Kokoro 41 AAR from GRT, HCL and Goruck Selection participant Jonathan Hurtado

I started this blog to document my training toward the most difficult event of my life (so far), Goruck Selection 015.  Shortly after posting a few training days, another 015 prospect started leaving a comment or two and posting his training.  I connected with him and through the miracle of the internet became cyber-friends with Jonathan Hurtado.  It turned out that he was just as crazy as we were and we continued to train together or at least tell each other about our training through this blog and email.  Jonathan had done quite a few Goruck events and was training hard for 015.  We met at Selection and ate together before and after our time in 015.

I told Jonathan about my experience and graduation from SealFit Kokoro 30.  He was interested and we have kept in touch since the event.  Jonathan has had some challenges getting to Kokoro, but he finally did it and here is the interview shortly after he returned home.  Enjoy...


TR: Congratulations on being secured in Kokoro 41!  I am so excited to hear how it went for you.  Before we get started, give the readers a little of your background. 

I'm in my late thirties and I've been working as a programmer in the video game industry for about five years.  I live near San Francisco, but I grew up in New Jersey and worked in New York City before moving west.  My journey to endurance events started with a Tough Mudder in 2012.  Always looking to challenge myself, I've since done two more Tough Mudders, several Spartan Races (including a Trifecta), and fifteen GORUCK events, including an HCL (Heavy, Challenge, Light) and a Double Heavy.  I also attempted GORUCK Selection 15 back in 2014.

 

TR: You and I met through this training blog when we were both preparing for Goruck Selection 15.  We trained together virtually and then finally met in person at the event.

Before Selection, I had completed Kokoro 30 and talked with you about it. I am so excited that you did it.  As I remember, you encountered some difficulty after Selection and while training up for Kokoro.  Tell me about the process.  Was 41 the first camp you trained for or was there another?

I had originally signed up for Kokoro 36 (February 2015) to help me prepare for Selection 17 in Bozeman, MT. However, I did a poor job of creating a sensible training plan, and I overtrained to the point where I tore my calf during a six mile run. The injury derailed my Kokoro and Selection plans for 2015.  I was able to transfer to a later Kokoro class, but 2015 wasn't an option because I needed time for my calf to heal and I was committed to doing the first ever GORUCK Triple Heavy in October. I ultimately ended up transferring to Kokoro 41, which was a year after my original Kokoro class.

TR: So many people in the Goruck community are interested in Kokoro and the same for SealFit people being interested in Goruck events. As one of the few who have done multiple Gorucks and been a part of Selection as well as completing Kokoro, how would you compare/contrast Kokoro from Selection?

Although both events will push your physical and mental limits, they do so in drastically different ways. For GORUCK Selection, the cadre are actively trying to make you quit through brutal smoke sessions and extensive taunting.  You're pretty much alone out there because you are forbidden to interact with the other participants and you cannot talk unless spoken to by the cadre.

In Kokoro, the coaches can be as tough as the Selection cadre (especially during the grinder sessions), but their primary goal is not to make you quit.  They want you to succeed and make it to the end, provided that you give your best effort all the time.  I didn't have to deal with fending off negative energy in Kokoro like I did in Selection.  The other big difference between Kokoro and Selection is that teamwork is actually expected at a Kokoro camp.  There will be times when Kokoro will be very difficult, and you'll either reach out to a teammate and ask for help or assist a teammate if he or she is struggling.  That type of team camaraderie is not allowed in Selection.


TR: How about Kokoro vs other Goruck events that you have done

The big overlap between Kokoro and the GORUCK events that aren't Selection is looking out for the person to your left and right.  Working as a team and caring for one another are some of the most important lessons you can learn from Kokoro and GORUCK.  The big difference between Kokoro and the other GORUCK events is that there's a lot more running in Kokoro and it lasts much longer than most GORUCK events.


TR: How did you train for Kokoro 41?

Training for the GORUCK Triple Heavy (HHH) in October 2015 left me in good shape, but I still needed to work on push-ups, pull-ups, and running for Kokoro.  After recuperating for about a month after the HHH, I started my Kokoro training.  On the advice of another Kokoro finisher, Troy Angrignon, I picked up Stew Smith's Complete Guide to Navy Seal Fitness to get stronger on my push-ups, pull-ups, and runs. I took cold showers to mentally prepare for cold water immersion.  I did sandbag shoulder-to-shoulder presses and 45# plate overhead holds to strengthen my shoulders.  I already had a strong rucking ability due to my Triple Heavy training, so I only rucked once a week.

 

TR: How did you feel you were prepared?

The push-up and pull-up volume work in Stew Smith's book helped me prepare for the PT and Murph tests.  However, I wish I got the book earlier because I was only able to do eight weeks of training instead of the full twelve.  I regret not running more, specifically doing sprint runs.  My legs were feeling heavy after the first day of Kokoro and I was one of the slowest runners in the class.  I did well in strength tasks such as the log carry and log PT.  I also did fine in the mountain rucks, although I should have done more mountain rucks in my training.


TR: How did the training for Kokoro differ from Selection or other Goruck events?

I did a lot less rucking and a lot more running in my Kokoro training, although I wished I did more sprint runs.  I primarily focused on improving my PST scores.


TR: One of the worst parts of Kokoro 30 for me was getting to SealFit headquarters and waiting around.  I was intimidated, nervous and the waiting was killing me.  Walk me through your morning before the event.  What time did you wake up, did you eat?  How did you prepare that morning?  Give me your recollection of showing up to the event and expectations.,  Tell me about the collection of athletes that showed up for 41.

I slept early the night before so that I could wake up at around 5:40am (start time for the event was 8:00am).  It gave me enough time to check out of my hotel and drive to a nearby Denny's for breakfast.  I ordered a pepper jack steak omelette.  I wanted to give myself enough time to eat breakfast and arrive at the Vail Lake Resort at 7am.  Thank god I did, because I had a brief scare where I showed up at the GPS coordinates from a Kokoro email and the attendant had no idea what Kokoro was.  Turned out that I went to Vail Lake Resort's RV park and the actual Kokoro start location was two miles further down the road.  Despite the slight detour, I still made it to camp early.

I was the second person to arrive and was told by the coaches to wait near a tree.  There were nine of us total in our class, including two GRTs (GORUCK Tough folks who completed a GORUCK event) and three who had signed Navy SEALs contracts.  While we were waiting, we talked about where we were from and why we were doing the event.  The low number of participants made it easy for us to bond quickly.  Six of us would ultimately finish the class.

Waiting for the event to start didn't bother me.  Troy mentioned that it was a deliberate ploy to mess with your head, so I didn't let it stress me.  I anticipated and correctly guessed that we would start with a brief welcome party (boot camp exercises), then have the PST test, and then suffer through a Grinder session.  I didn't have any more expectations besides this, and was determined that I was only going to concentrate on the present and not worry about what was coming next.

TR: What is the one thing you brought to the event that you were really glad you had?

Knee pads that I bought from REI.  They protected my knees during the first day, but I had to take them off for a wardrobe change and never had the opportunity to put them back on later.  My knees were roughed up a bit during the second day, but it wasn't too bad.


TR: What is one thing that you wish you brought?

Better energy bars.  I made the mistake of bringing Hammer Nutrition Chocolate Coconut Almond bars without trying them before the event.  Someone recommended the brand in their Kokoro AAR, so I bought a few in blind faith.    They didn't taste great, and I realized that it's not a good idea to eat chocolate because the energy spike from the chocolate would eventually wear out.  It wasn't catastrophic, but I really should have tried the bars beforehand.  This is what I get for waiting until the week of the event to finalize my nutrition supplies.

 

TR: What was the most difficult part of Kokoro 41 for you?

Running, specifically the "pays to be a winner" races.  I was okay with running during the first day (even ran about 6:40 during the PST mile run), but those races were taking a toll on me, especially since I wasn't the faster runner in the group.  It was getting harder to run as the event progressed, and I quickly realized that as much as I ran during my Kokoro training, it wasn't enough.

TR: Things were really bad near the end of the event.  I got sick and it was really hard for me to take full breaths.  I wasn't moving as fast as I would have liked, but I knew I was close to the end of the event, so I was determined to continue no matter what.

TR: What did you think you were most prepared for and why?

Anything that involved strength, so the log carries and the log PT.  I was already in good shape from the Triple Heavy, so the Kokoro training just built on top of that base strength.  The first mountain ruck went well because of my extensive ruck training.  The second mountain ruck was a little harder because of the steeper elevation change.  I wished I had done a few more mountain rucks to mitigate that.  I also was running on empty at one point during the second ruck, but I started feeling better after we took a break and I ate an MRE.

TR: What lessons will you take back to your everyday life from Kokoro 41?

With the right team and the right attitude, you can accomplish just about anything.  Finishing Kokoro proved that, and I'll be carrying that for the rest of my life.  There was also an exercise in Kokoro that helped me address several negative emotions that have been hiding in my mind for a long time.  I didn't know how to deal with them, and being able to finally let them go is an amazing feeling.  Furthermore, most things in life don't seem so hard anymore after enduring Kokoro.  That's an awesome confidence builder.

 

TR: Would you recommend Kokoro to the Goruck community?  

Kokoro is very expensive, but I felt I got my money's worth from the experience. I would definitely recommend it to the GORUCK community, with the caveat that you really need to have a strong reason for doing the event.  When Kokoro gets really hard, whether you succeed or fail will depend on how good and convincing your "why" is.  If your "why" is weak or selfish, you will not finish.  


TR: What type of athlete do you feel is ready for Kokoro?

You must exceed the minimum standards of Kokoro's initial PST. Be strong in the ability to crank out push-ups and pull-ups (especially when you are tired), as that will help you in Murph.

You must be able to finish Murph in under 70 minutes AFTER you do a workout that smokes you.  Doing Murph after 24 hours is a lot different than doing it fresh.

You need a good running base because you'll be doing a lot of running.  Be great at suicide sprints (especially on sand) because it pays to be a winner.

Do several mountain rucks (no more than 12 miles) so that you are used to rucking with elevation change.

Being able to do proper overhead squats will help immensely.

Doing a GORUCK Heavy or an HTL will help you deal with endurance and sleep deprivation, but it is not required.  Most of the guys who finished Kokoro with me never did a GORUCK event.

Be mentally tough. The above steps will get you physically prepared, but your mind also has to be strong enough to resist the urge to quit when things get tough.  Mental toughness is a skill you can learn, and books like Mark Devine's Unbeatable Mind provide those lessons.

TR: Can you give us a brief description of the workload in Kokoro?

You have Grinder sessions (fast-paced boot camp exercises), running, mountain rucking, log carries, log PT, beach PT, and surf torture.  There's other stuff in Kokoro, but those are the main things you'll encounter during camp.


TR: How did this compare to the workload of Selection?

I can only talk about the first hour of Selection's Welcome Party as that as far as I got in Selection 15.  I remember it being the most intense thing I have ever done.  Kokoro's Grinder sessions were very difficult, but its intensity wasn't as brutal as Selection's.  The attitude from the Selection cadre is different from the Kokoro coaches, so that probably played into my perception of Selection's workload.

TR: What is next for you?

I've signed up for several GORUCK events and I'll be leading a team to run their first Spartan Sprint.  I'll also be doing the GORUCK Triple Light in August, and then attempt once again to finish the GORUCK Triple Heavy in late September.  I'll be taking a big break after that one.

TR: Man, thanks so much for talking to me about this event. Kokoro 30 was one of the most powerful, meaningful moments of my life.  I have heard so many Kokoro graduates say that they have thought about the event every single day since graduating.  I cant say that I have thought about it every day, but certainly every week.  It made me mentally and physically tougher and I brought back many lessons to my life and I have become a better person because of it.  I am so glad that you enjoyed your experience.  Welcome to the Kokoro family!  Hooyah!

 

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

 

Bench/Pull/Get


If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done.

Bruce Lee



Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/b/bruce_lee.html#PKlQJ7bhARtCKo0S.99

1. Bench Press

35% of max bodyweight reps every 90 seconds for 5 rounds

 

2. Weighted Pullup @ 25 pounds

100% max reps

rest 2:30

80%

rest 2:00

60%

rest 1:30

40%

rest 1:00

20%

rest :30

20%

 

3. Sandbag Getups (SBGU) 60 pounds

10% max 10 minute score every 90 seconds

 

 

Stairs

Dry Falls

Dry Falls


Warmup:

Box Breathing 5 minutes

30 overhead squats with PVC

10x each: Pushups, Situps, Dips, Pullups, Burpees


Skill: Jump Rope 3 minutes


Core: sit up progression


Workout: A.
Normal Park Stairs Run

For Time:

1 mi Run

Run (stairs)

10 Burpees (top)

10 Push-up (clapping)s (bottom)

X3 rounds 1 mi Run Post total time.


Workout B.

Travel workout A.

Run 2 miles

Travel Workout B.

Ruck hills for 3 hours, get in every creek or under every waterfall.  Test out the new drain holes in ruck


A few days with my wife in NC is a welcome change.  There are tons of hills, amazing trails, waterfalls everywhere, good food and good time with her away from home and the kids.  It is rare so we will enjoy every minute.

I ran 2 miles this morning which is the farthest I have attempted since my calf injury.  I felt great but it is probably wise to continue to go easy through the weekend. 


Post times, reps and/or loads to comments

Good luck Jimmy

Good luck Jimmy.  I know that you will make the absolute most of this move.  Keep in touch; we will all miss you!

Good luck Jimmy.  I know that you will make the absolute most of this move.  Keep in touch; we will all miss you!


"A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow."

– William Shakespeare


Warmup:

Box Breathing 5 minutes

30 overhead squats with PVC

10x each: Pushups, Situps, Dips, Pullups, Burpees


Skill: Jump Rope 3 minutes


Core: 5 minute weighted plank


Workout: A.
1 mile run up steepest hill you can find


Workout B.

Omar

For time:

10 Thrusters, 95/65 lbs

15 Burpee (Bar Facing)s

20 Thrusters, 95/65 lbs

25 Burpee (Bar Facing)s

30 Thrusters, 95/65 lbs

35 Burpee (Bar Facing)s

For time

 

U.S. Army First Lieutenant Omar Vazquez, 25, of Hamilton, New Jersey, assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, based in Fort Hood, Texas, died of wounds suffered April 22, 2011, when insurgents in Numaniyah, Iraq, attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He is survived by his parents Maria and Pablo, sister Marisel, and brothers Pablo and Javier.


Workout C.

Still Water


We had to say a temporary goodbye to our good friend Jimmy this morning.  With a great opportunity, Jimmy and his family are moving for a year.

I have known Jimmy for 40 years and I feel lucky to call him a friend.  He was once my assistant as projectionist in 5th grade.  Since then, Jimmy has been both an assistant and a mentor, a leader and a follower.  He is a true friend and we will all miss him very much.

Cheers Jimmy!



Post times, reps and/or loads to comments

Row, Row, Row

Testing out grip strength in the Florida Keys on a Saltwater Experience shoot.

Testing out grip strength in the Florida Keys on a Saltwater Experience shoot.


Adversity causes some men to break, and others to break records.”
— Unknown”

 


Warmup:

Box Breathing 5 minutes

30 overhead squats with PVC

10x each: Pushups, Situps, Dips, Pullups, Burpees


Skill: Jump Rope 3 minutes


Core:

200 flutters

2 min plank

200 flutters

2 min plank


Workout: A.
Row 15,000 m

or

Run 7.12 miles (4 Bridges route)


As I am still nursing a healing calf muscle, I laid off the running again today.  While I am not running, it is crucial to get some LSD (long slow distance) to increase my overall volume in preparation for Selection.  I know that I should be running 10-12 miles today, but if I dont let this calf heal properly, it will be a nagging, frustrating injury that will prevent proper training and probably resurface in Selection.

Believe me, I would rather run 10 miles than do a 15,000 meter row.

At any rate, I gave the guys a choice today and Trevor, Clay and I chose the full 15,000 while Robert and Blythe also stayed back for a long row.   Keith, Jay, Will, Justin and Turner ran and the 7.12 mile, 4 bridges course was completed within 1-2 minutes of the 15,000 m row.  Interesting.

I rowed 15,000 meters in 1:03:00 and Trevor came in at 1:00:17, Clay 1:06:00.  For me, I had a goal of keeping my splits under 2:10 for the entire row.  I saw 2:11 a couple of times as I lost concentration but was able to bring it back down.  Mostly I was around 2:02 but my overall average split was 2:05.6.  I am sure that I could improve on my technique alot.

Sweat index on this one was a 9.7 and I was completely soaked. 

 

Post times, reps and/or loads to comments

Matt Ate Chatt, then became Country Strong

Matt Beach, aka “Country Strong”, is an RRL regular, a social media guru and a hometown, Soddy Daisy boy.  I liked Matt as soon as I met him and I have watched him transform mentally and physically since his first visit to the garage.  Every time he tells a story,  I think I like Matt more.

Matt’s road to fitness has not been all sunshine and rainbows, though.  He has had some of the same challenges that we all do; travel, work and family obligations, but he has also had a serious injury.  Matt recovered from a back injury through surgery and is back to completing really, really tough workouts.  

I sat down with Matt to ask him about his journey.

 


TR:  Tell us about your background and where you were before you started working out with us.
 
MB:  I’m married with two wonderful kids. Hometown is Soddy-Daisy TN. I’m an avid outdoorsman – I’m very passionate about fishing and hunting. Love sports but my favorite was soccer. I started playing when I was 6 and ended when I was 23. During that time I played in several rec leagues, select teams, high school, and college. I weighed 155lbs when I graduated high school and could run like a deer. Mid college I got into weight lifting and was also looking for a way to stop smoking. I quit smoking cold turkey, started eating more which went into lifting more weights and other regiments. When I was 24 I had weighed 225lbs and was in great shape. Was soon married – career took off – tons of travel in the many positions I held – then kids…you could say the stresses of life took its toll on my health and I found myself weighing 265lbs, out of shape, and not feeling good about myself. I had started a blog 2yrs ago that was titled “Matt Eats Chatt” – it was a food blog where I would post all my favorites dishes from restaurants that I had been to within the Chattanooga area – one day I was eating lunch with three of my closest friends. One of those guys I hadn’t seen in a while and he had heard about my food blog. The first words out of his mouth when we met was “Matt Eats Chatt huh…Looks more like Matt Ate Chatt – what happened to you?” I’ve heard that being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones. Literally after that lunch I went home and knew I had to make a change.
 
Side note – whenever I wore a red shirt of any kind my brother-n-law would yell out “Hey Kool-Aid!” if he saw me out.
 
 
TR:  How did you find out about us?
 
MB:  My across the street neighbor and fellow RRL member…Kevin DiStasio (The Colonel) mentioned the group to me. Prior to deciding a change needed to be made, KD nicknamed me “Country Strong” – I told Kev that I was making a big change in my eating habits and wanted to have a great fitness routine and accountability. He said the RRL was the perfect place.
 
 
TR:  Do you remember the first workout you did with us?   The first week?  First month?
 
MB:  Little over 2yrs ago – on a Saturday afternoon – It was me, Kevin, Dougy Fresh, and Wyatt. I don’t remember the exact count or name of workout but I do know it was the first time I had ever done a burpee, thruster, and a wall ball. That first visit was all I needed. I showed back up that following Monday morning and was addicted. I’ll never forget meeting Clay Watson for the first time – after Mondays workout Clay came up to me and said “The hardest part of doing this is getting up in the mornings and showing up.” He was right! Showing up was the hard part – getting thru the workout is easy when you have a group of guys pushing you along the way.


TR:  What results did you see?
 
MB:  The pounds started falling off. I was tracking my calorie intake using an app called MyFitnessPal and not missing one morning (when I wasn’t traveling for work) at the RRL. Even when I traveled I would do one of the many travel workouts that are posted on the Fitness Truth website. By working outside at the RRL – my hotel workouts went outside also. In less than a year I went from being 265lbs to being 215lbs.
 
 
TR:  Why do you think you stuck with coming to the RRL?
 
MB:  The camaraderie  among the men. Everyone always pushing each other to be better…whether it be at the garage our outside of the garage.
 
 
 
TR:  How is what we do different than other stuff you may have tried and not stuck with?
 
MB:  I was trying to do it by myself. Running, lifting weights, Running, and lifting weights in the same route, doing the same range of motions over and over was boring. With the group that we have, the many different styles of workouts, the surprise and anticipation of the Whiteboard (not knowing what the workout is until you show up) makes the RRL great and completely different than anything I have ever done.
 
 
 
TR:  You also had a previous back issue that became a problem.  Tell us about that.
 
MB:  I’ve had several past back problems. I did heavy construction for most of my teen years and into my twenties. Back problems were common. One morning at the RRL I was doing a back squat. It was more weight than I had ever tried and when I went down I broke proper form. When that happen I ended up with a bulging disk in my lower back. Instead of proper rest I kept pushing myself over the next few months….ruck workouts, GORUCK Challenge, a Tough Mudder, and other scheduled workouts and work travel. It came to a point when I couldn’t even sit down for a short period of time without pain.
 
 
 
TR:  What did you do about it?
 
MB:  After several chiropractor visits, yoga, stretching/mobility workouts I finally went and saw a local neurosurgeon. Immediately after seeing the MRI results he requested that I have surgery as soon as possible. A few weeks later I went under the knife and came out with immediate relief.

 

 
TR:  The other day, you told me that it was exactly 1 year ago that you had surgery.   How did the recovery go?  How do you feel about your strength level/ flexibility and overall health now?
 
 
MB:  Recovery was great, but 5 weeks of doing nothing was hard. The majority of the first two weeks was my laying on my back and only getting up to eat and restroom breaks. The remaining 3 weeks I set a goal of being able to walk 3 to 5 miles every other day. The last week I did a total of 14 miles. The last doctor visit I was giving the green light to get back into my normal workout routine, but he wanted me to be a bit cautious and more alert to what I did. I haven’t had any problems. If anything I feel 10x better. But I am cautious. My work travel has picked up a ton and doing hotel workouts seem to be the norm. Since being back I’ve completed a Triple Murph (with ruck), Run-Burpee-Run, and a Tough Mudder with a 30lb ruck (loaded with beer).
 
 
 
 
TR:  How did you overcome this adversity?
 
 
MB:  My family. My wife and even my children are huge supporters and my biggest motivation. Everything I do I do for them. Living a better life mentally, physically, and spiritually so that I can be a better husband and father for them.
 
Also – if you’ve ever had a “Dicky Do”…then you know that you never want to go back to having that.
 


 
 
TR:  How did you return to regular workouts?
 
MB:  Slow and light weight. That and Jody Bankston with his watchful eye. Jody was there for the first few weeks when I returned and made sure that I wasn’t over doing it. I also did a 100 day mobility challenge using YouTube videos from Kelly Starrett Mobility WOD Channel.
 
 
 
 
TR:  What did your Dr say about returning to full activity?
 
MB:  Be cautious for the first couple of months, listen to your body, and if there was the slightest pinch then he wanted me to back off. Other than that he definitely wanted me to get back to where I was before the surgery. I think he even came to the RRL a week later.
 
 


 
TR:  You have done a lot of events with our group but also outside of it.  Which are your favorite?
 
 
MB:  Hands down the GORUCK Challenge. Team building is huge with this event and doing it with 26 of your friends made it even better. Training for the GORUCK was also a blast. Many early mornings starting at 3am or 4am and creating ruck obstacles within down town Chattanooga was very fun and very tough. I’ve done three Tough Mudder events. The first one was with my wife in Kentucky. It was a great experience but even more so doing the event with her. The other two were in Atlanta and my last one was in Charlotte NC. The Charlotte one was a bit tougher as I did it with a ruck sack filled with 28 cans of beer. I was probably the most popular person on the course (due to the beer) but there wasn’t any other rucks that I saw. The only reason I did it with a ruck was due to the GRC and looking at ways to challenge myself even more during the TM event.
 
I’m looking at doing a Spartan Beast either this year or next. Ultimate goal is to do a Death Race.
 


 
TR:  What does your wife think about your workouts?
 
MB:  She loves it! Its something we have in common and it’s an area that’s helped improved our relationship. When I say improved I mean sex. I’ve increased my stamina by at least 30 seconds. She sees me being more active with the kids and having more energy to do with them which is what it’s all about for me. Being a better family man….and better in the bedroom.
 
 
TR:  Are you preparing for an event now?   Is there something you would like to do in the future?
 
 
MB:  Another GORUCK Challenge. I’ve done Chattanooga but I want to do a different city. I’ve been looking at Charlotte, Jersey, NY City, or Philly. The GRC will be done with a few of my coworkers. They’ve heard me talk about it and now they are wanting to do one. It will be the same coworkers that I talked into doing the Tough Mudder. The Spartan Beast is definitely in my sights. There’s one in October in SC but I’m not sure I can with my current travel schedule. We shall see.


 
 
TR:  Anything else you want to tell us about the group, overcoming adversity, losing weight or events that you have done?
 
MB:  If you’re ever in Chattanooga and want to experience a life changing atmosphere then visit the RRL! The mental toughness that we as a group have achieved together trumps anything I’ve ever been part of and I’m looking forward to the future of living a better life.

IMG_1291.JPG


Sandbag Tailpipe


Warmup:

Box Breathing 5 minutes

30 overhead squats with PVC

10x each: Pushups, Situps, Dips, Pullups, Burpees


Skill: Jump Rope 3 minutes


Core: Every Minute on the minute (EMOM) do max reps for 30 seconds of Pushups/Situps

Odd Minutes: Situps

Even Minutes: Pushups

Continue for 12 minutes (6 rounds of each)


Workout: A.
“Tailpipe” – Sandbag style
Partner 1 runs 200m, while Partner 2 Holds the sandbag overhead. P1 and P2 switch roles when P1 returns for the run. Do a total of three sets for time. If the partner holding the sandbag drops it, both partners do 10 burpees for each drop.


Workout B.

“The Bear and the Rabbit” – Sandbag style
Teams of two complete a total of
4 x 200m laps of Farmer Carry (60/30, per hand)
P1 (rabbit) performs 2 Sandbag Farmer Carry while P2 (bear) runs. When P2 catches up to P1 they switch off. P2 picks up where P1 left off. Continue to do this until a total of 4 x 200m laps of Farmer Carries are completed as a team. Make it harder by carrying heavier Sandbags. Do not run with the sandbags. Rule of thumb, if you can run with them, they are not heavy enough.


Workout C.

Still Water/Fish Bowl 10 minutes


Post times, reps and/or loads to comments


Back from my trip to the Florida Keys with the family.  Great trip with nice dolphin on fly and spearfishing for the boys.  My daughter got to swim with the dolphins and we ate some amazing food.  I hurt myself so badly at Chef Michaels in Islamorada and the night before at The Outpost in Marathon that I went on a 24, then 36 hour fast.  I think I ate so much at those dinners that I wasnt even hungry.  I have read that intermittent fasting is good for you...who knows.  I can say that the feeling of being stuffed full is not as good as the feeling of being fasted, to me anyway.

I pulled from the Goruck training page today to do some sandbag work and overhead holds.  I found one that was pretty good.  They took the "Tailpipe" workout from Mark Twight at Gym Jones and put a sandbag twist on it.  We then did a turtle and hare workout which ended up with more running than I thought. 

I am still working to recovery on my calf.  I made it about 100 yards before I felt a painful twinge and stopped immediately.  I rowed the remainder of the workout.

Here are some shots from our recent trip.

33 free range organic, hook caught dolphin.  Can NOT get any better protein source than these!

33 free range organic, hook caught dolphin.  Can NOT get any better protein source than these!

First dolphin on speargun for Turner

First dolphin on speargun for Turner

First Dolphin on fly for Hayden

First Dolphin on fly for Hayden

First Dolphin on fly for Turner

First Dolphin on fly for Turner

First fish on speargun for Turner

First fish on speargun for Turner

First fish with a speargun for 7 year old Reed

First fish with a speargun for 7 year old Reed

Kids in the water with dolphins   

Kids in the water with dolphins

 

Great family fun!

Great family fun!


Beep Test

"The cure for everything is saltwater - sweat, tears or the sea."

- Izak Dinesen

Trevor suggested that we do the Beep Test today.  Here is a video demonstrating:


Warmup:

Box Breathing 5 minutes

30 overhead squats with PVC

10x each: Pushups, Situps, Dips, Pullups, Burpees


Skill: Jump Rope 3 minutes


Core: Lying Hip Swing x 30


Workout: A.
Beep Test


Workout B.

Death By Push-up
With a continuously running clock perform:
1 Push-up in the first 1 min, 2 Push-ups in the second 1 min 3 Push-ups in the third 1 min ... Continuing this for as long as you are able. Use as many sets each minute as needed.

Start at round 10

 

Post times, reps and/or loads to comments

Foot Care Kit

Photo courtesy of  Goruck.   Read their tips on foot care  HERE

Photo courtesy of Goruck.  Read their tips on foot care HERE

Blisters are going to happen as you are getting ready for an event like Selection or Kokoro.  They may even happen during the event and even if your feet are hard as stones, you need to be prepared to fix them.

In making my kit I continued to think that I was making it so I could help out a team mate because I don't like thinking negatively.  Either way, I will be prepared.

You don't need much to be able to prevent blisters or continue on after some have formed.  My kit fits inside an Altoids box.

IMG_4861.jpg

The contents are:

Leatherman Micra with scissors

Alcohol swabs

Needles

Thread

Moleskin

Duct tape wrapped on a pencil

Band Aids

IMG_4862.JPG

This stuff easily fits in an Altoids can and can be waterproofed by putting that in a snack sized ziplock. 

IMG_4863.JPG

The whole kit can easily be put in your shirt pocket or in any backpack. 

This stuff is what I need, but you may need more or less.  The important thing is to have some sort of a kit that you can use to take care of yourself or a team mate.  It could be the difference in finishing or not or in extreme cases, life or death.

Goruck Selection? SealFit Kokoro?

I received this email today and thought that others might have the same question



Tom:
 
Love your website, check it every day and incorporate a part of your daily wod to add to my daily wod each morning. What is the “Selection” that you keep referencing? I am 43 and will 44 in September, I am wrestling mentally with attempting the Sealfit 20X challenge in September. Haven’t signed up for it yet but am moving closer every day. What is your experience with it?
 
Layne


and his follow up:

Thanks, and yes. On the other issue, I have been doing crossfit for over a year, am respectable in my performance at the box (not going to become master qualified at this point) but want to push myself a bit. Is the 20X challenge that opportunity? Have you completed it or Kokoro?
 
LCJ


My son, Turner 16, during his SealFit 20x

My son, Turner 16, during his SealFit 20x

SealFit Kokoro?  SealFit 20x?  Goruck Selection?  Goruck HCL? Death Race? Leadville? Tough Mudder?  Spartan Beast?  What the hell are you talking about?

I guess this world of events that try to kill you may not be in everyone's vocabulary.  I had no idea what any of these things were just over two years ago.  So when I talk about these events on this blog, some people may not know what in the world I am talking about.

Layne's email was a reminder of this and I hope that others who are interested but don't understand something I talk about here will simply send an email.  I will do my best to explain.

As for Layne, he is 44 and doing well in CrossFit but looking for a bigger challenge to celebrate his birthday.  Well, there are some great challenges out there.  Here are some explanations and suggestions of things that are currently on my radar:


Log PT in the surf at SealFit Kokoro 30

Log PT in the surf at SealFit Kokoro 30

SealFit

SealFit is run by CEO and founder, Mark Divine, former Navy Seal.  He has created an amazing training program that incorporates the 5 mountains of development (Physical, Mental, Emotional, Awareness, Kokoro) and is the finest all around program I have ever seen.  He has a training center in Encinitas, CA and runs academies and events from there as well as in remote locations.

Academies: SealFit offers 3 Academies


SEALFIT Fundamental Academy

This is a 3-day SEALFIT Academy that focuses on the fundamentals of the SEALFIT physical training model and Unbeatable Mind principles. The event is available only as a live-in option at SEALFIT HQ. One can attend as an individual by enrolling in a public event through the SEALFIT.com web site, or you can contact us to customize a private event for your corporate team. There are no physical pre- requisites for this event. Read More

SEALFIT Comprehensive

Not for the faint of heart, the Comprehensive Academy stretches you far beyond your current levels of performance and success. This is deep, immersive training into SEAL philosophy and 20x principle, helping you tap into deep inner power that can forever transform your life. Read More

SEALFIT Immersion

The 3 Week SOF Immersion Academy could be just what you’re looking for. Based on THE original program Coach Divine designed for Special Operations candidates in 2007, it is the longest, most in-depth SEAL program currently offered to civilian trainees.

http://sealfit.com/sealfit-academies/ 


SealFit also trains the mind with Unbeatable Mind

http://sealfit.com/unbeatable-mind-events/

The Unbeatable Mind program is fantastic.  I am an Unbeatable Mind Member and work on it every day.


SealFit also offers 2 signature events

20x is designed to teach you that you are capable of 20x more than you currently believe.  It works...trust me.

http://sealfit.com/sealfit-events/20x-challenge/

Then, there is Kokoro, a 50 hour event.

From Sealfit.com

SEALFIT Kokoro Camp is, quite simply, the world’s premier training camp for forging mental toughness, modeled after the US Navy SEAL Hell Week. Yes, it is brutal. No, it’s not for everyone. You may not qualify, or make it through the training. Yet, if you’re ready for this challenge… - See more at: http://sealfit.com/sealfit-events/sealfit-kokoro-camp/#sthash.XcmOalkG.dpuf


I am a proud graduate of SealFit Kokoro class 30.  I highly recommend this and all other events SealFIt offers, but I do not suggest that you take Kokoro lightly.  Train for it specifically and plan no less than 4 months on top of your lifetime best physical fitness level to be ready for this.  Repeat...no joke.

Further, I recommend the SealFit program and Unbeatable Mind for everyday training and a way of life.  They are far more than just a challenging event.  Mark Divine and the elite staff can show you how to challenge yourself and grow daily in all 5 areas of focus.


Our Team in Goruck class 404

Our Team in Goruck class 404

Goruck is an organization founded and run by Green Beret Jason McCarthy.  I love Goruck events!  They have several events that stair-step in difficulty culminating in the ultimate, 48 hour Goruck Selection.

These descriptions come directly from the Goruck.com website


Goruck Light is an introduction to the team-based training found in Special Operations. It is also much less grueling than our original event, the GORUCK Challenge. Your class will consist of up to 30 participants (aka members of your new GORUCK family). One Cadre, an experienced member of Special Operations, will teach leadership as your class overcomes adversity to become a team. Team being a very important word. GORUCK Light is a team event, never a race. 

4-5 Hours, 7-10 Miles
Average Pass Rate: 99%


Goruck Challenge is a team event, never a race. Think of it as a slice of Special Operations training where - from start to finish -- a Special Operations Cadre challenges, teaches, and inspires your small team to do more than you ever thought possible. Leadership is taught and teamwork is demanded on missions spanning the best of your city. The hardest part? Signing up.

8-10 Hours, 15-20 Miles
Average Pass Rate: 94%


The intent of the Goruck Heavy is to build better Americans, 24 hours at a time. Through the GORUCK Heavy, participants learn a different side of themselves from lessons learned from the Cadre. These lessons learned are either from the different backgrounds each Cadre has in their respective military or civilian careers and sharing experiences from overseas conducting kinetic and non-kinetic operations. These lessons learned are then applied in a 24 or more hour class through different events in a practical setting through shared misery, pushing each participant past their perceived mental, physical, and psychological breaking points.

The GORUCK Heavy is designed around six key objectives:

  1. GR Heavy will be the ultimate team event.
  2. Conduct leadership under very stressful conditions.
  3. Theme is built around AMERICA and why we are the greatest country in the world.
  4. This is a GORUCK Selection prep course.
  5. Earn your “individual” patch.
  6. Heighten each participant’s sense of accomplishment.

24+ Hours, 40+ Miles
Average Pass Rate: 50%

Goruck HCL There is not an official page for this but HCL stands for Heavy, Challenge, Light.  Yes, people sign up for all 3 and do them consecutively.  Seem like the hardest thing ever?  Well they have another...


Goruck Selection

48+ Hours. Selection is an individual event. Our Cadre will enforce a standard adopted from our roots in Special Forces Assessment and Selection. Those participants who do not meet the standard at any point will be performance dropped at our discretion. Selection begins with a gear inspection and PT test.

Is This For You?

Probably not. Selection is not for everyone.

48+ Hours, 80+ Miles
Average Pass Rate: < 10%

Here is another 3rd party article about Selection.  http://alldayruckoff.com/training/goruck/selection/


Death Race

(description from the Death Race website)

The Death Race is the ultimate challenge, designed to present you with the unexpected and the completely insane! Nothing else on earth will challenge you like The Death Race, both mentally and physically.

Every Death Race is it’s own uniquely brutal challenge, no two races are alike. The race, created by Ultra athletes Joe Desena and Andy Weinberg, was developed as a way for athletes to test themselves both mentally and physically. The Death Races take place in the unexpectedly challenging terrain of the Green Mountains in and around Pittsfield, Vermont and have lasted over 70 hours. We provide no support. We don’t tell you when it starts. We don’t tell you when it ends. We don’t tell you what it will entail. We want you to fail and encourage you to quit at any time.


As if one Death Race wasn't enough, they now have several to choose from:

Summer

Winter

Team

Mexico


They also have training camps which look fun in some sort of demented way

Training Camp

The Death Race has an affiliation with Spartan Race which offer a difficult but far less intense series of races called Spartan races.  They are obstacle races that range between 3-12 miles.


As you can see there are plenty of challenges out there.  These are, of course, in addition to an ultra marathon, Ironman, Obstacle Races or something like the Western States 100, or worse...the Leadville 100.  If you want a challenge, they are out there...just don't kill yourself.


My take on all of these things

I am all for them if they help you to grow as a person.  Of the events listed, I have only done the SealFit Kokoro camp, Goruck Challenge and am currently a SealFit and Unbeatable Mind member.  The entire philosophy of SeaFit is to grow and to reach new levels of performance both mentally and physically.  It is an overwhelmingly positive experience.

Goruck is also an overwhelmingly positive experience designed to build better Americans and teach you about leadership and team work.  I love these aspects about both Goruck and SealFit.  Selection, however, is a different animal altogether.  It is not a team event and they seem rather proud of the 10% pass rate.  We will see how that one goes.  That is what I am currently training for.

I don't know enough about the others to have an opinion.  I can tell you that I am drawn to the challenge and I think that doing Kokoro, Selection and a Death Race would put me in a pretty elite little group.  I am getting WAY ahead of myself...only 1/3 the way there and Selection is not something that you look past...or really even anything that you look forward to.

I like it that there are goals out there beyond where I am currently and I am sure that there are other events that i don't even know about that are equally as challenging as some of these.  If you know of any, put them in the comments.

So, to answer your question, Layne, I strongly encourage you to do the 20x.  I watched my 16 year old son go through it and it is no joke either.  He was transformed into a man in 12 hours.  The effect was not fleeting, but permanent.  Every 16 year old should be required to do a 20x.  You will grow, you will develop and they will challenge you.  Sign up, make sure you are in shape and can exceed the standards easily and be prepared to give it your absolute best throughout the entire event and you will do just fine. 

Anyone out there preparing for any of these events?  Alumni of any?

 

Always move forward

"You may be on the right track, but if you just sit there you'll get run over."

-Paul H Dunn

Me and my Dad, 76 years old, after he came in and did 100 consecutive pushups on his 76th birthday.&nbsp; He also completed the 10,000 pushup challenge this year!&nbsp; Real Old Man Strong!&nbsp; Always moving forward.&nbsp; Good job Dad!

Me and my Dad, 76 years old, after he came in and did 100 consecutive pushups on his 76th birthday.  He also completed the 10,000 pushup challenge this year!  Real Old Man Strong!  Always moving forward.  Good job Dad!


Warmup:


Box Breathing 5 minutes

30 overhead squats with PVC

10x each: Pushups, Situps, Dips, Pullups, Burpees


Skill: Jump Rope 3 minutes


Core:
Situp progression x 5 rounds (30% of 2 min max every min on the minute for 5 minutes, then max reps on 6th)

Pushup Progression x 5 rounds (30% of 2 min max every min on the minute for 5 minutes, then max reps on 6th)



Workout: A.

20 Toes to Bars
20 Kettlebell Swings @53 lbs
x 3 rounds for time

Selection Candidates wear 45 lb ruck



Workout B.

100 burpees for time
Jump onto a 45 lb plate, clap overhead

Selection Candidates wear 45lb ruck


Workout C.

Warrior Yoga


If you are not growing you are dying.  Even if you are doing the right things, you must continually challenge yourself and grow.  Find your weakness and test it, build on it, make it your strength.  For these reasons, we have decided to do Selection.  For these same reasons, I decided to do Kokoro, Alan decided to run an Ironman, Ted decided to move to England for a year, someone else went to night school to learn Chinese.  Life is enjoyed the most when you are not comfortable, when you are pushing to the edge of anything you have done before. 

We can not always be traveling the world, or doing a crucible event like Selection or Kokoro, but our daily mental and physical training can take us to places within our selves that we have never been before.  We dont have to stay there long and it doesnt interfere with our everyday tasks or responsibilities, but the benefit is sometimes just as great as if we had traveled across the ocean to a strange and foreign land.

100 burpees for time can take you there.  You can see places that on first glance you do not want to go, but once there, you become more comfortable and travel through with no worries.  When it is over, celebrate the small victory of entering the pain cave and slaying the dragon that lived there.  For the rest of your day, have the confidence to know you can do anything, no matter how uncomfortable...just get in there, get started and it will become comfortable.


"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

-Martin Luther King, Jr.



3 man teams

Before and after of the clean up.&nbsp; Thanks to my wife and kids for helping!&nbsp;

Before and after of the clean up.  Thanks to my wife and kids for helping! 

Yesterday, my family and I pulled everything out of the garage, pressure washed the mats and let it all have the MRSA baked out of it by the sun.  It was long overdue and the amount of shit that was under the mats was amazing.  The garage was cleaned from top to bottom including the doors, stereo, drawers and cabinets.  Happy Father's Day.   It was perfect.

I left everything outside last night as I knew that alot of strong guys would be here to help first thing this morning.  The warm up was putting the garage back together.  It took 10 minutes and everything was back in place.

We had 18 people this morning which could be a problem if you only had a little bit of gear.  We are fortunate at the RRL to have plenty of equipment; more than most CrossFit gyms, but I like to do workouts that don't require alot of stuff and that are simple in explanation.  The leap frog style is a great format to accomplish both.

I knew we would have a big group today so I set up 2 workouts both of 10 minute duration and both leap frog style.  We broke into teams of 3 and did the following:


Workout A.

100 battle ropes

max pushups

max wall balls

Winner is the team with the highest running count of wall balls


Workout B.

20 GHD situps

Max Push Press @ 75 lbs

Row for calories

Winner is the team with the highest running count of calories on the rower.


Each of these workouts works the same way.  There is one station which dictates the time the other athletes stay on all stations.  One station is set as the determining station for winning.  On workout A, the first athlete does 100 battle ropes.  The second athlete is completing max pushups in the time it takes the first athlete to complete the 100 ropes and the third athlete completes max reps of wall balls.  When the first completes the ropes, he moves to the pushups and the pushup guy moves to the wall ball and continues with the running count.  We continue like this for 10 minutes and the team with the most wall balls wins.

The second workout was the same format.  The GHD situps controlled the timing and the rower dictated the win.

3 people can be trained with no equipment or just one thing like a kettlebell or a barbell.  Good format.  I like it.

The Selection candidates wore a 45 pound ruck while doing both workouts.  It was tough and there were some movements that were awkward and made far more difficult due to the ruck weight. I don't think we can be training too many weighted pushups or training with a ruck enough.  From here on out, everything we do will be with at least a 45 lb ruck.  We will also be taking some advice from Selection Graduate, James Vreeland, and giving penalties for getting beat by non candidates.  It pays to be a winner.

We finished with a 10 minute meditation using Mark Divine's Still Water Runs Deep exercise. 

A couple of new guys showed up today.  I hope they will continue to come back.  Seeing new faces at the RRL reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Lao-tzu

I wish them good luck in their journey and hope they can help us along ours.

Foot Care

Proper break in and foot care can prevent this happening to you

Proper break in and foot care can prevent this happening to you

With Selection looming on the horizon, I have had to really put some thought into foot care management.  I am blessed with good feet, or shall I say, I have not had alot of problems with my feet, but I have put alot of effort into making sure that is the case.

In Kokoro 30, we traveled a LONG way over 50 hours.  I really have no idea how far we may have gone, but we were constantly running, walking, moving.  We rucked 25 miles, ran lots of 5 to 7 milers, and just moved constantly.  Our feet were wet and boots filled with sand for about 97% of the time.  Previous to my Kokoro training, I would have stopped running if a small grain of sand was in my shoe.  If you want to do Kokoro, Selection or go to the real thing like BUDs or SFAS or anything like that, you can not stop for a little sand in your shoe. Get used to it, there will be far more time that your shoes or boots are wet and filled with muck than nice and dry.

Many people at Kokoro had issues with their feet, but I did not and it was a major factor in why I did well there and even more of why I actually enjoyed the experience.  Your feet are everything and when they go, your mind is likely to follow.  At the end of Kokoro, I saw some guys pull off their boots and socks to reveal the worst looking blisters I have ever seen.  Some had 2 or 3 areas that were blistered, bleeding and extremely painful looking.  I thought to myself and even out loud that if my feet looked like that I am not sure I would have made it. 

Those were some tough guys with unbeatable minds.  Hooyah to them, but I dont want to go into that pain cave for any reason.  Here is how I avoided it last time and plan to keep my feet healthy for Selection:

Break in your boots.  There are zillions of articles on the internet and forums that are written by professional soldiers and people with far more experience than me that are better than anything you will find here.  Search out forums like Professional Soldier and search foot care or boot break in.  They are very particular about posting there...dont do it.  Just read the gold info on the site and learn from it.  There are guys who have rucked heavy loads for more than 250,000 miles that share their knowledge.  Use it.

New age boots.  I used the Under Armour Valsetz boot and it has worked great.  It is really like a running shoe.  This boot and others like them require FAR less effort to break them in, but still need to be broken in in my opinion.  If your event allows them, I suggest them from my own experience.  Those in Kokoro with UA, Bates, Nike or New Balance sneaker boots all did fine.  Others came with steel toe leather boots and boots that were brand new and really hurt at the end. One of the best things about this boot is that it is NOT waterproof and there is plenty of mesh where the water just flows right out.  This is very important.  I do not recommend a waterproof boot for these type events as the water typically stays in the boot as well.  We are not talking about walking through mudpuddles.  This is 5 foot deep full immersion for hours.  Water IS GOING TO get in.  Pick a boot that dries quickly and lets the water out as fast as it comes in.

Break in.  I wore my boots as much as possible and got them wet before workouts every day for 3 months.  I was careful to let them dry outside everyday so they would not get real funky inside.  Walking wet, running wet and rucking wet along with just being in wet boots and socks was a huge factor in getting my feet prepped for the event. 

I think anyone could probably break in a pair of boots and walk tons of miles with nice dry socks, but in Kokoro and, I am assuming Selection, that is just not reality.  You will be wet the whole time.  Even if you get a chance to change socks, your boots are still wet so your feet are wet right away.  New socks still feel awesome but boot changes were nice to get the 3 lbs of sand out of the boot rather than to experience a nice dry foot again.  Things change when your foot is wet.  Socks can bunch up, sand gets in, and your foot slides around.  If you are not prepared for this, your feet will get shredded.  Do yourself a favor and live in wet boots and socks as much as possible.

Blisters/hot spots.  This is going to happen.  In fact, you need it to happen in training both to let you know if your boots need to be broken in further or if your feet need to get toughened up.  When you get a blister, your body responds by building tougher skin or calloused skin in that area.  It works perfectly every time.  Soon you wont be bothered by that spot any more because your feet are tough.  Make sure this happens in training NOT in the event.

After.  After the ruck or workout and you have worn the boots until the are dry or until you cant stand it anymore, pull the boots off, rinse them off and hang them out to dry.  I pull out the insoles too.  I then dry the feet, and give them a bath in rubbing alcohol and let air dry.  Watch for athletes foot starting and address it immediately.  Check for blisters and hot spots.  If you have blisters, consult the Professional Soldier site and various other websites about blister care in SFAS and you will get lots of good info.  Tincture of Benzoin has fallen out of favor for blister treatment over the last few years.  I have never tried it, but it is a sticky liquid that was injected into the blister to glue it back to the skin.  I have heard good and bad reports.  Some say that the pain will make you pass out.  This is enough for me.  I dont want that.  I just pop the blister with a needle and drain it.  If I have to keep going, Moleskin works well.

I will do an alcohol bath again at night which seems to help a little to toughen the feet.

The best advice is to get the boots broken in well beyond what you may think and continuously with water.  Do everything in wet boots.  Practice sock changes and pay close attention to the condition of your feet.

Toenails.  Cutting toenails is so important.  NEVER cut your toenails within a day or 2 of your event.  I always cut them about 5-6 days out and my nails do not grow fast enough to cause any problems in that time frame.  I can address any issues needed with a touch up but many people have had trouble when cutting nails the night before an event. 

I have always cut the nails with fingernail clippers but after reading tons of info on Professional Soldier and other forums, I have gone to using toenail clippers which are straight, not curved and cutting the big toenail straight across rather than curved.  So far so good.

If you are experimenting with different cuts, 200 days out from your event is about right.  Do not experiment close to your event.  It could be a disaster.

There is much debate over foot care and boot break in but there are also the constants which are; make sure they are really well broken in, be prepared for wet feet, and spend a ton of time in the shoes or boots you will wear in the event during training.  Do this and you will both enjoy your event more, but primarily...finish!

Ruck PT

Great to have Trey back with us after his North Pacific trip.&nbsp; Yesterday, he brought his son, Grady.&nbsp;  This is how you scale a workout.&nbsp; Smaller ruck, smaller sandbag, same exercises.&nbsp; Good work Grady and Trey!

Great to have Trey back with us after his North Pacific trip.  Yesterday, he brought his son, Grady. 

This is how you scale a workout.  Smaller ruck, smaller sandbag, same exercises.  Good work Grady and Trey!


Warmup:

Box Breathing 5 minutes

30 overhead squats with PVC

10x each: Pushups, Situps, Dips, Pullups, Burpees


Skill: Jump Rope 3 minutes


Core:

Sit-up progression x 5 rounds

Take 30% of your max 2 minute score and hit that number every minute on the minute for 5 minutes.  On the 6th minute, work the entire minute for max reps


Workout: A.

Ruck PT

With a 45 pound ruck or 45 pound sandbag complete the following for time:

50 Walking Lunge Steps

50 Pushups with ruck on

50 Squats

50 Sit-ups

50 Thrusters using the ruck or sandbag

50 Sit-ups

50 Squats

50 Pushups with ruck on

50 Walking Lunge Steps


Workout B.

10 minutes of Gratitude


Post times, reps and/or loads to comments


Happy Birthday Michael Miller!  How did you like the 60 pound ruck? 

By RRL tradition, we wear a weight vest on our birthday, despite the workout.  Sometimes it is no big deal, others make for a birthday that you will not soon forget.  Instead of putting a vest on under the ruck today, Michael decided to bump up the ruck weight from 45 to 60.  This makes a big difference on a workout like this.  Happy 37th!

This one took me 18:14 but I was only using a 45 lb ruck.  I liked it and feel like we definitely need more work on lunges and walking lunges. That is a tough movement, but one we will encounter alot in Selection.

We ended the day with 10 minutes of gratitude meditation.  This is a powerful way to start the day and remain in a state of gratitude.  Focusing on breathing while laying in the dead man pose, we think about everything we are grateful for and then end with clearing our mind of all thought...or at least attempting to.

This is an outstanding practice, highly recommended.

Have a great weekend.

Update: Several guys came over this afternoon so we hit this one again.  I was able to do it in 15:47 with 45 pounds, wet ruck, wet boots.  Good times.

6-11-14

Nuts to butts! Kokoro 30

Nuts to butts! Kokoro 30

Warmup:

Box Breathing 5 minutes

30 overhead squats with PVC

10x each: Pushups, Situps, Dips, Pullups, Burpees


Skill: Jump Rope 3 minutes


Core: Lying Hip Swing x 30


Workout: A.

2 Min Max Push-up to Army Standard



Workout B. 

2 Min Max Sit-up to Army Standard


Workout C.

Run 5 Miles

or

Row 40 minutes for max meters


Workout D.

Push Press 5-3-1


Post times, reps and/or loads to comments



For Selection, the minimum requirements for the pushups are 55 and the situps 65.  The pushups are no problem, but we are all cutting it close on the situps.  The number seems high to me and I think that ALOT of the 275 people signed up for this event may have trouble with this one event.  Fail it...go home.

I will not fail the situp test, I will make sure of that, but I can easily see how someone might overlook it in favor of alot of rucking or other work and end up in a bad spot.  6 or 7 months of training could easily be thrown away on the second event in the first 15 minutes of Selection and I am sure that it will happen to some people. 

65 situps in 2 minutes at Navy standard is not difficult at all, but the Army requires you to keep your hands locked behind the head which makes for a MUCH more difficult and thus far lower rep count.  65 is pretty tough.

My score today was 96 pushups and 69 situps.  I am focusing on consistently hitting 100 pushups and getting my situp numbers to consistently 80's.  I am planning on getting no-repped despite perfect form (mind games) and I want to make sure that I have plenty of time to get in 65 perfect reps.

My calf is still bothering me a bit and I believe it to be a slight tear in my gastroc.  I had a torn soleus 2 years ago and when I ran on it too early it developed into a serious tear that prevented me from running for 8 weeks.  I can not risk that type of injury so I might even lay off again next week despite REALLY needing and wanting to run.

Mike, Jay, Blythe and I rowed 40 minutes today which was challenging but went by quickly because of the company.  I commented to Cynthia about how lucky I feel to have such an awesome group to support the training and to call friends.  These guys are all super solid individuals.

I am trying to plan a 4 hour workout for Saturday to include full submersion with rucks packed with the Goruck packing list contents.  I want to try to see how much that will all weigh and start to refine our packing and waterproof/draining ability with the rucks.  This is very important and could easily be overlooked.  It will not be overlooked by us!