Despite opting not to do trail runs in the mud with quasi military type obstacles for since they were conceived; I did the real thing with 60 pounds on my back and weapons for a few years, I will be competing in a Gladiator Run in San Jose on May 19th. I figured what the hell, let’s see if I still got it. I have been training for it and feeling like a lean, mean, fighting machine, and am ready to take on the course.
I am slowly making progress on my goal to grab the rim and eventually slam dunk a basketball. I have been practicing doing explosive snatch pull lifts with 200 pounds for 5 sets of 5. I also have been doing 30 inch box jumps for 10 at 3 sets. Also included are kettlebell one arm snatches with 53 lbs. The kettlebell snatch will help with the extension of my hips and shoulders, key for reaching for something high off the ground.
The Mind is our greatest asset and greatest liability. If we will something to happen, more often than not we can find the strength to do something we thought unachievable. Conversely, if we let fear and doubt dominate our mind and thoughts, our actions will mirror our inner beliefs. There are tomes of research and material on this very subject
Sometimes despite the best mental imaging we do, our bodies maybe incapable of performing what we ask of it. So what does one do? You put your mind to it, to create yourself or find a professional to design a training program to get you to your goal.
At 40 years old and at a height of 5’7″, I would like to slam dunk a basketball. As of now my body can only take me to grab the bottom of the netting. So I would need to increase my vertical leap by about 8-10 inches to grab the rim and perhaps five more to really dunk a ball. It might sound crazy but I am intent on at least being able to grab the rim in 6 months time. Is it crazy? Perhaps not.
I know that I will need to develop the power in my legs by incorporating Olympic lifts into my fitness regime – the Clean and Jerk , and the Snatch. I will also work on my ballistic strength by plyometric training – doing repetitive jumps at various heights while minimizing the time my feet touch the ground.
I will post updates as to my progress.
Check out this gem from trainer Martin Rooney:
Applying training in the gym to the field
Strength endurance is a critical element of our fitness capabilities. Developing strength endurance does not occur overnight but after several weeks or months of training. At the elite level of sports and tactical performance, supreme strength endurance is the result of years of training. We see examples of strength endurance when a baseball pitcher throws a fast ball at the same velocity in the 8th or 9th innings as he did in the 1st. The best boxers, MMA fighters, and other combat athletes demonstrate great strength endurance when their punches or kicks are just as hard in the later rounds as in the first.
In the tactical community, infantrymen are required to carry heavy loads over long periods of time, firefighters must be prepared to carry people, hoses, and heavy equipment repeatedly when fighting a fire for several hours at a time, and SWAT officers must possess the strength reserves to conduct a hostage rescue after stand-offs that often last hours.
For the lay person, imagine if you got separated from your young child in a busy store in the midst of a rush of holiday shoppers. You see your child briefly 20 feet away, fall to the ground amongst the chaos, you are surrounded by a throng of dozens of people intent on rushing to the store to get the best items on sale. Adrenaline will only take you so far to push people out of your way, get to your child, lift him or her, and then fight the masses as you make your exit. This scenario is quite common at music and sporting events too.
Here is a sample work out for improving strength endurance and remember to always warm up first:
1. Clean and Press from the floor a weight 50% of your maximum overhead for 30 seconds (Rest 45 sec)
2. Kettlebell Swings for 30 seconds (Rest 45 sec)
3. Back Squat a weight 50% of maximum for 30 seconds (Rest 45 sec)
4. Pull a weighted sled of your bodyweight 40 yards or Deadlift your bodyweight for 30 seconds (Rest 45 sec)
5. Farmer’s Carry of heavy (relative to you) sandbags, dumbbells, or kettlebells 50 yards. (Rest 2-3 minutes then repeat the whole circuit)
If you can do multiple circuits of without being too taxed, then reduce the rest period to 40 and then 30 seconds. The next progression would be to increase the weight. The workout is designed to improve your muscle and anaerobic recovery which will result in greater strength over a longer period of time. The order of the lifts can also be changed to add variety.
This workout can be done two-three times per week for a period of four to six weeks.
Common everyday challenges to our health:
1. Sitting too much at work or in the car.
2. Standing too long.
3. Hunching over a computer for extensive periods.
4. Working indoors too long during daylight hours.
5. Getting stressed over external forces of which you have no control.
If the above situations apply to you, then you need to start now to take massive action to limit the long term damage such repetitive actions can have on your health.
1. Move 15 minutes for every hour you sit.
2. Sit for 10 minutes for every hour that you stand.
3. Do more exercises for the posterior chain muscles – butt/legs/back/rear shoulders to compensate for sitting and hunching.
4. During a break from work go outside instead of staying indoors.
5. Only worry about what you can control.
If you want to get the most out of your work out, monitor your target heart rate. If your goal is improved cardiovascular fitness or strength, it is important to identify how hard you are working from a performance perspective. If your goal or phase is maximal strength, having too high a heart rate, will inhibit your ability to produce force. Conversely, if your goal is extending your time exercising in a particular heart rate zone, using a monitor will help you stay in the parameters of your cardio zone.
How to you find your target heart rate, here is the Karvonen Formula:
(40 year old man) 220-age(40) = Max heart rate (MHR) 180
(40 year old man) Resting Heart Rate (RHR) = 70
Target Heart Rate = (180 (MHR) – 70(RHR) = 110 x .65 (percentage of max heart rate desired) = 71.5+ 70 (RHR) = 141.5
The term tactical is a a sexy term. When we think of “tactical operators”, we conjure images of special operation forces, SWAT team members, and close protection agents. Inside of the sub consciousness of most men and perhaps some women, resides that desire to be an able bodied tactical operator. How great would it be to call on that “person” inside of all of us that is situationally aware, can take charge of any situation, has the skill sets to avoid danger yet possesses the ability to conquer external forces that threaten what we hold dear.
The good news is that one does not need to enlist or serve in an elite military, police, or security unit to embrace tactical skills.
The best entry into the tactical lifestyle is not at the gun range but at the gym. Through fitness you will develop a foundation on which to add the necessary tangible and intangible skills and abilities that are instilled in many tactical operators. I know what you are thinking, “What do you mean by fitness? What kind of fitness is needed to empower me with a base for adding specialized tactical skills?
Step 1: Work backwards from a likely incident that will place physical demands on you. In most cases, we are talking about short, intense, heart racing periods of time. Think of the condition your body will need to be in to run to safety in case of a fire, to escape a stalker or robber that targets you on street, or the strength needed to move items or people in cases of man made or natural disasters.
Check back in for Step 2.