The Ranger Challenge is the “varsity sport” of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, and cadets at Duke University are using CrossFit to help them in the nationwide competition.
Maj. Shane Finison is an Army ROTC instructor at Duke and a trainer at CrossFit Durham, and he believes CrossFit training can help his athletes succeed in the Ranger Challenge, an eight-event competition that includes the standard Army PT test, navigation tests, a marksmanship competition, an assault course, and a 10K march with a rifle and a 35-lb. pack.
According to Finison’s athletes, the training is working. For instance, one athlete reported that on a recent training march the Duke team took 10 minutes of its best ruck-march time from last year’s Ranger Challenge. Other athletes say CrossFit is helping the group come together as a team to perform at high intensity.
In Part 2, the team from Duke puts its training to the test and competes in the Ranger Challenge.
Video by Again Faster.
Additional reading: Elite Soldiers, Elite Fitness by Staff Sgt. Matt Kostielney, published Oct. 15, 2009.