Monday, 20 July 2009

Military preparation programme

As an ex-Royal Marine Commando I am often asked how best to prepare for the rigours of basic military training. This programme is my answer to that question...! It's worked for lots of my clients who have gone on to successful military careers and is a decent template for anyone looking for a "back to basics" training programme.

Day one - Bodyweight Circuit

1. 5 Burpees
2. 10 press ups
3. 15 Squats
4. 20 jump jacks or jump rope double unders

Perform as many laps as possible in 20 minutes. Only rest when you need to. Aim to get more work done each session! As you get fitter, try 25 minutes, then 30 etc. This session will build real muscular enduance and cardiovascular fitness as well as essential mental fortitude. Remember, train hard, fight easy!

Finisher - today is Chin up Day! Perform 5 sets of max rep chins. Make a note of the total performed
e.g. 7, 5, 4, 3, 3 = 22 reps. Next time aim to do more reps in the same number of sets.

Day two - Run
Run "away from home" for 15 minutes - nice and slow and easy. Once you are 15 minutes from home turn around and run back they way you came aiming to run back in the shortest possible time. The aim is to get back in quicker and quicker times as you get fitter. This session is very similar to a typical military running fitness test.

Day three - Strength
Total body strength is vital for load carries and general day to day military work so some weight training is essential. Focus on exercises like squats, deadlifts, chins, shoulder presses, bench presses and bent over/seated rows. You may need to join a gym for this, or invest in some weights but it'll pay off hugely. Hire a trainer for a couple of sessions and get him/her to teach you these exercises. Stay away from machines, they won’t help much! Aim to do sets of 5-8 reps...this will focus on strength development as opposed to higher reps which focus more on muscular endurance.

A good example would be 1) Squats 2) Standing shoulder press 3) Weighted chins

Day four - Rest day or some light swimming/jogging/stretching etc

Day five - Ton up circuit

1. 100 reps press ups
2. 100 reps sit ups
3. 100 reps squats
4. 100 reps burpees
5. 100 reps crunches/sit ups

The aim is to do 100 reps of each exercise as fast as possible. You don’t have to do all the reps for each exercise in one go. Mix it up and knock off a few reps from each exercise e.g. 15 press ups, 20 sit ups, 10 burpees, 20 squats, 10 press ups etc. Make a note of your total time; try to do it faster next time.

Finisher - today is Chin up Day! Perform 5 sets of max rep chins. Make a note of the total performed
e.g. 7, 5, 4, 3, 3 = 22 reps. Next time aim to do more reps in the same number of sets.

Day six - Running intervals
Jog for 2 minutes. Sprint for 1 minute. Repeat 6 - 10 times to total 20 - 30 minutes. Aim to run further during each minute sprint as you get fitter. Intervals are best done on grass or a running track.

Day seven - Strength
Hit the weights again using different but similar exercises e.g. if you squatted last time, today do deadlifts. Keep the reps in the 5 - 8 range to focus on strength.

A good example would be 1) Deadlifts 2) Dips 3) Bent over/seated rows

Day eight - Rest day or some light swimming/jogging/stretching etc

Day nine - repeat day one
Day ten - repeat day two
Day eleven - repeat day three Etc

Make sure every workout is preceded with a 5 - 10 minute warm up of walking/jogging/rope skipping and a couple of light dynamic stretches. Finish every workout (except the ton up circuit) with a couple of sets of twisting sit ups, crunches, leg lifts and prone back extensions. Cool down at the end of each session with a 5 minute walk/jog/rope skip and a few static stretches.

Wherever you can, get out and walk - preferably carrying kit in a rucksack as this is a major part of military life!

As with all exercise - you'll only get fitter if you strive to work harder, run faster, do more reps etc than last time so keep a training log to record your workouts and do your best to beat your previous best!

1 comment:

  1. Nice!

    Think I might have a blast at this one,

    Boy wonder