All Terrain Conditioning, a Review

Bunn

Level 5 Valued Member
I apologize if the below is a bit jumbled, I am still processing the weekend and this review is probably not as smooth as it is in my head right now. I do hope those that are interested in the course do find some value.


Bottom line, an excellent course and well worth attending.

The course is marketed as a “lighter” version of StrongEndurance and is geared towards obstacle course racers, first responders and the military. The course leans very strongly towards obstacle course racers, the rest of us just have to use a little bit of common sense to see the application of the skills and protocols and how they would apply to endeavors away from the OCR crowd.

Day 1: The fundamentals of energy production and consumption are covered so that the students understand the “why” behind the protocols, but not so detailed as to confuse anyone. After this, it was on to learning and practicing the various skills associated with the program (TGU, swings, SLDL). There were enough SFGs on hand to ensure those that needed help had it. And, as expected there are a couple of practice sessions each day. One of the things that makes this course unique is that we also covered the basics of good running mechanics and several running drills, to include a few running protocols. As a guy who has not run more than 3 miles (cumulatively) since June 2010, this was very interesting. It turns out I really needed this info 29 years ago, because my running form was and most likely still is, horrendous. Don’t worry, you won’t be going out for a jog during the course.

Day 2: We began with a quick Q/A session and then onto the next set of exercises (push-ups, pull-ups), followed by plenty of practice. Then came the high-pull (no snatching), and more practice. After all of the skills were completed we finished up with another practice session, which is also a key part of one of the protocols. The remainder of the day was spent discussing programming and how to put all of the new skills and information together. This is where the course really took shape and showed that the time and money was worth it. Students leave with a better understanding of the StrongEndurance methodology, its practical application, and several protocols to get them started.

The student handbook is great, but all of the really good information came during the question and answer sessions and the programming discussion. This is where our instructor, Derek Toshner (amazing human and teacher), articulated all of those little bits of information you wanted into easy to understand pieces. If you looked at most of the student handbooks, you would see tons of notes written on nearly every page. The manual might be thin, but the depth of education and knowledge presented was amazing. The volume of knowledge Derek has is phenomenal, and his ability to answer and relate that knowledge to the students of all backgrounds is truly impressive. Personally, I think he was the perfect choice to teach this course.

As with all StrongFirst courses, it is the instructors that make the difference and this was no exception. Derek and local SF Team Leader Brian Wright were fantastic, both were more than willing to help with technique or answer any question a student had. Amongst the student body were several instructors, from SFG I to SFG II’s, team leaders and at least one Iron Maiden. All of them were motivational and freely gave of their time to help the rest of us ensure we learned as much as we could during the weekend.

With all of this new found knowledge and motivation, I am encouraged to go for my SFG I.

To Pavel, Brett Jones, Derek Toshner and the rest of the StrongFirst leadership that researched, experimented and finally put this program together, thank you!
 

Dayz

Level 5 Valued Member
Great write up.

So I'm correct in gathering that swing, TGU and SLDL are the core movements of the program?

Can you share the rationale around the SLDL?
 

Bunn

Level 5 Valued Member
@Dayz add in the push-up, pull-up and the high pull/snatch. The snatch is the preferred movement for several of the protocols. As to the SLDL, used as another movement to help pattern the hip hinge as well as development of the prime movers and stabilizers for running.
 

Derek Toshner

Level 6 Valued Member
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Whoa, thanks a bunch Bunn! I really am honored by your review. Thanks for taking the time to write that. Keep me posted on your training results!
 

Bunn

Level 5 Valued Member
@Derek Toshner It is the least I could do following the course. I had a great time, increased my knowledge and continued to refine my technique with the kettlebell.

Implementing plan 024 on Monday with strength training grinds on the alternate days. Looking forward to the results I am sure will come.
 
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