As a Tactical Athlete you are required to stay proficient with your weapon system, you must stay one step ahead of the enemy’s TTPs (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures) and keep on top of your fitness. The demands placed on you often make it difficult to get the most out of strength training and athletic performance enhancement, so here are a few tips to get the most out of your strength training and overall physical training.
1. Get Your Nutrition Right
Your nutrition will have the single greatest effect on whether you will be successful or not. Besides getting the right nutrients; carbohydrates, protein and fats make sure to time the intake to get the most out of the food. Try a small protein snack with a generous serving of carbs before training; it can make a huge difference in the quality of your workout. After your strength training workout (within 30 minutes) it is crucial to get quality protein and carbs to get your body in an anabolic state.
2. Use Large Multi-Joint Movements
Fitting a good workout in can be tough, especially when you are spinning up for a deployment. As a Tactical Athlete when time is short you require the highest athletic performance output. Multi-joint exercises can give you the most bang for your buck. Multi-joint exercises will increase size and strength far more effectively than isolation exercises. In fact, one compound exercise will produce far more bulk and power then an entire series of isolation exercises.
3. Get Equipment You Can Take on the Road
One hurdle to fitness and strength training is how hard it is to train when you are deployed or on TDY. Even one day of training missed can have a negative effect on how your body metabolizes sugar. Life does often get in the way of training, but you can mitigate the busy schedule by being prepared. There are a few products out on the market that are absolute must haves for any top performing Tactical Athletes. Kettle bells are probably the most versatile piece of weight training equipment available and if you get the right gear you don’t need to get a ton of different sized kettle bells. Two 15 lbs. bells with two 25 lbs. and two 50 lbs. kettle bells can be used in combination to create a huge variety of weight resistances. Unlike dumbbells you can easily grab two kettle bells in each hand for added weight. The whole set can easily fit in a tough box for shipping overseas with the rest of your combat kit. Though a wheeled tough box can really help here. A TRX trainer can also be invaluable when travelling; it weights close to nothing and can be stuffed into extra combat boots to save space.
4. Find a Good Split That Works For You
So at my gym we always joke about Monday being “International Chest Day,” for some reason guys love to come in every Monday and get a great Chest and Bicep workout, then they seem to loss steam the rest of the week and we don’t see them again until it is time to work chest again. Personally I like a 3-day split because it gives me a chance to work each muscle group twice a week with a day left over for a functional day or a creative “fun” workout. So just find what works for you, but please don’t forget that legs need attention too.
5. Use Supplements
Supplements make a huge difference in your bodies ability to recover and develop strength. As a tactical athlete recovery will make a huge difference in your ability to get out there day after day and perform your best. Everyone seems to take a protein supplement, but it is amazing how few take a separate BCAA supplement or stand alone Beta-Alanine. Proper supplementation can help you not only push to levels that would otherwise be beyond your normal genetic potential, but a proper supplementation strategy can actually decrease the damage done by some of the more difficult tasks you are required (read that as 25-mile road marches and 16-hour presence patrols.)
I am including some links to my recommend list of course there is no pressure, but it might give you a place to start, on the other hand you can buy all the wiz bang gear and supplements in the world, but without getting after it by training you are just wasting your money.