If you’re considering a physically demanding, dangerous profession, it’s time you got series about your training. Tom Furman lays out a simple, easy to follow workout scheme that can get you physically prepared for the rigors of testing and the job itself.
Officially, the US Government's Hostage Rescue Team is defined as, ".... a domestic counter-terrorism unit, offering a tactical resolution option in hostage and high-risk law enforcement situations.” In the broader sense, Private Security firms like HALO see their vision as, "... to improve the global community by protecting those that cannot protect themselves, helping the helpless, and instilling confidence and knowledge through training."
The fitness requirements for the HRT candidate (on a minimal level) include Pull Ups, Sit Ups, Push Ups, and
a 2-Mile Run. Minimum numbers for selectees include:
- 12 Pull Ups
- 60 Sit Ups in 2-minutes
- 50 Push Ups
- 2-Mile Run under 14:59
Please note, these are minimal standards. Candidates for Government work, or private contracting should seek the highest reasonable level of maintainable fitness at all times.
So starting at this level, even the thought of training specifically for the combative and environmental aspects of the job are secondary to getting the job. Training to pass the fitness test is first and foremost.
The test is three bodyweight exercises and running. Very simple. Work backwards from your testing date. First take stock: is your current physical condition adequate to pass these tests? For some, running isn't a frequent occurrence. For others, sit ups may be the problem. A common sense program would simply treat the test as a workout. No supplemental exercises. Train three to five days per week. Each of these days would include a run of 2 to 3 miles followed by several sets of Push Ups, Sit Ups, and Pull Ups. Vary the repetitions daily. Set one day per week as a "test", and keep written records of your progress. This feedback is perhaps more important than any "secret" training program. Focus on your weak points and focus on passing the test.
Training for your profession needs to be prioritized. A strong level of fitness is something that has to be maintained, yet varied. The fundamentals never change. Pulling, Pushing, Squatting, and what I like to call "Moving." Strength should be foremost in your arsenal. Remember, you have nothing to endure if you can't do something for one repetition. Efficiency in training would dictate that you would get the utmost out of the minimum; as little training in fitness as possible with the greatest results.
Contrary to popular belief, circuit training or "Metcon," is not your first priority. Getting strong and being able to endure is. That means using the systems that have been popular for years because they work. Those systems are heavy lifting and separate endurance work. Lifting heavy objects, primarily barbells, and either running, biking, or swimming can be considered foundational. Regular workouts supported by adequate rest and nutrition would be the gold standard in an ideal world. Of course, special response teams don't live in an ideal world. Sleep, good food, and luxurious fitness facilities may not be a common theme in such an extreme lifestyle. Adaptations need to be made and those adaptations may involve some creative solutions.
Here’s a possible workout scheme:
Primary Exercise: Whole body lift. Clean, Squat, and Press a sandbag, dumbbells, kettlebells, or just a heavy backpack. One minute on, one minute off. You can adjust this any way you like. Your access to anything remotely resembling a heavy barbell may be severely limited. The backside of your body and total body strength needs to be addressed. We are training the movements and not the muscles.
Secondary Drills: Pull Ups, Push Ups, Bodyweight Squats. It's time to move back to the basic bodyweight drills, but arrange them in a circuit fashion. Once again, use any style and vary frequently. This is in place of running, which may be impossible if your location is not hospitable.
Bracing and Stretching: The warm down or recovery movements are based in planking the body for torso bracing strength. This can come from the standard Yoga or Pilates resources. The range of motion developed through static stretching are best addressed at the end of a workout when muscles are warm and pliable.
There is nothing fancy or exotic about training to take on kidnappers or terrorists. There are simply the basic movements, simple tools, and endless ways to rearrange them. As John Steinbeck said, "The mind is the ultimate weapon, all else is supplemental."
|This article was featured in the February 2011 Issue of the My Mad Methods Magazine. "Inside Out" was written by Dave Hedges. Learn more about the My Mad Methods Magazine by Clicking Here|
Tom Furman has been involved in martial arts and conditioning since 1972. His down to earth training methods are derived from his decades long practice of martial arts and his study of exercise science. The application of force, improvement of movement and durability rank high on his list of priorities when training. Find out more at www.TomFurman.com
|< Prev||Next >|