Training for reserve SF

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  • #64567

    Hi all

    Posted this is general but it probably works better here

    I am a 35yo desk worker training for my country’s reserve forces

    Due to certain reasons, I can’t actually start with them for 3 years, so I have plenty of time to build a base

    The selection is lots and lots of rucking in the mountains with weight

    Need to get to the point where I can do the following:

    – Run 2km in 8m
    – Ruck 20km with 20-25kg over mountains in 5h (ie 4km / h)

    I’m trying to plan out my training for the next 3 years and am reading the book – I’m looking at two options:

    (1) Run a program similar to the book and have maybe 5x 32 week periods with (8w Transition / 20w Base / 2w Taper / 2w TEST where I go into the hills with a pack for a week and climb some mountains)


    (2) Rather than 5 periods, split this into maybe 2-3 (or even 1) period, where I have a MUCH longer interrupted base period (12m+?) – and maybe have the odd challenge hike thrown in followed by a couple of easy weeks after

    (3) They run similar events (such as this: that run 1-2x per year and would be very similar to the actual course. I could plan to do this once per year every year and build up for the full year with 8w transition, long base (40w?), 2w taper

    Thoughts? Can the base period be TOO long? If not, then I will run it for 2 years!

    Do you think I’d benefit from the personalised coaching?

    If extending the BASE period as described above, how would you manage volume and strength vs. muscular endurance work? Just do the same progression as in the book, but slow it down the progression a little?

    Finally, what are the recommended strength movements for tactical applications and how does one go about training for high rep Pushups?


Posted In: Tactical

  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #64569


    Lots of really good questions here, which I’ll do my best to answer without going too long!

    I think both of the ideas you’ve laid out here would be sound, especially given the fact that you’ve got three years to work with. The nice thing about having that much time is that you could easily try one approach and determine after a few months whether it’s working or not, and shift gears if necessary. What I would encourage you to do is create a few benchmark sessions that you can use to gauge progress (the selection events, or variations therein, would be a good start). If you find that your performance on those events is improving with your current plan, then carry on! If not, make some small tweaks and then reassess. Three years is a long enough time where it becomes hard to simply say “do this” because you’ll inevitably become stronger/fitter/better along the way and that development may require a different approach. Hopefully that makes sense…

    Two things I would emphasize throughout your training: loaded movement (ie rucking) and weighted carries/grip work. Both of those elements are crucial in selection events.

    As for the strength work, I’ve had a lot of success with guys focusing on compound movements with a secondary emphasis on unilateral strength. Unless your selection course has an absolute strength criteria, we want to be careful about becoming “too strong” at the expense of aerobic development. All that really comes down to is managing your training variables…something that individual coaching might be good for.

    Hopefully I answered a few of your questions here. Happy to help!


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