This Marksman Challenge is a test of strength and endurance. Like rucking, but with an added twist. The short version: pick up a kettlebell and carry it one handed for a mile. The devil is in the details.
The theme for May is Strength and Honor, so I’d like to spend a little time talking about what I’m doing this month in support of it. It’s going to be a doozy, and I’m telling everyone so you can hold me accountable for doing it.
This is just a quick unedited rant about why I decided to launch a physical fitness test for The Everyday Marksman. In short, 2020 sucked, and 2021 might be worse: maybe it’s time to hold ourselves to some objective standards.
It’s time to set some standards. Members of The Everyday Marksman community have been trading ideas back and forth about what a proper set of fitness standards might look like, so I decided to try and answer that question. This is Part 1.
Today’s episode has to do with the theme of the month within our community over at The Marksman’s Quarter: finding balance. I thought this was an appropriate topic because I just came off of a month-long break from writing or recording, and wanted to talk a little bit about what led to that hiatus and the things that have been on my mind.
If you’ve been around The Everyday Marksman for long, you know I’m a fan of rucking. It’s a foundational skill of light infantry work as well as a fantastic builder of strength and endurance. I thought it was time to have another challenge about it. As I write this, we are still amidst the COVID-19 struggles. It’s difficult to get together in groups, either indoors or outdoors, and ammo is hard to come by due to the panic.
So let’s do something that requires no ammunition, range time, or social contact.
Life is full of competition. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, all of life is a giant competition for resources and reproduction. Entire species either prosper or go extinct on the macro level due to their collective abilities to compete in an ever-changing environment.
Nations, businesses, and people operate in a similar way. And so should you.
In today’s episode of Everyday Marksman Radio, I’m talking to an old friend of mine, Garret Glover. What makes Garrett interesting is not that he’s my friend, though. It’s that he has managed to strike a balance between his career as an active duty Air Force officer, planning a wedding, getting his second master’s degree, running a side business, and still compete as a bodybuilder.
So where does he find 36 hours per day to fit all of this in?
It’s all about smart time management and prioritization.
This challenge is about the lowly pushup, one of the simplest and most effective exercises you can do. But, really, it’s not about the pushup itself- it’s about discipline and routine building.
I recently got the chance to speak to Dr. Whitfield East, the research physiologist for the US Army Center for Initial Military Training (CIMT). You’ve probably never heard of him, but he is responsible for leading review and analysis of military physical fitness training for the Army. More importantly, he’s a key player in developing the Army’s new Combat Fitness Test.
During this interview, we cover several important topics including the history of combat fitness testing; how military physical training evolved over time; how the new ACFT came to be; and what a training program for the average guy like you or me might look like if we were looking to maintain a solid base of fitness like this test requires.
The July 2019 Marksman Challenge is upon us. Last month the focus was on the fundamentals of rifle marksmanship, and this month we pivot to fitness. The theme of the month is rucking. So dust off your pack and let’s get to work.