Workout of the Week: Tactical Fitness Leg Days

Capt. Edmund Spivak and Staff Sgt. Joe Hernandez, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal members, pull an up-armored Humvee, one of the featured events May 2 in the Warrior PT Challenge. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Senior Airman Jason Colbert)

It is difficult to be in a leg power/strength phase while trying to gain a faster run time. Runners never lift heavy when trying to fun fast and lifters never run when trying to get strong. Do them separately for better results in military, police, and fire-fighter fitness.

This is called Tactical Fitness - being good at ALL elements of fitness at the same time BUT not great at all of them (maybe one or two natural strengths). A way to do this is to use calisthenics for warmup and muscle endurance, then mix in short cardio bursts with heavy lift sets of exercises like squats, dead lifts, and farmer walks (up/down stairs).  Then finish the leg workout with a form of cardio like swimming with fins, biking, elliptical, rowing, or running

While this will not yield the fastest of run times nor the strongest of weight lifting results, you achieve better results at both running, lifting, and muscle endurance exercises, such as: running hills, stairs, or load bearing exercises wearing ruck packs or weight vests and carrying heavy equipment.

Here is a workout we did this week that includes a calisthenics / dynamic stretches for a warmup. Some hill or stair running for cardio and leg endurance will cap the warmup

Squat pyramid 1-20 - run 25m in between - every 5th set run 5 flights of stairs

Do 1 squat, run 25m, 2 squats, run 25m, 3 squats, run 25m…We do this on a basketball court or field.

However, every 5th set find the nearest hill or stairs and run them 5 times (up and down).

The Weight / Cardio Section:

Repeat 5 times

  • Run or bike 5 min – Run fast ½ mile or bike, elliptical, or row 5 minutes Tabata interval.
  • Squats 10 – Moderately heavy with barbells or weights.
  • Dead lift 5 – Moderately heavy with barbells or weights.
  • Lunges 20/leg – With or without weights – your choice / capability.
  • Farmerwalk up/down stairs five times with weight.

Run, ruck for 30 minutes or swim 1000m

Lower back plan - do it later in the evening

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