Tactical Strength Challenge

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I’m making a shift in my physical training, now that I’ve passed my most recent PT test (Max 300 score; 98 pushups, 84 situps, 13:00 min 2 mile).

It’s time to get back some of the strength I’ve lost because of the amount of cardio I’ve been doing. In order to help me with my motivation, I’m thinking of entering the Tactical Strength Challenge, when it comes around for its next international meet.  I’ll get into the Men’s Open Division, where the events are max bodyweight pullups, max deadlift and max kettlebell snatches in 5:00 minutes. Even if I can’t compete, I can compare my results with the posted results from his season. I’ll get video documentation and post it here. Some of these guys are showing incredible numbers. A couple people deadlifted over 500. The guy who won the deadlift event, Jim Cahill, pulled an incredible 705, but at a bodyweight of 295, thus he did exactly zero pullups. This event has built in equalizers. Big and strong? Pullups may suffer. Wiry? Deadlift may be a problem. Cardio weak? Good luck with throwing around a metal ball for 5 minutes.

My bodyweight had dropped almost 10 pounds since I arrived in Germany. This may not be a big deal to some, but this is extremely unusual for me. Even through Basic Training, my weight did not drop more than 3 pounds. The lightest I can remember being before Germany was 171, and that was when I was riding bike a lot, many times with little food for fuel. I’ve been following an extremely strict diet, and doing a lot of calisthenics and running. Many days, no breakfast. My training regimine will look something like this:

  • Deadlift twice per week. One heavy day, one light day. I will use the 5,4,3,2,1 protocol, where I increase the weight by about ten percent with the desending reps. Example: 5 Reps @250, 4 reps @ 270, 3 reps @ 290 etc. On light days, use approximately 75% of weight used o heavy days.
  • Do dumbell or kettlebell snatches once per week; run or bike once per week. Even though the kettlebell snatch is one of the events, I’ll only perform this once per week, along with a running session. Do to the possibility of attending SFAS soon, I’ll need to keep my cardio up, and running is an impotant part of that. Much of running is proper gate, which means yo must train your nervous system to run. It’s more than just keeing your VO2 max high. When doing the santches, I’ll use a 60 lb dumbell, slightly heavier than the 55 lb kettlebell used in the event. For reps, I’ll do 20, 15, 10, 5, per hand, switching hands after each set and trying to complete the whole thing as quickly as possible. I may add in some bodyweight jump squats.
  • Synaptic facilitation on pullups.  Train often, without burning out.
  • Additional work.  Hanging leg raises as a core exercise and to decompress the spine after deadlifting. I’ll add in situps and some pushups or benchpress. Both are important by Army standards and strong abs correlate with lower injury risk:

Abs protect you. A U.S. Army study linked powerful abdominal muscles to injury prevention. After giving 120 artillery soldiers the standard army fitness test of situps, pushups, and a 2-mile run, researchers tracked their lower-body injuries (such as lower-back pain and Achilles tendonitis) during a year of field training. The subjects who cranked out the most situps (73 in 2 minutes) were five times less likely to suffer lower-body injuries than those who barely notched 50. But that’s not all. Those who performed well in the pushups and 2-mile run enjoyed no such protection–suggesting that upper-body strength and cardiovascular endurance had little effect on injury prevention. It was abdominal strength that did it.~The Abs Diet, Chapter 1.

Most importantly, I’ll avoid overtraining, laying off when the symptoms begin to occur.

Also, I’ll have to up my calorie count, to keep my strength up.


2 thoughts on “Tactical Strength Challenge

    Amos Volante said:
    November 14, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Hey! I remember citing that study to you several years ago after I left Third Infantry Division.

    The study made AFB and Army Times.

    You would not believe how many if us were shocked.

    “But that’s the one we train for the least and hate the most!” We all exclaimed.

    kernunos said:
    November 16, 2009 at 5:11 am

    The core is everything. Without it you are nothing.

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