01BOOK - Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization Spring (Cals, Cardio, Strength)
The New Spring Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization (STFP) program is now available at StewSmithFitness.com. These Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer programs are part of a series of using the Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization model. The Block Periodization style of programming is also maintained in this series as a way to improve weaknesses and maintain strengths using a 3-4 week split cycle.
STFP Spring programs have a 3 week cycle of progressively more difficult Calisthenics and Cardio focusing on muscle stamina and endurance (PST plus Longer Timed run, rucks, swim) with a 1 week strength / running / high repetition deload. This program is three cycles of these 4 week (3:1) progressive sets (reps and miles running) for a total of 12 weeks of training plus a 13th week of testing to check progress. Because if you are not assessing, you are only guessing. Each of these books in the STFP series have 12 weeks + a testing week for a total of 4 x 13 weeks of training: 52 weeks in all four books. A year of seasons with a year of training.
Advanced Training Programs
The four STFP programs are not for beginners and the workouts take time to complete in full especially if you add in rucking and/or swimming to the end of the workout time. These are not just a PST / IFT Prep workout (you will see improvement in testing), but these also mix in events of selection that challenge the toughest students. Longer runs, longer swims with fins, longer rucks, and some lifts that you will see during your training pipeline at some point - see Tactical Fitness Tests (Human Performance Test / Operator Fitness Test). These new test include lifts, sprints, agilities, and other power movements. Preparing with some of these tests in mind will help you not only with the tests in your future, but build a stronger / more durable body to handle the loads of rucking, logs, boats, and fireman / personnel carries / drags and obstacle courses.
This cycle worked so well over the past few years of testing, we decided to a complete series focusing on a year of Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization. If you like stronger test scores, faster runs, and fewer injuries (much less) this 3:1 Block Periodization model is something you should consider.
Here is How the 3:1 Block Periodization
I decided to try something new as the normal long-term Spring / Summer strength training cycle (24 weeks) can get stale with performance plateaus, running aches and pains if you are not careful and actively pursuing recovery. You had to add in deload days / weeks occasionally in order to get through the weeks. You still must keep everything in near perfect balance to fully recover from cycles of higher miles progression and calisthenics volume increases (nutrition, sleep, smart split routines, balanced overload principle with recovery / mobility days). But, you have a choice with this 3:1 block periodization model:
You can do a de-load week which is an easier recovery week that is quite common during higher intensity training cycles, or you can do a modified de-load week and replace the high repetition calisthenics and cardio cycles focusing on the PST / IFT elements (timed run and swim, pullup, pushups, sit-ups) with a modified strength maintenance week. We did this last year during the Spring / Summer Cals & Cardio cycle with exceptional results both mentally and physically.
That is what we did for 12 weeks of the Spring / Summer cycles:
This yields 9 weeks of Calisthenics / Cardio (running progression) and 3 weeks of Strength (running deload) focus in a 12-week timeline plus a testing / evaluation week. This is a moderately steep running progression at 15+% volume each week, however; there are non-impact options if you want to keep the miles down to 10 or less per week due to personal preference / abilities. Also you can replace the swimming workout with either more running (if you can handle it OR with another nonimpact cardio option).
If you are about 4-6 months out from a Special Warfare program / selection and you need to improve high PT test scores and overall endurance, BUT maintain your strength, this is a way to do it. You may find some improvements in both using the block periodization model not just maintaining current levels – many did see improvements in both strength and endurance with this model.
Here is what you will see in your training performance:
- RECOVERY - In this program, having a strength week as a recovery week is difficult, but think of it more as a running / high rep calisthenics
de-load that is helpful for the joints and typical overuse injuries. In fact, during the PT weeks, the mobility day planned in the middle of the week was not really needed. Well, at least we did not feel like we needed it. We still did it and included a good swim confidence session as well. See Mobility and Drownproofing section of this program on the type of things to practice on “recovery / mobility day”.
The biggest thing we noticed is we felt like we needed a mobility day during each week of the strength cycle but did not feel we needed it during the PST weeks until the higher miles per week hit 20+. We still did the mid-week mobility day though as it was a helpful way to increase performance later in the week. Do not skip mobility day - it is extremely helpful with Days 4,5,and 6 performance.
- PST scores (pushup, situps, pullups) were improved in most after first two cycles (3:1) Strength / PST/ IFT.
- Cardio scores were also improved (run / swim) a few improved to run personal bests on timed runs and swims. Running volume to help with overall impact durability was also increased throughout the program.
Buy STFP Spring and work on your calisthenics and cardio speed and endurance while maintaining your Winter Lift gains from previous cycles. Get all FOUR of the Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization Series. Fall STFP - Winter STFP - Spring STFP - Summer STFP.