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Thread: Training concept question for Mike Caviston

  1. #1
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    Training concept question for Mike Caviston

    Mr. Caviston,

    I was reading your posts from your ďStrength Training Starts HereĒ thread and have a couple questions for you to help me clarify. I could not find the answers in the forum - If these questions have indeed already been answered elsewhere by yourself, then please donít go through the trouble of answering them for me now. I frequently scour the forums here and will find them eventually. I apologize in advance for wasting any of your time if this turns out to be the case.

    When you discuss the general guidelines for how to conduct training for BUD/S, I found everything you wrote to be extremely clear and helpful, however the basic concept of (this is not a direct quote) ďmaking sure all parts are strong (i.e: running, swimming, exercises that cover isolation movements, multi joint movements, etc, all that you have mentioned in posts) so the whole unit can be strong when the time comes to performĒ, was, I admit, a little foreign to me (I apologize for lack of articulation of the phrase in quotations, but I believe it illustrates the basic concept conveyed). I understand why training this way is important: itís designed to maximize performance and full range of motion with each exercise to get the best result possible for each muscle/movement/etc.

    The way I have been training is by combining PT calisthenics with exercise routines that resemble training evolutions at BUD/S. In other words, Iíll do my morning PT, then later in the day Iíll go to a field and walk while holding a 40 lb. sandbag at the handle with one had for a few miles to mimic elephant walks. Iíll do overhead presses/shouldering/sit ups, etc with a 35 lb. section of log for log PT. Iíll do a pyramid where I do a push up, sprint 40 yards to a pull up bar, do one pull up, sprint back and then do two push ups and so-on to mimic the o-course. I make sure I basically feel like I got the *** kicked out of me by the end of my workouts. I do this because at BUD/S, I know thatís how itís going to feel, at least sometimes.

    I know in some of your posts you talk about how itís ok to do a ďmarathonĒ (which Iím guessing doesnít just describe running), but only as an exception, not as a rule. You also mention briefly how doing exercises that directly relate to (and then you list) the o-course, log pt, etc. is important.

    I feel like based on all the information you have provided, I have been going about this completely wrong and that I, in fact, have an incredibly unbalanced and not very effective training method. My questions: Am I truly going about this all wrong? I know the types of workouts I do are ok sometimes... should I just use them to test my abilities once in a while to make sure Iím making progress? Should I incorporate these types of exercises into my regular PT? Or should I drop everything and start in a new direction? Basically, Iím more than interested in reading anything you have to say about it.

    - I know being on these forums is an extremely small part of your job as Fitness Director and I sincerely appreciate any time you spend answering questions and checking in with all of us. All of the information and help you give here is always extremely clear and invaluable. Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Re: Training concept question for Mike Caviston

    anyone else who has an opinion, please feel free to comment...

  3. #3
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    Re: Training concept question for Mike Caviston

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryanknows View Post
    Someone told me that SEALs are working out 23 hours a day. Complete monsters and I can believe it.
    Nah Bro, I've seen them, they work out at least 25 hours a day. They also take out all their muscles and just replace them with Pistons, so really the only part that's left is their brain cause we don't have the technology to replace them yet.

    @Ryan You already got banned from these forums once, are you trying to go for round 2 or what?

    If you don't know already, please disregard this individual's advice.

    Going all out has it's time and place, but you also need time for lower intensity exercise. Recovery is just as important as the actual exercise you're doing.
    My Training Blog - http://jag5543.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
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    Re: Training concept question for Mike Caviston

    "Going all out has it's time and place, but you also need time for lower intensity exercise. Recovery is just as important as the actual exercise you're doing. "

    The man speaks truth.

  5. #5
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    Re: Training concept question for Mike Caviston

    [/QUOTE]Going all out has it's time and place, but you also need time for lower intensity exercise. Recovery is just as important as the actual exercise you're doing.[/QUOTE]

    For sure. It's hard to slow down and rest even when you know it's important. You can't help but think that more is better. Thanks for reminding me.

  6. #6
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    Re: Training concept question for Mike Caviston

    Quote Originally Posted by Jag5543 View Post

    Going all out has it's time and place, but you also need time for lower intensity exercise. Recovery is just as important as the actual exercise you're doing.
    For sure. It's hard to slow down and rest even when you know it's important. You can't help but think that more is better. Thanks for reminding me that it not always is.

  7. #7
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    Re: Training concept question for Mike Caviston

    Many guys want to prepare for BUD/S by trying to replicate BUD/S during training. This will generally do more harm than good, so I discourage this approach. Let me try again to explain why. There may also be an occasional exception, when you can give yourself a little taste of BUD/S, which may be a good thing if you do it intelligently.

    BUD/S is a selection course, not a conditioning program. We hope students will be fit and healthy when they graduate BUD/S, but the reality is they tend to be banged up a bit and worn down. BUD/S is a grind, a beat down, a butt kicker, a ball breaker. Thatís the way it has to be to make sure only the right guys make it through and why attrition is so high. Trying to ďdoĒ BUD/S before your class begins will only start breaking you down early and increase the likelihood of injury during BUD/S. Many guys are med rolled or med dropped as a result of poor training prior to BUD/S. Many guys ring the bell because in addition to the constant cold and sand and long hours and getting yelled at, they also have aches and pains left over from the stupid routines they did to ďprepareĒ for BUD/S.

    Start BUD/S physically fit and injury-free. Be a good runner and swimmer. Develop muscular strength and muscular endurance. Become injury-resistant by regularly performing the prescribed injury prevention routines. Avoid training routines that have a high risk to reward ratio.

    People talk about mental toughness and how important it is regarding success at BUD/S. I absolutely agree. What I donít understand is why people think MENTAL toughness is best developed by PHYSICAL abuse. Mental toughness includes the ability to focus; the ability to rebound from failure; the ability to cope with pressure; the determination to persist in the face of adversity; a high sense of self-belief; and the unshakeable faith you can control your own destiny. These can be utilized during physical training, but there are plenty of other aspects of your life that can be used to enhance these abilities. We encourage candidates to work on basic mental strategies to overcome adversity (the Big 4: goal setting; visualization; self talk; and arousal control). These can be incorporated into physical training, but donít require a total beat-down. We use the term ďstress inoculationĒ, which means we want to gradually prepare candidates for the pressures of BUD/S. You donít inoculate someone to a virus by exposing them to the live virus. Historically, when guys who quit BUD/S could get a second chance and try again, the success rate was no higher for second-timers than first-timers. In other words, being directly exposed to BUD/S didnít specifically prepare people for BUD/S. I donít see any value in trying to create your own version of BUD/S, because it wonít be authentic and it really wouldnít matter if it was.

    I read comments all the time from guys talking about doing hundreds of push-ups and flutter kicks and sit-ups and pull-ups and what-not to get ready for BUD/S PT. Fellas, my desk is less than 50 feet from the Grinder and Iíve watched dozens of classes doing PT. I have never, EVER seen an Instructor tell a student, ďWow, youíre really good at PT. You can stop nowĒ. The whole point is that whatever you are able to do, you will be asked to do more. So donít go chasing something you will never catch. Do push-ups and pull-ups as necessary to prepare for the PST (Iíve provided clear guidelines elsewhere); do other exercises to create a balanced program; but know when enough is enough. Donít overtrain, and donít limit your training by doing so many push-ups (for example) you donít leave time for other aspects of training.

    I can understand wanting to prepare for key evolutions such as the o-course and log PT. Again, your best strategy is just to be overall physically fit. Iíve talked a bit in the past about a few things related to o-course and log PT (search for more details). A key factor many people donít recognize about the o-course is grip strength. For log PT, you will probably have the strength to lift the log overhead, even multiple times. The limiting factor is usually the ability to stabilize the shoulders with the arms locked out overhead. Do exercises that work the stabilizers (rotator cuff, traps), and do routines that develop their endurance as well as strength, such as pedaling a stationary bike or walking on a treadmill holding a 25- or 30-pound med ball overhead.

    A football team doesnít prepare only by scrimmaging with full contact all season long. If it did, the players would be too banged up to perform on game day. But good coaches do use controlled scrimmages to assess progress and simulate game conditions. Once in a while (as a rule of thumb I would say about once a month) you might plan out a ďHeck DayĒ with extended or multiple evolutions, to get a sense of how it will feel physically and what sort of mental strategies youíll use. But plan to be safe, and donít leave yourself unprotected (have training partners and establish emergency procedures). Recognize that testing is something you do occasionally; it is not a basis for daily training.
    Mike Caviston
    Director of Fitness, NSWCEN

  8. #8
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    Re: Training concept question for Mike Caviston

    Wow, I totally get it now... this was so helpful and concise. Thank you, sir, for taking the time to help me get my head straight. I really appreciate it.

  9. #9

    Re: Training concept question for Mike Caviston

    I agree, great way of explaining the difference between Training and Perfoming in regards to BUD/S. Helped clear up a lot of worries ive had with my own training program. Thanks Mr. Caviston.

    --------------------------------------------

    offensive*

  10. #10
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    Re: Training concept question for Mike Caviston

    If I were to increase my pushups/Situps/Pullups volume higher than that of 200/200/50, would 300/300/75 be ok? Would it disrupt the balance of training?

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