Combat Fitness – Archieving the Baseline

No matter if you are military, security contractor, LEO or just responsible civilian. You need to be in shape. In shape means that you have to be light but yet strong, agile, fast and enduring. Additionally you need to have above average cardiologic scores.

Use unconventional Methods like sandbag throws to train your body functional

When it comes down to most PFTs or selection programs you will have the following criterias:

  • Running: Your ability to run 6-8 kilometres with the speed of a good amateur athlete. Try to be at least as fast as 5 minutes /km.
  • Calisthenics: You need to be able to perform the basic calisthenics (Push-ups, Sit-Ups, Burpees) at a well trained level in a certain amount of time. For Example: 60 Push-Ups in under two minutes. You also have to be able to pull up your own bodyweight several times.
  • Strength: You need to have both enduring strength (the ability to lift an light object like a kettlebell several times) and power (the ability to lift an objekt at least 150 percent of your bodyweight) both attributes require sepparated training exercises.
  • Explosive Power/coordination: You should be able to jump at least 2,20 metres and you should be able to jump over obstacles.
  • Rucking: Be able to ruck at least 35 kilometres with about 20kg in your backpack.

As you see, military fitness is always about functionality. In the field you have to be fast strong and enduring

Running is a critical skill but is an antagonist of power

So this is your baseline. Now it is time to analyze your strengths or weaknesses. The question should sound like: What am i able to do right now? How long did I train to archieve this? What are my weak spots?

Heavy lifting should be exercised twice a week.

Every body is different. Political correctness aside, there are better and there are weaker bodies. Some peole can archieve this baselines with almost no additional training. Others will have to work hard for it. Thats life.

Calisthenics are a part of every PFT

For example Iam a natural born runner. This gives you many benefits in (surprise) running, rucking and calisthenics. But my body isnt made for lifting heavy things or explosive strength.

So i have two weakspots: Speed and Strength/Explosive Power. This would dictate my exercise plan of 2018.

Combatives like grappling combine speed, power and endurance

I reduced runnig to one 3km run every week. Keeping in mind my talent for running.

I decided to train strength and speed four times a week.

Track your exercises and always set a timer

When you train strength you should do a low repetition count with high weights. Almost for one year I exercised Cleans, Jerks, Squats and Deadliftsquats.

Enhance your coordination and speed by altering your exercises.

My exercise plan was a circle, including some calisthenics. I did the circle 4 times a week.

Weightlifting and proper technique are important assets. Learn to use your whole body

After a Warmup I set the timer to three minutes and startet exercising. Here is my example for 2018:

  • 3 minutes of Pushups (calisthenics)
  • 3 minutes of 5 repetitions of cleans – after five cleans sprint 20 metres and repeat until time is over. (Speed)
  • 3 minutes of 3 repetitions deadlift squats – after three reps sprint 20 metres and repeat until time is over. (power)
  • 3 minutes of 8 repetitions of heavy military press – – after eight reps sprint 20 metres and repeat until time is over. (power)

I repeated this circle three times.

Do rucking but keep it at a moderate level. You will need your joints later.

When i started to prepare for a PFT with RB2 in 2019 I already gained strength and weight as planned. RB2 is a different bodytype, he has power and speed but lacks endurance.

Different body types same goals

He was seeking to archieve his baseline and I was trying to enhance my baseline.

So we trained about six times a week.

  • Monday: Running 4km in under 20 minutes, followed by situps and push ups.
  • Tuesday: Calisthenics and strength followed by some combatives and sparring.
  • Wednesday: Restday.
  • Tuesday: 8km in under 48 minutes, followed by situps and push ups.
  • Friday: Calisthenics and Power.
  • Saturday: simulating all none running parts oft the PFT.
  • Sunday: Grappling and sparring

Once a month we rucked about 20 kilometres with a 15kg backpack. Just because rucking is bad for your body.

Example of a combined circle

As you see it is important to keep the balance and not to lose the focus on all factors of yur physical baselines. When you overcome major weakspots with focused training you will have to take care of other attributes after you archieved your goal.

For example: Endurance vs. Power. You will not be able to run a marathon like a professional and also lift like a professional powerlifter. Thats simply because endurance and power acta s rivals from an physiological point of view.

Track your running always watch and improve speed.

So keep this in mind and dont lose the focus on functionality.

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