Video Article

In this video, CrossFit Endurance coach John McBrien shares endurance programming tips for military athletes—athletes already in the military, athletes in a military school or athletes training to enter service.

McBrien says CrossFit Endurance training for the military begins with CrossFit five to six times per week, with more volume to mimic the increased volume of military training. In addition to CrossFit, McBrien adds CrossFit Endurance to the programming two to three times per week using two different approaches.

One approach is to use military programming as sports-specific running with weight. For the first week, you would add weight to one or two intervals, and for the second week you would rotate and add weight to the longer runs.

Another approach is to use military programming as multi-sport training, with running, carrying heavy weight and swimming as separate “sports.” Each would have a frequency of twice a week.

“You’re basically taking the single-sport prescription/multi-sport prescription and you’re twisting it based on the needs of that military athlete,” McBrien says.

4min 33sec

Additional reading: A Theoretical Template for CrossFit Endurance Programming by John McBrien, published Sept. 15, 2010.

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5 Comments on “CrossFit Endurance: Programming for Military Athletes”


wrote …

It's fantastic that they are setting the baseline example right now. There is nowhere else to go but UP for CrossFit and i'm extremely happy to be apart of the family!


wrote …

John states that for BUD/s candidates they need to focus more on swimming than rucking/running. I beg to differ. He is correct in that BUD/s candidates do very little rucking but it is a safe bet they do more running than any other spec ops selection. If you are comfortable in the water and can pass the swim portion of the screening test relatively easily, then the bulk of your endurance style efforts should be running.


wrote …

I went to BUD/s a few years ago and didn't make it. For me the swims were cake compared to the runs. In BUD/S you run 55+ miles per week in soft sand, plus God knows how many more with a boat on your head. I think that the prescription should be more tailored to a prospective candidate's weaknesses in those domains. I am former swimmer so the swims were manageable, and so my training focused on running. However someone who has more aof a background in running sports should definately swim more. As for rucking, running with a boar on your head is the most painfull ruck run you will ever do, so prospective BUD/s candindates out there should definately include that in their training.


wrote …

For pipeline candidates I would definitely recommend the 12 mile ruck march, on rolling hardball roads, work up to a 60# ruck not including water in 2 1/2 hours just as a baseline. Try to get faster. Push it out to 30 miles if you're headed to SFAS. The ruck march will hammer even your elite athletes because their feet will fall apart before everything else falls off. Smoke the ruck marches.
(not to mention the suck factor of little to no sleep).
The last time I took the PAST I smoked the swim but the run got me...ditto what the other guys on running, on all kinds of terrain.


wrote …

I agree with Diego. Training should be specific to the athlete. Rucking was no problem for me due to my stride advantage over other soldiers. Due to my size running was hell. I carried 250 lbs on a 6'3'' body, so I trained to be better at endurance than getting more muscle hypertrophy. Train more where you lack, and keep working on the rest.

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