Within Frogman Project’s Tactical Fitness League program, we have all sorts of tactical athletes all with different goals and needs. From recruit-school candidates and firefighters to clearance divers and commando applicants, to those simply wanting a taste of this style of training.
This article is to help them, and you, determine your overall training goals to train smarter and progress quicker.
It’s all well and good to want to be the best BJJ fighter or dominate your Fran time or double bodyweight deadlift – but does that actually matter when it comes down to your goals of passing selection?
No, and I’ll explain why!
What are you training for?
What’s your real goal? Are you doing this just for fun? In which case you can pick and choose elements, customising the TFL program (we will show you how).
Or, do you actually want to be a tactical-environment athlete – i.e. a clearance diver, firefighter, commando, TRG, SAS etc?
For these goals, Crossfit won’t help much when it comes to selection.
The problem is, people tend to look at what current operators are doing – big strong and fast.
But, that’s what a serving operator can focus on – power, speed and endurance together.
Selection candidate’s goals should be different
If you’re looking to make it through selection and reinforcement cycles, what you actually need is capacity to keep going for hours!
Incredible endurance, work capacity, good mobility, decent basic strength and, more than that, you need to be able to run and swim like an animal – kilometers and kilometers of it, without problems.
Mountain rescue, long-range recce (marine recon, SAS/SASR, Royal Marines etc) – these guys need to ruck and ruck and run and run. It needs to be second nature. As much as you want to do a shit ton of intense WODS and isolation exercises, it won’t help your real goal.
Personally, I love BJJ and fighting, but If I want to pass selection I need to sacrifice that for my goal, so I can focus on my weakness – running and rucking – getting my knees strong and supple and my upper-body strength immense without needing lots of calories or rest – recover ability.
Let’s get realistic about what’s required of you
Unfortunately, watching YouTube videos of current-serving operators and Jason Bourne movies can leave you thinking you will be doing close combat fighting and you need to be training heavy lifts and WODS along with fighting.
In most tactical roles they don’t teach you to fight, they teach you to kill as quickly as possible.
If you’re in a close-combat-fighting situation, shit has gone really really bad.
Depending on your role, your trainers may use martial-arts style training for fitness and toughness, but they don’t teach you to fight.
So we ask you – what is your real goal?
You need to be clear on this to progress correctly.
Think about it – what do you actually want – what do you actually need?
There is no right or wrong answer here! Do you just want to be fit and strong? Or do you want to get into a specific unit or regiment?
Now that you are clear on that, in reality what should you be doing to achieve your goal? Do you think you need a good Fran time, a black belt or a strong capable baseline?
If your goal is geared towards joining a unit or passing a selection then right now you need to prove to the selection cadre that you are worth teaching the cool shit to – later.
To prove this, you need endurance, an unbreakable body and the ability to recover from exertion quickly.
That should be your goal and the focus of any good program you join.
You must get stronger, fitter and faster, but not at the sacrifice of endurance and work capacity.
We hope this article sparks deep thought and makes your intentions clearer and sets a pathway for your training goals.
Yes, we all want to be ‘that guy’. But the journey is much longer and more complicated.
There are no shortcuts.