The Winter Lift Cycle for the Tactical Athlete
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You may have seen my Winter Lift Cycle that I discuss in the Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization article as well as have our actual lift programs we have done over the years in the following books.
See - it is not all just calisthenics and cardio at Stew Smith Fitness
These programs as well as my online coaching programs have Winter Lift Cycles in them as part of our Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization System. But, do not get these lift cycles confused with ACTUAL strength / power lifting programs, these are strength / power programs that also have a focus on cardio fitness maintenance BECAUSE the tactical athlete needs to be good at all the elements of fitness:
Strength, Power, Speed, Agility, Endurance (multiple modes), Muscle Stamina, Flexibility, Mobility, Grip are the physical elements that the tactical athlete has to engage to remain "good at everything."
Traditional sports / athletics strength / power cycles may also have speed and agility mixed into the training week as these four elements of fitness work well together - especially when building athletes for football, basketball, and baseball (and others). But the sports lack a focus on longer distance cardio and muscle stamina exercises that the tactical athlete also needs to either maintain or build depending on what phase of tactical fitness a recruit / student / operator is in that this time.
Phase 1 - Getting Accepted TO the training (pass a test)
Phase 2 - Getting THROUGH Basic, Boot Camp, Academy, or Spec Ops Selection.
Phase 3 - Active Duty Member in the Tactical Professions (Job related fitness)
In fact, most traditional sports or aesthetics strength / lifting cycles may not have ANY cardio in them of any real volume other than a cooldown phase of walking or biking. These programs will get you strong but also make you say, "anything over 100m is long distance running".
This is where tactical fitness (at least my Seasonal TF program) differs. We focus on less but faster running and non-impact cardio to recover from higher mileage running cycle previously done in the Spring / Summer. Crushing swimming with fins and adding in some rucking tops off our typical leg day lifts and we still warmup with some calisthenics for moderate reps to maintain some muscle stamina as well.
Here is another option. Go back to your old school lift cycles if you need a strength cycle in your training year, but simply add in one or more of the Special Ops Triathlon movements plus others. Run, Swim, Ruck, Bike, Elliptical, Rowing, Stair Stepper, Skating. Make your events shorter but focused on pace and speed more than longer slower distances as a good compromise to adding cardio events.
The ultimate goal for the tactical athlete is to be able to do a cycle and focus primarily on a few elements of fitness, BUT still maintain the others by addressing them moderately vs neglecting them completely.
Also - if you are trying to gain weight, EAT MORE. The added cardio will burn usually 500+ calories in an hour so you need to make sure you make that up or you could maintain or even lose weight if you are not in surplus of calories consumed vs burned at the end of the day. Don't expect more than a pound a week as well. Be patient with weight gain / and weight loss for that matter.
Other Ways to do the Winter Lift Cycle &
Stay on Top of PST Scores
New Block Periodization Winter Lift Cycle Options
Winter Lift Cycle - Block Periodization Program - Lesson Learned
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