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Old 12-03-2009, 05:35 AM   #1
Loni Venn
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Default Police Academy

I just got hired by my local police department and start the academy in late February early March. I have been doing a basic strength training program and tabata intervals (row, run, doubleunders) for a few months now to try working on my strength. My strength has increased, but my running has definitely taken a hit (suprise!). My lifts are now at Squat: 275, Deadlift: 345, Press: 135, Chin: 90, Bench: 225. I am 6'2 and 190 lbs at 12-13% bf. I follow a paleo diet and recently lowered my carbs in an effort to bring the bf down to 10% or so.

The academy will be very run and calisthenic intensive. I suck pretty bad at both of these right now as I have been working on my meager strength numbers. I would like to keep working at strength as I have seen the guys at the academy and they all look like holocaust survivors. At the same time I don't want to die when we are doing all that running.

Does anyone have advice on a 3-4 month training program I can implement here? I have done crossfit in the past (1 1/2 years?). My only complaint was that my strength levels took a nose dive while cfing. I am aware of the CA workouts, but my gym does not have bumper plates.

I was think that Coach Rutherford's MEBB might be my best option.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:11 AM   #2
Garrett Smith
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I think you're right on with the MEBB. Do that, and make your metcons consist mainly of the type of cals that will be done at the academy. Seems pretty simple to me.
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Old 12-03-2009, 07:27 AM   #3
Allen Yeh
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A few questions and then a few comments:

Do you have run time goals you need to meet for the academy?

What are your current run times?

How many days a week can you devote to training? How do you recover?

I haven't taken a look at the recent changes in MEBB but that is a solid option, as is the 5/3/1 stuff and even Dan Johns one lift a day stuff (MEBB is similiar but a few differences).

Regardless of what you choose for your strength goals, the other things should be easily handled and simply. Run 3-4x a week, depending on your goals/requirements will depend how many longer run days are needed and how many interval days. For me prepping for Officer Basic Course I wanted to get my ability to run 5 miles up as well as speed up my 2-mile run time. So 1 day I'd run 4-6 miles, and 1 day I'd do intervals of either 400's or 800's and then one day I'd devote to either sprints or strides. KISS is the way to go here. As long as you keep your calories and recovery methods you should have no problems making progress with both. As for the conditioning that is easy enough to do as a finisher or something along those lines on your strength days.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:11 AM   #4
Loni Venn
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Thanks for the feedback. I plan on devoting 5 days a week to working out. I would say I am in the middle of the pack as far as recovering from workouts. I ran 1 1/2 miles in 10:27 at my pre-hire fitness test. My only goal run wise is to be better than most of my peers and not get any running related injuries. I finished first on the run at my fitness test if that gives you any indicator of how fit the recruits are going into the academy. I might have to take part in some sort of PT 3-4 days a week starting this coming monday. That would completely change things, but here is the plan I have come up with:

Alternate between 3 on 1 off and 2 on 1 off. Alternate between 3 strength workouts and 2 met con workouts a week and 2 strength and 3 met cons.

Strength Workouts:

Workout A
A) Deadlift 5X5 or 5X3
B) 1 Leg Deadlift 2X15
C1) Wood Chop 2X8-10
C2) Plank 2X60s

Workout B
A1) Bench 5X5 or 5X3
A2) Chin-Up 5X5 or 5X3
B1) Incline DB Bench 2X15
B2) Close Grip Cable Row 2X15
C1) Reverse Cable Wood Chop 2X8-10
C2) Plank 2X60s

Workout C
A) Squat 5X5 or 5X3
B) Reverse Lunge 2X15
C1) Revers Crunch 3X15
C2) Side Plank 2X30s

Met Con Workouts:
* Triplets and Couplets lasting 2-17 minutes
* Focus on running, push-ups, sit-ups, with some weights thrown in the mix

I figured I will run with this until it stops working.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:36 AM   #5
Garrett Smith
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Wait until Monday, then report back.

As of right now, your program looks like it could use some simplification. Also, you might start throwing in some more shoulder & hip prehab to prevent the injuries from the excessive & imbalanced cals you'll be doing in academy...for example, you need some external rotation exercises in there for sure.

Personally, I would drop the bench. Benching plus a lot of push-ups is a recipe for shoulder problems, IMO.

Your program looks very bodybuilding-inspired, was this designed by someone else?
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:58 AM   #6
Loni Venn
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I made it up myself. Maybe I should just pick a workout plan (MEBB, Wendler 5/3/1, etc.) and go with it. I realize that keeping it simple is usually the way to go. Somehow I end up making it complicated.
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:23 AM   #7
Gavin Harrison
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Loni,

I'd go with 5/3/1, the volume on the main lifts is pretty low, but enough to make excellent progress. You can work on your cals as assistance exercises after the main lifts. Then you can do some running/conditioning (either Steady State runs or some hill sprints or prowler pushes, no HIIT). Realize, you're going to have to focus more on one thing or the other, so until you get into the academy, you'll need to focus less on your main lifts and more on the cals and conditioning to bring them up to speed. That doesn't mean your lifts need to tank though

EDIT/PS: The lifts in 5/3/1 have given percentage and goal reps. It's really hard to screw it up by over thinking or poorly planning.
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:31 AM   #8
Allen Yeh
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Mandatory PT could change things, so it's hard to come up with a plan until you know that factor. At BOLC III I was doing PT 3-5 times a week in the mornings usually and then hitting the gym in the afternoons 3-4 times a week, recovery was pretty good. I just made sure I ate and slept enough when possible.

The program below looks a bit complicated. I think going with MEBB or 5/3/1 would be a simpler approach and easier to keep track of and adjust as needed.

Like Garrett said with the running make sure you have the proper mobility/flexibility things in there to help prevent injuries:
1. Soft tissue stuff - foam roller, The Stick, tennis ball...etc pre and post workout
2. joint mobility/warmup stuff - take a look at the warmup sticky in the flexibility forum.
3. Foot mobility drills - detailed in the sticky too I think

I would keep the bench even with the push-ups. Although I would allow that you should work on getting your bench technique down and possible reworking the entire lift. This will cut-off any possible shoulder problems at the pass.

Metcons I would throw in as a finisher at the end of a strength day (sub-10 or even sub-5) or 1 day alone. However with the running and with the strength stuff I wouldn't say it's needed.

Another book to look into would be the Maximum Strength book by Eric Cressey, very detailed programmed very well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loni Venn View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I plan on devoting 5 days a week to working out. I would say I am in the middle of the pack as far as recovering from workouts. I ran 1 1/2 miles in 10:27 at my pre-hire fitness test. My only goal run wise is to be better than most of my peers and not get any running related injuries. I finished first on the run at my fitness test if that gives you any indicator of how fit the recruits are going into the academy. I might have to take part in some sort of PT 3-4 days a week starting this coming monday. That would completely change things, but here is the plan I have come up with:

Alternate between 3 on 1 off and 2 on 1 off. Alternate between 3 strength workouts and 2 met con workouts a week and 2 strength and 3 met cons.

Strength Workouts:

Workout A
A) Deadlift 5X5 or 5X3
B) 1 Leg Deadlift 2X15
C1) Wood Chop 2X8-10
C2) Plank 2X60s

Workout B
A1) Bench 5X5 or 5X3
A2) Chin-Up 5X5 or 5X3
B1) Incline DB Bench 2X15
B2) Close Grip Cable Row 2X15
C1) Reverse Cable Wood Chop 2X8-10
C2) Plank 2X60s

Workout C
A) Squat 5X5 or 5X3
B) Reverse Lunge 2X15
C1) Revers Crunch 3X15
C2) Side Plank 2X30s

Met Con Workouts:
* Triplets and Couplets lasting 2-17 minutes
* Focus on running, push-ups, sit-ups, with some weights thrown in the mix

I figured I will run with this until it stops working.
__________________
"And for crying out loud. Don't go into the pain cave. I can't stress this enough. Your Totem Animal won't be in there to help you. You'll be on your own. The Pain Cave is for cowards.
Pain is your companion, don't go hide from it."
-Kelly Starrett
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:23 PM   #9
Ryan Secor
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Loni - Congrats on getting hired! The police academy is probably the most fun thing you never want to do again. I have a bit of personal experience in the area of academy PT... and with that being said here's my $0.02:

Your classmates will probably not be even close to you in anything calesthenic-wise (espeically if you have a met-con/CF/athletic background). The caliber of police recruit is simply appalling and most people would be apalled to see what kind of people are becoming police officers. This is important to remember for two reasons: First and most immediately - as you've already discovered you'll be totally fine on the running/calisthenics side of things. Second and probably most importantly - you're going to quickly realize how important it is for you to stay at the top of your game both mentally and physically when you get out of the academy and end up in the streets. More than likely (unless you're lucky), you'll find that your partner is sometimes going to be more of a liability than an asset to you and you MUST be on top of everything mentally/physically so you can handle situations and go home safely. You have to be ready to handle business - and I've found through my experience taking care of yourself is the best way to be ready to do that -- which is why it's awesome to see what you're doing already.... I just want to encourage you to keep it up and stay consistent with it because it's super important (I'm sure you will).

The academy will do nothing to help you strength - just the opposite. You'll find your metcon/calisthenic/running ability will be amazing... but you probably don't care much about that. The stress of both endurance activities and just the "academy/training games" will put a massive load on your body and you'll probably find it difficult to not look like an emaciated holocaust survivor at the end of the academy.

My first suggestion is EAT! I don't know what academy you're going to, but you will likely (maybe not at the beginning) get fairly frequent short breaks. Take advantage of them and pound some food at every opportunity. If things are going right, you should be settling in at literally 5-6+ meals/snacks every day at the academy plus whatever you eat at home. When you get out and if you're agency goes straight to patrol this will be a little more tricky so take adavantage of the frequent feeding opportunities while you can.

My second suggestion is SLEEP! You're going to be waking up super-early... make sure you get adequate sleep. It's easy not to - especially if you like staying up late... I'm pointing this out because having this as your priority should affect your workouts. It's tough to fit a long day at the academy, study sessions, eating, working out, studying on your own, etc all in one day... and do it 5 days a week. Make sure you get your sleep.

So thirdly, my workout suggestion would basically mirror what everyone (and you) have already said. Definately focus on the strength side of things. In fact, I probably wouldn't even do any (maybe a few) met-cons... IF I had time for that I'd personally drop that for skill work or do real heavy met-cons (think CFFB). MEBB and Wendler's 5/3/1 are both outstanding suggestions and you should use one of those or something similar for your basic program. IMO on the days you're working, you should get into the gym, work out heavy, make it quick, and get out of there so you can study, prepare for the next day and sleep.

My last suggestion is this:
Think about going for the CF Games this year if it interests you at all. Seriously. I don't know what kind of level of fitness you're at right now, but nothing whips people into shape like the academy -- IF you/they approach it with the right attitude. Your job literally depends on how you do physically in the academy and your life depends on how well you physically perform... so you will push yourself beyond your limits. You have a great opportunity to maximize your personal athletic abilities during the academy and depending on how your department works it'll be a lot more difficult to do that once you're out (for a number of various reasons). All that being said, if it interests you just go for it and see what happens...

Hope this helps. Good luck!
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:22 PM   #10
Ryan Secor
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As far as training leading up to the academy, you seem to know exactly what to expect. I'd suggest in addition to strength training hitting met-cons similar to Angie, Tabata Something Else, Helen, Eva, lots of burpees... basically calisthenic and running-heavy workouts. If you have weak abs (i.e. can't do a lot of situps) be prepared to start doing a ton of situps and leg raises. Something even like the BUD/S prep program may even be something you may like... I know all that isn't necessarily best for overall fitness but it will prepare you what the academy PT has.

Finally, I would suggest learning the POSE technique and become pretty acquainted with SMR techniques/Trigger Point or something similar. I'm personally aware of many recruits that sustain some serious stress fractures and other running injuries during the academy from all the running... make sure to do it right. Practice your SMR techniques frequently too to aid in injury prevention/recovery.
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