S10Ep4 - The Army & Military Fitness Challenges (The Military Series)

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What kind of training are we talking about? ARMY TRAINING, SIR!

Niki talks to Nikki Burman, Barbell Logic’s Director of Client Experience, and Jerett Burman, Military Police Major in the United States Army National Guard, about the physical demands of the Army and the challenges of staying fit--at home and while deployed throughout the world.

Jobs in the Army--as with all services--put different physical demands on service members, but almost all Soldiers will have to pick things up and carry heavy loads, and, of course, all Soldiers must prepare for the realities of combat, including “putting things in certain places.”

Nikki & Jerett share the experience of seeing a cultural shift occur in fitness centers and gyms on Army posts. For a time, Jerett served in Kansas, and from the time he arrived to the time he left, both Jerett and Nikki saw more people training with barbells, as the realities of the new Army Combat Fitness Test, and the Army’s new fitness program, changed how Soldiers had to prepare for not only the test but also how they improved combat readiness.

One common they see is Soldiers misunderstanding programming, so--without guidance--many Soldiers go SUPER HEAVY immediately, leaving little to no room for progress. Furthermore, the spirit of competition creates an urge to immediately beat the person next to them, when the more intelligent method would be to add weight over time.

Niki asks Nikki & Jerett how they would change Army PT, and they give their answer. They would incorporate the big compound lifts--the squat, deadlift, bench press, and press, along with some other supplemental and accessory lifts--and prioritize shorter sprints and intervals over longer, slower runs.

The other consideration, however, is the need to perform event after event. To some degree this is endurance, but it may be better be called stamina. The need to go from event to event and perform, and then, potentially, perform a watch or a desk job while sleep deprived. It’s not so much the same things as continuing to run during a marathon, but the ability to keep going despite the sleep deprivation, food deprivation, aches and pains, and other growing fatigue and exhaustion.

Often times, Soldiers can train better and more consistently when they are deployed, though that is not the case in more expeditionary situations--where Soldiers and units cannot return to bases with gyms.

“You’re either getting better or getting worse, there is no staying the same.”

The views expressed do not necessarily represent the Department of Defense or the United States Government.

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