Cart 0

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:  Your Fitness Test - For instance, the PST / IFT 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 suffer.  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?  See the official SB Devil Murph

The Sandbaby Devil Murph requires a 40- to 50-pound weight. We use sandbags and create a circuit of exercises - a non-stop movement workout: Log PT Simulator + Murph + Devil's Mile 

Run 1 mile 

Do in as few sets as possible:

100 pullups
200 pushups
200 SB squats
200 SB situps
100 SB Push Press
- run with SB 400m each complete max rep circuit

Devils' Mile
400m bear crawl
400m walking lunges (SB)
400m fireman carry (200m each person)
400m burpee broad jump or 2 x 40lb KB farmerwalk 400m

Run 1 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 Periodization: Check out what we did during the Winters of 2020-2021, 2022:
Increase Strength & Crush the PST / IFT
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:

There is More To than You May Know

(There are more than 40 books, 1000+ articles, online coaching - and more). If books are not the accountability factor you need, consider Online Coaching with Stew:

Online Coaching Programs (Personalized for Your Goals, Time, Equipment, etc..)

Who is Stew Smith CSCS? Coach, Trainer, Writer, PodcasterI'm the former Navy SEAL that tactical candidates go to for books, ebooks and online coaching to prepare themselves to get to and through intense tactical assessment and selection programs and qualify for service in their chosen tactical profession.  See More at

Where to Find More Information About Optimal Performance Training Programs

When you start training again, consider the seasonal tactical fitness model.  I call it A WAY to train and obviously not the only way to train. But it offers the opportunity to never neglect your weaknesses, helps with flexibility and mobility, but will also put you at a level of physical abilities where you are happy with your overall ability to do just about anything. We have a system where the seasons dictate our training. When it is nicer outside, we tend to run and do more calisthenics. When it is colder and not so nice, we lift more, run less, and still maintain our outdoor activities with shorter runs and rucks. Check it out: Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization System.  

Check out the Stew Smith Fitness Store for more information on what we have available.

Special Ops Programming

and many more. 

Military Programming

and many more...

Police and Fire Fighter Programming

and many more... 

General Fitness Programming

and many more...

Home Gym Programming

Personalized Training Programs - Personalized online coaching available too - any fitness level. In fact, most people on the PT CLUB program are over 40 with specific health and fitness goals. 

Try Our Stew Smith Fitness Members Only Club - #1 Best Selling Tactical Fitness Programs
Questions?  Just email me at

At - List of Products and Services

  1. FREE Articles
  2. Podcasts and Swimming Videos at page  
  3. eBooks
  4. Books and eBooks in PRINT
  5. Stew Smith Fitness Club membership site
  6. Online Coaching   


Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published