“The Nation today needs men who think in terms of service to their country and not in terms of their country’s debt to them.”
–General Omar Bradley

The connection between the military and strength/athleticism goes back as far as recorded history. Early sports training was designed to improve needed battle skills. If you look at Greco-Roman grappling and javelin events, this is blatantly obvious, but almost all early sporting events had some sort of military application. Being aggressive by nature, warriors responded well to the competitive aspect of sports, which made training and conditioning of warriors easier in the periods between battles. It should come as no surprise that powerlifting is extremely popular in the military and the science of training was applied to make our military the finest fighting force in the world.

For Memorial Day, we wanted to tip our hats to the brave men and women of the military and take a look back over recent years on some of the articles from elitefts™ that covered training for the tactical athlete (a term that includes police, fire and military personnel). These articles not only offer practical information to help someone become the best soldier possible, but they also can be adapted so to be used in any strength and conditioning program.

First up, this article from Josh Henkin, Training Considerations for the Tactical Athlete, which originally posted on October 15, 2009, provides some basic considerations when designing a military program. This is a good basic place to start your preparation.

In Military Training: There isn't Any Secret (originally posted on Dec. 13, 2011), author Chris Davis focuses on five exercises that can compromise the base of a great military training program. This one will get you in shape FAST!

on July 11, 2011, Charles Gardner wrote Combat Fitness Training for Military Officer Candidates, which details a grueling conditioning program done outside the gym and focuses on numerous lifts and carries. This program will rack up a great score for anyone taking the Marine Combat Fitness Test or just looking to be ready for whatever the world throws at them.

Many members of the military are lean and wiry, but Donnie Kiernan, a strongman competitor and U.S. Army Reservist, shares How I Passed Basic Training at 235 Pounds in this fantastic story that originally appeared on December 18, 2008. His experiences show that it took a combination of strategy and heart to make it out the other side.

In this well-written three-parter, The Tactical Meathead shared some background in a humorous and informative first installment that posted on April 12, 2011: The Education of a Tactical Meathead (part one). In the second installment, which posted on April 27, 2011, The Tactical Meathead wrote, Training at Home Station, which covered strategies for balancing training with your military duties. Finally, in a third segment (posted on May 5, 2011) the Tactical Meathead discussed Training While Deployed.

And...perhaps the best of the bunch...Thank You for Inspiration, From U.S. Army in Iraq by Army First Lieutenant, Christopher DiEugenio, which posted on January 20, 2011. First Lieutenant DiEugenio thanks us for all we do, despite the fact that he and the millions of other military personnel risk their lives to keep us safe. We thank ALL of you!


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