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Old 11-27-2009, 08:46 AM   #1
Joshua Engman
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Ruck March/SFAS Prep in iraq

Im currently in iraq at a small COP and was curious about some ideas for SFAS prep. I do CF 3x a week along with strength training/cardio. I get a 280 pt. My biggest concern is rucking but i dont have the distance to actually ruck for any longer than about a mile. Does anyone know of anything i can do that will help make my ruck times faster but isnt the obvious solution of rucking 10 or more miles? I've read get selected and attended SFAS 5 months ago but sucked on one of the rucks (i think that that what it was) so that is one of my main focuses along with overall conditioning. Any suggestions would be helpful. thanks
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Old 11-27-2009, 11:02 PM   #2
Jordan Bellamy
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Re: Ruck March/SFAS Prep in iraq

Hey, I'm an army LT deployed to Afghanistan right now. It depends on what equipment you have available as to what could be a good substitute.

-If you have a kettlebell or two, hopefully the 24kg or heavier, you can do swings. Either do some timed sets or just pick a triple digit number and try to swing that many times. If you can't swing a kettlebell, swing a dumbell.
-A second substitute would be to load up an assault pack or ruck with about 50 to 60 lbs or gear and start doing squats. Try to work your way up to 50 or so. Once you get 50, try to work on multiple sets.
-A third option could be to get on a stationary bike, if you've got one, crank up the intensity and try to ride the bike for about 20 minutes with your heartrate around 80% max.
- Don't forget your calves, follow the tabata protocol but with calf raises. One the 10 second rest, don't really rest, stay in the "up" position of the calf raise.
- Do this for 5-10 rounds, 20bw squats, 20 in-place lunges(10 each leg), 20 jumping lunges (10 each leg) lunge forward then jump and switch legs, and end the round with 10 jumping squats
- Jumping rope is a good way to build agility and cardio as well as much needed ankle strength.

Hope any of this helps you out. Good luck.
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Old 11-28-2009, 02:14 PM   #3
John McBrien
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Re: Ruck March/SFAS Prep in iraq

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordan Bellamy View Post
Hey, I'm an army LT deployed to Afghanistan right now. It depends on what equipment you have available as to what could be a good substitute.

- Don't forget your calves, follow the tabata protocol but with calf raises. One the 10 second rest, don't really rest, stay in the "up" position of the calf raise.
- Jumping rope is a good way to build agility and cardio as well as much needed ankle strength.

Hope any of this helps you out. Good luck.
I have one amendment to Jordan's comments on utilizing the tabata protocol with calf raises. While the goal is to burn out the calf raises through a concentric contraction, it is the eccentric loading of the calf during running or rucking that causes muscle soreness. With that said, the Olympic lifts, box jumping, and jump roping are all suitable alternatives to calf raises.

CrossFit Endurance prescribes utilizing CrossFit and the CFE Military Prescription to prepare candidates for selection pipelines. It may warrant consideration: www.crossfitendurance.com (WFS).
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Old 11-28-2009, 02:43 PM   #4
Ed Haywood
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Re: Ruck March/SFAS Prep in iraq

CF and CFE will build a good foundation of GPP to help you ruck better. However, eventually you're going to have to get specific in your training and do some hard rucks.

How long after you redeploy do you go back to SFAS? If 3 months or more, that's plenty of time to do a ruck training cycle. Do CF and CFE, then hit the ruck hard and fast when you get home.

If you must do all your prep while still in Iraq, find a way to replicate rucking as closely as possible. If you can ruck one mile where you are, then just keep doing laps. Most of your rucks should be short and fast anyways, say 4 or 5 miles. Do you have access to a treadmill or a stairmaster?

Your least preferrable option would be staionary work like box steps or squats with a ruck on, but it's better than nothing.

How do your boots fit? Did you have footcare issues at SFAS? That's a major factor, and a reason why there is no substitute for actually rucking.

One bit of good news: the weather in Iraq will be great for rucking until the rains and muck come in Jan/Feb.
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:22 PM   #5
Skip Chase
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Re: Ruck March/SFAS Prep in iraq

Ruck and ruck some more. You say you have a mile to ruck. Ruck it and time it. Ruck it 2 times. Ruck it 5 times for 5 miles. Work with what you have and get the training done. Don't see it as just a mile....it's a mile and will add up to how ever many miles you want to ruck it.
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Old 12-10-2009, 02:47 AM   #6
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Re: Ruck March/SFAS Prep in iraq

Everything written so far is solid advice. Military Athlete advises doing box step-ups as well if you're space is limited. Honestly though, nothing can substitute for just pounding pavement. You've got to get those feet as heavily calloused before showing up. I completed a 18 mile ruck march before I attended in November and I made it through without a blister. It really sucks having limited space on the FOB, I was in the same situation. But look at it this way - ruck marching is boring and sucks no matter where you are!
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:28 AM   #7
Michael Henry
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Re: Ruck March/SFAS Prep in iraq

Dismounted patrolling?
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:08 AM   #8
Joffray Marcantel
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Re: Ruck March/SFAS Prep in iraq

http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=36 WFS

Make sure you read the bold part.
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