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Dear Dr. Bell, I’m trying to lift as much weight as possible on my Squats. I’m also in the military and trying to keep my 2-mile time down. Does it hurt my run time to do heavy Squats? How do you train for both?
Thank you for your service! The quick answer to your first question is: YES! It is and always has been, difficult to develop high levels of Aerobic Endurance and high levels of Strength at the same time. You won’t meet many Powerlifters that could qualify in any Military Run and you will meet very few Marathon Runners that could qualify on any Military Strength Tests and most would have extreme difficulty completing a 12-mile Ruck March with a 35-pound Pack on their backs, let alone carry a M4 in their arms the whole distance.
What you are trying to do is difficult, but being in the Military has always been difficult. Your goal to have Endurance and Strength is essential. Achieving these components of Fitness and more are critical to keeping you alive, your Brothers-In-Arms alive and your Unit Mission Ready. Here is how you are going to achieve both of your Strength and Endurance goals.
You are going to do a 4 Day On, 1 Day Off Conditioning Program:
Day 1: Strength: Chest & Back; Cardio (Easy, 2 mile run)
Day 2: Strength: Legs; Cardio (Moderate, 2 mile run)
Day 3: Strength: Arms and Shoulders; Cardio (Easy, 2 mile run)
Day 4: Strength: NONE ; Cardio (Hard, HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training)
Day 5: Rest of light cardo / stretch
H.I.I.T will consist of 15 second Work Intervals (W.I.) and 4-minute Rest Intervals (R. I.).
1st HIIT Session = 4 Work Intervals; Rest Intervals (4 minutes)
2nd HIIT Session = 5 Work Intervals; Rest Intervals (3.5 minutes)
3rd HIIT Session = 6 Work Intervals; Rest Intervals (3.0 minutes)
4th HIIT Session = 7 Work Intervals; Rest Intervals (2.5 minutes)
5th HIIT Session = 8 Work Intervals; Rest Intervals (2.0 minutes)
6th HIIT Session = 9 Work Intervals; Rest Intervals (2.0 minutes)
7th HIIT Session = 10 Work Intervals; Rest Intervals (2.0 minutes)
After the 7th Session, continue to focus on Quality Work Intervals. Try to concentrate on maintaining 100% all-out sprints for the entire 15 seconds. Do NOT allow yourself to slow down during the complete 15 seconds of the Work Intervals. You can also begin to increase the Intensity of the Rest Interval to a faster walk and / or jog.
You should see your Strength and 2 Mile Run times improving. If at any time you see or feel your performance decreasing, increase your rest and decrease your Intensity. You may be entering the Overtraining phase and will need to decrease your total work put to avoid serious injury and illness.
Never forget, your training is to improve your performance, not get hurt.
You are an American Fighting Man, you Serve in the Forces that Guard our Nation and our Way of Life. You took an Oath to give your life in their Defense. Stay healthy, stay fit and stay ready so it is our enemies that give up their life not You!
The IFPA has developed a special course to help you, all our Military, Law Enforcement and Fire Fighter Professionals to remain fit and ever vigilant. Our IFPA Military Fitness Specialist Certification will help you stay Warrior Fit.
Thank you again for your Service! Stay Safe!
Dr. Jim Bell