Discussion in 'Old StrongFirst Forum (Read-Only)' started by Tuebor, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. Tuebor

    Tuebor Double-Digit Post Count

    My section and I are prepping for the afghan mountains the current routine we are on goes something like this

    Day 1 AM warm-up mobility drills,

    run 3-5miles 8-9min mile pace tell everyone to breath through nose only, free run last mile.

    then in groups of 3 men 2x max ladder Chin-ups,

    2x max ladder partner push-ups going up by 5 reps, (one guy lays on back as if to bench press while another locks his hands and does push-ups, lots of stabilizing muscles being used. reps go 5,10,15,20 etc)

    2x hanging leg raise

    PM workout usually around 1500

    KB Clean & Press 3xMax Ladder if reach 4 reps go up in weight next week

    Pull-up max ladder hang 3 seconds between reps, if reach 4 reps add weight

    100 total KB Snatches (5x10arm) usually 16kg,20kg,24kg KB

    standing ab rollers ( have men do negative portion if can't do one rep usually in a couple weeks they can do 1 rep.)

    Day 2

    AM warm-up

    3x5-10 jumping push-ups

    sprints 100m x8 1:2 work rest ratio

    double leg takedowns x10 leg x3sets a person.



    Day 3

    AM Warm-up

    Ruck march 5-6 mile depending on route 50lb ruck

    stretch head to toe


    KB Clean & Press 3x 1,2

    Pull-up 3x 1,2

    KB Snatch 50total 5x5/5

    standing ab roller 1x5


    Day 4

    AM warm-up

    Deep 6 with one size smaller KB then doing C&P's with x4 rounds



    Day 5

    AM warm-up

    20 jumping pull-up burpee

    sprints 80m x8 w/ 10push-ups between each sprint

    4x sit-ups descending repsx5 by 10 (know how Pavel preaches against but the military still holds them in high regard. example of reps 50,40,30,20,10 etc


    KB C&P 3x 1 less even if same as day 3 reps

    pull-up 3x1 less

    KB snatch 70-80 total reps 5x7-8arm

    standing ab roller

    Day 6 Saturday

    Ruck march 50lb pack 10-15mile depending on route.

    drink beer


    This is our routine strongly influenced by Pavel, this is not the first deployment for most of us doing it and have had no injuries as of now. Adding the S&S has been amazing at fixing feeble backs and sore shoulders... AMAZING, the key has been to start light and joint mobilities at the end of ever workout.

    my question is if anyone can better this routine as of now we are about 2 months out, barbells are out of the question as other companies and platoons feel they are the only way to get men into shape and are always in short supply to train 12 guys, Kettlebells seem to always be available.

    on a side note I am amazed that their are many trainers for THOR3 who have never even heard of Pavel, or strongfirst.... need to get on that.



  2. Rios

    Rios Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    Just a suggestion but I would do one long distance event day a week. Either cycle ruck marching for time or distance running for time. Then add a deadlift day if possible , I't should give a carry over for patrols.

  3. Al Ciampa

    Al Ciampa Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor


    Where are you currently training - at what altitude / climate?

    What is your section's job when you get there, i.e., are you serving chow, turning wrenches, patrolling, establishing OPs, etc? - physical or not; and what distances might you cover in a day on foot, is what I'm asking. Be general with your answer, watch your OPSEC here.

    What kind of time are you guys finishing those foot marches in?

    If you're doing enough two-hand overspeed swings with a heavy bell (and perhaps even regular swings), you'll never have to do sit-ups, or the ab roller, for your application - so ditch that stuff.

    Your program is more complex than it needs to be, but I can comment on some changes more effectively by your answers.

  4. Tuebor

    Tuebor Double-Digit Post Count


    Line unit, light fighters who carry heavy s*** everywhere, do show of force missions, raids, and patrols.  distance wise of 10k-30k a day on foot sometimes more sometimes less. air assault ops are always in the mix depending on the season and activity of Terry. ruck marches are around 13min miles on the long ones 10+ on the 5-6mile it is much quicker usually running 40paces walking 100.



    working deadlifts in is a possibility, the problem is talking men into going with the weight they should use and not the weight they think they should use. Since dropping barbells from our routine men's injuries have disappeared and work capacity has increased, while UBRR numbers have stayed high.
  5. Rios

    Rios Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    I can see how the injuries come about. the only way I really make progress is by only going up slowly each week and writing progress in a logbook. I keeps me accountable.

    If using too much weight is a problem you could keep it fixed with double kb squats.

    These are great articles.

  6. Tuebor

    Tuebor Double-Digit Post Count

    I guess a better question would of been who has a great 8 week program designed to get 12 men physically ready to excel in the hardships produced from the Hindu Kush mountain ranges
  7. dmaxashman

    dmaxashman Triple-Digit Post Count

    that program looks pretty cool!

    fwiw, i wonder if you could drop the ab specific exercises from the training, which i think may be redundant with the full body exercises you do, which will let your guys have more energy for the main exercises and for your skill specific work?
  8. Al Ciampa

    Al Ciampa Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor


    - I agree with your assessment of the deadlift and the young Hooahs.  If you have access to barbells and you are able to reign the section in to use the appropriate loads, then add them in, if not, don't worry about it.

    - increase the load on the short walks, and increase the distance on the long walks: work up to 20-milers.  This will pay off ... trust me.

    - remove what you don't need: is a PFT coming up? drop the ab work.  Push ups are great to maintain, but no need to work them hard.

    - For Pete's sake, Lad, get rid of jumping push ups and burpees, and sub in farmers carries and crawls.

    - The core of what you're doing seems tight.  Use the S&S, C&P, and pullups for strength, and snatches and sprints for anaerobic conditioning; and you have your longer stuff with your walks and run.

    - Know this, if you're heavy enough on your get ups, pressing may be too much; maybe convert the C&P to C&J and use for an additional conditioning variation.

    - use S&S swings like this: (10 x overspeed, two-hand swings, 10 x right, 10 x left) x 4.  That will give you 120 swings.  In the overspeeds, make sure you're really throwing the KB into a tight plank, and jamming it back down- don't float it at all.

    - make sure the loading is not too light or too heavy, but as heavy as possible for the day; and ensure good technique and high tension levels during the strength stuff.

    Good luck and be safe, bro.

  9. Tuebor

    Tuebor Double-Digit Post Count


    -I Like your idea of a set load even if it was meant for double front squats that would work well for deadlifts 225, 275, 315, 365, 405.  I have attempted at doing the "Strength has a greater purpose" workout in the past, maybe 2 years ago, Day 1 is not bad Day 2 is what got me 100 pull-ups done in multiple sets but still in one sitting was to much for this guy, I started subbing quality for quantity, I despise kipping pull-ups.  Stayed with it for 3 weeks and just got burnt out on it. perhaps now I have the endurance to go back but at the time I was to feeble.



    -Loaded carries are an excellent idea, not sure what you mean on the crawls, bear crawls? As for the sit-ups perhaps one is overzealous with them and can phase them out.

    Thank you for all your impute and time.



  10. Pavel

    Pavel Founder and Chairman Master Certified Instructor

    Keenon, you got excellent suggestions from Al.

    Thank you for doing your duty.
  11. Pavel

    Pavel Founder and Chairman Master Certified Instructor

    Al, would you do me a favor and expand your suggestions into an article? Please send it to contact at
  12. Al Ciampa

    Al Ciampa Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    Pavel ... Yes Sir; I'll try to get it out by the end of the weekend.

    Keenon ... build up to what Anderson & Neupert call the spiderman crawl in "Original Strength".  Most will not be able to crawl properly, but keep working at it everyday during the warm up and you'll reap the benefits: tying the joints together, breathing from the belly, and building overall resilience.

    Keep the chin and chest high, butt low ... wrap the spine around a beach ball, and go forward and in reverse.  Slower is better - try to move the opposite limbs together, independent of the pelvis and spine.  Posture is important - don't look down and don't rush.

    Email me and I'll send you the PDF manual that I give out to my students who are learning the basics:  If I can figure out how to embed a video, I'll post one of our most precise crawlers going at it.

  13. Al Ciampa

    Al Ciampa Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    Ok guys ... I have clips of proper crawls and the brand of overspeed swings that we use.

    How do I post a video?

  14. Dave0317

    Dave0317 Triple-Digit Post Count

    Aciampa, great stuff.

    I think over speed swings and snatches are the best kept secret for sit-up numbers on tests.  That, and  a few hanging leg raises are all the ab work I had in a program I was doing last year.  At the LawFit challenge I did 61 sit-ups in 60 seconds.  A lot of the guys that did sit ups and crunches to prepare got much less.

    Keenon, I have used the workout in the strengths greater purpose article (Pavel's Force Recon workout, as it was called before).  The volume and weight is pretty high.  I dropped everything a bell size and cut reps in half at first.  Then worked back up from there.  I felt like I benefitted a lot from it.  The weighted pull ups are great for the USMC PFT.  Made a 300 on the CFT when I was doing it too.

    I found one ruck run a week was plenty to prepare for Sniper School once I went.  In country, for snipers it is more the weight that becomes a problem than the distance.  For regular Infantry, you may need the extra rucking, but is it worth the recovery cost?  Does your pre-deployment training not already involve long patrols as part of the training scenarios?
  15. tmorrissey42

    tmorrissey42 Double-Digit Post Count

    Nice to see a fellow hog weighing in... always remember, ounces equal pounds, and pounds equal pain.  Semper.
  16. Al Ciampa

    Al Ciampa Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    Absolutely correct, David.  And actually, snatches might even be superfluous when using overspeeds properly ... "for this application".

    Great point about walking and pre-dep prep ... many regular line units (Army) fail to do the distance stuff in train up and concentrate on battle drills, so the extra walking would be required.  But as you say, watch the recovery of the team.

    Recon and special teams (as I remember) often used insertion/extraction on foot as part of the OP while training, so we rarely walked more than once per week.

    Still, I tend to err on the side of more LSD aerobic training for mountain environments; and longer rucks with moderate loads are far better than longer runs to this end.  You can't fake increased mitochondria and fatty acid metabolism.

  17. MikeMoran

    MikeMoran Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    This is a great thread! Thanks for all the info in here.
  18. Dave0317

    Dave0317 Triple-Digit Post Count

    Semper Fi, Tim.

    Yep, not often you run into a fellow hog.

    I like the ounces and pounds quote. On a related note:  "Pack light, freeze at night".  I'm out now, but I miss it some days.

    This has been a very informative thread.  Hope lots of military guys can apply the info here.

    Looking forward to hearing more from aciampo sometime.  An article would be great, if not a whole book on this topic.  Most of the books currently on the market seem to be a little dated or altogether inadequate.
  19. Al Ciampa

    Al Ciampa Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor


    What timing ... I have been working on a manual that I am close to finishing.  It is meant to erode away the mass of confusion that exists in physical training advice  and, using a minimalist approach, get folks on a path toward physical training, not physical exercise.  It is written for the novice / intermediate Military service-member and can be applied to any branch and occupation.  I've left out operator assessment prep because I think that it's a somewhat special case, but this manual should still set the foundation for that application.

    Now, I'm thinking about adding a deployment prep sample after this discussion.  And therein lies the problem with this work: daily discussions and questions within my community continue to make me edit and add, so it never seems to get finished, though always seems close.  I think I just have to draw the line at some point - it's a daunting task, but very enjoyable!

    Since you mentioned it, what are some of the books out on this subject? And how do they fall short? I'm not aware of any.  I know from my daily interactions, that the information that is passed along to the community which I work with is incomplete, misapplied, and contradictory; not to mention unsafe, in some cases.

    Any info would be appreciated, thanks.


  20. Rigor Mortis

    Rigor Mortis Double-Digit Post Count

    Really interesting thread.

    Al, atleast Nate Morrison has done book called "Combat conditioning" and a few other books on this subject.

    I`m really looking forward to see your article and even more the manual! :)

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