Where “bootcamp” approaches to fitness derived from military mental reprogramming attempting to convince the body it can push beyond its healthy limits, TACFIT® derives from the ability to efficiently respond to a crisis and remain level-headed, aware and “in flow”, such as with fire rescue and emergency medical personnel, in a way that fortifies rather than destroys health. This health-first fitness approach is central to the parent of TACFIT®: the Circular Strength Training® System.
TACFIT® redefines fitness to “be more prepared than the challenges you face” - to remain in flow regardless of the crises. TACFIT® considers everyone who must respond to crises to be an athlete. However, unlike in sports, in a crisis we do not know the “game” we will be “playing.” Unlike in the military, we often don’t know the rules of engagement, or when we will be called to task. .
The necessity of organizational equipment and tools while performing tasks in inconvenient if not adverse conditions, and other environmental factors, intensify the demands and physical stressors placed upon crisis responders like fire rescue and emergency medical personnel. These known, as well as the unknown and unknowable, conditions of crisis response reinforce the need for a special brand of fitness based upon sustainable, functional physical preparedness which addresses performance fluidity not in merely one or two dimensions but in the reality of three-dimensions.
Therefore, conventional linear training models are insufficient. The Circular Strength Training® System evolved to meet this need. These psychological stresses demand a continuum of physical skills that allow the biochemistry of crisis arousal to be safely, fully and expediently reabsorbed to avoid immuno-suppression and the host of stress related illnesses and diseases faced by career crisis responders. When you become injured in a crisis, you may spend months or even years recovering. As a result, “prehabilitation” plays a critical role in health fortification in the Circular Strength Training®System.
Physical Preparedness is a job requirement and enabler for crisis responders. Unfortunately, most physical training (PT) programs do not meet their needs because they were designed from a sportive and in many cases bodybuilding perspective. Most PT programs overemphasize aerobic energy, through long, slow duration training; others overemphasize size and limit strength. Physical preparedness must follow function within the energy system of tactical response: the capacity to work at high intensity in multi-planar movement for repeated bursts of short duration with fast recovery. Current PT programs fall sorely short of these demands. Furthermore, extant PT programs fail to place sufficient attention on injury-proofing tactical responders (not just physically but psychologically and biochemically) through active recovery and prehabilitation training.
Crisis response requires a comprehensive physical training program which will foster the necessary physical skills. TACFIT® metabolic conditioning focuses on making you more prepared than the challenges you face through a cascade of physical attributes: functional stamina, extreme range reactive strength, three-dimensional ballistic speed, multi-modal agility and coordination, and integrated active recovery and prehabilitation. It must be infinitely variable and incremental in sophistication, and psychologically challenging.
Physical Preparedness: Fit-ness
TACFIT® is based on the capacity to perform specific to one’s venue. Crisis responders encounter an infinite array of environmental and personal tasks, some of which are known or knowable, others of which are unknown and even unknowable. The chaotic fog of crisis response defies prediction and planning. As a result, preparation must cover a wide range of movement – orthodox, varied and improvised. Therefore, the Circular Strength Training®System includes (but is not limited to):
Tacfit and circular strength training
· Injury-Proofing: developing the range and depth of functional skills encountered during crisis response, and slightly beyond the scope of those skills in order to create a ‘safety valve’ for when movements deviate from the expected.
· Prehabilitation: priming connective tissue, joints and joint fluid for performance to prevent injuries and to refine the ability to absorb and retranslate force encountered during tactical response.
· Active Recovery: specific low-intensity mobility exercise to recuperate from intense effort to prevent overtraining, increase healthy circulation and diminish delayed muscle soreness typical of extreme exertion.
· General Physical Preparedness: increasing the capacity to perform work at high intensity for repeated burst of short duration, and increasing the speed of recovery between bouts of activity.
· Specific Physical Preparedness: sophisticating work capacity in multiple planes, threedimensionally through the six degrees of freedom – heaving, swaying, surging, pitching, yawing, rolling.
Physical Preparedness can be defined as the willingness and capacity to perform, improvise or resolve a continuum of reality-based physical skills. For crisis response, that work involves all of the tasks associated with performance. The demands imposed upon crisis responders vary in duration, complexity and intensity. As a result, TACFIT® enables you to execute both conventional and unconventional physical tasks.
Although conventional PT programs involve mono or bi-planar action on individual joints with long duration of single exercises, fitness demands multi-planar, multi-joint, multimodal exercise. The body acts as a balanced matrix: a sea of continuous tension pulling in with an architecture of compressive struts pushing out. TACFIT® increases the strength of integrity of that balance. The key to TACFIT® is teaching the body to act as an integrated whole in every action. Physical preparedness, as a result, must reflect the following goals:
· Functional, Varied and Improvised Movements: exercise must cover a wide array of reality-based skills.
· Incrementally Progressive: exercise must be intense enough to elicit an adaptive, but sustainable response.
· Increasingly Sophisticated: exercise must increase the neurological challenge of movements.
· Effort through Efficiency: exercise must maximize the amount of useful work.
· Minimizing Discomfort by Maximizing Technique: exercise challenge must derive from functional exertion not dysfunctional mechanics.