Been out for a while fellas...little trip to Africa for a few months.
Glad to be picking things up during a slight recovery phase....I need to ease back in.
This is the third time, in two years I've been faced with a significant trial, on only a few days notice. Been running the Fatal Fitness program(s) for years...and once again, was very, very thankful to have been.
I used to go with the elite training guides, and just do it over and over. Started talking with Michael a good bit on the new site and format, I was very glad to see a lifestyle program, not a "get awesome in six weeks....get bigger arms in five days" bs that's so popular.
Granted, if I knew I was going to a specific mil school next spring, a specific training guide would be great. However, that's just not how life works. I went to Africa on four days notice..sniper school three days.....first solo competitor on outdoor channel, nra "Survival Trial"....instant when my partner got hurt and dropped at the start.
Point is "functional fitness/readiness" is a lifestyle, not a program. Like many of you, I need to be strong...never know when you have to punch some isis **** in the chest hard enough to make dust fly off his back....I also need to have endurance as you have to get too the fight, and stay in it to make it all the way back home. It's hard to train for both...and speed, and flexibility, and fast recovery, and agility, add infinitum...
Having the format of picking a general fitness/readiness lifestyle I need to accomplish, then having a never ending, but continuously evolving path to follow has saved me again, and again......and again.
The Simple Strength philosophy book coming out I expect to be awesome. I have been consistently on the simple strength beta program for months now. It has done a few things for me. I will spare the "bench bigger, squat more" hooah stuff. Let's just say, consistent, sizable gains, without injury (at 42, going hard flat out for months with huge gains and no injury is a big, big deal). Interestingly, major increases in both strength, and endurance. That's the sweet spot! Now to the part that fascinated me...the mental.
While on the ruck heavy plan, I noticed I became ocd like obsessed with hitting 10 clean reps at a weight. I lived every night to try and hit 10. It is a brilliant objective. Big enough, that it was a massive motivator...I'm calling my son in, " spot me junior...I'm killing this!!". However, it is a short enough goal, that it's achievable without 4 months of effort and getting bored chasing it before every getting there. It's perfect, and it kept me rolling week, after week. With the NEW strength program you will see coming, Michael solved my other dilemma..the dreaded PLATEAU!! Oddly, I find myself looking FORWARD to hitting a plateau. Go figure right??? What happens is, you keep crushing it, trying to make it to that set of 10, so you can move up in weight. Every week I'm just killing myself to hit 10, again, it becomes ocd. Eventually though, it just isn't going to happen. I get to eight, next week...eight...next week...eight. And I'm stuck..then I'm pissed. The new program though, recognized this stall, and takes advantage of it. Drop back, add the weight, change the target, boom!!! Still getting stronger, still increasing, just building a different way. Hence, I found mentally my weekly goal was hit that 10...die to hit the 10 rep... My monthly goal...Oddly, don't make the 10..I'm actually working TOWARD a plateau. I looking forward to it. No matter what, I'm going up in weight. If I get my 10, next week I'm adding weight, probably only get 6 reps, the next week 8...then the magic 10...up I go again. Awesome. If NOT though, the plateau meant I had maxed that phase..I still got a reward. A plateau was not a negative, it was an achievement!! I had absolutely milked everything I could from a phase and was moving to a new power phase. The grinds keeps my cardio at a working/work capacity type cardio. Not just running, but days I feel like I can run, carrying a sandbag, and fighting bears each mile. Love it.
Maybe too long winded of an explanation, fact is though, I'm sick of the 6 week program trends. I need a way to stay long term, get stronger, gain endurance and just be damned ready for anything, any time.
This was and is it! Functional fitness is not a luxury of knowing months ahead that I need to get in shape for a race...so I'll train on program X, for that race. That's nice, but not realistic for my life. Real functional fitness is understanding the fact that life happens fast, it's unpredictable and to be successful....the ability to say yes when opportunity appears is critical. "Can you go here...yes.....Can you do this job...yes...We just had a guy drop out, can you fill in...yes...Slots just opened for school X, are you ready...yes.....Deployment in 36 hours, you ready.....YES...". What else you got?
So, executive summary. I like the program, I like the plan. I am stronger, I am faster, and I endure, more than ever before. You need to be ready, you have to do the actual work. You do not get "ready for anything" ready with a 25 minute wod the gym. At survival trial, overt 50% of failures were major foot problems, add an example.....people trained in the gym for real life. A 40 mile ruck tags posts of your body you simply can't work doing lunges and working a leg press exclusively. It didn't work. So far, the Fatal Fitness programs have done a great job of getting actually ready, to hammer some real world challenges. Ask yourself..If you were given three days notice, could you complete a 12 mile ruck, in sand, at 100 degrees, with a 55lbs ruck on...and another 35lbs of rifle, scopes, binos, and books on top of your ruck....with no sleep. Some of it's just heart and soul, the other part is having put in the time, every day, in a system that actually gets ALL of you ready.
That's my piece.