The Combat Strength Training workout takes only 25 to 30 minutes a day and doesn’t involve expensive exercise equipment, which makes this ideal for our men and women who are deployed and don’t have access to an actual gym. This training system allows you to use whatever you have available for resistance and weight. I’ll go into more detail with each exercise as to what you can use in place of actual gym weights.
Here is the workout as I do it. I’ve been doing this for several weeks now and let me tell ya, it will smoke your body! There is an easy way to determine if you’re doing the workout correctly – if you feel like you’re going to puke at the end, then you’ve succeeded. I shoot for a goal of five days each week, taking weekends off, but I do a minimum of three days each week.
The key to the exercises with weights is to find a weight that you’ll be at failure on the 20th rep. Oh, and there is no rest period between exercises!
1. Standing overhead shoulder press (20 reps) – For this exercise I use a 5-gallon water jug full of water. The benefit of using that over a standard barbell is that the sloshing water forces you to keep it stabilized as you do the presses, which in turn uses many smaller muscles. You could also use a keg full of water or if you choose – beer!
2. Squat (20 reps) – For this exercise I use a military sea bag that has a liner inside, filled with about 90lbs of sand.
3. Lateral raises (20 reps) – I start out with 15lb dumbbells until I get to failure, then switch to 8lb dumbbells to finish off the 20 reps. You could also use chains, bricks, or humvee suspension springs as shown in the featured image of the article.
4. Chin ups (20 reps) – Do as many as you can unassisted, and then use resistance bands or a spotter to assist with the remaining reps until you reach 20.
5. Stone curls (20 reps) – I start out with a 40lb dumbbell until I get to failure, then switch to a 30lb dumbbell to finish out the set. You could also use actual stones, cinder blocks, or full sand bags.
6. Dumbbell Bench press (20 reps) – I use 40lb dumbbells for the entire set. Again, the benefit of using the dumbbells over a barbell is that you are forced to control each dumbbell, which in turns uses many smaller muscles to assist in stabilizing the weights.
7. Push ups (20 reps) – Use the standard width grip. If you can’t do all 20, then drop to your knees and finish out the remaining set. Don’t be embarrassed if you need to drop to your knees, it’s part of your muscle growth. If somebody decides they want to make fun of you, ask them to join you for the next workout. I guarantee they change their attitude!
8. Flutter kicks (100 reps) – I chose flutter kicks, but you can choose your preferred ab exercise and perform 100 reps.
The original Combat Strength Training system was developed by Pat McNamara, a former SFOD-D Operator.
Give it a try and let me know what you guys think or share what you do to keep in shape. If the workout you’re doing doesn’t challenge you, then it won’t change you.