Post Military Physical Training.

I joined the military for a challenge, and I have a saying to all the young men and women I talk to that have just joined or are thinking about joining. ” The military is not what you think it’s going to be, but it is what you make it.” Of course this could be said for life in general, and I keep that attitude now. I joined the military for a challenge as a young man, and I continue to want to challenge myself.

Since I got out of the military my training has gone through many different changes and it’s been a learning curve for sure. I am 33 but I seem to only be learning more and getting better.

Currently, I do what I would call “Strict CrossFit” but my emphasis within my training changes based on what I’m training for. For example, last month I did a 25k trail run, so obviously I worked a lot more running into my training than I would do normally. I call it “strict” because I am not the biggest fan of some of the kipping movements CrossFit has to offer like pull ups specifically. I get the methodology and the idea behind these kipping movements ( I am a CF- level 1 coach, and it allows you to keep the intensity up). But, I also think if you do them a lot it causes unnecessary wear and tear on the shoulders and neck. So most of the time I keep to strict pull ups, strict overhead press, and use different movements or lower reps to add intensity.

Please, do not misconstrue my words, I like CrossFit, this is just personally what I think is best for me. Before I did this type of training I experimented with a lot of stuff. I always ran a lot regardless of what my training looked like, but I didn’t do things like deadlifts or squats until after I was out of the military. I learned really quick that most of the stuff out there ( like on Instagram) is crap, or at least unnecessary. In my opinion if you want to be strong, or be ” in shape” stick to these basic movements:

Squat: back squat, front squat, air squat, make sure your squat below parallel and research and learn how to move correctly before adding weight.

Press: bench press, overhead press, push ups, push press, all of these movements will make you crazy strong, and always remember overhead press will make you strong in all pressing movements.

Deadlift: This movement is so basic, and will make you so strong. It’s just hard, but we like to do hard things. I always think a person should learn how to move properly before touching any weight, and the deadlift is the most important, it is a high reward movement, but you can get hurt if you don’t do it right.

Pull up: The pull up is the best body weight, strength building movement out there, it’s simple, it’s effective, but it’s hard for many people. Especially for people that have little to no training experience, pull ups can feel like an impossible task. They are not I promise. Get on YouTube and look for pull up progression videos, there is a million of them. Stay the course and you will be fine.

Cardio: This is so important if you want to be in good physical shape. There is a difference between looking in shape and being in shape. And there is a balance to all things, and I believe the right amount of cardio to weight training can balance it all. Also, cardio helps key health markers that squats and deadlifts just don’t help as much with like blood pressure, cholesterol, and hypertension.

These things are so basic, but you can seem overwhelmed looking at social media. How many fat burning or butt blasting workouts do we need. Finding a balance is key too, I personally, want to be able to put a pack on and hike 10 miles if I need too, but be able to pull my body weight off the ground.

Your training should reflect your lifestyle, and make your quality of life and your life experience better. Allow for failures, and don’t focus the amount of reps you do or the amount of weight you do, focus on the effort. If you walk out of the gym and feel like you have gotten better then that’s a good day.

Train hard, make less excuses.

Forging Your Path

I am going to take a break from the history of my path to talk about excuses and mental toughness. This comes from many conversations I have with people that I feel like want things but can’t seem to figure out that hard work and dedication are important factors in achieving, not making excuses.

We all make them, I try to recognize and stop myself but occasionally they do happen. Excuses are cancer, and I mean that in a pretty literal term. They grow and spread into all areas of of life, just like cancer grows.

You’re not in shape because your busy, You don’t have the job you want because you got screwed over, you don’t eat right because it’s expensive, you don’t go to college because there is no time or money.

These are small things that I here from so many people and frankly they are all bullshit. You really want to get in shape, get up early or stay up late.. if you have 30 minutes you can get in shape. Eating right is not expensive, fruit and vegetables are cheap along with pork and chicken, you know what’s not cheap fast food.

I am a guy that looks in shape, I coach at a local gym on the side ( I work for the Army currently for an Environmental office as my main job) and so I get people that ask me why I spend so much time working out. The reality is I don’t, I workout for 60-90 minutes a day, but I do it when people are sleeping or on my lunch break and I don’t let myself make the excuse that I can’t get it in.

This tenant works in all things, once I got out of the military I wanted to go to college. I made excuses why I couldn’t, I have little kids and I don’t have time, I have work, and the list went on. I finally took the plunge and took one class, then another, I realized that this hard work was like working out, or any other hard work, it just took sacrifice. Before I knew it I was going full time and graduated in 3 years.

I’m not boasting, in fact it’s quite the opposite, I say these things so people will read them and get inspired, I have no more energy, or time in a day than anybody else, I’m not exceptionally intelligent or blessed with family members that can give me money in case I need it. I have bills, an ex wife, and busy kids. My human experience is a very common one, but I choose to continue down a path of discipline and less excuses.

Less excuses means more accountability, and this accountability allows us to take on more responsibility, and responsibility is the key to success in all parts of life.

Life is a struggle for all of us, thick skin, a kind heart, and learning how to be tough are essential to a good life. So, on that I want to touch on one more thing before I go.

Toughness, this thing we call toughness is not something that is given. It’s more like a muscle, it has to be exercised. I don’t mean getting in fights or trying to beat on people to show you are tough. I more mean, mental toughness. If you don’t put yourself through hard things and build your toughness I think you will waiver in your efforts much faster.

Doing hard things are what separate people, you will never meet a self made person that hasn’t grinded for a long time. They have suck to the course, they have failed, corrected, and tried again.

Train hard, make less excuses.

My Training Progression Continued..

If you haven’t read the blog previous to this one please go back and start there. Titled “My Training Progression.”

About 3 years into my military service and I thought that I had started to figure out fitness. I had been through some physically tough schools, and my training had slowly evolved. Weight training was becoming a main staple in my training more and more. First, 3 days of weights a week and then 5-6 days a week coupled with 20-30 miles of running every week.

At this point I decided to try out for the Scout Sniper platoon in my battalion. I was scared, I knew I was in good shape but i honestly didn’t think i could do it. What happened was great though, I showed up to what they call an “Indoc” or Indoctrination. Which is basically a week of the current sniper platoon members running you through series of mental and physical tests, most of them being under stress, weather you are hungry or tired. I did well through this process to my surprise, and I think the reason I did was that I showed up not knowing what to expect.

I showed up thinking I would be the worst person there in the worst shape and I was going to get crushed. However, as I looked to the left and to the right as we were doing this week long of events, I started to build confidence, I remember thinking “Well if that guy can do it I can do it.” I made it, into the platoon, and believe it or not I was doing well enough that I was offered a spot to go to sniper school after only being in the platoon for a month. This was pretty rare, many guys can be in these platoons for years before the get chance to go due to deployments, training, and availability.

I was happy with myself and proud too, I started training harder. When I wasn’t actually at the sniper school, Which was very difficult itself, I made my training so it would help me for my deployment to Afghanistan coming up. Pack runs and weighted pull ups were main staples of my new training. Bench Press, Power cleans, squats were all starting to get worked in to my program as well. Being around other like minded men that liked to train made it easy for me to learn new routines.

Essentially what my training turned into was Crossfit, or HIIT training or what ever you want to call it, coupled with lots of running. I am not saying that Crossfit is the best training system, in fact i really think that it vary’s depending on your goals, but with what i wanted to do I thought this is the best training for me. To this day my training revolves around Crossfit style of movements and intensity coupled with body building and movements, but i will get to all of that later.

Remember when I was training for deployment I still had platoon and battalion training that we he had to do. Long weeks in the field, ranges and war games had to take priority. Because of this my training had to be something that could be quick and crush me at times which is why I gravitated towards High intensity training. I could do things like air squats, burpees, and push ups out in the field as well with no equipment.

All of us have things going on in life, and exercise is no the most convenient thing. Jobs, kids, school, the military, whatever you have going can make it hard. However, I have learned that gaining confidence, motivation, and energy through training has helped me do all those things I mentioned above better. So get up early, stay up late, sacrifice 20 minutes of your lunch or whatever you have to do to fit the fitness in, I promise you won’t regret it.

I will be back with more soon!

Train hard, Less excuses.

My Training Progression.

I was a 19 year old, private first class in the Marine Corps when I started training. I started training due to shortfalls, I thought I could not exercise, have bad habits, like smoke and eat terrible and still do hard things.

Well I learned really quick that I couldn’t. So after basic training and my infantry training, I decided that I was going to workout everyday.

My early days of training were really basic, and that’s because I didn’t know much. I hung a pull up bar at my apartment. I would go out and run 3-6 miles and then come back and do 100 pull ups and 200 push ups.

Day in and day out, it was this workout, or something really similar to this. I would occasionally go to the gym and would find older Marines I looked up to and just do what they were doing. But I really didn’t know what I was doing.

I was small, young and didn’t know how to eat. I was 5’9 and 150lbs on a good day. I thought working hard was all that mattered, don’t get me wrong hard work is key, but it has to be in combination with goals and a well thought out plan.

I didn’t have goals or a plan. So, if you are just starting to train or have been doing it like I use to, STOP!! Make a plan, have a goal, and attack that goal.

I quickly began to gain experience though. This experience came from failing. For example, I attended Infantry squad leaders course. As the name states, it was a leadership course for squad leaders. I started out fairly strong physically in this course, we ran a lot, so I was ready.

As the course went on and weeks went by my physical abilities started to waiver, my weight dropped and I had a hard time packing gear and making long runs…

Well when you live on energy drinks and don’t eat, your body doesn’t want to perform. Shocker!! I know.

So when this course was over, I made a new plan, I was going to gain 10lbs, start running with weight, and start weightlifting more. I wanted to be ready, and I didn’t want to be thought of as a liability.

My plan worked, but I was about to find new holes in my game. To this day I feel like a Captain on a sinking ship, just constantly trying to plug holes, without causing more leaks. It’s hard, but it’s also worth it.

Stay tuned for more!

Train hard! Make less excuses

What Led Me To Training.

Let’s jump in…I grew up in Small Town, Utah, as a hyperactive latchkey kid. With no supervision, my friends and I spent most of our time outside playing sports and riding bikes.The older I got the more sports ruled my life, especially baseball. I liked football, but I wasn’t big and wasn’t fast so that naturally came to an abrupt end by the time I got to highschool.When I got into highschool I picked up wrestling. I was never good, but this was where I first realized how important physical training was. This was also where I realized mental toughness was something that had to be exercised, and I had a long way to go.After highschool I joined the Marine Corps Infantry. I quickly realized that throughout basic training and the early years of my service that taking care of your body was key to succeeding in this environment. I learned this by failing a lot.I was in a fight to be the best version of myself during my military years. I learned more about myself in these few years than ever before. I began to work on my mental toughness, training, failing, and trying to learn from those failures. I also learned that the military is not what you expect, but it is what you make it, and mental attitude makes up for most of how we perceive the world regardless of the situation.I will continue to tell my story, and talk about training. Stay tuned!Work hard! Make less excuses!

First blog! Train hard!

Hello to all that find this,

I have been physically training for close to 15 years now. I am 33 years old and have 3 children.

I will go into my progression of training soon, but before I do, let’s talk about what’s in it for you.

I am going to explain consistent, and long term physical training and why ( In my opinion) it is important. Including my method of training and the evolution of it over the years.

I am also going to take you through my ups and downs of being a Dad ( which is the most important thing to me) and how my training translates into all areas of my life.

I am also going to go into the thought processes of making excuse for your self, I believe this is the biggest struggle, and also the biggest cancer that breaks people down.

I am not a guru or a self help specialist, I am just a guy that hopes his personal outlook can help others.

Train hard! Less excuses!