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Consider the "Tactical Groundhog Week" When Changing Training Cycles

Stew smith

Tactical Groundhog Week = Assessment Week

When going from the Winter Lift Cycle when you focused more on strength / power / speed / agility, you should assess yourself as the time toward Spring gets closer and closer. Your scores may justify another 3:1 cycle of lifting depending where your strengths and weaknesses are after such a week of testing.  Here is what we are doing prior to making the switch to Spring / Summer Cals / Cardio / Running Progression Cycle:

Day 1:  PST / PAST Test (500yd or 500m swim, pullups, pushups, situps, 1.5 mile run. Depending on these scores, you may want to focus more on cals / cardio if these are suffering.  Questions:  What is your weakness? Work on your weakness the rest of the workout time:  PT Pyramid, thr 50-50 swim workout, 10 x 400m goal pace runs.

Day 2:  Dead lift 3RM, Squats 3RM, but mix in some 5-10-5 agility tests, a standing long jump, and a 300yd shuttle run (12 x 25yds).   You can spread this one out into two sessions if needed. Questions:  How is strength / power? 1.5x your bodyweight? 2x BW? Speed decent? 

Day 3: Mobility Day - Plus 1000m swim with fins for time. ALso do the Drownproofing / 100m swim workout to see how your pool skills are coming along.  Questions: Having issues with mobility after added mass? Comfort in the water needs work? 

Day 4: BW Bench Press - max reps (10-20?), 20lb Pullups - max reps (10-20?).
4 mile ruck with 40-50lbs (less than 40-50 min?)

Day 5:  3-4 mile timed run (6-7 min mile pace?), 200m fireman carry with someone your weight. Swim with fins 2000m for time?

Day 6:  Fun Workout Challenge - Sandbaby Devil Murph: 

Here is a combination of the Sandbaby Murph, Devil's Mile and The Murph workouts. They are arranged in an order that will challenge many top-level students with a 90- to 120-minute workout. Can you handle this much volume of work? 

The Sandbaby Devil Murph requires a 40- to 50-pound weight. We use sandbags and create a circuit of exercises as you with to create a non-stop movement workout:

Warmup jog of one mile
100 pull-ups
200 push-ups
Bear crawl 400 meters
100 push presses with a 40- to 50-pound sandbag
100 lunges/leg with sandbag (chest carry)
Fireman carry 400 meters
(switch with partner as needed)
150 squats with sandbag (shoulder carry)
Run 400 meters of burpee jump
150 sit-ups with sandbag (chest carry)
Run one mile
400m walking lunges (no weight)
Run one mile

Enjoy. Make sure you stretch well, stay hydrated and pace yourself. This one is special.

At the end of this week, you should be able to deduce where your strength and weaknesses are on the tactical fitness spectrum:  strength, power, speed, agility, muscle stamina, endurance, grip, flexibility / mobility, swim skills / technique, work capacity, and overall soreness after high rep calisthenics. 

The answers should drive your toward one of the following options:

- One more cycle of lift (3 weeks lift / 1 week cals / cardio focus)

- Start Spring Training Cycle (3 weeks cals / cardio focus / 1 week strength)

This is IF you want to use the 3:1 Block Periodization Model of course:

The 3:1 Block Periodization model works well for adding to a program. 

So YES, you could actually do three weeks of the Spring / Summer Cycle and 1 week of the Winter Lift Cycle and get a similar model to this program.

The beauty of the 3:1 Block Periodization model vs. other types of models is with tactical fitness training those who had sufficient strength saw increases on strength-endurance and timed cardio events. Those who had sufficient endurance saw significant increases in strength and running speed with the block periodization system.   

Who Needs This? 

If you are preparing for the Navy PST or the Air Force PAST as well as other Combat Fitness Tests in our military, you need to try this method of training. This will help you not only get TO the training (Phase 1 of tactical fitness), but prepare yourself to get THROUGH the training (Phase 2 of tactical fitness) Also, if you are preparing for special ops training pipelines where all the elements of fitness (strength, power, speed, agility, endurance, muscle stamina, flexibility, mobility, grip) need to be highly developed, try 3-4 months of block periodization and maintain your strengths while building up your weaknesses.

The Winter Lift Cycle with 3:1 Block Periodizaiton: Check out what we did during the Winters of 2020-2021, 2022:

Increase Strength & Crush the PST / PAST
3 Weeks Strength - 1 Week PT / Cardio Focus 
(16 weeks)

Increase Strength and Crush the PST / PAST - This is a lift focused cycle with a cals / cardio maintenance - just the opposite of the above new SPRING Training. For the ebook, check out this link - Increase Strength and Crush the PST / PAST 

Other Tactical Fitness Programs Specific to Your Goals

These Seasonal Tactical Fitness BLOCK Periodization programs will walk you through 4 x 4 weeks cycles with 16 weeks of each season in two programs. 

OR You can opt to get Super Specific to Your Training and Do Any of the Following Options:

The Military / Special Ops Physical Fitness Workouts 

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT
Navy SWCC Workout

Army PFT Workout (Prep For Rucking, OPAT, ACFT)
Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout
Army Air Assault School Workout
Army Airborne Workout


Advanced Running Program - Special Ops Supplement Plan
USMC OCS / TBS Workout


The Combat Conditioning Workout
Air Force PJ / CCT Workout  Battlefield Airman Prep Course
The UBRR Upper Body Round Robin Workout / Spec Ops version


The Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer / Navy SAR Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Boot Camp Workout


The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Workouts

The FBI Academy Workout  |   FBI Workout Vol 2  
The DEA Workout
The FLETC Workout - Ace the PEB
The PFT Bible: Pushups, Sit-ups, 1.5 Mile Run
The Fire Fighter Workout - Ace the CPAT


Online Coaching Options

Online PT CLUB - Weekly Workouts created personally for you.

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If you want access to years worth of workouts, many of the top eBOOKs, favorite workouts of the week, free fitness APP, closed Facebook Group, video / picture library of exercises, and more access to LIVE Q/A sessions check out the Stew Smith Fitness Members Section

The dashboard below has the links to all the information, archives, videos, and links to workouts, podcasts, live Q and A lessons. 

Consider this! - A Membership Program and Gain Access to Exclusive Content
(click for Fitness Club Dashboard - members only)

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