Block Periodisation for Tactical PopulationsBy Ash Zimmerlie August 23, 2020
“If a program of physical activity isn’t designed to get you stronger or faster or better conditioned by producing a specific stress to which a specific desirable adaptation can occur, you don’t get to call it training. It’s just exercise.” Mark Rippetoe
Soldiers are a unique brand of athlete, but are athletes nonetheless. To optimise human performance on the battlefield, every part of the tactical athlete’s preparation needs to be on point – physical training, nutrition, recovery and education. Indeed, their survival in combat may depend on it. Evidence-based methods increasingly support the need for a holistic training program that advocates a preventative approach to injury management, rehabilitation and research.
My thesis as outlined in this article is simple and comprised of three parts. First, I posit that traditional forms of physical training (PT) programming do not offer optimal physical progression for tactical populations. Second, implementation of a program based on a model of periodisation offers a flexible, customizable tool for unit-level physical training that realises and maximizes the benefits of the full spectrum of athletic modalities, fusing them together in a coherent and sustainable system. My third proposition is that the introduction of strength training to unit-level physical training programs has immense benefit to tactical performance and force preservation.