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  • Designing a PT Plan/ Frustrations

    Ladies and Gents,
    I'm currently trying to help out a few out of shape cadets get prepared for the academy and I was wondering if you could recommend any plans for them. So far I have them doing pushups until they can't do them anymore and then go to their knees and continue until muscle failure. I have them doing flutter kicks, crunches, sit ups, supine bicycle and keeping their feet six inches off the ground and holding it for 30 seconds. The part I'm having the most trouble coming up with is what to do for their run that will help them improve, but also give me a decent work out. I run 3 times a week and my 1.5 mile time is usually right on 10 minutes. Some of them are really out of shape and one lap around the track has them winded. My other BIG problem is getting them to show up, its all voluntary so they don't HAVE to be there. I usually only get about 3-4 at the most. I'd like to do Fartlek runs with them, but most can't sprint that hard and come back to a decent jog. I can't punish them for not coming and the old "this will make it easier on you later" doesn't seem to be working all that well. Any brilliant ideas on how to increase attendence or a decent run program?
    Thanks!
    "Long hours, hard work, but hey, at least the pay sucks."

  • #2
    you can ask them to change their diet, or help them modify it. The running part....just have to keep at it, when I first started running it was hard, but the more you run the better.

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    • #3
      i think running sprints would help them the most. it's not how long you train with cardio, it's the intensity. you can run 100 yard sprints for 5 minutes (not continuous sprints) and get more of a workout than a 1.5 mile run
      We don't need no stinking badges!

      If there ain't no waves, you ain't rowing!

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      • #4
        Re: Designing a PT Plan/ Frustrations

        Originally posted by Kevin509
        Ladies and Gents,
        I'm currently trying to help out a few out of shape cadets get prepared for the academy and I was wondering if you could recommend any plans for them. So far I have them doing pushups until they can't do them anymore and then go to their knees and continue until muscle failure. I have them doing flutter kicks, crunches, sit ups, supine bicycle and keeping their feet six inches off the ground and holding it for 30 seconds. The part I'm having the most trouble coming up with is what to do for their run that will help them improve, but also give me a decent work out. I run 3 times a week and my 1.5 mile time is usually right on 10 minutes. Some of them are really out of shape and one lap around the track has them winded. My other BIG problem is getting them to show up, its all voluntary so they don't HAVE to be there. I usually only get about 3-4 at the most. I'd like to do Fartlek runs with them, but most can't sprint that hard and come back to a decent jog. I can't punish them for not coming and the old "this will make it easier on you later" doesn't seem to be working all that well. Any brilliant ideas on how to increase attendence or a decent run program?
        Thanks!
        A few observations re: your post:

        1. Your focus right now should be on helping these guys establish a solid running base. Fartleks would not be appropriate for this group. Rather, they should be working towards being able to comfortably run for a continuous distance of 2 miles.

        If they currently cannot run even 1 lap of the track without getting winded, then being able to run a two mile distance should take them somewhere between 6-8 weeks (assuming they are running 3-4 times per week).

        I would suggest that you encourage them to walk-run for now (don't even WORRY about their time), until they hit the one mile - and then progress gradually from there. Over the course of the next few weeks the amount they walk will DECREASE, and the amount they run will INCREASE until they can cover the entire distance.

        At that point they will have established a solid cardio and running base, and you can begin to incorporate fartleks, intervals, pickups, whatever - to help them increase their speed.

        Consider changing the scenery of your runs on a regular basis - track one day (yuk - hate 'em), road the next, trail the next.

        Also encourage them to participate in other cardio activities that they enjoy in their own time (swimming, roller blading, biking etc.) to help support their running.

        Teach them how to pace. Teach them about good running form. Make sure that they eat and drink well. Make sure that they wear good shoes. Make sure that they know the early signs of running injuries. Make sure that they warm up adequately prior to each run, and that they stretch at the end of each run.

        2. I know that the supine bicycle/flutter kicks/holding feet off the ground, are all common military and academy exercises. Just be aware that all of these exercises place a good deal of stress on the lower back (particularly problematic for those who are very out-of-shape and/or overweight).

        If you are not doing it already, have them place their hands underneath their butt while doing the feet holding and flutter kicking - it will take some of the stress off their back and help to lower their chances of injury.

        You may also want to incorporate some training with weights into their strength development program just to mix it up a bit (decrease boredom, decrease chances for injury, work different muscle groups in different ways etc.).

        Also install a pullup bar over a doorjam, and have them do a set every time they go through the door.

        Muscular S&E work should also be done 3 times a week. Because absolute strength is usually neither tested for, nor trained for at the academy - I would focus all weight training on muscular endurance.

        Teach 'em safe lifting technique and how to avoid injuries. Make sure they lift safely, and are working at a gradual and progressive pace. Make sure they warm up adequately and stretch when they're done.

        3. You mentioned wanting to help them improve, and at the same time give YOURSELF a decent workout. Forget it - it's not gonna happen (and frankly it SHOULDN'T happen).

        You and the people you are trying to help, are worlds apart in terms of fitness ability. You can't push them beyond their individual abilities in order to get them to the place that YOU are. And you can't work them to fit your own agenda.

        And to be really honest, if you are taking on the role of "trying to help out a few out of shape cadets" (and from what you say, these guys are WAY out of shape), they need your attention, supervision and guidance. Yeah - they're newbies and they need you to hold their hand.

        My advice - put YOUR fitness needs aside while you work with these guys, and get your OWN workouts in your own time. If you can KEEP these guys involved long enough, you will hold their hand less and less over time. Really.

        4. How do you keep these guys motivated, and how do you get other guys involved? Very tough questions! Some suggestions:

        a) Adults respond best to a trainer who is knowledgeable, caring and approachable. They also respond best when they KNOW and UNDERSTAND what they're doing (and why they're doing it). Education is a key factor to success

        b) Devise a complete program that works all components, keeps them injury free, allows them adequate rest periods in between workouts(at least 2 non-consecutive days off for them to rest and repair), and keeps them interested

        c) Remember that these guys are adults - no one likes to be hurt, injured, disrespected, discouraged or be made to feel inferior or inadequate. Treat them well

        d) Encourage them to keep a record of their workouts. Many people respond well to seeing improvements in their time/distance/amount of weight lifted etc.

        e) Encourage the **** out of them - notice every little victory that your guys experience (every damn one of 'em) and then praise, encourage and congratulate. Always (always) congratulate effort

        f) Kevin, I have read a number of your posts, and I know that you have a strong love for, and committment to physical fitness. The biggest thing you can do for these guys is to try and instill that love and committment in THEM.

        I have said it before - fitness is not a destination - it is (or at least SHOULD be) a lifelong journey. If you can find ways to help them love it as much as you do, you will have given these guys MUCH MUCH MORE than "helping them get through the academy PT classes". I encourage you to try and approach your training with these guys from that perspective.

        Good luck - and stay in touch!!
        Last edited by krj; 03-31-2004, 08:39 PM.

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        • #5
          Guys,
          Thank you for some excellent posts. I'll make sure I post an update each week or so to let you know how things are going. Thank you again for the great advice.
          "Long hours, hard work, but hey, at least the pay sucks."

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          • #6
            Everyone had good repsonses but I would like to add that fartleks aren't hard sprints combined with jogging, that's intervals, fartleks are running at your training pace(1:45 seconds less than a 5k race pace) with periods of slight increase in speed.

            I personally don't like combining running with weight training or calestenics. cardio is just going to hinder performance and is counter productive to strength training. Do cardio to work cardio the most effectively, rest, then do pushups, situps, and weight training to work that the most effectvely.

            KRJ was absolutely right: w/o a cardio base nothing else can be done to improve the run.

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            • #7
              what I did to get prepared for the huge run for the army was go to a local high school and run on the track a little each day and each day increase the distance just a little until its over a the amount I need to do, and continue that routine.
              Operation iraqi freedom veteran

              "Even the paranoid have enemies"

              "Stay safe and be good to yourself and eachother"

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