“It’s frigging working,” CAPT Brian Chontosh, USMC says of his experience in using CrossFit-style workouts to prepare for the rigors of combat. CAPT Chontosh followed Coach Greg Glassman to the lectern at the American Society of Exercise Physiologists national conference held April 3, 2009 on the campus of Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas.
In part 1, CAPT Chontosh said he has seen Marines with perfect scores in conventional fitness tests fail in combat and cost lives. They couldn’t carry heavy loads for extended periods of time while under a variety of stressors. The enemy doesn’t fight while doing sit-ups, wearing shorts and running shoes. Combat fitness is nothing more than a natural extension of functional fitness. Anticipating and mimicking combat movements in training is essential. These movements should be refined and perfected at an individual level so they can be performed flawlessly and instinctively in combat. Workouts involving burpees can look a lot like jumping up into firing position and engaging the enemy while your buddy sprints 20-30 yards.
In part 2, CAPT Chontosh said Physical Fitness Test (PFT) scores for his Marines increased 10% over just five months. There was a temporary spike in minor injuries at the outset, but he was soon able to move from injury prevention to injury avoidance through increased work capacity. And his Marines had zero heat casualties and zero injuries in 4-5 hour hikes in full gear under simulated combat conditions in the 120 degree ambient temperature in Kuwait and Jordan. CrossFit is legit, and that’s why participation rates among military members and law enforcement officers are going through the roof.
Video 1 - 19min 40sec
Video 2 - 17min 19sec