AB Conference: Military Fitness Specialists' Mission


Denis Logan turns out to be the perfect messenger for "Mission-Specific Preparation" - he's holding the rapt attention of 120 military fitness professionals at 8-something in the morning with a very focused talk on the principles as well as the methods involved in training for the demands of the military environment. A performance/education specialist with Athletes' Performance, Logan has a strength coach's demeanor (salty language and all) that meshes well with the no-nonsense look sported by most of the men and women in this large hall.

Expounding on his last slide, which quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson…

"As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble."

…Logan talked about the problems of creating an entire program based on the use of Kettlebells or TRX (which is everywhere in military programs specifically because of its ability to be picked up and moved around) rather than a program based on the use and movement of the body regardless of the equipment used. "If you understand the system, you can apply whatever method you want, whatever you have at your disposal," Logan said. "If you're running a kettlebell program but you go somewhere where you don't have kettlebells, you're screwed."

In keeping with military's increased focus on comprehensive fitness, Logan's remarks apply to soldiers in combat zones but are geared toward the other 95 percent - the support structure of the fighting men and women, as well as their families. A recent study noted by Logan found that race-car drivers sustained a heart rate of between 160 and 172 throughout an entire race, based on their sustained focus, heat, stress and the G force pulling them in one direction as opposed to the other. This is the heart rate of an athlete - albeit one who is sitting down for hours at a time. The nodding among the attendees was immediate and intense - everybody here has experience in dealing with people who may have desk jobs but are nonetheless under a high level of stress.

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