Sep 102017
 

I have gotten a bit of demand for online methods of coaching people in tactical fitness and sports performance in general. I have been experimenting with different online platforms, currently I use Trainerize. For those of you interested in excelling as tactical professionals, combat sports athletes, obstacle course racers, or at fitness in general, try one of the programs listed in the link below:

http://www.battletestedfitness.trainerize.com/Online-Training

 

 

 

Starting the Week Strong

 Fitness  Comments Off on Starting the Week Strong
May 152017
 

On Sunday nights, your upcoming week should be planned –  focused around your work, family, and of course workouts.

I like starting strong on Mondays, and unlike many friends who dedicate Mondays as International chest day, today I started with power and regular cleans.

I am slowly building up my explosive power to what it once was, so I started with cleans, followed by overhead presses, and then assistance work with pulldowns, and one arm kettlebell presses. At this stage, my first two lifts almost mirrored each other in weight

The progression looked like this:

Cleans: 3 sets x 5 reps @ 100 lbs, 3 sets x 5 @ 135 lbs  3 sets x 3 @155

OH Press: 3 sets x 5 reps @ 95 lbs, 3 sets x 5 @ 145, 1 set x max reps @ 160

Get strong and get moving.

[hc-hmw snippet=”1-to-1-Training”]

 

Target Hardening – A Different Application

 Core values, Fitness  Comments Off on Target Hardening – A Different Application
Jun 172015
 

For many in the security or defense industry, target hardening refers to measures taken to increase levels of protection in the face of a realized threat. If a facility was victimized by an intruder (burglary, violent crime, vandalism, etc) a common response is to make it harder for the intruder to enter or escape. A facility or workplace may install video surveillance cameras, access control systems, fencing or some other type of measure or procedure to reduce the chances that a crime would occur on the property. In the world of executive protection, the concept of target hardening is applied to the principle’s work place, transportation, communications, home; and whatever element that can be exploited by an attacker. We hear of phrases like “buffer zone”, “stand off distance” or “arm’s reach” to identify some time of security zone or resource used in order to protect buildings, assets, and people.

Let’s now apply the target hardening approach to one’s health. Could a human’s body be hardened in the face of physical or health related threats?

Sure, as with security threats, there is much we can do to minimize the risk of physical harm. I will concede that people may be exposed to genetic risks or other threats beyond their control even with living a fitness lifestyle, but the point here is to be pro active and target harden your body. An old adage stands true, “An ounce of prevention is more valuable than a pound of cure”.

The following is a simple threat but surprisingly is a leading cause of injury

1. Injury by mobile oncoming pedestrian, biker, or car.

Solution 1: Develop Situational Awareness In high population or traffic areas, use COMMON SENSE and don’t walk and text, or play music so loud you can’t see or hear what is going on around you. Maintaining high energy levels through out the day from good nutrition and sleep habits can only help one be more situationally aware.

Solution 2: Possess the physical capabilities to avoid getting hit. I have heard the arguments of how adrenalin can cause one to turn on their emergency muscles in the face of disaster; but why take chances that adrenalin is enough to save you. For the untrained person, adrenalin and instinct may help one avoid a particular threat but what if in successfully dodging an oncoming biker, a person suffers an injury to the lower leg because he or she was unconditioned? What if some one needed to jump two feet to the side to avoid getting hit but only had the power to jump a foot and half?

This is a simple exercise circuit that can be used as a dynamic warm up or modified to be used as a complete work out:

After 5 minute warm up and light stretch – 

1) High Knees  (25 yards) – drive knees high while taking short strides by pushing off and landing on the toes

2) Butt kicks (25 yards)  – Similar to high knees but kick your but with the heel of your foot.

3) Lateral Side Shuffle (50 yards) – Shuffle to one side for 25 yards and the return with the other leg leading the way

 

4) Hop on 1 leg forward and back for 15- 30 seconds (based on ability) then switch legs

5) Hop on 1 leg side to side for 15- 30 seconds then switch legs

6) Depth jumps – start small with a gym box or platform at 18 – 24 inches and practice first jumping down and landing on the ground as quietly as a ninja. Once the the depth jump is mastered, try jumping up on the box and back down. Increase the height of the box as needed.

5 sets of 10 depth/box jumps resting 40 seconds between each set

For more information contact gschneider@battletestedsolutions.com

 

 

 

Maintaining Tactical Skill Sets

 Core values, Warriors  Comments Off on Maintaining Tactical Skill Sets
Jun 142013
 

Skills and abilities whether tactical in nature or athletic, will diminish over time if not maintained. For many tactical operators or first responders, there is an intense learning curve during initial training and within the first few years of employment. Candidates and probationary first responders are repeatedly tested and sent to various courses to attain the necessary skills of their profession. After passing a basic proficiency in a host of different skills,  emergency service/security/military personnel will suffer a drop in their capabilities if too much time passes before they are required to do more job related training. Budget and manpower needs are often the reasons why agencies don’t consistently send their personnel for training. Sometimes it is up to the individual to seek out training so they are optimally prepared to handle the hazards of their profession. For the armed law enforcement or security professional here is my list for the most important skill sets to maintain:

1. Firearm training- though the percentage is very low for security or police personnel to fire their weapons, the liability of carrying a weapon is extremely high, so practicing shooting skills at least once a month is essential. Every other month agencies or individuals  should incorporate a reality based drill which will test team members abilities to work under stress. (Generally, SWAT team members have the opportunity to shoot and train more frequently)

2. Self Defense Skills  – Basic moves that involve gross motor skills will be maintained longer than more intricate and technical moves. Self defense skills should be evaluated every 3-4 months but the tactical operator should train once a week in close quarter combat.

3. Fitness- physical fitness demands may vary profession to profession but the first responder/tactical operator should prepare themselves physically as if a “worst case scenario” is a routine occurrence. The fitness lifestyle is a daily pursuit so one must make time to ensure that he or she is physically able to meet any challenge.

Warrior Nation

 Warriors  Comments Off on Warrior Nation
Oct 122011
 

 

 

 

 

 

Within even the most pacifist  person among us, there is a quest to emulate, praise, or be a warrior. Grit, determination, and command presence are just a few of the traits that make a warrior. Who wouldn’t want to possess such characteristics?
For those that opt not to serve in combat, there are other outlets to bring out your internal warrior. Warrior Dashes, Tough Mudders, and Spartan Races are just a few physically demanding races that are spiking in popularity across the world. Participants get to train and feel like they are warriors of ages past without the combat.

Another popular warrior outlet is MMA- mixed martial arts and combat sports in general. The conditioning of these athletes is extraordinary. Though mental toughness is a requirement for the endurance races mentioned above, a whole different type of mindset is required to be willing to give and receive kick, punches, throws, submissions, locks, and chokes.  Like with the races, MMA is a casual hobby, but for an elite bunch, there are numerous professional circuits – UFC, Strikeforce, and Pride. For the casual participant, the training and conditioning for MMA is quite demanding, just be prepared to enjoy the occasional black eye, puffy lips, and numerous rashes and skin scrapes.

In my line of work, many tactical security professionals commit to acquiring the skills of a warrior, though the chances of an incident are quite low in the continental United States, overseas the chances of engaging in close combat increase. There are many courses offering to train security professionals into becoming modern warriors. Protection work is generally very sedentary and defensive in nature, so buyer beware of tactical shoot ’em up courses unless you are in fact going to work in a dangerous hot zone.

Finally, the largest population of warrior thrill seekers are not athletes; they do not get up at 4:30 am to train, don’t follow diets, and rarely move 10 feet. The group I am referring to are the gamers. The gamers play in a fantasy world where they are the kings of the mountain, elite commandos, spies, and assassins. The gamers identify with warrior-esque characters because it makes them feel good about themselves, offers them the opportunity to encounter and overcome danger in a make believe world.

I’m not passing any judgements but you can figure out how I would prefer to attain warrior status.

 

 

Slam Dunk Quest

 Fitness  Comments Off on Slam Dunk Quest
Oct 042011
 

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.

Leadership – Step Up or Step Aside

 Core values  Comments Off on Leadership – Step Up or Step Aside
Sep 302011
 

Leadership is a valuable trait to posses. There is no singular leadership style that is better than others, but certain leadership principles may be more appropriate than others given the situation or environment. No matter what one’s leadership style is, leaders are confident and possess a certain command presence that demands respect. A leader can be big, small, tall, short, etc. yet most leaders all possess a physiology where their shoulders are broad and a gaze that is directed forward.

There is an old adage that says that “leaders are born not made”. I disagree. Though not everyone can be a leader in every situation, we are leaders of our own lives and have the opportunity to influence outcomes that directly affect us. To be an effective leader we have to internalize and exhibit many mental traits – determination, honesty, integrity, confidence to name a few. In addition to possessing mental skills, possessing a high degree of fitness and health is also key for developing the leader within each of us.

Can anyone imagine a leader with shoulders internally rotated, a pot belly, and a gaze that is directed downward? No. But is such a person doomed to be a follower and not a leader? Also no. Possessing the physical traits of a leader is accessible to anyone, the hard part is knowing where to begin.

Stay tuned for leadership building fitness plans from Battle Tested Fitness.

 

Save Your Life with A Strength Endurance Work Out

 Fitness  Comments Off on Save Your Life with A Strength Endurance Work Out
Sep 092011
 

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.

 

 

 

The Importance About Always Being in Shape

 Core values  Comments Off on The Importance About Always Being in Shape
Aug 182011
 

Two guys are in the woods hiking and have set up camp for the night. After the tent is up and they have eaten. One of the hikers starts stretching and doing jumping jacks. The other hiker asks him, “what’s with the warm up routine?” The first hiker says, “well in case there are any bears.” To which the second hiker says, “you can’t out run a bear.” Prompting the first hiker to say, “No, I just have to out run you.”

The morale of the story is to always be fit or risk becoming someone else’s lunch.

 

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