I’ve recently been turned onto your site, militaryathlete.com, and am pretty impressed at the amount of programs you have set up for the different kinds of athletes. I am 31 yrs. old, former active duty Navy MP from ’03-’07 and am still in the reserves. Currently I am a US Marshal, along the Mexican border (yeesh), and have been a Crossfitter since October of ’07. I’m in decent shape and in recent years have been trying to pursue a goal that most, even younger, may shy away from. The US Navy has a program that allows reservist to try out for Special Forces and one such team is called SWCC, Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen. I know…a mouthful. But these guys are the real deal, they are basically the US Navy’s fast boat guys as well the SEAL’s insertion and extraction teams. On top of this they conduct their own operations in South America, coastal waterways and assist foreign countries in training their own versions of “boat guys”. I have a couple issues, however: 1. I have no training partner…I’m all alone in the deep dark water on this one, 2. I’m a terrible runner, 3. I’m 31, which is actually the least of my worries as there have been some dudes that have completed SWCC selection as old as 37 and I know of a man, legendary man, that went through and passed full BUD/S selection at 39. Dude became a SEAL at 40, unreal, I don’t care who you are…that’s pretty amazing. But the issue with the age is that I can’t just be good for a 31 yr. old. I have to be good for a 20 yr. old. As far as time and testing is concerned I don’t foresee actually “shipping” out till Feb. ’14 and I can test as many times as I want to get it. Anyway, I’m reaching out to get some guidance. I purchased your BUD/S training program and, even though I’m not going through BUD/s, BCT is very similar. I also got a basic membership to your Operator sessions and those things look ungodly. In your experience training dudes that may be going down my same track or dudes you know are currently training for something similar, is this the best choice? I’m sure you are a little biased and I understand but I’m not afraid of hard work and pain, I just don’t want to waste my time or the time of others. Any guidance and advice would be much appreciated. Thank you very much and you have a kick ass program.
Thanks for the note N. –
You need to have some baseline on your fitness/aptitude for the selection events. I’m not familiar with SWCC selection, but I do know they use the PST as a baseline. We’re actually developing a PST train up this week.
The Operator Sessions are designed for deployment fitness – not selection fitness, and depending upon the selection, the type of fitness needed is different.
Here’s my recommendation.
Continue with the Operator Sessions this week, but go to paypal and cancel your subscription. You should be able to see them for a month from the date you subscribed.
Hold on starting the BUD/s plan.
Look for and purchase the PST plan when we publish it this week or early next week. I’d recommend starting there – it will give you a good baseline plus, completing the plan itself is great training. I’m thinking this will be a 4-6 week plan – so it will take you out 6 weeks.
After completing the PST plan, re-subscribe to the Operator Sessions, and complete these, supplemented with swimming. After a couple months you could repeat the PST plan, since you’ll already have it.
Find out all you can about SWCC selection, and if it is indeed similar to BUD/s, do the BUD/s plan directly before selection. I’m not familiar with this selection.
Remember fitness isn’t the only think you’ll be evaluated for at selection. The Cadre will also look for maturity, leadership, coolness, etc. – all characteristics your experience and age give you an edge on. You should do fine.
After surfing your Military Athlete website/Facebook for quite some time, I have decided to pull-the-pin and shift my training to align with the Military Athlete philosophy. I have purchased, and am making my way through your On-Ramp program however I’m not sure where I should head next?
A few of my particulars may assist you in advising me.
I am a career urban firefighter with 10 years of service. I am 38 years old, height = 72", weight = 170#. I have a good working knowledge of barbell lifts / basic olympic lifts / kettlebells etc., however I am weak when compared to your MA standards (I hover around the ‘Intermediate’ level with regards to the Basic Strength Standards referenced within some of the works by Kilgore, Rippetoe and Pendlay), and I would struggle to ‘pass’ your Operator Ugly assessment.
I am quite active outdoors (mountain biking, sea kayaking, climbing, ice climbing, hunting), and it was one of your Sponsored Athletes (Ben Gilmore) that introduced me to Mountain Athlete while I was an ice climbing student of his.
Thank you for your time and assistance.
1) 357 Strength – This is a great strength plan which also includes work capacity. It’s my go to plan for more senior guys (late 30s and 40s). http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=55&&cart_ID=69
2) Patrol Officer Training Plan – there are some similarities in work demands between yourself and patrol officers. This plan hits sprinting, upper body strength, etc. It would be a good choice too. You’ll need a 25# weight vest for this one.
I just discovered your site today via shadowspear.com…there was a random thread mentioning it and I decided to look it up. I like what I see and I’m interested in your programming. I have been cherry-picking from SEALfit and Crossfit Endurance trying to foster something to prep me for BRC. I’m a 28y/o Corpsman who has slow run times and moderate swim times, do you think it wise to start the Basic Recon plan? I’m 3 months away from screening for the PST (at FMTB). Thanks, and please keep up the great work, I really appreciate your site and everything you offer there.
The BRC Plan is designed to be completed directly before the course. It’s designed to specifically for the course – extensive swimming, rucking, swimming, etc., with multiple 2-a-day’s, and weekend "mini" events. It’s a full-on plan.
Based on your note below and what I understand, you don’t have a course date as yet. We’re actually developing a PST training plan currently – and hope to have it done this week. I’d recommend doing this plan first, to focus on your swimming, running and cals.
I was just curious about what all your CCT prep includes. I’m trying to get my running to where it needs to be to get back to CCT standards; Got injured the first time around. When I go this time I want to blow it out of the water. I know I need to lose a little weight, but that’ll happen quickly for me. I’m 6’3” 225 and currently running around a(n) 8 min mile, but I need to drop it down to around 6:30ish. Strength wise I’m very adept. I exceed all of your current standards for where you would like students to be at. Sorry I got on a rambling roll. But overall I just wanted to see if your program was something that could help me out. Thank you for your time.
The CCT/PJ/CRO training plan is sport-specifically designed to prepare athletes for selection. It’s 9-weeks long, very intense (multiple 2-a-days, etc.)
The program is progressive – it builds upon itself and gets harder each week. The 9th week is a taper to selection.
This plan is “sport specific” to the specific fitness demands you’ll face at selection – specifically PAST improvement plus lots of running, swimming and treading water, bodyweight calesthentics, and rucking. You’ll swim up to 3 days/week, Ruck 3 days/week and Run or Ruck Run 3 days/week. It also includes high levels of training volume – like you’ll face at selection.
Also, the program is specifically designed not to require a weight room. The focus is on the exercises/modes/movements and specific fitness demands you’ll face at selection.
The plan is designed to be completed the 9 weeks directly before selection. You could complete it twice – but it seems you want to focus specifically on your PAST running and other numbers – and this plan includes that but much more. We’re currently developing a 6-week plan specifically for PAST which may be a better option for you now. We hope to have it done this week or next.
Here’s a link to the CCT/PJ/CRO Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=52&&cart_ID=92
Thanks Rob for your advice!
I’m really enjoying your programming (and trying to spread the word about Military Athlete to my Rescue Squad and entire Fire Crew), but I have one more issue that I should have mentioned… my fragile lower back. I’m really keen on your durability concept and wondered if I should be looking at your ‘lower back injury program’? My back issues arise more from fireground activities were I don’t always have the luxury of concentrating on proper lifting form (whereas in my gym I can really focus on my form).
I would like to really strengthen my posterior chain and legs in general in order to help address my lower back issues, but I am wondering if I need to run a hypertrophy program as well to build some muscle mass down there? Being 6′ 170# unfortunately I have a lot more muscle mass in my upper body (my bench press to front squat ratio is way out of balance – 240#/165#).
Any further advice would be much appreciated!
The low back fitness plan is designed for guys who have lost confidence in their low back – it’s not a rehab program, but rather aims to build low back and core fitness progressively. It starts out fairly easy, and increases in loading and volume. I’m not sure where you are on this scale – but my sense is you’re further along, and have issues come up from time to time.
If so, the durability and core training in most of our programming really seems to help guys. One resource I might point you to is Foundation Training – at foundationtraining.com – we’ve incorporated the low-back-isomentric strength focus from these guys into our broader core training – with good success.
The hypertrophy program is no joke – but includes lots of back and front squats, lunges, and hinge lifts -if your back could handle the volume. http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=55&&cart_ID=35
Certainly, based upon your bench to front squat numbers, your legs and core are weak – and your durability will increase significantly by focussing on the "combat chassis" – the Knees to the Shoulders.
You’re in the middle of a Stamina Cycle. Our Stamina sessions take 60-120 minutes, depending upon the session. 5.6.13 is a 90-minute session.
You’ll see this where it says, "Obj: 90 min Gym-Based Stamina"
The strength and work capacity sessions take 60 minutes. Some of our endurance sessions can extend to 2 hours.
Quick question, are these workouts supposed to take between an 1 hour to 2 hours to complete, dependent on volume obviously? I did 5.6.13yesterday and honestly didn’t know which way was up. It was going to take me well over an hour, maybe 2 to finish. I just stopped at the 55 minute mark. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every painful minute of it but I’m just making sure I’m not supposed to be breaking these up. Are they meant to be so long or am just super slow and not used to this kind of volume in a workout?