From the beginning, the aim of CrossFit has been to forge a broad, general, and inclusive fitness and to prepare for the unknown and unknowable. Our sport prescribes “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movements” for our workouts. This type of programming is present in the training plans of elite, podium athletes, but also of mortals just like us. If you’ve ever wondered what I week of programming and training for life looks like, look no further. As a follow-up of last week’s guest blog by Rob Ottesen, we introduce to you his weekly training plan. Enjoy!
Training in Afghanistan was pretty tough. Both of my deployments, 7 months each, took place at around 7000ft above sea level. Some of the missions that we went on would take us over 10000ft about sea level. This made low intensity aerobic work so important. In combat you are moving on foot from one place to the other to avoid being hit by road bombs. So you would carry 70lbs of gear with you up and over mountains for crazy distances just to get to the objective and then you have to actually do your job, but also to stay alive. Being strong, agile, and have the endurance to be able to drag my buddy to safety or even further was very important.
My most favorite exercise to help prepare for this is strength squatting. I believe you should squat every day – go heavy and go through all the different variations. For conditioning I love rowing. If you really think about it your legs are what gets you into combat and they are going to be what’s going to take you out. So why wouldn’t you train them every day? In a way my training is not so different from the CrossFit programming. I just don’t do a lot of the different skills like muscle ups, kipping pull ups, ring HSPU etc… My training consists of working around my injuries, doing a lot of shoulder work with kettlebells and dumbbells. I still press, pull, throw, climb, and do the dynamic Olympic lifts as well. I just don’t do them in the capacity of 50 reps for time or whatever it may be. The training is geared towards a goal of mine to be assessed again for mental and physical strength. I do long workouts now building a huge aerobic base to prepare for multi day events. I also have a private coach from none other than Optimum Performance Training. Michael Bann is preparing me for another step in my Army career.
There are some days when I wake up to find out that my coach wants me to row 12000 m upon waking. Trust me, there are plenty of days when I just wanna be like “F you guy”. But I have a goal and he is the coach so I suck it up and I do the thing. I see myself competing again in the future if the opportunity arises. The last time I competed against people was doing the Hero WOD Murph. In America we like to honor our fallen military members especially the ones that have done exceptionally heroic things. Michael Murphy’s actions while he was in Afghanistan were enough for him to be awarded posthumously the Medal of Honor, America’s highest award for valor. So a way that the sport of CrossFit has decided to honor them is by making workouts that you do as a community and possibly help raise money for different organizations and funds. These are appealing to American civilians, but also to CrossFitters all around the world because these workouts are very hard and it’s a little way that they can take some time out of their lives and endure a little hardship to help a good cause.
As of competitions I’ve participated in a lot of different sporting events over my life time. I have dabbled in strongman, highlands, CrossFit, powerlifting, and other fitness centered competitions. One big thing I can say when people are looking to start some sort of program or pick up a different sport is have a goal. For me, being goal oriented helped me stay on track with diet, life choices, training as well as general motivation to keep waking up every day and doing something. Also having an individualized program for any sport is the only way to go. If you are serious about what you do and what you want to achieve, find a coach and start training.
I hope that through this article I was able to show you the vast range and different experiences people have with the sport of fitness. It’s amazing what it has done for people and it’s completely applicable in life especially in some of the most austere places, utilized by some of the greatest soldiers, sailors, and airmen in the world. I am very happy that I have been able to involve myself in this community as much as I have. CrossFit has opened people’s minds about living a healthier lifestyle. I don’t agree with a lot of the cult followings and that CrossFit is about as much fashion statement as it is about living a health life. But I admire what it is doing for people. Giving people a sense of purpose, hope, a community of like-minded people where you will always find friends and people to cheer you on in life.
Stay strong my fiends