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Preview – PT – Get Off Your Ass

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Photography by Shinnosuke Tanaka

A Former Delta Operator Advocates for a Performance-Focused Approach to Maintaining Your Combat Chassis

Welcome to the debut of PT, an occasional section about fitness and nutrition that’s aimed at enhancing not just your shooting abilities, but also your general well-being. We’re honored to have the premiere edition written by an elite combat veteran and firearms instructor who needs no introduction: Pat McNamara. Now you can stop trying to look like a badass and train like one.

Telling a guy how to work out is like telling him how to work the barbeque pit in his backyard. Most of us learn how to work out via muscle mags, tips from the “tough guy” at the gym, or, these days, videos you saw on the Internet. You then fall into a rut and live in a world where functionality takes a back seat to cosmetics. You may put peaks on your biceps and chisel your abs, but you’ve still got a pencil neck, your balance sucks, your grip strength is sub-par and you are promoting injury.

When training with weights, the old standby of working body parts is virtually an anachronism. If you isolate specific muscle groups in your routine, you can actually weaken them because they need to be used in a functional fashion. If you are still working body parts in your weight training, you are probably one of three people: 1) you’re a body-builder, 2) you’re going through physical therapy, or 3) you have no idea what you’re doing.

Through mentoring and education, I got away from the nonsense of building pretty muscles and started a performance-based training regimen about 15 years ago. The difference between performance-based training and outcome-based training is that I’m able to work within my capability level. Training toward outcomes simply emphasizes how many, how much, and how fast. Performance-based training focuses on how well you do at each given task — e.g. rather than x reps of y weight in z period of time, work meaningful repetitions until you are done. If we train this way, we can work with what we are given and more effectively push ourselves to improve.

Combat Strength Training
I define my system as Combat Strength Training (CST). Find a full-length mirror and take a good look — that’s your “combat chassis” and you need to take care of it. The CST system develops the combat chassis to perform with maximum efficiency at maximum capacity.

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