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THE BURDEN OF CONSTANT FITNESS
By Rob Shaul
I was first introduced to "The Burden of Constant Fitness" by a Green Beret officer 3-4 years ago. Ben explained that soldiers never had the opportunity to be out of shape. Their work required that they always be fit, and this "constant" fitness can easily become a "burden" as soldiers struggle to not incur overuse injuries and/or plateau due to doing the same training every day. Also, it's a challenge to keep things interesting.
One of the huge strengths about our Operator Sessions is that myself and my lab rats do the same sessions you do. I do them two weeks ahead, and my lab rats, one week ahead of what's published on the site.
I too, have this "burden of constant fitness," and it's influenced the programming in positive ways. The fitness demands of soldiers, and other industrial/hybrid athletes require they have high relative strength, high work capacity, stamina for long events or multiple short events over a long day, and durability for a long career.
Through Fluid Perodization, we program accordingly as we cycle through these different fitness attributes. Fluid Periodization not only trains and builds strength, work capacity, stamina and durability simultaneously, but it also keeps things interesting for the athletes who do the sessions 4-5 days/week. We do just enough of the same thing to draw in our interest, but not enough to garner boredom and stagnation.
The goal is to foster the idea that fitness for the soldier should be a professional habit. You aim for job appropriate fitness not so you can max the APFT or another fitness evaluation, but because you're a professional athlete. Fitness is safety, mission accomplishment, respect to your team.
We aim to balance this professional habit, with the reality of having to go to the gym everyday and lace 'em up. I've had to ensure the programming is efficient and effective, but also interesting, and sometimes, just darn fun.
We aim to unload a little of the "burden."