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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 04-22-2007, 10:41 AM   #1
John McBrien
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If I were to follow an Army Ranger training program to prepare for Ranger School, how might I incorporate WODs to improve my rucking ability? Obviously, I know that CF does help with GPP and, in turn, will help my rucking but I was look for outside opinions.

Anyone have creative suggestions on how to include rucking in WODs? I was curious also as to how SOFs use CF in their training.
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:46 PM   #2
Chris Goodrich
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John,
I hadn't discovered CF when I went through Ranger, but I did use it for SFAS with excellent results. What I settled on was following the WOD plus 2 rucking workouts a week, usually on rest days. I think a gradual progression is key to staying injury free. I used a system I stole from Nate Morrisson.
I started out with 5 miles per workout with a 55# ruck, and added 10# every two weeks. Once I reached 85# I stoppeds adding weight and started adding 2-3 miles every two weeks until I was doing 2 12 milers with 85# per week. I then backed off for two weeks immediately before the school. I tried to do one per week on the road and one on a trail with some hills. Theres a national park with some decent trails about 40 minutes north of Benning.
Dan John (http://www.danjohn.org/) also has some good material using short, heavy carries that translates well to rucking. He had a DVD called Carried Away but I'm not sure if its available anymore. I'm sure there's a write up in his newsletter somewhere and he's good about responding to e-mail.
How that helps. Good luck, and my condolences for the VT tragedy.
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Old 04-22-2007, 01:00 PM   #3
Matt Thomas
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Just out of curriousity are you following Stew Smith's Ranger program?

As for rucking, just in my oppinion, It's something you'll just have to add seperately. In my experience rucking is less about conditioning (although it certainly helps) and more about conditioning your legs for very long periods of high stress. I don't think WOD type workouts are long enough to adequately prepare you for that. By all means still do your WODs, but find a place to add some long distance rucking.
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Old 04-22-2007, 01:06 PM   #4
Chris Goodrich
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Forgot to mention but this book is a pretty valuable resource for keeping your feet from turning to hamburger: http://www.amazon.com/Fixing-Your-Feet-Prevention-Treatments/dp/0899974171/ref=p d_bbs_sr_1/002-8596167-5375268?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1177272262&sr=1-1
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Old 04-22-2007, 02:14 PM   #5
Dave Campbell
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Ranger School 2-84. CF will give you all the physical fitness you need for rucking. Hell, I completed Ranger School & served in the 1/75 Ranger Bn only doing standard Army PT and never really felt physically challenged (I was 5'9 and 147 lbs.- no specimen here!). Rucking is more about mental fitness. I saw plenty of linebacker sized guys fall to the side and plenty of skinny runts like me keep going. Rucking sucks for everyone, no matter the size, no matter the fitness level. Mind over matter. CF provides/requires excellent mental fitness.
Keeping your feet in good shape is never a bad thing either.
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Old 04-22-2007, 10:23 PM   #6
John McBrien
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Dave, I'm the same size as you so that is certainly some motivational information!

Matt - I do have Stew Smith's "Special Ops Workout" book and have read over his workout for Ranger School. His first rucking workout is 8 miles at 40#. What would you recommend in terms of scaling? I spent 2 years in ROTC and at most did several miles with 35# (I can't remember how long the distance was) but I haven't been in boots in almost a year.

And speaking of keeping your feet in good shape - do you wear the issued boots or buy your own? I know that the Army switched to the desert boot for use with the new uniforms. Thanks guys!

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Old 04-23-2007, 12:06 AM   #7
Matt Thomas
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Depends. You might not need to scale at all. I agree with Roger that it is much more mental than it is physical. If you've been doing crossfit or have followed any of Stew's workouts for any length of time you're in more than enough shape to make that ruck. It's just going to suck alot, but it's going to be that way no matter what.

As far as scaling, what they do in Basic is just keep the weight pretty much the same and progressively add miles. So we did a 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 15. Every ruck hurt at the end, but when we got to 8 miles, the first 4 miles seemed like nothing and when we got to 15 the first 8 miles seemed like nothing. So I guess it's not a bad way to go. I would go with Chris' progression plan, especially since he's been to Ranger school and had success with it.

Good luck with your workouts and Ranger School. Don't forget to come back here and let everyone know how it went when you get through.
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Old 04-23-2007, 01:53 PM   #8
Daniel Fannin
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John,

Ditto. I'm not a Ranger but I do like to carry a ruck around occasionally. If you get proficient at the oly-style lifts (especially the overhead squat - I noticed a difference in my rucking after doing a little more of that) then you'll be good up to about 40-50lbs almost regardless of distance.

Enduring the suck is more important than practicing the suck (or is to me, for the sake of my knees). I didn't ruck more than once or twice every two weeks, with anywhere from 30 to 120 lbs. (Right now I'm in a rest/maintain phase to prepare for a different school). But hey, if something better works then use that! :-) Good luck.
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Old 04-23-2007, 09:02 PM   #9
John McBrien
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Daniel, if I might ask what school are you preparing for, if you're allowed to divulge that?

I'm also curious from you guys how your respective SOFs train using WODs. Articles always mention that Green Berets "post scary, crazy workouts based on WODs" from Iraq and other articles say "that Navy SEALs use it to get into the best shape of their lives."

Of course I know you might not be able to go into full detail of what training is but I was curious to know what you do personally at least on top of the advice you've already given me.
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:34 AM   #10
Wayne Sauve
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Like Dave said, Rucking is a mental thing.

I seen guys who were on a leadership course, hurting on a Ruck march. Then get put in a Comd role, go from Zero to Hero in a blink.

In my mind, rucking does 2 things;

1. Hardens the feet. So wear boots, all of them. In all conditions, especially wet weather.

2. Preps you to wear your heavy loads in order to modify your kit.

The leg workouts in Crossfit will more than prepare you.
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