30 and 60 days out from SealFit Kokoro

I came across this great video from the guys at SealFit.  All of these guys and ladies are Kokoro graduates and offer some outstanding advice.  If you are considering Kokoro, please watch this video and pay attention to the details.  Below, I will give you what I did and where I think you should be 30 and 60 days out for Kokoro.


I agree with their advice and I can offer a little more from the perspective of an older athlete going into this event.  At 60 days out you should feel pretty confident in everything.  Use the published standards as a guide and then add 30-40 reps on top of the published standard as a minimum guide to progress.  At 60 days out, you should be increasing your weekly mileage of running considerably while avoiding injury.  Every day, you should be training in the boots and pants you will use at the event.  I was doing Opwods 3-4 days a week, running focused work 2 days and rucking one day...long.

30 days out, your gear should be dialed, your feet should be hard and you should be prepared for extreme workloads of 2-3 hour constant workouts. I did the 5 miles/1000 Burpee workout, Triple Murph and lots of other challenges before the event.  You should feel comfortable with a 10 minute, no movement plank and be able to do Murph weighted at any time.

At 30 days out, you should have all the work done that you need to survive the event.  It is important at this time to try to heal up any injuries that you have and show up to the event healthy.  Showing up healthy is of major importance to all athletes, but to the older athlete, like me, showing up compromised is not at all what you want to do.  Show up healthy, strong and plan far enough ahead that you are not in a panic 30 days out, rather you are starting your taper.

Good luck.

Goruck Selection and SealFit Kokoro Interview with Jonathan Hurtado

When I was getting ready for Goruck Selection Class 015, I set up this blog and began documenting my training.  I didn't really think that anyone would read it...I didnt care.  I just wanted to document the training.  Along the way, I met a guy named Jonathan Hurtado who came across my blog.  We conversed via email and through the comments and started to kind of train together for Selection. 

We posted our times and weights to the blog.  I could tell that Jonathan was a serious athlete and in some events was killing me.  In others, we were even and others, I was ahead. 

When leaving for Selection, Jonathan and I set a meeting place and got together to discuss strategy and gear.  We probably should have had this talk much earlier because we both made mistakes.  Who knows...if we had talked more, maybe we would have made even worse decisions that we did.  You can't second guess, but rather just learn from your mistakes and continue to move forward.

I liked Jonathan right away and was impressed with his resume of Goruck events.  I learned a few things from him right away.  We shared a couple of meals before the event and then had an awesome meal of 4 cheeseburgers, 3 orders of fries, and 2 large chocolate milkshakes after Selection...one of my favorite meals of all time.

Jonathan aced the fitness test and made it a long way into the Welcome Party.  I saw him throughout the event and drew comfort and motivation from a familiar face.  I went there with 3 friends, but in a dark and uncomfortable place like Selection, you draw from any little thing.  A familiar face goes a long way.

Jonathan and I have stayed in touch and I recently sat down and got to ask him a few questions about the last Selecton, the next one and a possible stop at SelFit Kokoro.

Hey Jonathan,  great to hear from you.  Thanks for sitting down and talking for a few.

TR:  Tell us a little about yourself…where do you live?  What do you do for a living?

JH: I currently live near San Francisco, working as a programmer at Crystal Dynamics, a video game studio.  I've been in the video game industry for four years, having worked on games like Grand Theft Auto V and the recently released Lara Croft & The Temple of Osiris.  Prior to that, I worked as a web developer in New York City.

TR:    What was your athletic background?

JH: I got into weight lifting when I tried wrestling in high school and later biking when I moved to Washington (state).  I was in decent shape, but it wasn't until I started training for my first Tough Mudder in 2012 that I improved my fitness.  Besides running, I purchased some kettlebells and did a program of two handed swings and Turkish get-ups.  That got me into incredible shape and I was able to finish my first Tough Mudder.

TR:  How did you get interested in Goruck and what events have you done to date?

JH: I remember when I first read about GORUCK well before I did my first Tough Mudder and thought how stupid it sounded. "12 hours?  While carrying six bricks?  Why would anyone do that?"  After finishing my first Tough Mudder, I was hooked on obstacle course racing and immediately started looking for other events to finish.  After completing another Tough Mudder and a Spartan Super, I reconsidered the GORUCK Challenge as the next event to do.

My first GORUCK Challenge made a huge impact on my life that I still feel to this day.  The stories Cadre "Big Daddy" told during that event taught a powerful lesson of appreciating how my life is going (as others unfortunately have it worse), and completing the event instilled confidence in confronting matters that are outside my comfort level.  I have since finished seven other GORUCK events, including a back-to-back Light & Challenge and an HCL (back-to-back-to-back GORUCK Heavy, Challenge, and Light).

TR:  We trained virtually for Selection through the use of my blog.  We were both using the Military Athlete program to get ready.  Tell us about your road to Selection and how you prepared for the training that we did.

JH: When I found out about GORUCK Selection, I thought it was insane and I wouldn't even consider doing it.  After finishing my first Challenge, I went back to view the Selection promo video and its “This probably isn't for you.  Or is it?” tagline goaded me to consider doing the event.  I purchased my Selection entry on January 2014, giving me ten months to train before Selection 015 at Jacksonville Beach in October.

I was a fan of Military Athlete’s GORUCK Challenge plan, so I purchased their Heavy and Selection plans.  The training strategy for GORUCK Selection was to use one plan to train and do its corresponding event in order to be strong enough to do the next plan.  Thus, I start with their Challenge plan and do a GORUCK Challenge, then follow their Heavy plan and do a GORUCK Heavy, then go through their Selection plan before GORUCK Selection.

I ended up doing an HCL instead of a Heavy due to a scheduling conflict, which was good and bad.  Good in that it gave me experience in exerting myself for 48 hours with very little sleep, but bad in that I sprained my ankle near the end of the Heavy portion of the HCL.  I was able to finish the entire event despite my injury, but I thought that my injury was going to prevent me from doing Selection.  After the HCL and some rest, I started the first couple of weeks of the Military Athlete Selection plan while avoiding exercises that would put weight on my foot.  I had an MRI done on my ankle and decided that if the results were not good, I would not do Selection.  The MRI indicated that I had no torn ligaments on my ankle, so I resumed the full training once it was feeling better.

TR:  Do you have training partners?  Where do you train?

JH: I mostly work out alone.  There's a gym near where I work, so I go there early in the morning to train.  There's also a trail right next to where I live, so I use that for my runs and rucks, although it's mostly flat.  I have done a few training rucks with a friend who completed a Challenge with me.

TR:  I saw you throughout the fitness test and then through most of the Welcome party.  You were doing great.  I had heard before Selection that you never really see how people exit, you just look around and they are gone.  I looked around for familiar faces and they were all gone.  What happened to you?

JH: There were three issues during the Welcome Party that broke my resolve.  The first was my gear set-up.  I went with GORUCK's recommendation to use a GR0 for Selection, but the boots I planned to use did not fit in the rucksack with a full hydration bladder and other items.  I concocted a set-up where I attached a GORUCK brick bag to the GR0 with carabiners so that I could store my boots (and later shoes).  This was a terrible idea in retrospect because it made the rucksack heavier and certain exercises more difficult than they needed to be.  Also, the reflective belt I used on my rucksack kept coming off (tip: don't use velcro belts), and that warranted special attention from the cadre.

The second was a weakness that came up during Selection, overhead squats.  I did not have the flexibility to do these properly, and this affected how I perceived my performance during the Welcome Party.

The third were the warnings of being performance dropped after finishing last in a couple of Welcome Party events.  At that point, I was tired, my legs were feeling heavy, and I felt I couldn't perform to standard.  I was already fighting doubts on whether I trained hard enough for Selection, but I was able to keep those doubts at bay as I progressed through the PT test.  The warnings, however, psyched me out.

Those three issues created a perfect storm where I doubted my ability to continue and convinced myself that I was better off quitting, address my weaknesses, and come back stronger for the next event.  Was that really the case?  It's debatable.  I probably could have stuck it out longer, but my gear and flexibility issues would have made that very difficult.

TR:  What lessons did you learn from Selection?

JH: Test my gear thoroughly.  Due to time constraints, I didn't have an opportunity to fully test my final Selection load-out before the event.  If I did, I wouldn't have gone with the brick bag set-up. I might have used a GR1 over a GR0.

I also learned that I needed to work on my flexibility.  I saw a personal trainer after Selection and he pointed out areas where I was really tight.  He recommended a variety of exercises to loosen up, so I now incorporate those into my workouts.  I'll also be working on my overhead squat.

TR:  Looking back at Goruck Selection in Jacksonville.  Do you consider it a success or a failure in your eyes?  Explain why…

JH: While not finishing Selection was a disappointment, I still consider it a success because I got to see what my weaknesses are.  I have a clear idea on what I need to do to address them, and I'm excited at the thought of getting even stronger.  I've learned that failure isn't necessarily a bad thing if you approach it as a learning experience and use it as an impetus to make yourself better.

TR:  Are you going to try Selection again?  What will you do differently?

JH: Yes, I have registered for Selection 017 at Bozeman, MT in August 2015.  Jon Eytchison, the sole finisher of Selection 015, described his Selection training plan in his AAR.  That will be the blueprint for my Selection training plan.  I’m also doing a Pre-Selection prior to Bozeman to gauge whether I'll be ready for the actual event.  What I learn from Pre-Selection will guide the final months of my Selection training.

TR:   What pack do you expect to use in Bozeman Selection?  Which did you use in Jacksonville Selection?  How do you think you will prepare your gear differently for Bozeman Goruck Selection considering what you have learned from the Jacksonville Goruck Selection?

JH: I used a GR0 for Jacksonville, but I couldn't fit my boots in the ruck with a full hydration bladder.  One thing that was interesting was that Jon had the same problem fitting boots into his GR0, so he didn't bring any to Selection!  I'll either have to find lighter boots (which are hard since ultra wide boots that drain are not common) or consider using a GR1 instead.  I'll also pack as few items as possible.  Since the cadre are going to dump all our gear out at the beginning of the event, having fewer items will make stuffing them back into my ruck a lot easier and less stressful.

TR:  One of the things that we have discussed extensively is the possibility of doing SealFit Kokoro.  Is this something that you are going to do?

JH: Yes, I'm registered for Kokoro 36 in February.

TR:  How are you preparing for Kokoro?

JH: I'm doing a mix of Wendler's 5/3/1 Lifting (for strength), Military Athlete's Murph plan (to prepare for Kokoro's Murph requirement), the running portion of the BUDS Warning Order for Navy Seal Training, and long runs on Saturday.  I have also been taking cold showers to prepare for the Pacific Ocean surf torture.

TR:  Did you have any foot issues in Goruck Selection?  What are you doing to prepare your feet for Kokoro and Selection now?

JH: No.  Despite my ankle injury from HCL, it didn't come up at all during Selection.  I didn't get any blisters during Selection, and I attribute that to my set-up of Trail Toes, Injiji toe socks (as a liner), and Merino Wool boot socks.  I've rucked as far as 20 miles in this set-up without issues, so I imagine that it will serve me well during Kokoro.  As for preparing my feet for Kokoro and Selection, I train in wet boots when I can.

TR:  Do you have any expectations or goals for Kokoro?

JH: A key point that keeps being brought up in Kokoro videos and AARs is to know your why, as in why are you doing this?  There are various reasons why I’m doing Kokoro (such as becoming a better leader), but my main reason for going through a crucible like Kokoro is to give me insight on what's needed to pass Selection.

TR:  I think that the best meal I have ever had were those 3 burgers, fries and 2 milkshakes that I had with you the day after Goruck Selection!  I know you are probably watching your diet now and dreaming of food.  Do you have a meal that you plan on eating after Selection Bozeman, SealFit Kokoro?

JH: It will either be a burger, fries, and shake combo, or a whole pizza pie.

TR:  When I have the opportunity to talk to someone who is into the same things I am  (Selection, Kokoro, heavy training) I always want to know one thing…why are you doing this?

JH: Jason McCarthy, the founder of GORUCK, had said this and it has stuck with me ever since, "Live life to the fullest, because tomorrow is not a promise."  Since there is no guarantee that I’ll be around tomorrow, I have to treat each day as a gift and make the most of it.  Training for these events and testing my limits is my way of fulfilling that credo.  Also, I enjoy a good challenge, and I get pleasure out of completing something that people consider hard or impossible.

TR:  Imagine that it is 3:45 am, you are submerged in the cold Pacific Ocean and you are as cold as you have ever been.  The instructors demand that you continue this beach party for another 4 hours.  What are you going to think about to get you through?

JH:  I'll have to rely on my mental toughness techniques to get through that.  As bad as the surf torture will be, it will end at some point.  Others before me have gone through a similar experience, and if they can complete it, so can I.

TR:    The thing I struggled with most was training for the lack of food and electrolytes.  In Selection, we did not get anything to eat and only a few stops for plain water for 18 hours of intense exercise.  I started cramping, throwing up and having issues related to electrolyte imbalance.  037, ended up in the hospital with very serious Rhabdo, and eventually Tubular Necrosis.  Do you think that you can train your body to be ready for the lack of nutrition and electrolytes?  If so, what are you doing?

JH: I talked to some Selection finishers regarding their diet plan prior to Selection and both recommended Intermittent Fasting, where you only consume calories during a specific period of the day.  One also suggested Ketosis, where you restrict your carbohydrate intake to get your body fat-adapted.  This was the diet I followed before Selection, and I wasn't feeling hungry during the Welcome Party.  I don't know how my body would have reacted if I got past the Welcome Party, but I see myself following the same plan when I'm prepping for Selection again.

TR:    From what you learned from Goruck Selection in Jacksonville, do you think that you could lay out some benchmarks that anyone would need to be able to complete easily to make sure that they made it through the Fitness Test and the Welcome Party?

JH: You need to do 80 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, run 5 miles in 35 minutes, and ruck 12 miles with 45# dry in under 3 hours.  That will give you a fitness cushion that will ensure that you’ll complete the standards regardless of your state.  I guarantee that you won’t be at 100% when you do the Selection PT test, most likely because of nerves.

Proper form is also vital.  Cadre will no-rep any push-up or sit-up that is not up to standard, so make sure that when you’re hitting those benchmarks, that they are done properly.  I strongly recommend asking GORUCK cadre to review your push-up and sit-up form.  Mark Webb has an excellent write-up on push-ups that can also help.  

I got this tip from Cadre Surfhog after Selection: do the hardest workout imaginable, then do the PT test.  If you can pass the PT test in a fatigued state, you have an excellent chance of passing the Selection PT test.

As for the Welcome Party, it's a non-stop nightmare of ruck PT, so do something like Boot Camp or Crossfit with your ruck.  View the last fifteen minutes of GORUCK Selection (see "1230 Saturday / Shark Attack" in the Selection 015 recap) and do those exercises.  If you have issues with any of those exercises, then you know what you need to work on.

I would also recommend seeing a personal trainer and have him or her review your flexibility.  If you are tight in certain areas, learn the corrective exercises from the trainer and incorporate them into your warm-ups and cool-downs.

TR:  Jonathan, it is an honor to know you.  You are a true inspiration and a great example of someone living his life to its full potential.  I wish you all the best and I know that you will be successful in your quest for Selection and Kokoro.  Can we catch up and do another interview after Kokoro?

JH:  Thanks!  I appreciate the advice you've given me as I prepare for Kokoro.  I will absolutely do another interview after SealFit Kokoro.

SealFit Kokoro Decision

SealFit Kokoro Decision


Looking through the old blog, I came across this post.  Recently, I have received many emails regarding SealFit Kokoro from people who are either considering doing it or are already signed up.  For that reason, I am going to publish this post again on this newer blog.  There is nothing all that special about it except that it captures the excitement and nervousness that I had when I decided to sign up, alone, for SealFit Kokoro. This decision turned out to be an excellent choice for me.

Maybe this post will help others who are struggling with making a choice to challenge themselves. My advice: DO IT!

Originally published in July 2013

SealFit has had my interest for around 3 years. Over that time, I have considered going to the Kokoro camp and also tried to arrange a 20x challenge in Chattanooga for me and all my friends. For lots of reasons and conflicts, I have not been able to make this happen.

On Thursday, I was talking to my wife about our fall break plans. Our 3 children go to 2 different schools and their fall breaks overlap but are not the same. While discussing the plans I noticed that there was also a gap where nothing was scheduled on Oct 26-27. These were the camp dates.

I asked my wife if it would be ok if I went and she said yes, my kids thought it would be cool and all of the sudden I had the green light to go do something that had been a dream of mine.

Excitement, motivation and fear all were experienced at once as I completed the online application and hit the submit button. I was in now, no turning back.

The website has alot of good information. I reviewed the gear list and then the minimum physical standards which are listed here:

“We have published updated Kokoro Camp Standards to help you understand just what you are getting into when you start your training for Kokoro. We don’t want there to be any confusion as to what we are doing here. This is not a “SEAL experience” alone…it is an event unlike any other that will test you to your core. We want to prevent injuries as well as people holding their team back. The work-load at Kokoro camp was described by an Iron Man athlete as “3 back to back Iron Men races, without rest.” Prepare well.

Prerequisites for a graduate certificate will be tested within the first few hours of the camp. They include:

50 push ups (40 for women) in 2 minutes, 50 sit-ups in 2 minutes and 50 air squats in 2 minutes, with 2 minutes rest in between each.
10 dead hang pullups for men, 6 women
1 mile run in boots and utility pants on road in 9:30
Body Armor (aka Murph) with 20# pack (15# for women): 1 hour and 10 minutes minimum
Endurance standards to guide your preparation (not tested for performance, but completion):

10 mile run in less than 1:20
20 mile ruck hike with load in less than 6 hours

Two event failure (PFT/Murph) will result in drop from course and refusal to perform any event will be considered a non verbal drop. Note we highly recommend that you ramp up your endurance and stamina training. A standard CrossFit or SOF Prep training regimen will not suffice. You should run a marathon or half Iron Man and spend considerable time rucking with load. Please contact us if you are not clear about the physical demands of this program. Should you fail to meet the standards and are rolled you will receive a certification of attendance, not a Certificate of Graduation with accompanying SEALFIT Black Shirt. You will be invited to train with your new knowledge and come back to challenge Kokoro Camp again in the future.

Black Shirt graduates have the potential to pursue intern positions and the SEALFIT Mastery program, as outlined on our web site.

Good luck! – Coach Divine”

I am capable of all the physical standards at present, but I know I have ALOT of work to do before Oct 26, particularly in the rucking area. I felt as though I did not prepare enough for the Goruck and told myself that I would spend ALOT more time under load preparing for the next event. My running is not up to par either and I need to increase my mileage greatly and be confident running 12-15 miles without problem.

My plan is to continue my morning workouts with the guys 5 days a week, but also throw in additional work in the day of 10 mile rucks, 10 mile runs, lots of plank work, weighted dead hang pullups, sled pulls, hill sprints and lots of walking lunges. I plan to do all of this in boots and tactical pants to break in both and get used to moving in pants and boots.

I signed up through a link of Brad Mcleod’s www.sealgrinderpt.com site which included free coaching from Brad up to the event. I need all the help I can get, so I immediately sent Brad an email to which he responded right away. Brad suggested that I send him my benchmarks and also my time from a 1 mile sled pull.

I will track my training here and on the facebook page, but since I am just now catching up, here is what I have done since making this decision:
Determined that I could do this and got green light from my family

Jerry workout in pants and boots
5×10 pullups deadhang
Reviewed and completed pushup, pullup, squat standards
Made the decision and signed up online

Friday morning
Hotshot 19 workout in pants and boots 39:24
9 mile ruck with 30 pound pack 3:00:00
10 set of 10 weighted pullups
50 pushups in 1 minute x 3

Sled pull 1 mile afap with Rogue Dog Sled and 1 45 pound plate 16:02
3×10 weighted deadhang pullups 30 pounds
3×10 deadhang pullups unweighted
Swimming and breath holding practice with my kids in the pool

Back to Training

Selection is over, I have reflected on the lessons learned and actually have begun to apply them to my everyday life...Success!

Now, it is time to get back to training.  Admittedly, I am returning slowly partly because I am out of town filming my fishing show, Saltwater Experience now, but also because the last several months have wrecked my body.  Intense rucking with 45-150 pounds combined with the 18 hours of Selection has left me moving a little slow. 

My cure has been to drink tons upon tons of water, do Mark Divine's Warrior Yoga twice a day, work on breathing exercises from SealFit and Unbeatable Mind and work on mobility in my injured ankle with help from Kelly Starett's MobilityWod.

All in all, I am feeling great.  Certainly well rested and my mobility is increased.


Deck of Cards:




Diamonds=flutter kicks

Row 2000 m

30 pullups

I told you I was coming back slow!  Give me a little time and I will be back to the SealFit OPWOD soon. 


Run 3 miles

100 pushups

100 situps

100 squats


Setting goals

One of the major things that I learned by doing Goruck Selection is to be very careful in how and where you set your goals.

When I first began to prepare for Selection, I set a goal that i wanted to be top 10 in the class.  At 46 years old, being top 10 is outstanding and I felt like that goal stretched me, challenged me and pushed me to train harder than just to have a goal of finishing.

I used Unbeatable Mind techniques of breathing and visualization daily to put me in that top 10.  Through research on forums like Professional Soldier, I set my goals for the PT test at numbers that I thought would get me to the top 10 in the class.  Soon, I began to meet those numbers and even exceed them.  On test day, I set PR’s for both the pushups and sit-ups and was among the top few in the class.  The run went well and I smashed the ruck, well under the time hack and in the top 10.

The goal of top ten seemed out of reach at first.  So far out of reach that I just kind of assumed that if I was top ten, I would easily be able to finish the event because top ten seemed to be an even greater goal.

Where we set our goals is where we end up.  SealFit visualization is very powerful, so powerful that you have to really watch what you set your mind on because you will attain it and it might not be what you really wanted.

As I was alone, in the dark, depleted, cramping and struggling to finish carrying my 60 pound pack and 80 pound sandbag the entire length of the unknown distance, a Cadre walked up to me and quietly started talking.  If he had yelled at me, I probably would have picked up the bag and continued, but this guy was smooth and an expert in mind manipulation.  Instead of yelling, he reassured me, complimented me on making it so far and told me it was fine to stop now before I ended up in the hospital.  This was powerful.

He told me that he recognized that I had trained my ass off, but I just didn't train properly for this event.  He was right.  No food for 18 hours of exercise had me dizzy, lightheaded, cramping and physically at the very bottom of the fuel tank.  I had trained without food, but not to this extent.  I succumbed to the realization and withdrew.

On the walk out he was even nicer.  He told me that I should be extremely proud of myself because...I was top ten in Selection.

BOOM.  I wanted to dig a hole and crawl in it.  At that moment I realized that I had been visualizing and training for exactly where I was and that WAS NOT going to get me to my original goal of finishing this event. I had accomplished my goal exactly, but in doing so I had sabotaged my original goal of finishing.  Your mind is a good soldier…it does what it is told.  No more, no less.  Here I was disappointed because I had reached the exact goal I had set for myself.

Dumbfounded, I sat down in the parking lot and wondered how things might have been different if I had set my goal differently.  Yep, I made it to the top ten, but I still did not accomplish my original goal.

Had I set a goal not to be top ten in the class but to be in the top 10% OF THE FINISHERS, things might have been vastly different.




Those goals don't seem all that different from one another to many people, but they are.  In fact, there are galaxies of difference between the two goals.  One says that success is being top 10.  While a good thing to be, you are still not a finisher.  The other says that first you will be a FINISHER (your original goal) and second, that you will exceed that by crushing the event and ending up finishing AND being in the top 10% .

In many events, or in school, being top ten is good...really good and will probably get you into the college you want to go to or win an age group medal.  In other events, being top 10 may not get you anything at all, except failure.  Selection is an example but other examples may include the Olympic Trials, BUDs, SFAS, The CrossFit Regionals, The Regional wrestling tournament.  Each of these things requires you to be top 3 or to graduate, to move on.  You could accomplish your goal of setting a world record, but if you finish 4th place…you don’t get to go to the Olympics.  Maybe all 4 of you set a world record, but you will not go to the big show, your original goal.

Be careful how you set your goals.  First set goals to absolutely reach the original mission plan- Go to the Olympics, Graduate BUDs, Finish Selection, Make it to the CrossFit Games.  Set a second goal to exceed that first goal- Go to the Olympics and earn a gold medal in the trials and set a new world record in my event, Graduate BUDs and become a SEAL, Make it to the CrossFit Games and win my Region, Finish Selection and be top 10% of the finishers.

Visualization is powerful and if you are not already using it in your training and daily life, I encourage you to research it and use visualization techniques to reach your goals in fitness, business or life in general.  If you need a source, try www.SealFit.com.

Just be careful where you set your goals because you will probably achieve them and it may not be what you originally wanted.

So many people experience failure but never realize that they are only doing so because they are setting goals improperly…just like I did.  Be specific, be exact and make sure that those goals match the end result that you want.

Rest and recovery

Huge amounts of calories have been consumed and lots of stretching.  I am feeling pretty good and have returned to normal hydration levels.

After Kokoro I was back in the gym right away.  I think I am going to take about a week off this time and return to some slow movements...slowly.

My right ankle is jacked up a bit so I am working on mobility there, hips, and lower back for now.

Tons of yoga and water while working to build a stronger team with my wife, first and foremost, Children, my business and friends.

Thank you to SO MANY people who have text, emailed, called or otherwise wished me the best.  I appreciate your support.

Lessons Learned-Goruck Selection 015 AAR

Lessons Learned-Goruck Selection 015 AAR

Today is Saturday, Oct 11 and it is the morning after Goruck Selection 015.

Out of 278 people who signed up, 162 RSVP'd to show up...out of those, only 82 actually did show up.  There are various reasons for that, namely that the training for an event like this is really hard and injuries do happen.  (Out of our group of 5, only 2 of us showed up injury free to the start) ...

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"The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don't like to do. They don't like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose. They have a burning yes that makes it possible to say no to other things.
An independent will power to do things when you don't want to do them"

Warm up:
4 Rounds
3x Pull ups
5x Bench Press (95, 115, 135, 165)

10x Situps
Instep Stretch Lat + Pec Stretch

(1) 5 Rounds - Every 90 Seconds
40% of Max Bodyweight Bench Press, then Max Bodyweight Bench Press in 60 Seconds

(2) Perform the following weighted pull ups (25#) 100% max reps Pull-ups Rest 2:30 sec

80% max Reps Pull-ups Rest 2 min.
60% max Reps Pull-ups Rest 1:30 sec.

40% max Reps Pull-ups Rest 60 sec.
40% max Reps Pull-ups Rest 30 sec.

20% max Reps Pull-ups

(3) 8 Rounds - Every 90 seconds, 10% of max reps SBGU (round up) + 1 rep


Magic 20 miler

Since I will be traveling next week, I had to get in the 20 miler early.  I packed 68 pounds with water.  63 without.

For some reason, I was having a pretty hard time around mile 12.5-16.  Something happened and I was able to rally and get a second wind.  My time was very bad though and I am concerned.  In order to hit sub 15 min miles, I have to run...alot.  I did not do that today and came in at 5:22:27.  My splits just kept getting slower through the whole ruck.  The weight felt really heavy and I just felt slow.  I only stopped to pee 2 times and to refill my water once.  Other than that, I was moving the entire time.



Full Fitness Test-Goruck Selection

2 min pushups

2 min situps

5 mile run

12 mile ruck with 45 lbs dry


This was good for me.  I learned alot.

Pushups: 85

Situps: 75

5 mile run: Actually 5.48 miles in 39:32 so easily under the time standard

12 mile ruck: 2:57:59

I felt fine before and during.  No nutritional issues on empty.  I had a hot spot on my right toe that was a little concerning, but no big deal.  After, I was tired...very tired this afternoon.

600 again

600 step ups with 40 pounds to 16 inch box




Front Squat 5-5-3-3-1-1-1


15 Hang Power Clean @ 135

15 burpees

x 3 rounds


or, be like Mike Drew and go under 20 minutes on the step ups (new record) and then hit the power clean/burpee workout

Great job Mike!


My time was 25:52 on the step ups. 
The first time I tried this workout I did it in 25:26, last time, 26:15. 

Consistent but not really improving.  I felt really good, but just old and slow I guess.

16 mile sweat fest

Sweat-fest 2014.  I drank all this, plus another 2 liters during the 16+ miler, crazy amount of sweat!

Sweat-fest 2014.  I drank all this, plus another 2 liters during the 16+ miler, crazy amount of sweat!


did a 16 mile ruck with 70 pounds in the Florida Keys heat and humidity.  I know I have been saying this alot lately, but I seriously do not think that I have ever sweated this much!  I filled my 3 Liter bladder 2 x, had a liter before leaving, then had another liter after.  I really felt like it was coming out of me faster than it was going in.

This was challenging.  I started late afternoon because I thought I might actually die in the 94 degree heat.  Probably pretty smart on my part.  The whole workout took me around 3:45:00.  I say around 3:45 because my phone died and I dont know the exact time, but I feel good that it was under 4:00:00.  I ran alot, although my running pace with a 70 pound ruck is slow it is still faster than my walking pace. 

The Florida Keys are lined with power poles so it was real easy to run one, walk one.  I did that through the majority of the run.  However, around mile 14, it got real and got very difficult to run.  I was ready to put the pack down, but I pressed on and through and made it back to the room to drink some more water.  I was actually a little concerned about Hyponatremia since I did not have my Hammer Endurolytes.  That is scary stuff and several young football players have died recently.  I just kept drinking small sips.  It was pouring out of me faster than I was putting it in.  I felt fine throughout, but did feel cold when I got back and took a shower.  That was kind of weird, but it passed.

This was good training because I watched the sun go down, then the mosquitos came out...and when they came out...they really came out.  Good training!

I have to get in 5 x 2 miles at some point over the next couple of days to complete this week fully.  It will be quite a challenge with my work schedule, but I will do everything I can to get it in.


Labor Day

Did this one straight through..thanks to Rusty and Ben for coming at 5 am.


pushup progression

40% of 2 min max x 5 rounds plus final max set


situp progression

40% of 2 min max x 5 rounds plus final max set


run 1.5 miles x 4


ruck 3 miles x 4 @45 lbs dry


run times were all around 11:00

ruck times between 38-44 minutes


Fri PM

Friday afternoon, I hit a 14.7 mile ruck on Raccoon Mtn.  It descended the mtn, then came back up again with some very steep ascents.  The guide book said there are places whee the grade was 20%.  I dont know, but I can tell you it was steep.


this ruck made me realize just how lucky I am to live where I do.  We have 100's of miles of trails like this to amazing places!  Thank you to SORBA and the volunteers who built the Live Wire 1, 2 and all the other trails up there! 



65 lbs  



“When you see a successful individual, a champion, you can be very sure that you are looking at an individual who pays great attention to the perfection of minor details.”
— John Wooden

1. Warm up

Barbell Complex x 6 @ 65 pounds

Instep Stretch

x 3 rounds


2. Back Squat


Increase every round

Do 2 broad jumps after each set


3. Mr Spectacular (double KB clean, walk out to pushup position, 1 pushup, walk back to stand)


Increase weight each round

1 burpee after each set


4. Work Capacity

5 Back Squats @ 135 lbs

5 burpees

x 6 rounds


5. Stretch

Squat stretch


x 3 rounds


6. still water