A body-breaking attempt to get back in gym shape
By Ethan Griner, Correspondent
If there is one thing the COVID-19 lockdowns taught us, it’s how to improvise in the wake of adversity. Like many of you, I definitely ran the gamut of trying home workouts but I found one that worked great for the well-rounded fitness-oriented folks.
This workout was developed by T3i Special Warfare Developers. This company is contracted by the United States Air Force and has their programs vetted by independent trainers as well as the United States Air Force Special Operations Command. This workout is guaranteed COVID-safe as well as free!
The required materials are as follows: a pull up bar, flat running surface, a pool, and a mat. It is important to note, any part of this workout can be modified or removed due to lack of equipment. Note, the program warns not to attempt these workouts without consulting a physician or attempt swimming without a safety swimmer or a lifeguard present.
My honest review of it….. Fantastically hard! This workout program spans 21 days and progressively gets harder. The first week was not too bad, introducing you to form and basic foundational exercise movements and a daily increase of cardio (swims and runs).
As I broke the barrier into the second week, the program specified an increased focus on form while it increased total repetitions as well as diversifying the types of pushups and pull-ups. I also started integrating pool-side flutter kicks and 800-meter swims.
The last and hardest part of the program is known as “prep” week. The workout mimics the military’s “Physical Aptitude and Stamina Test” (PAST) and especially stresses form. What makes the prep week hard is the program administers multiple sets of the PAST in as quick of time as you can manage. The feeling at the end can only be described as laying on the pool deck, catching my breath, and wondering “why.”
The best part of this workout was the pool. Hands down. The pool offered a mindless combination of breathing and arm movement and had very little impact on my body. Though after all the other events, the strokes felt more like flailing.
If there was a worst aspect of the program, it was honestly the mental test of the workouts. They are designed to be started and finished in one hour, and unless otherwise specified, there is no rest period between repetitions or exercises. Unlike your self-guided gym workouts, when you are out of breath, you keep going and use other exercises to rest portions of your body.
After following the program for three weeks, I cannot recommend this workout to everyone, but I can in good faith recommend everyone at least try the first three days of it. For those looking for a bulk, this is not the right program. However, if you want a mental workout as well as a very targeted toning of your: traps, lats, triceps, and core as well as development of log twitch muscle fibers I would definitely recommend it.