Here at the RRL, we try to train the whole athlete; mind and body. We really strive to be a complete athlete devoid of major weakness, ready to do anything, capable of anything and therefore, more useful to our family, our friends and the world in general. This seems like a simple task right? Just stay in shape and you will be ok.
But when we strive to train for this kind of condition, we have to continually train the mind, fuel the body properly and train the body toward the goals of having no glaring weakness. For this we need to keep a list of standards handy and strive to be up to these standards at all times.
In my opinion, a useful person should be strong, capable of moving large loads over long distances at a moments notice, capable of running quickly for short distances and also capable of running 15 miles at any time without significant issues or injuries. Additionally, we should not be out of the water for long periods of time and swimming should be a skill that we are comfortable with and ready for at any time. Athletes should be durable, flexible and ready at all times.
There are many standards that we could measure ourselves against, but the one that I have seen that is the closest to what I envision and strive for is the SealFit Assessment. It looks like this:
This assessment measures strength under the bar, bodyweight strength and endurance, Rucking, Running at all distances, Swimming, and Rowing. What it doesn't measure is flexibility, mobility, mental toughness or nutritional standards.
This is an excellent list of standards that is achievable. Meeting the minimum requirements on this list will not make you a super athlete or even capable of winning a local event, but it will make sure that you are durable, capable and useful. Nothing here is an amazing accomplishment on its own, however, having ALL of these standards makes for a pretty well rounded person.
So, how do we possibly train for all of these things at the same time? That can be a difficult question depending on your current condition. If you are a couch potato, you need to work on all of these things at once. Maybe a distance runner can easily meet all the running standards, but may not be able to backsquat his own body weight. We have to assess then attack our weakness.
I like to keep this list as a living document and constantly put in challenges as either the days workout or a finisher. Keep track of each and start completing the blanks on this list. When complete, you will see where there are glaring weaknesses.
The trick to improving your scores in certain areas is to put focus and time towards them, but we have to be careful that we do not let the other areas slip. For example, if you can easily hit all the weight lifting numbers and are close on the bodyweight numbers, but your running and swimming is off the chart horrible, then you obviously need alot of time there. However, don't spend so much time trying to improve your running and swimming that you leave the others completely.
In my case, I am close to or exceeding the standards in most categories, but there are still some that I am not happy with or that are far enough below the standard that I see that they need attention. When I put focus on distance running or making sure that I can ruck 26 miles with load, my weightlifting numbers go down. They do not have to go down much to fall below standard, so I have to walk a delicate line between too much and not enough.
I find the search for this balance to be an all consuming passion that actually puts alot of balance in my own life.
This assessment is to be a simple measuring stick as to where you are now. It will show you your strengths and weaknesses and point you in the direction of better fitness. Dont forget flexibility, mobility mental training and nutrition as these are all equally important to overall health.
Where do you stand? How are your numbers?