so that if I lose any, which always happens in any selection process- at least for me, it will not be completely detrimental to my endeavors. My last concern is that I sustained a broken back (T3-T4 compression fracture, T5 burst fracture) while on mission in Afghanistan which would eventually lead to my decision to leave the military as I would’ve had to allow more time for recovery in a staff type of position; which I was at the time, unwilling to do (it’s hard to see the boys go out every night and kick in doors when I was unable to for the risk of being the weak link).
About a year from the back injury I did a ruck-based selection for my unit and passed, but barely- and I swear if nobody was in the woods watching and critiquing, I would have fucking cried my eyes out because the pain was bad- but I made it in time. I felt I learned a lot about myself for not quitting, something I have never done in any selection and will never do. But, I realized that if I continued on yet another down-range deployment where the weight would be greater, I could not afford to be the weak link on a team- at no point should a member have to carry my weight because I can’t. I was also off jump status and could not get cleared to fast rope anytime soon, so I ETS’d. After years of recovery, I figured my back is probably able to carry some weight now, but I have neglected the gym.
The mix of programming I am using from Military athlete, I believe, allows for adequate rest/recovery time in-between individual programs of training.
And I figured, after the final program- the Bataan Death March Training Plan- I would have recovery time and perhaps do some strength/work capacity sessions and then maybe make another run at the Ruck based Selection Program immediately before attending SFAS.
Again, any tweaking- or a completely different re-write up- that you would advise is appreciated. Again I do not plan to attend until about 52-58 weeks.
Sorry about such a long email!
Thank you very Much
Completing multiple training plans back to back – as you’ve described in your note, is one approach to using our programming, but not the best. I know some athletes do this because for whatever reason they are hesitant to subscribe to the Operator Sessions, but what the operator sessions give you is Fluid Periodization- which means balance.
The best application of our programming is the Operator Sessions, until 6-12 weeks out from your "event" – SFAS in your case – and then drop out of the Operator Sessions and complete the "sport specific" train up for that school – (Ruck Based Plan in your case).
The Strength, Work Capacity, Stamina and other Base Fitness plans on the site come from the Operator Sessions, and I created these for guys who wanted to focus on some fitness attribute, without subscribing.
From a broad view, linking these specific plans back to back as you’ve suggested, will neglect your work capacity for 20 weeks, then, by running the Ruck Plan and Bataan Plan back to back – you’ll over ruck – both plans are ruck intensive.
So – based on what you describe I’d recommend the On Ramp Plan, then the Operator Sessions, up until 8 weeks from SFAS, then the Ruck Plan.
Working through 357 right now. It’s working perfectly 3 times a week along with cardio during morning pt. thank you. Getting ready to PCS (change duty stations). Wondering how equipment focused your APFT plan is? Need to be ready for an APFT after 30 days leave, and won’t have a lot of gym access during vacation. All help is appreciated.
The APFT Plan is 95% bodyweight stuff and running. You’re good.
I’m from Switzerland and willing to join the AAD10 Selection(SAS like SOF Unit) Which Programm is recommend to me?
Thanks and Greetings
Based on the little I can gather on AAD10, I’d recommend our DEVGRU Selection Program. It includes extensive bodyweight cals work, running, rucking, strength, and a little swimming. Here’s the link: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=52&&cart_ID=85
You’ll need to make some exercise substitutions – rucking in hilly terrain vice rucking in sand, for example. If have any questions after you start the plan, punch me an email and I’ll answer.
I was hoping you could recommend one of your strength programs. I am a US Marine. I crossfit 5 times a week, and will increase my swimming over the next few months in preparation of dive school this fall. I am looking for a strength program that will compliment my current PT. Shorter workouts would work better with my schedule and ability to squeeze in multiple workouts in a day. I appreciate any advice you can offer to include one of your strength programs from your company.
I’d recommend our 357 Strength Plan – it combines strength and short work cap hits. You could do the work cap hits I prescribe, or do the strength first then insert your Crossfit WOD after. Here’s the link: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=55&&cart_ID=69
Hello, my name is J. and I am an Infantry officer in the Army. First of all, I want to thank you for your contribution to fitness, especially on the miltary side. I used your Ranger prep program, and had no problems with any physical events throughout Ranger school. I am emailing you for advice on post Ranger fitness. I graduated last Friday (APR 5), and my fitness is a mess to say the least. I went from ~180 lbs to ~145 lbs during school, which was pretty normal in my class. I just contacted my unit and we are ramping up for a deployment. I want to get into the best shape possible in order to lead my soldiers in combat effectively. My body is putting on weight faster than I have ever seen although, it is all fat from not being able to control my eating. However, I have curbed my "hunger anexity" for the most part at this point. I desperately need to put back on the weight and strength I had before Ranger school so that I lead rather than fall behind. I think the operator sessions might be a little much for my body at this point so, what would you suggest? I have looked through most of the programs you offer but, seem to be lost as where to start. Again thank you for your contribution to fitness and your time.
I’d recommend our RAT 6 strength plan – heavy strength basis, with a little work cap. Here’s the link: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=55&&cart_ID=84
This program is no joke, but it’s scaled to your level of strength. The first week has a couple rest days, and would be a good place to start. If it’s too much, start with 3x sessions/week – rest day in between – but do the sessions in order.
Inquiring about designing custom plans specific for my needs. Or direct me to one you already have and suggest possible "tweaks" to it.
I am looking for something which is focused on;
US ARMY APFT
Strength workouts consisting of olympic lifts and "crossfit" style movements.
AND… something which compliments a run schedule
My current run plan consists of one LONG, one SPRINT, and one TEMPO run per week. The rest of my days I fill in with maintenance runs which are slow like my LONG day.
I’m looking for about 2hrs per day for lifting and running. Not to include pool stuff.
I can’t design a individual plan for you, A. – I’m just too busy – but the DEVGRU plan is just about perfect. It includes Army-style PFT work, including runs, some swimming, rucking, and a strength day which includes a barbell-work cap. It also includes a little swimming. It includes training for DEVGRU-specific assessments, which you can pick and choose around based on your own fitness goals. Here’s the link to the plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=52&&cart_ID=85
Hello sir my name is C. and I turn 18 in a few days. I have no injuries or medical conditions holding me back and im willing to do the work. I aspire to be a SEAL one day and am curious as which one of the programs would be right for me. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Start with our "Military Athlete for CrossFitters" training plan, Charles. It hits strength, work capacity and stamina – a great intro. Here’s the link: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&&cart_ID=63
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
A couple of questions
QUESTION: Our Company has been given about $5,000 to purchase fitness equipment to utilize for morning PT. We will be starting completely from scratch. We have already allocated $2,000 of the money to purchase all the supplies necessary for Squad PT for our entire company.
If you had $3,000 more to add to your list what would you recommend? Space/ storage is an issue, we have to be able to move the equipment from a tricon to the motor pool (100ft) and pack everything up after. We have all the squad PT things required, what else would you buy?
ANSWER: By far, the most versatile training tool is the simple barbell and bumper plates. These can be used for strength, work capacity, power – they are awesome! The suggestions below come from Rogue Fitness – who I really like as a vendor. The racks are easily movable – and come with pull up bars. You’ll want the benches too, because your guys will want to bench press, and bumper plates. This isn’t enough bumper plates, but it’s a start!
A) 3x Rogue Fitness S-2 Squat Stands (single pull up bar) and flat bench ($655/each) Total: $1965
B) 3x Rogue Beater Bars ($165 each). $495 Total
C) 260# Bumper Set @ $498.
d) Scrape, borrow and steal some light iron plates (2.5, 5 and 10#) and some cheap spring or cloth collars.
QUESTION: As we start to do squad PT with our Platoons the other platoon leader and I want to continue to work out on our own. Both of us have aspirations for bigger and better things after this unit; he selection, me to Ranger Regt. How do we balance it out? We both enjoy your operator sessions, but our worried about over working ourselves. How should we focus ourselves for second workouts?
ANSWER: You can’t do both Squad PT and the Operator Sessions. My sense is you’ll have to do Squad PT with your guys?? Then make these your focus. Squad PT is no joke!! The one thing Squad PT can be supplemented with is heavy strength training – the equipment limitations in Squad PT simply limit how heavy you can get. I’d recommend canceling your subscription to the Operator Sessions and purchasing the Rat 6 Strength Plan. You could double up with Squad PT in the am with your guys, and a Strength Session from Rat 6, 2-3x at night. However, both you and your buddy need to do one of our sport specific plans directly prior to your selections.
QUESTION: One of our platoons will not be switching to squad PT. They will execute regular army type MSE/ running workouts. A lot of their platoon works out a second time on a compressed schedule. They have a max of 90 mins for lunch (usually about 60 mins). How do they get a good second workout? Operator session scaled? We have been toying with the idea of having them do squad PT? You think that would work?
ANSWER: Yes on Squad PT – with a focus on the strength – sand bag cleans, squats, lunges, etc, wearing IBA, plus sprinting and core. Keeping it Squad PT will keep these guys in the company area and they’ll be able to train longer. If you get the racks/barbells, they will be able to do heavy front squats, backs squats, bench,etc.
I know this is a lot of questions and a lot of answers, but if anything doesn’t make sense please let me know.
– Z., PL in Alaska
Great stuff man, I look forward to getting on board. Quick question: What is the difference between the Individual membership and the Coach/Trainer membership? I’m a CF L1 trainer and coach at CF Fort Walton Beach, FL and also an Army Ranger Instructor. I usually program my own stuff and also for some other clients, so this is why I was curious.
The Coach/Trainer subscription is designed for professional coaches/personal trainers who use our training sessions with their paying athletes/clients. It’s an honor system.