Workout of the Week: Full Body and Run Circuit (Swim Optional)

Soldiers perform pull-ups as part of a physical training (PT) event during a 2019 visit from Gen. James C. McConville, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, to Fort Bliss, Texas, July 22. (U.S. Army/Matthew J. Marcellus)
Soldiers perform pull-ups as part of a physical training (PT) event during a 2019 visit from Gen. James C. McConville, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, to Fort Bliss, Texas, July 22. (U.S. Army/Matthew J. Marcellus)

During a cycle of high-repetition calisthenics and running, it is good to add in some moderate to light weight training that can complement a full body workout, especially in the tactical fitness professions.

These quick additions help build a better foundation of strength and endurance combinations (muscle stamina) needed for many load-bearing activities seen in the military and special operations selection programs.

Moderate to light weight is being used with a focus on good form and technique with the lifts and PT exercises, and the run is an opportunity to "rest" your muscles for a few minutes.

This is a tough one.

Warm up with:

  • Push-ups and Squats Pyramid 1-15 with 25m run in between each set. Mix in jogs/dynamic stretches during warmup.
  • 1 push-up -- 1 squat -- run 25m; 2 push-ups -- 2 squats -- run 25m … continue up to 15/15. This warmup totals more than 100 push-ups/100 squats, so scale back if you need to. Once you start to fail with the warmup pyramid, you are done with the warmup. Move on and continue with 1-mile run.

Repeat 4-5 times:

Spec Ops Prep: If you want to add in a swim (if you have time), do the following:

Warmup swim, 500m

Repeat 10 times

100m at 6-8 strokes per breath (free). Rest as needed.

Then: Swim 1,000m with fins using the combat side stroke.

Swimming is a great way to cool down after a series of the circuits listed above.

If your future does not involve a challenging swimming section (Dive School, PJ or CCT Training, SEAL or SWCC training, RECON or MARSOC, Rescue Swimmer, etc.), replace the swim with either a non-impact cardio activity if needed or add a 30- to 45-minute ruck. Adding some loading bearing activity today is a good option, especially if you are facing a future of rucking in the Army Ranger, Special Forces or Marine programs.

Adding resistance variety to your calisthenics or running workouts is an optimal way to engage more body parts and balance out what calisthenics alone can do. The addition of TRX exercises, kettlebells, dumbbells or barbells can create a workout that completely engages many of the elements of fitness needed for the tactical athlete.

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