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Win the chase, then hold on!

So you are sprinting down the street, you grab the offender, struggling to hold on….he is younger, lighter, wearing no armour, no kit belt and may be fuelled on performance enhancing illegal drugs and redbull. You glance behind you and your colleague is still struggling up the hill, gasping for breath. They are your back up. Were you too fast, were they too slow? Tough call, ultimately teams that train together win together so grab your mates and give this a shot.

Firstly what this is not –

Max power development, max strength development, max speed development…..yes these are important for running fast, accelerating rapidly and holding on to someone. This is about using the abilities you currently possess, and conditioning yourself to apply those abilities repeatedly. This is about working as a team to get shit done! This about getting past that voice in your head that tells you you are tired…nobody likes that voice, this is about shutting it up and completing the task in hand. This is about winning.

Secondly – credit where credit is due

Martin Rooney writes in his books about hurricane training, if you have them or look at them you will see his influence in this article. I think this method is very relevant for some of the demands of combat situations – none more so than the sprint to assist your colleagues and the stuggles thereafter!

So taking the circuit in my previous post, here is how we can adapt it keeping some of the exercises exactly the same. Each circuit you may choose to increase running speed or add a hill, something to make it a little more challenging.

Circuit 1 x 3 rounds

Run 25 seconds
Dips x 15
Chinups x 15

Rest 90 seconds then repeat, or use heart rate as a guide – when you hit 120bpm go for the next round. This will ensure you have recovered sufficiently. The fitter you get the quicker your heart rate will recover. You will see an improvement in recovery rate…that is what you want! The ability to recover rapidly for the next job or so you can get your tactical comms out!

You can complete the above circuit 3 times then move on…

Circuit 2 x 3 rounds

Run 25 seconds
Push up x 15
Seated row x 15

Again rest as needed, repeat 3 times, then the final circuit hits you…

Circuit 3 x 3 rounds

Bear crawl 25 seconds
Incline DB curl x 15
Rope tricep push down x 15

You guessed it, another 3 sets!

Bear crawl??? What is a bear crawl??? Simple – crawl around on your hands and feet, if you have a harness get it on and try and pull your mate on your hands and feet. You know…crawling like a bear!

How do you adapt this to suit team training?

Option 1 – team of 3, one on each station…3,2,1, GO! Changing around after each station is complete. Yes you will get times when your mate is still working and you are resting…breath, drink and enjoy the rest.

Option 2 – 1 person does it all, next one goes, etc, etc. Simple and you get the motivation and encouragement of your buddies.

Option 3 – you get 18 mates together, 2 on each station for each circuit. One person works, the other rests. When both have completed the first exercise they move on to the next when it is available.

Any other ways to tweak this?

Sure, you want to build up your work capacity using the strength you have been building for the past few months? Give yourself a target total of reps, lets say 25 for dips and 25 for chinups. Use a weight that is close to your 8 rep max. So you will do the run for 25 seconds, dips you may get 8, chinups lets say you get 7….back to the run for 25 seconds, dips you may get 6, chinups you get 5. Your total is 14 dips so far, 12 chinups. You keep repeating the circuit until you hit your 25 total reps. Rest when when you need to, if you find your reps have dropped so much….rest for longer. Time how long it takes you to get through it, then try and beat it.

Another option – give yourself a time for the exercises. See how far you run, how many reps you get in that time. Next circuit at a bit more weight and try and beat it! Doing more in less time adds what is called “density” to the training session. This can be pretty good when low on time and wanting some fat burning benefits. It is tough!

Further information

If you like this style of training I encourage you to check out Martin Rooneys books.

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