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Enhance Athletic Performance through Movement Complexity

In order to achieve superior athletic performance you need to be efficient with your movements.  In other words you need to perform the same movements as your opponent, but spending a lot less energy.  This is not only true for athletes, but for first responders as well.  Saving energy is the key to survival.

So how do can you become more efficient in your movements?

The key to efficiency is of course perfect technique.  Haven’t you ever noticed during your workouts that reps are a lot tougher when your technique breaks down? Maintaining perfect technique during high stress situations should be the goal of every athlete.  Perfect technique will make you biomechanically more efficient and injury free, both vital for athletic performance (Scott Sonnon has deciphered a great training system that includes this principal, but I will get to that later).

Now perfect technique may not sound like a great revelation, but if you join it with movement complexity it will boost your athleticism by the hundreds (not sure how that works, but it sounds awesome).  Tudor O. Bompa in his book Periodization: Theory and Methodology of Training defines complexity as the degree of sophistication and biomechanical difficulty of a skill. Training intensity cannot only be increased through reps, weight, density or volume, but also through complexity.  Learning a complex skill, like the tennis swing, golf swing or basketball lay up, may require extra work, in comparison to more basic skills, especially if the athlete possesses inferior neuromuscular coordination.

Click on the image if you want the book.


When you carry out a simple task only a small portion of your brain is used.  This is why you can walk and talk on the phone at the same time, but when you carry out a complex task doing more than one thing can be overwhelming, especially if it is new to you.

According to Eniseler (2005) complexity of previously learned skills may impose physiological stress even though the skills have been mastered.  This gives you or your athletes a whole new concept or variable to introduce in your training.

How to Introduce Complex Movement into Your Training

There are various ways in which you can add complexity to your training.  For beginners I would go with some Hip Hop dance movements (if you like dancing), some step exercises, or any silly exercise that requires coordination (you will find a few of these on youtube).

This is how I introduce movement complexity to enhance my athleticisim. I usually training using Scott Sonnon’s 4 day wave.  With this protocol you have a no, low, moderate, and high intensity days.  I like to do some silly coordination exercises (magic and juggling fall into this category) on my no intensity days; on low intensity days I like to incorporate some hip hop (which I’m really bad at) movements, stuff that makes me have to move more than one joint at the time and that gets my heart pumping a bit; moderate days I go with some parkour or freerunning vaults and jumps, I also do TACFIT and clubbells, this obviously depends on how I’m feeling; finally high intensity days are TACFIT and maybe (big maybe) clubbells.

Learn the difference between TACFIT and CrossFit.

tactical fitnessA bit on TACFIT if you haven’t heard of it.

Improvement is most programs is defined as an increase in variables like intensity, speed, volume, duration, etc.  Tactical fitness, on the other hand, “intends to develop the motor patterns and energy systems directly impacting your ability to respond to a crisis”.  Tactical fitness not only works on the three dimensions, as I mentioned above, but it also adds to them the rotational aspects of pitching, yawing and rolling.

One of the aspects that separates Tactical Fitness from Functional Fitness is that the first “…emphasizes the ability to efficiently transition between movements.  In other words, Tactical fitness works on sophisticating movement.  A good tactical fitness program begins with basic movements that work along the whole range of motion of each joint.  It then increases the difficulty by incorporating compound movements which combine two skills, and finally ends with “complex” movements that involve three or more skills.  These are the three levels (e.g Recruit, Grunt, Commando) that are found in all TACFIT programs except in the TACFIT 26.

This added “complexity” allows you, the tactical operator, to navigate unexpected obstacles with ease and imagination. How? Well, because you have already practiced to perfection every movement there is to be made in a crisis situation.  Your body won’t have to do anything it hasn’t done before.  Your fine motor skills become more accurate, gross motor skills more efficient, and you feel less stress.

As you progress through each level, you will not only increase the number of reps, but also through complexity, and this is what separates TACFIT from every other program out there.  Your body as well as your mind get one hell of a workout.

The sophistication used in all TACFIT programs come from utilizing a Russian biomechanical principle called “Component learning” which demands that each movement be a building block to the next. This allows “back-shaping” or “reverse engineering” of high level sports skills.

Carry Over into other Sports

If you take a look at some of the movements done in TACFIT you might not think there is much carry over into your sport.  ”Yes, it might be good for martial arts but I not one of them.” Actually, in my opinion, it is better for other sports than it is for martial arts… let me explain why.  Martial artists are used to doing some of these exercises while basketball, football, tennis, ping pong, and other players aren’t.  TACFIT will help rewire your brain and setup new and more neuron connections.  This means you neurons will communicate faster between them, and your body will be able to do what your brain asks with more precision and coordination. Awesome, right?  This automatically leads to faster decision making, faster movements, more focus and mental acuity I can’t begin to explain how this will enhance your athletic performance.

athletic performance

 

Tactical Fitness will Help you  conquer the high level skills your sport demands

Why Training to HRmax is not good for you or your performance

hrmaxLately I have been reading a lot about how stress affects our body, and how this affects athletes.  I decided to learn more about this subject, because I’m starting to feel that the “No pain, no gain” is rising from the dead.  My Facebook page gets filled with athletes (mostly Crossfitters) sending messages about how they almost passed out during training or how they almost puked.  There is a fine line between pushing yourself to help produce adaptations in your body and pushing yourself to sickness and injury.  The first one will make you stronger and healthier while the second one will get you a lot of get well cards.

As a TACFIT and CST instructor I have learned that training to heart rate max (HRmax) won’t help me become better, and won’t get me get closer to my goals.  Before you go calling me a sissy or a wuss take a look at what I have to say.

How High Intensity Training Affects Your Body

To your body, training at high intensity is as stressful as getting a gun pointed to your head; it can’t differentiate between the two.  To your body stress is stress and that is it.  The only thing the differentiates “good” stress  from “bad” stress is the intensity and the duration.  The intensity is given by the amount of certain hormones that are produced by your brain and body that are meant to protect it and give you the best possible chance at survival. The duration is simply the amount of time that these hormones stay in your body.

You might be asking yourself so how can I measure my stress hormones to avoid being stressed out?  Well, you don’t.  Measuring your stress hormones would require blood tests and other complicated and expensive protocols.  Instead you are going to take your pulse.  Your heart and how fast it beats is a great indicator of stress.  Most of the hormones involved in stress affect your heart, so taking your pulse is a great way to measure your level of stress.

How to take your pulse >>>>>>>http://www.wikihow.com/Check-Your-Pulse

Don’t think of stress as being something bad.  It is the reason why we get better a activities we repeat constantly and persistently. It’s the reason why we can dead lift more weight each weak, or do a pull up that we have never been able to.  But stress is also responsible for heart disease, injuries, cancer, and other diseases.  The reason we get sick from stress is because the switch is never turned off.  Our body keeps producing stress hormones that make us crave high caloric foods, keep us awake at night, and make us moody.  Our whole internal environment goes crazy and the only way our body seems to find a way to shut the switch of is my making us rest through sickness and disease.

The message here is clear: we need to give our body time to rest and recover so it can adapt and make us better.

Ok, so why is training to HRmax bad?

First of all it is impossible to maintain proper technique at HRmax, because your body, at that level of stress, begins to manifest a predictable pattern of internal events and external behaviours.  Scott Sonnon says, “as you rapidly approach and exceed heart rate maximum, you biochemically experience the same survival stress response as if someone attempted to use lethal force to end your life”.  Being this stress can lead you puke, urinate, or even defecate on yourself in order to eliminate anything that can keep you from survival.

As you can imagine it is impossible to adapt to life threatening situations.  We were built to survive and that is tattooed into our genes.  So there you have it.  Training to you HRmax won’t make you any stronger, it will probably make you dirty and sick.

 

Why Crossfitters Would Love TACFIT

When I first learned about Crossfit I loved it. The people, the adrenaline, testosterone, intensity, everything about the atmosphere is awesome. My friend probably defined it best, “It’s a place where people get their asses kicked, and love it.”  I love the fact women are not afraid to do pullups, to lift weights, and to measure up against guys. Hell, some of these women have more testosterone than some men I know.  There are however a couple of things that I didn’t like:

1. Technique is usually horrendous. I know the competitiveness in a CrossFit gym is high, and that finishing first or doing the most rounds is the objective of most WODs, but people remember that the reason why you are training is to improve your health and strength.  Poor technique does neither for you.  All it does is keep you away from the gym.  the “NO pain, no gain” philosophy is a thing of the past.

2. Training until you puke.  Now I used to be proud of myself when I managed to train until my guts came out.  I thought it would make me tougher, but it turns out it doesn’t.  I learned this in my TACFIT and CST instructor seminar.  Training past your HR max won’t make you better. Here is coach Sonnon’s explanation,

“As heart rate approaches maximum (HRmax), the endocrine system slow-releases a “chemical cocktail” which elicits a host of psychotropic phenomena which can be described as “the Zone” of optimal performance. However, as one exceeds HRmax, the endocrine system moves from a slow release drip into a rapid release “dump” which distorts the phenomena into what is described as the “Vortex” (visual exclusion or tunnel vision, auditory exclusion or hearing loss, cognitive dysfunction, short term memory loss, tachipsychia or time warp, fumbling, stammering, stuttering, apraxia, etc.)

So, from a biochemical perspective, if a challenge is PERCEIVED to be less than a high difficulty, then it cannot elicit the higher levels of flow, but if it is perceived as extremely difficulty (improbably accomplished), then over arousal cannibalizes the process.”

3. Some students or beginners are asked to do things which are completely out of their skill level.  In today’s world there are a lot of people that are not conditioned for high intensity training, teaching them how to do snatches or continental cleans will definitely lead to injury.

4.  Most WODs are very high intensity and are done too often.  The body does not grow when it exercises, it grows and adapts while it rests.  That is why who ever recovers fastest gains the most, and usually wins.

I know you love CrossFit and nothing I’ll say can possibly make you quit it in favor of something else, but you do have to admit that it has its flaws.

I just wanted to introduce you to a new type of training which is growing in popularity among fire fighters, police officers, and Special Ops forces. It’s called TACFIT (short for Tactical Fitness).  TACFIT takes care of all the flaws I mentioned above, plus it has a whole mess of new exercise that will kick your butt and mind in ways you are going to love.

Here are some of the physiological effects TACFIT can have on your body.

TACFIT has a cool system of keep score (uses reps and heart beats per minute), so not only must you win by doing more, you also got to make it look easy.  Remember that technique is very important, that is why the program has an INTUITIVE TRAINING protocol that keeps you grounded and keeps those stress hormones from giving you tunnel vision. Each exercise has 3 different levels which vary in sophistication (this means your brain gets trained to).

If you want a sample workout I recommend the Israeli Challenge you can get if for free by clicking the image below.

Are YOU up for the CHALLENGE!!! I DARE YOU TO TRY IT NOW!!!

 

TACFIT Commando and Why You Should Buy It

tacfit commandoHow I discovered TACFIT Commando?

I ran into TACFIT Commando while googling bodyweight exercises.  I was pretty much tired of the same pushups, squats, situps, and pullup variations.  Yes, they helped me get into shape, but only to a certain point. My goal was to possess amazing athletic ability, and I clearly wasn’t going to get it in the gym considering I could beat every meathead in the gym at whatever sport they chose.  I had discovered that athletic performance had nothing to do with big muscles, but more with complex or sophisticated movement.  I tried getting back to gymnastics, but the gym was to far away and expense, I need something I could fit in my schedule and budget.  This led me to start searching for Navy Seal and Special Forces workouts.  I thought they might be classified, but I still gave it a shot.  Little did I know that that search would change my life later on.

The screen showed a training program called TACFIT Commando (the commando sounded appealing), so I gave it a click.  The header showed this pretty buff guy (which later I would know as Alberto Gallazzi) doing some weird exercise (later I learned it is called a sit thru reach).  Got to admit it wasn’t the sexiest salespage, but it got me interested so I kept on reading.  It crossed my mind that this might be a scam (after all it is the internet), so I did some research on its creator Scott Sonnon.

Who is the creator of TACFIT Commando?

Scott Sonnon is the creator of the TACFIT program which is part of a bigger training system called Circular Strength Training (CST).  I’m not going to get into CST, but you can go ahead and click this link if you want to learn more about it.  Scott was the first westerner to be taught the performance enhancing secrets of the USSR back in the 80´s.  If you recall the Soviets used to kick ass in the Olympics back in the day.  Coach Sonnon learned a whole mess of stuff related to health care, performance, martial arts, breathing techniques, coaching, etc which helped him create what is now TACFIT.

To read a bio of Scott you can click this link

How TACFIT will make you a better athlete?

Athletic success on whoever manages to keep the best technique at the end of a match, fight, what ever.  As a fight or match progresses and fatigue settles in, your ability to keep good technique begins to diminish.  This eventually leads to mistakes that can lead to a loss. Clutch players manage good technique and don’t crack under the pressure because they learn how to deal with the stress.  Dealing with stress is what TACFIT is all about.

 How does TACFIT Commando Work?

There are various components to TACFIT Commando that help you become more efficient as the situation gets hotter.  Número Uno is… the intuitive training protocol; número dos is 6 degrees of freedom; and número tres is the 4 day wave. I’ll explain each below.

Intuitive Training Protocol

As a mentioned before, keeping a high degree of technique is indispensable for athletic success; it makes you more efficient, faster, quicker, etc.  The intuitive training protocol allows you to grade your performance based on three variables which I will keep as a secret.  Based on these three variables you will learn when enough is enough.

tacfit commando6 degrees of freedom.

Our body has six types of movements along the three dimensions (3 back and forth and 3 rotations). I would say every sport requires you to move in these 6 degrees, yet in training a lot of them are left out.  In TACFIT Commando, every workout requires you to move along these 6 degrees of freedom.  The benefit of this lies in that your body will be prepared and proficient at any unexpected movement it must make.  The big plus is it will help you stay injury free.

4 Day Wave

The 4 day wave is periodization protocol that will help you train at your highest intensity while giving you full recovery in 4 days.  Most people think that improvements occur during training, yet stress physiology has taught us the opposite. We die a little everytime we train, yet we grow and become stronger everytime we rest. WTF!?

The 4 day wave increases your training intensity from day 1 which is a No intensity day to a high intensity.  Everyday has an objective which you must take into account.  As a TACFIT instructor I must say that the most important day is day 3.  This is where I saw my biggest gains, and when I realized how powerful and simple TACFIT is.

Benefits of TACFIT Commando

In my personal opinion and experience these are the may benefits of TACFIT Commando.

  1. Increased technique in high stress situations: I know this because you can do more reps of each exercise while maintaining a certain amount of heart beats per minute.
  2. Increased coordination: your level of sophistication increases which each mission.
  3. Increased Cardio Vascular resistance: I improved my mile times, without ever running a mile.
  4. Increased motivation:  Keeping score and trying to beat yourself is always good motivation

Secondary benefits

  1. Fatloss: this obviously has to do more with your diet than with the program, but I did shed about 2% bodyfat with the first mission.
  2. Chiseled body:  This obviously is linked with the last one.
  3. Improved focus:  I measured this using the memory color app.  I would play the game after every workout and my score always was above 15 when it usually was below.  I have found this to be true with other types of high intensity exercises.

That is my review on the TACFIT Commando program.  I personally believe it will take your fitness and athletic levels to new heights. Just push the go button if you want to buy the program now!!

tacfit commando

 

 

What is TACFIT?

TACFIT is the next step in Fitness Evolution. Where most men and women fall short, TACFIT Legionaires thrive. They don’t train to be strongr, faster, or agile, they just train to be better, because only better is better.

Who are these exceptional group of men and women you have never heard of?

To tell you the truth, you see them everyday.  They don’t have huge bulky muscles, they actually look like regular people.  What makes them different is their training.  They don’t use fancy equipment, they use fancy moves, and that is where the secret lies.  The tools they use are primal likecaptain america clubbells, medicine balls, gymnastic rings, sand bags, jump boxes, and parallette barsthat help them:

  1. Build functional power, stamina, and agility.
  2. Become biomechanically more efficient, while improving body alignment.
  3. Build GO muscle instead of show muscle, while developing incredible athleticism.
  4. Have fun while getting in the best shape of your life!!
While most fitness programs increase intensity by varying training variables like reps, set, weight and rest, TACFIT challenges you through movement sophistication.  Exercises don’t only get tougher because of added weight, but also through movement complexity.  All the workouts are high intensity helping you develop a stop and go power, and help you save time.  Depending on the program you choose, each movement may have 3 to 5 phases of sophistication.
TACFIT PROGRAMS
TACFIT 26 Gym Box- Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta
Commando- Commando, Grunt, and Recruit
Warrior- Commando, Grunt, Recruit, Pre-Recruit Mission, Lite Mission
TACFIT Gym- Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta
Mass Assault- Level 1,Level 2, Level 3, Level 4
TACFIT is born from the necessity to give rescue responders a tool that will help them perform tasks in inconvenient, if not adverse conditions. Where traditional fitness has failed, TACFIT has succeeded in providing a sustainable, functional physical preparedness which addresses performance fluidity not in merely one or two dimensions, but in the reality of three dimensions.  This is the real magic behind TACFIT.
Conventional Physical Training programs involve mono or bi-planar action on individual joints with long duration of single exercises, none of this contributes to you becoming better in you three dimensional world.  Our everyday actions require our body to act as a balanced matrix: “a sea of continuous tension pulling in with an architecture of compressive struts pushing out”. TACFIT increases this balance, by teaching the body to act as an integrated whole in every action.
Reaching the top begins with one step, I suggest you make it TACFIT.

Want to Join the Few who have Dared to Evolve

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TACFIT Commando vs TACFIT ROPE

A while back I wrote a post on comparing the TACFIT Commando and TACFIT Warrior programs, and now I’m getting asked a lot about TACFIT Commando vs TACFIT ROPE programs compare.  So, in order to help those of you who can’t decide which on to buy here is my take on both of them.

I’ll begin by saying that the R.O.P.E program was created as a plugin module for TACFIT Commando.  A lot of people complained that the Commando program did not have any pulling movements, and that they felt that their backs were being left out.  This is definitely not true, if you have ever tried TACFIT Commando you know your back gets a nice workout too, but Scott decided to please these people so he created the R.O.P.E program.

TACFIT Commando vs TACFIT ROPE: Requirements

TACFIT Commando is purely body weight, you don’t need weights, clubbells, or any other type of equipment, just some space and your body; while the R.O.P.E program requires a rope, somewhere to hang the rope, and a pair of gloves (to avoid burns). The rope has certain dimensions that I can’t recall at the moment, but anything similar to the ones found in a high school gym will do.

TACFIT Commando vs TACFIT Rope: Sophistication of Exercises

Due to the fact that in ROPE program you find yourself limited by the rope, it is a lot hard to move in all 6 degrees of Freedom, yet every workout includes them.  The difference here is that Commando includes them more.  I find the exercises in TACFIT Commando to be more challenging from a neurological point of view (they are harder to coordinate), than the ones in ROPE.  ROPE on the other hand is a lot harder from a strength point of view.

Get TACFIT Commando<<<<<Click here

TACFIT Commando vs TACFIT Rope: Benefits

Both programs use the Tabata protocol which helps you in sports where you need to burst and stop frequently (i.e soccer, basketball, football, etc.).  TACFIT Commando in my opinion is more for overall athleticism, mobility and coordination; while TACFIT ROPE is more for strength, and power.  Personally, I believe the complement each other very well; One fills the gaps the other one might have.

Ok. If my life depended on choosing one of these programs I would definitely go with TACFIT Commando.  It fits more with what I look for fitness wise (which is overall athleticism).  I also don’t have to leave my house (don’t really have where to hang the rope).  But don’t get me wrong, ROPE is a great change of pace from Commando and I do recommend you buy it if you have the cash.

Get TACFIT R.O.P.E

There really aren’t that many more differences.  If you can’t make up your mind, I’ll just put you at ease by saying that you can’t go wrong with either one.  TACFIT R.O.P.E is a lot cheaper, not because it is worse, but because it does not bring as many workouts.  Both programs have 3 different levels of difficulty (i.e recruit, grunt, and commando), but Commando has three missions, while R.O.P.E only has 1.  This means that commando has 6 months more of workouts that R.O.P.E.  The Commando manual also explains the theory behind the awesomeness, in the R.O.P.E their is no explanation.

If you are just beginning I would definitely recommend the TACFIT Commando program, just because hanging on a rope for so long will tire your arms quickly, and really make them sore the next day.  In Commando your body parts que more rest from one exercise to the next.

Hope I helped.  If you have any questions don’t hesitate to write comment below.

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