Squats necessary for military fitness of deads + KBs enough?

Tuebor

Double-Digit Post Count
OG means your "seasoned" and "experienced" and whatever term of endearment for the elderly ha ha ha.

Cool running there are at least two men on this forum who are ex special forces who have said barbell and jog. Three others who are combat vets who said barbell and jog. One man who f***ing trains soldiers for a living who says barbell and jog. Most prior military guys may be a bit anti-social to the uninitiated but they do want the best for future enlistees. Same sun that rose on us rises on you. Listen to the wisdom of men who have been there and done it, especially when most all are saying the same thing.

To many options will make you second guess and hop from program to program. Pick one, ANYONE and stick with it for 6months.
 
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Bro Mo

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
All I have to contribute is that even in special ops selection courses, there is only so much PT a candidate can do in preparation before it all boils down to how much is he willing to put up with.
We had a guy say, "Chief, why are we wasting time doing calf raises, I can do a thousand calf-raises!" We then proceeded to do 1,000 calf-raises. I almost collapsed to the ground from the DOMS when I got off my stool at the bar that night.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
@Steve Freides, for the three programs you suggested (pttp, S&S and ROP) would you suggest any running to go with? If so, how would you program it?
Any and all.

Run easy after lifting on PTTP.

Run on non-lifting days for S&S. Or later in the day.

ROP. On non-lifting days.

If on the same day, wait at least 30 min and up to hours later for running.

-S-
 

ShawnM

More than 2500 posts
@BroMo- That really made me laugh. Being a Chief myself I completely understand why you did that. Lol.
 

ShawnM

More than 2500 posts
I think I might go with a TSC plan from Strong First if I was to be training to get in the Military now a days. You deadlift twice a week, KB Front squats a couple days a week, a press a couple days a week, swings, snatches and the fighter pull ups program is added in as well. Add a decent length cardio day on the weekend and you should be good to go. The swings and snatches will give you a great cardio base without running forever and putting stress on the joints. The deadlifts give you a good grind, the pull ups are always great for a military member.
 

IonRod

Triple-Digit Post Count
Squats are a great exercise and will definitely get you stronger but they can be rough on your knees and hips if you have bad form. Your knees are something you need to take care of because the military will put a lot of strain on them.
Sounds like it's the military service that is rough on your knees and hips, not the squats. Building your squat strength is a good way to protect your knees and hips.
I don't recommend any of the other, non-StrongFirst recommendations you've received for barbell programs, online articles, and the like.
The problem is that there are no easily available resources on basic barbell strength training from StronFirst. PTTP is a good minimalist approach if you lack time and/or a power rack, but what if you have both? Not all training has to be bare-bones and you have a lot of competitors who made access to their barbell training methods much easier and understandable for the novice/intermediate trainee. That's why it is easier to recommend them.
I have worked with and met plenty of 'special' people who could NOT squat those weights BUT they passed their respective selection courses by doing the basics well and being very mentally robust.
The study as I understand it did not say you cannot pass the selection without 315 squat. Just that people who do have that squat pass the selection 5x more likely.
While I work on the correctives I was planning to start some light loaded exercises such as single leg deadlift, loaded carries, etc.
Start with light weight on the squat, record yourself, review. If you manage your training smart, the movements will be self-correcting. Single-leg deadlifts are way more difficult to do than a regular deadlift or even a squat. It's just that you assume that since you are using a "light" weight for the single-leg, that it is safer. It's not. You can hurt yourself no matter what training modality you choose. Being hurt, however, is not the same as being injured. Any training that brings any meaningful results will be stressful and have a non-zero chance of hurting. However, what is even more dangerous is being untrained. Don't scare yourself with thoughts of possible injuries, it will only make them more likely.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
The problem is that there are no easily available resources on basic barbell strength training from StrongFirst. PTTP is a good minimalist approach if you lack time and/or a power rack, but what if you have both? Not all training has to be bare-bones and you have a lot of competitors who made access to their barbell training methods much easier and understandable for the novice/intermediate trainee. That's why it is easier to recommend them.
The goal isn't to be a powerlifter. Heavy squats aren't necessary. Bench presses aren't necessary. Competitor's programs aren't necessary. When the goal isn't directly strength related, e.g., military selection, martial arts, a sport, strength training ought to be an adjunct, not a primary focus.

Recommend what you like; my recommendations stand - S&S, PTTP, ROP, plus easy distance. For more than that, attend our barbell course or cert and read the programming section of the manual.

-S-
 

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
Sounds like it's the military service that is rough on your knees and hips, not the squats. Building your squat strength is a good way to protect your knees and hips.

The problem is that there are no easily available resources on basic barbell strength training from StronFirst. PTTP is a good minimalist approach if you lack time and/or a power rack, but what if you have both? Not all training has to be bare-bones and you have a lot of competitors who made access to their barbell training methods much easier and understandable for the novice/intermediate trainee. That's why it is easier to recommend them.

The study as I understand it did not say you cannot pass the selection without 315 squat. Just that people who do have that squat pass the selection 5x more likely.

Start with light weight on the squat, record yourself, review. If you manage your training smart, the movements will be self-correcting. Single-leg deadlifts are way more difficult to do than a regular deadlift or even a squat. It's just that you assume that since you are using a "light" weight for the single-leg, that it is safer. It's not. You can hurt yourself no matter what training modality you choose. Being hurt, however, is not the same as being injured. Any training that brings any meaningful results will be stressful and have a non-zero chance of hurting. However, what is even more dangerous is being untrained. Don't scare yourself with thoughts of possible injuries, it will only make them more likely.
The goal isn't to be a powerlifter. Heavy squats aren't necessary. Bench presses aren't necessary. Competitor's programs aren't necessary. When the goal isn't directly strength related, e.g., military selection, martial arts, a sport, strength training ought to be an adjunct, not a primary focus.

Recommend what you like; my recommendations stand - S&S, PTTP, ROP, plus easy distance. For more than that, attend our barbell course or cert and read the programming section of the manual.

-S-
Although I think IonRod makes some great points, I always love Steve’s point of view.
 

Bro Mo

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Ladders @ ~80% work for just about anything for getting a lot volume without forfeiting recovery which is critical when trimming down to few days per week in order to increase concurrent goals. Instead of light, medium, heavy 3x/wk it can be heavy, heavy 2x/wk.

Long rest times, 1-5 reps per set, large compound movements, sets not to failure, large weight jumps, minimal equipment movement variations like zercher squat, press and deadlift...there are a lot of strongfirst principles/resources that are easily accessible and applicable to unique individual programming.
 

guardian7

More than 500 posts
I think I might go with a TSC plan from Strong First if I was to be training to get in the Military now a days. You deadlift twice a week, KB Front squats a couple days a week, a press a couple days a week, swings, snatches and the fighter pull ups program is added in as well. Add a decent length cardio day on the weekend and you should be good to go. The swings and snatches will give you a great cardio base without running forever and putting stress on the joints. The deadlifts give you a good grind, the pull ups are always great for a military member.
I agree. I can't think of a better designed set of target skills for all around fitness that is relatively safe, easy to program, and relatively forgiving for thoratic and hip mobility issues for the general population that will reveal gaps in your fitness (I notice few people able to excel in all three categories) that can also scale up to elite levels than the tactical strength challenge.

Tactical getups and sprints, and loaded carries from heavy farmer walks (casualty evacuation) to endurance rucking seem non-negotiable for military fitness though. Not an expert here, just thinking through what I would do.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
A video from 2013 - Pavel talking about Kettlebell Simple and Sinister. Everything holds just as true today as the day this video was released.


-S-
 

IonRod

Triple-Digit Post Count
The goal isn't to be a powerlifter. Heavy squats aren't necessary. Bench presses aren't necessary. Competitor's programs aren't necessary. When the goal isn't directly strength related, e.g., military selection, martial arts, a sport, strength training ought to be an adjunct, not a primary focus.
Why does SFL teach those as the primary lifts? Is SFL meant for powerlifters and sportsmen only? Also, the user who received those recommendations is preparing for military selection.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
Why does SFL teach those as the primary lifts? Is SFL meant for powerlifters and sportsmen only? Also, the user who received those recommendations is preparing for military selection.
I am not here to have a back-and-forth argument with you. The SFL teaches some lifts that are performed at powerlifting competitions and some that are not - read the description on this web site, or read the reviews. We don't attempt to prepare people to become powerlifters, nor does our SFB attempt to prepare people to become gymnasts, nor does the SFG attempt to prepare people for kettlebell sport. We teach the same principles across different modalities.

-S-
 

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
Perhaps it’s because I am so close to this, professionally, but does anyone ever consider the young man who is asking for advice while arguing this or that?

I personally would not be asking advice from a public forum on a subject that might affect the rest of my career and life, but this is a digital age and young folks look to forums for information.

So, does anyone else consider the effects that the ranting back and forth of which training program will forge a superninjasoldier better than the next has on the young man? Or does everyone just need to selfishly be heard while he grows more confused?

“The collective good”, ya dig?
 

IonRod

Triple-Digit Post Count
I am not here to have a back-and-forth argument with you. The SFL teaches some lifts that are performed at powerlifting competitions and some that are not - read the description on this web site, or read the reviews. We don't attempt to prepare people to become powerlifters, nor does our SFB attempt to prepare people to become gymnasts, nor does the SFG attempt to prepare people for kettlebell sport. We teach the same principles across different modalities.

-S-
I am honestly surprised this conversation took such a turn where you see this as a back-and-forth argument. I think this was a normal conversation. I pointed out quite rightly, that the reason people recommend other programs for barbell training (BTW, I wasn't even the one recommending anything) is not because they are better, but because they are more easily available for a new trainee. Saying that squats or bench presses are not necessary seems quite odd as an explanation for this since they are taught in the SFL course. In the same way neither deadlifts or snatches are necessary.

I think ultimately, instead of dissuading somebody from using a training modality, we should encourage them. And instead of classifying an exercise as not necessary, we should simply point out what alternatives there are while recognizing that they all lack the unique benefits of the other.

I am not even sure if somebody can be called a competitor if you are cornering different markets. Its not like somebody recommended taking a certification course with a different organization.
 
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