Special and Elite forces training requires people that have specific qualities- integrity, self-discipline, confidence, dependability together with mental and physical strength and toughness. They have to have the capacity to continue when someone with the same fatigued mental or physical state gives up or cannot continue. Having the edge in this setting can save your life.
Special Forces type training:
Special and Elite forces aside, anyone with the above qualities normally do very well in life and are successful in most things they do. They are high achievers and people tend to look up to or are inspired by their drive, focus and resilience professionally or personally. They tend to make good role models, leaders of people and manage stressful situations well.
Why Weighted Fitness?
Weighted Fitness is the first phase of using the core qualities outlined above and developing them to increase the physical and mental strength together with the resilience to push your personal limits and stretch your ability even further. Training for a marathon, triathlon, 5km park run or resistance training in the gym 3 days a week all have their place for people wanting to be the best that they can be.
There are a number of components of physical fitness which facilitate quality overall fitness and authentic muscle movement:
- Cardiovascular endurance
- Muscular endurance
- Muscular strength
- Reaction time
Most people without realising it are striving to increase their ability in some of the areas above but few of us have a broader capability or skill in all the above disciplines. All these components are necessary to develop good overall physical fitness. No matter how hard you train you’re likely to increase the risk of injury and not be as successful as you’d like in your chosen sport or hobby! The key is to engage in as many of these disciplines as you can, often enough to make permanent changes and increase your body’s ability to handle more physical demands. This in turn increases your mental and emotional tolerances at all levels. One way to train that incorporates the majority of the above components is weighted fitness.
My philosophy and something that I have taught whilst on training teams during my career from SF selection preparation, to anti-ambush operations in Iraq, whilst preparing people for global expeditions or just increasing someones general fitness, is that weighted fitness is integral to a balanced training platform. It not only enhances an individual physically, but emotionally and mentally increasing tolerance to the central nervous system fatigue from training. It’s suitable for anyone, of any ability who wants to become something a little better than the ‘average Jo’ whether that’s becoming a better runner, endurance athlete or increasing general fitness.
Central Nervous System training:
The central nervous system (with help from the brain and spinal cord) plays a vital role in our health, physical and mental ability. It has the ability to heal, regulate and regenerate itself. This is why we should train it increasing its efficiency and effectiveness because it plays such a huge role in our ability to function at all levels.
If you train one arm, the other arm will become stronger without the extra training. This effect is called cross education and has been a phenomenon within the scientific community forever. Different parts of our body talk to each other and influence each other, even when they are far apart and presumably unconnected! This symmetrical effective functioning of the central nervous system is hugely beneficial and should be used to influence how people train and how people should rehabilitate after an injury to one side of the body.
The importance of training the central nervous system shouldn’t be underestimated. One way to do this very effectively is with load. Weighted fitness puts all the components of physical fitness together. Adding weight increases the training applied on the entire skeletal, muscular and central nervous systems. Over time your ability to function at a more optimised level increases significantly when compared to an average person. It increases an individual’s ability on all levels.
Changes to your state of mind:
Weighted fitness engages the central nervous system a great deal, which is why it’s important to manage your progression correctly. British Special and Elite Forces use this type of training to form the backbone of all that they do. This is because it is a hugely beneficial to help form the baseline of all physical and mental toughness. It increases an individual’s ability to work at a very high physical capacity and function with increased emotional and mental tolerances.
This aids the ability for people to become stronger swimmers; cross fitters, walkers, weight trainers and runners and better emotionally rounded people.
Weighted Fitness is a way to increase your emotional ability. A combination of good nutrition and fitness is key to emotional strength. Its key to anyone’s emotional well being. Physical fitness is a scientifically proven way to increase positivity, creativity, focus, patience and constructiveness. It decreases anxiety, negativity, sadness, depression and cloudiness which is a drain on life and disrupts the equilibrium within the human body and mind.
How do people prepare themselves mentally and physically for Special Forces type training? How can people be trained in all the above characteristics? Are they just special individuals?
It takes a very special person to get to a stage in their life where they want to invest in their emotional, mental and physical well-being to such an extent. Every one has the capacity to increase their own self-discipline, confidence, dependability and focus. We all have the capacity to go that little further than the “average Jo” person next to us to endure what seems at the time to be unachievable. This type of training enables individuals to cope better with the stresses and strains of life, to be able to react to events that we may be faced with no matter how severe in this ever-changing world. It provides the moral courage, fitness and strength to manage people when it counts and to be relied upon when needed, making sound decisions under pressure.
Do you want to be the person that steps forward to assist rather than backing away – is weighted fitness for you?