Archive for August 2012


Running requires periods of rest and recovery just like workouts for other muscle groups. Overtrain with running and eventually you’ll end up sick and tired — literally! The key is to vary running workouts and to cross-train. For variety, I alternate between light runs, long distance runs, ruck runs, and interval sprinting. Thad McLaurin recentlywrote a very good article for Active listing “7 Ways Runners Can Avoid Overtraining”:

1. Follow the 90% rule.
2. Enjoy the easy runs.
3. Respect your rest days.
4. Follow the hard/easy rule.
5. Cross-train
6. Sleep
7. Know the signs of overtraining.

For information on running and an individualized plan, contact me – Tom Delaney – at You can read the full article HERE.


Gotta say this vid is extremely motivational! You will want to PT immediately! If you are driving a car, pull over! Watch at your own risk! 😉

THE “MORE PULL-UPS!” PLAN   Leave a comment

Sgt. Whitney Frasier (USMC) recently authored a blog entry for Battle Rhythm, the Midwest Marines blog, providing some good guidance for increasing the number of pull-ups you can accomplish.

Sgt. Frasier cites 6 key points for improving your pull-up count:
1. To achieve pull-ups is to do pull-ups.
2. In between your daily pull-ups do max sets of pushups and use lat pulldowns.
3. Make sure you have the proper technique.
4. Loose excess fat.
5. Strengthen your grip.
6. Once you are able to do a few, add weight to yourself by wearing a backpack or a dip belt.

Next, Sgt. Frasier offers a 5-day program for increasing your pull-up count:

Day 1
Five maximum effort sets. Rest 90 seconds between each set. Do not concern yourself with numbers. You will find that you will increase the numbers in the last two sets before you see much improvement in the first three. Make sure that each set is a maximum effort set.

Day 2
Pyramid Day. Start the pyramid with one repetition, the next set has two repetitions, the next has three. Continue in this fashion until you miss a set. (e.g. your last set was five, your next set would be six, but you could only do four. You missed a set) Do one more set at a maximum effort. Rest 10 seconds for each repetition in the previous set.

Day 3
Do three training sets with a normal overhand grip. Rest 60 seconds between each set. Do three training sets gripping the bar so that your palms are toward your face and your little fingers are touching each other. Rest 60 seconds between each set.

Day 4
Do the maximum number of training sets that you can accomplish. Rest 60 seconds between each set. You do training sets until you fail to do perfect training set. This day can wind up being the longest training day as you continue with the program because you will find it easy to do lots of training sets.

Day 5
Repeat the day that you found to be the hardest in the previous four days. This will change from week to week.

I like the way this program integrates both training sets and the pyramid as an approach to increasing your pull-up count. Try out this program for yourself and see if you get results! You can read Sgt. Frasier’s full article HERE.



“Recovery interval” is the amount of time you spend in a rest state between intervals of running, especially sprints. The duration of a recovery interval can significantly impact aerobic and other parameters of your running workout. Not a hazard or nuisance, recovery intervals are in fact a handy tool for shaping your workout to fit your performance goals. Recently Runner’s World journalist Cindy Kuzma wrote a very good summary of the effects of recovery intervals of different durations. I run sprint intervals both to build speed as well as to develop running endurance. If you are working with the Navy Special Warfare Physical Training Guide, Stew Smith’s Navy SEAL Fitness, or other special operations prep PT program, you are going to be running intervals too. They are a highly valuable component of a comprehensive training program, and if you don’t have them happening yet you should definitely consider them! If you want more info, contact me – Tom Delaney – at You can read Kuzma’s full article HERE.


Endurance is the ability to maintain work and physical exertion over extended periods of time. Endurance is a necessary capability for situations that are not resolvable in a finite episode or short period of time. In terms of physical fitness, endurance comes into play when, e.g.: long distances need to be run, swam and/or rowed; when physically engaging with an opponent multiple times or with multiple opponents, perhaps in the process of crossing long distances; or when an adverse physical, mental or environmental condition must be successfully met and overcome over an extended period of time. This last situation is a compelling reason why I advocate all-seasons outdoor training – it builds endurance. At the time that Dick Couch wrote The Warrior Elite the BUD/S candidates with the highest probability of passing BUD/S were coming from Minnesota. If you ask me, it’s because the weather here develops endurance in the people who live here in Minnesota. In my own training, I work on developing my endurance with multiuple training approaches: trail running, ruck running, interval sprinting and suspension training to name just a few. Recently Greatist author Laura Schwecherl wrote a very good summary article on strategies for developing endurance. She lists 7 strategies to consider that I wrote down as:

1. Rest Up
2. Eat Right
3. High Intensity Interval Training
4. Resistance Training
5. Favorite Music (Navy SEAL Stew Smith also recommended this.)
6. Train to Correct, Compensate or Cover Weaknesses & Vulnerabilities
7. Beet Juice (for real)

Take a look at the list and see if you’ve got your endurance training covered, or are there a couple of new strategies to consider for yourself. You can check out the full article HERE.

S.E.R.E. READING LIST   Leave a comment

My approach to tactical fitness training has four key components: physical fitness; land and riverine navigation; team leadership; and situational awareness. This is different from what you will encounter in many other tactical fitness programs which focus solely on physical training at the expense of developing mental fitness and leadership skills. My goal is to develop a trainee into a someone who can assume a leadership role in crisis situations, whether in the field or in the office. The physical dimension of training is matched with an equally important (if not more important) mental dimension of training. Being able-bodied is not enough! A leader must be able-minded in crisis situations, for her or himself, and especially when others are not and are counting on the leader for a survival or success strategy.

The United States Air Force’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape program recently publicized a reading list of the books most read and referred to by SERE Specialists. SERE Specialists train special operations teams on methods for surviving in a variety of wilderness environments with minimal (if any) equipment, how to evade capture, hot resist captors if taken prisoner, and how to escape captors. The mental challenge of these types of situations is off the scale. One Navy SEAL commented that BUD/S (SEAL training selection) was tough, but that there were experiences in SERE that he was glad he only had to get through once. All of this is to say that this reading list is HIGHLY VALUABLE INFORMATION, not only for anyone who aspires to a special operations career, but also to anyone who wants to cultivate the self-confidence, attitude and perspective required of a high performing team and its leader. Here is the list, I am placing two asterisks “**” next to the texts I have read and personally recommend! For more info, contact me, Tom Delaney (Tactical Fitness Trainer) at!

by RC DeLano


1. Be expert with Map & Compass, The Orienting Handbook** by Bjorn Kjellstrom. Joline Press, Any Edition.

2. Map Reading and Land Navigation, FM 21-26 (1987), FM 3-25.26, (2011)** by Headquarters Department of the Army.

3. The Basic Essentials of Map & Compass by Cliff Jacobson. ICS Books, Inc., 2007.

4. A Comprehensive Guide to Land Navigation on GPS by Noel J. Hotchkiss. Alexis Pub; 3rd edition, 1999

5. GPS Made Easy by Lawrence Letham. The Mountaineers Books, 2008.

6. AF Regulation 64-4, Vol 1, Search and Rescue Survival Tree by Department of the Air Force, 1985.

7. The SAS Survival Handbook** by John Wiseman. William Morrow Paperbacks, 2009.

8. Staying alive in the Arctic, A Cold weather Survival Manual by Frank Heyl. American Petroleum Institute. 1976.

9. How to stay Alive in the Woods by Bradford Angier. Collier-Macmillan LTD, Any Edition

10. Fieldbook, Boy Scouts of America** by Boy Scouts of America. Older versions discuss more primitive skills.

11. Tom Brown’s Field Guides: Wilderness Survival; Edible and Medicinal Plants; Nature &ampSurvival for Children; Nature Observation & Tracking. By Tom Brown. Berkley Publishing Group

12. High Angle Rescue Techniques, A Student guide for Rope Rescue Classes by Tom Vines and Steve Hudson, Mosby-Year Book, Inc. 1992.

13. River Rescue by Les Bechdel and Slim Ray. Globe Pequot Press.


1. Field Guide to Medicinal Plants by Bradford Angler. Stackpole Books, 1978.

2. Best-Tasting Wild Plants of Colorado and the Rockies by Bob Seebeck. Westcliffe Publishers, Inc., 1998.

3. Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rocky Mountains and Neighboring Territories by Terry Willard Ph.D. Wild Rose College of Natural Healing, Ltd., 1992.

4. Plants of the Southern Interior, British Columbia by Ray Coupe, Roberta Parish, Dennis Lloyd. Lone Pine Publishing, 1996.

5. Deer from Field to Freezer by John & Geri McPherson. Ag Press, 1995

6. Step-by-Step, Brain Tanning the Sioux Way by Larry Belitz. Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, 1995.

7. Complete Guide to Game Animals by Leonard Lee Rue III. Grolier Book Clubs, Inc. 1981.

8. Catching More Freshwater Fish by Barney Rowe. Wellspring, 1993.

9. Tom Brown’s Field Guides, Wild Edible & Medicinal Plants: by Tom Brown. Berkley Publishing Group, 1983.


1. Medicine for Mountaineering & Other Wilderness Activities by James A. Wilkerson, MD. The Mountaineers, 1992.

2. Wilderness Medicine, Management of Wilderness and Environmental Emergencies by Paul S. Auerbach, MD, MS, FACEP. Mosby-Year Book, Inc. 1995.

3. Hypothermia, Frostbite and Other Cold Injuries by James A. Wilkerson, MD. The Mountaineers, 1986.

4. The Outward Bound, Wilderness First-Aid Handbook by Jeffrey Isaac, PA-C. Lyons Press, 1998.

5. Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured by American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. 7th Edition, 1999.

DELANEY’S DAILY PT – AUGUST 27   Leave a comment

The design for today was a single workout integrating a ruck run followed by an upper body exercise routine integrating a pull-up bar, a BOSU Balance Trainer, and a Swiss Ball. Looked like this:

A. 3.2 mile ruck run with 30 lb weighted vest, and a faster Black Lab: 29 min, 55 sec
B. Regular pull-ups: 1,2,3,4,3,2,1
C. BOSU Atomic Crunches & Regular Crunches: 2×5
D. Chin-ups: 1,1 (fatigue set in)
E. Swiss Ball Stirs: 1 minute
F. Narrow Grip Pull-ups: 1 (definitely done)
G. BOSU Crunches: 2×5
H. Dips: —

OK, so PT tomorrow morning, 0600 at Harriett Island (Saint Paul, MN). Dress for weather. Let me know if you’re going to be there! Contact me at!

MOTIVATIONAL MOMENT #1   Leave a comment


After pilot testing a revised Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) with five events, the U.S. Army has determined to maintain the 3-event APFT for the near future. The maintained three events are: push-ups, sit-ups and the 2-mile run. In a report from U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Stephanie Slater states “TRADOC has determined that baseline Soldier physical readiness would be most effectively measured if linked to Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills, known as WTBD — tasks and drills determined over the last decade of war to be critical while conducting unified land operations…TRADOC will initiate a comprehensive study of Soldier fitness requirements to determine the best method to measure baseline Soldier physical readiness. The objective of the study is to select and recommend test events that have a functional connection to WTBD, and accurately measure baseline fitness against valid performance standards. The study is expected to begin in October 2012 and will include fitness experts from across the Army.” If you want a structured program to prepare for the APFT, contact me (Tom Delaney) at You can plan to prepare for the current APFT by reviewing TC 3-22.20, available for download HERE. You can read the full article from TRADOC HERE.