British Commando Fitness – Power Circuit

Firstly, I’d like to say I think I have the easy part!

Endurance training is not only extremely satisfying to those who crave intense challenges, it also melts body fat and increases the capacity of your heart and lungs. Read on and you’ll learn how to train for an endurance sport applying it to your own training regime.

The biggest challenge is the mental and technical preparation; the physical preparation possibly comes in at about 20% of what has to be achieved before Charlie is on the start line. This figure is from my own experiences of doing the Commando course at 37 years old and from my conversations with other ocean rowers and endurance athletes approaching “middle age”.

However, I do have my challenges within the 20% of my responsibility. For example, one of our circuit training sessions Charlie was required to sprint – it was like watching an old steam engine leaving a train station! Nevertheless, just like the real thing, once he was up to full speed you would not want to be in his way!

Why is the turn of speed important you ask? Charlie is going to be ‘bobbing’ around trying to row in some pretty auspicious conditions, he will be constantly trying to get his oars in the water; he will be missing on one side, yet getting a full row on the other, or missing completely and potentially falling into the back of the boat. By firing up his dormant fast twitch muscle fibres, coupled with proprioception (body spacial awareness), Charlie will be able to adjust in hundredths of a second. He will then be more efficient in terms of less energy expenditure and make better headway – additionally think of the mental benefits. A couple of exercises I am using to achieve this include ‘Medball catch’ (15lb) ‘Medball slams’ and other plyometric/ballistic exercises, adopting a random approach.

Charlie currently weighs 220lb, he doesn’t want to be losing weight, he needs to gain! We are going to be working on developing his upper back and shoulder muscles, including strengthening a weak lower back, wrists and grip. Once the strength work is done we will then be focusing on raising Charlie’s Anaerobic Threshold and then hours of endurance work, so he can row for up to 15 hours a day in most conditions, in his aerobic zone. Charlie will be then ready for his Pacific 2012 challenge.

I have developed the following session specifically with Charlie’s epic ocean rowing challenge in mind; some might consider that there are a lot of ‘push’ exercises in this circuit, compared to ‘pull’. What has to be considered is the dynamics of rowing – getting the oars in and pulling is the easier part of pushing forward to get the oars into the water in the first place. One movement involves speed and agility, the other power and strength.

The Session:

Two minutes doing maximum repetitions and then two minutes rest before moving on to the next station.

  1. Tyre Flip – jump in and squat, jump out and squat.
  2. Plyo/ballistic Push Ups – alternate hands onto a Medball
  3. Jerry can carry – 20kg jerry can in each hand, 10 meter course
  4. Sit Ups
  5. Power Bag ‘Atlas Stones’ – 20kg, 25, 30, 35 & 40 powerbags onto a horsebox & then off again, each time put behind the line.
  6. 20kg Sledge Pull – static facing, using rope – 20 meter pull, run to other end and repeat.
  7. Frontal plain tyre stacking – 4 car tyres. Start at center, out to each tyre (N,E,S & W) & return to center and then back out again. Always stay facing the same direction throughout the exercise.
  8. Pile Driver – driving as many 6 foot pickets into the ground, upto the marks, using a pile driver (Monkey).
  9. Farmer’s Walk – One end of a log, pivoting around a central point.
  10. “Into the boat” – Up and over a 6ft wall

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just giving pacific 2012