Workout of the Week: Spring Speed and Agility Progression

Airmen from the 366th Training Squadron Field Training Detachment 3, complete box jumps during Battlefield Survivability through Physical Fitness training (U.S. Air Force photo/Dan Hawkins).

During the Spring and Fall, we typically transition from lifting heavy weights in the Fall to calisthenics in the Spring and the opposite transition Winter and Summer as a time to mix in shorter and faster runs and swim workouts. 

This enables tactical athletes in training to not neglect any of the elements of fitness:  strength, power, speed, agility, cardio endurance, muscle endurance / stamina, and mobility / flexibility.

Here is a typical transition workout but with a focus on working on any current weaknesses you may have:

The workout start off with a calisthenics / weighted mix warmup: Warmup with Pushup and Squat Pyramid (building muscle stamina and mixing in dynamic stretches for mobility and flexibility)

  • 1 pushup / 1 squat – run 25m (across a basketball court for instance)
  • 2 pushups / 2 squats run 25 (these can be jogs, runs, or several dynamic stretches if you prefer)
  • 3 / 3, 4/4, 5/5… Keep going up until you get to 10/10.  
  • Repeat 3 times
  • Bench press 10-15 (moderate weight)
  • Pushups 10-20 (immediate following)
  • Pullups max
  • Dips max
  • Military Press 10-15 (moderate weight)
  • DB rows 10/arm (heavy)

This is considered a full-body day, but during the speed / agility transition, we also focus on leg stamina after completing the last few months focuses on strength and power.

For instance, if your weakness is shorter / faster runs with agility, then try this version:

  • Repeat 4-5 times
  • 300 yd shuttle run or 5-10-15 Pro Agility Test
  • (depends on goals of speed/endurance or speed/agility)
  • Rest with 2 minutes of plank or other core activity of choice
  • Run hill, bleachers, or do step ups for 2 minutes (sprint up / walk down)
  • Squats 20
  • Lunges -10 / leg

If your weakness is longer timed runs pacing issues, try this one:

  • Repeat 6-8 times
  • ¼ mile at goal mile pace (6 minute mile? = 1:30 pace)
  • Squats 20
  • Lunges 10/leg
  • Farmerwalks 50m (carry 2 x 40lbs DBs for 25m and back OR up/down stairs / bleachers 2 minutes)

*We use pacing drills of a future goal pace to help candidates get better and “learning” the goal pace.  For instance, if a current 2 mile timed run in 14 minutes, and the goal is to get that closer to 12 minutes, you push your ¼ mile runs to the pace of 90 seconds. Push your half mile runs to 3 minutes for multiple sets as above.  More information about this style of Tactical Fitness periodization (link).

This is a full body workout day focusing on several different elements of fitness. We all have certain strengths and weaknesses.  If your future goals require testing of things that are your current weakness, you cannot blow them off and expect to be competitive.

Stew Smith works as a presenter / editorial board with the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).  There are also over 800 articles Fitness Forum focusing on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

Latest Fitness Books:  Navy SEAL Weight Training and Tactical Fitness

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