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Cumulative Effects of Physical Exertion: Knowing your Limitations

Home Forums Tactical Fitness & Nutrition Cumulative Effects of Physical Exertion: Knowing your Limitations

This topic contains 21 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.) Joe (G.W.N.S.) 10 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #11308
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    Something that may be overlooked from the discussion of Practical PT test standards for the Rifleman by many is the cumulative effects this has on our bodies.

    Example:

    My experience with recreational long distance hiking shows that I can do 16 mile days with 65 lb pack for 6 days without adverse effects. This is on unimproved trails over relatively level terrain (no mountains).

    When I increase this to over 20 mile days (personal recent best is 23 miles), after 3 days I require one day of rest before continuing 16 mile days and would need more rest if I wanted to go for 20 mile days again.

    Note: These distances are not applicable to combat/SHTF scenarios, but do demonstrate my personal limitations in regards to the cumulative effects heavy exertion has for a given task. In this case recreational hiking.

    So what does this really mean, practically speaking?

    The fact we can keep up with the kids on a one day patrol is good to know.

    Can we keep up for three days?

    More?

    We need to know our real world capabilities based on known facts, not based on what we think we can do.

    How do we discover our limitations?

    Real world practical training!

    Now is the time to learn these limitations, not when we are endangering our team when it counts!

    #12119
    Profile photo of Mike H
    Mike H
    Participant

    Looking for a topic to post this….this one seems to fit in the end.

    I’ve been working pretty good on PT w/ my old body and decided a week ago to go on a longer walk w/ ruck on Black Friday. Mapped it out on work computer and asked a guy at work estimated 6-6.5 miles to the next town to the west. There is a paved trail on a old rail line that stretches over a good portion of central Mn and it cuts thru here. So I was going to head out this morning. Worked out w/ a 1.5 mile run/walk yesterday plus my usual pushup/pullup/situp routine. Planned to rest tomorrow. Well been dealing w/ this freaking polar vortex again(coldest Thankgiving around here in 130 years plus snow and lots of ice. Well Murphy hit this morning and 8 degrees -4 wind chill and light snow overnite w/ blowing. I set out on my trek(I’ve mostly been doing 4 mile rucks once a week w/ a shorter one plus a couple of run/walks of 1.5 to 2.3 miles(no ruck). I didn’t have cleats or snowshoes and ran into some tough going at times. I was at 3.6 miles at one hour and I’m thinking well….4 hours for the 12 mile round trip. The trail kept going and going(never took it this far this direction. Finally spotted the town sign which I told myself I would tap with my palm and reverse the course. It was 7.68 miles and 2 hours 20 minutes into the ruck march. I thought “oh shit”…I got to recover this distance. Well my left foot started with some pain in a couple of my toes(On and off issue I have after a couple of back operation 26-28 yrs ago)…I started to worry. I ate some travel snacks I packed spam singles and a couple of chunks of fruit cake(mainly to take my mind off the pain). Sipped water till the canteens froze shut :cry: but I pushed on and after completing the 15.28 miles trek in 5 hrs 2 minutes I was toast. Now no problem with the cold or my cardio(wind)…just old injuries that cropped up(the foot, right knee, plus my shoulders as I hadn’t carried that ruck that far before(at least for 35 years..when we went on a 17 mile march in basic training).

    I was originally thinking of doing this distance once a month but that would put me with one these 8 days prior to CP class in Feb. I’m re-thinking a lot of this training…..I’ll try this particular distance right after the new year…relying on shorter runs/walks/rucks w/ plenty of rest.
    “knowing your limitations and listening to your body” :good:

    "These are not men, but devils" --Colonel Francisco de Paula-Milan, Mexican Army, Camerone 30 April 1863

    #12183
    Profile photo of Free Chicken Dinner
    RRS
    Participant

    Well said. I’m in pretty good shape for a 50something, damn near have my own Soloflex commercial. People ask me what I do specifically and I mention “REST” is first and foremost at my age. Honestly though a good many people have no clue and they rush into something, hurt themselves and then they are toast. I listen to my body.

    Tactical training for Liberty, Fraternity, Excellence

    #28202
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    Do you know your limitations? ;-)

    #28203
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Most will never know until they have no other choice..

    Ivarr

    #28204
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    Most will never know until they have no other choice..

    Here’s hoping that members of this Forum will learn them now while it’s easier!

    #28278
    Profile photo of Bob
    gunnerbob
    Participant

    One of my group members and I found our limitations this weekend during an extended training session. We were doing our engagement/exercise routine (we combine elements of SUT/shooting/weapons drills with duffle bag presses, throws, carries, & drags… along with pushups, and sprints), and we did it until we couldn’t do it anymore, effectively. All this while wearing our patrol rigs (25lbs). It was over 100 degrees where we were in Middle GA, in the hot sun the whole time. We trained for about three(3) hours non-stop.

    We went through about 1500rds (M1 Garand & M1 Carbine this day), we each probably did a hundred overhead presses with a 60lb bag, a few hundred pushups, and sprinted a collective 3 miles. We were DRAINED, soaked from head to toe in sweat, covered in dirt, and flat-out exhausted. We took breaks for water, and to reload our kits and went at it again. We effectively hit a wall around 2pm. We were jogging instead of sprinting, barely tossing the bag a few feet, and taking much longer to get accurate hits on target.

    We’re both in our 20s, very fit and strong, and by no means out of shape. We’re both in the 160s for weight, lean, and muscular. We pushed until it hurt and we were feeling nauseous… our thighs like jelly.

    We know we need to keep working on our endurance but, I know we’re in better shape than a lot of people. I think we did good, and found that essentially simulating a three hour, constantly moving firefight, was our limit in 100 degree heat.

    Train On, Fellas!

    #28416
    Profile photo of Mountain Mom
    gramma
    Participant

    After a certain age, it’s much much better to train – frequently – below the threshold of your limitations. This is what will build stamina and endurance, longer term. After you’re barely winded training daily at a certain level consistently – then, increase the time, exertion or intensity.

    Recovery takes longer, the older you are. So, you want to keep recovery duration short, and keep the frequency going forward. Less chance of doing serious damage to yourself, too.

    #28418
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    Recovery takes longer, the older you are.

    Less chance of doing serious damage to yourself, too.

    Definitely have to train smart to avoid setbacks and injuries as we get older.

    #28470
    Profile photo of tango
    tango
    Participant

    @gunnerbob‘s data sounds in line with what I’ve experienced. And that’s with proper dietary intake leading up to it. Not some hung-over burger-king eating slob. Killer workout man!

    To the OP data:
    Personal experience with mountain trails and that weight means cut those recommendations in half to 8-10mi max per day for 3-4 days successively.

    Baptême du feu
    L'appel du vide

    #28472
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    To the OP data:
    Personal experience with mountain trails and that weight means cut those recommendations in half to 8-10mi max per day for 3-4 days successively.

    Just to clarify, those weren’t recommendations, they are my known personal “limitations” for a particular environment giving as an example.

    It is important to know our own personal limitations for all expected environments. This also relates to all team efforts, since we are only as fast as our slowest member.

    #28506
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Note: This is not Max’s response/content. Just a glitch from the transition to subscription.

    The primary issue of hitting the wall in the heat is dehydration. It is VERY HARD to take in enough fluid to keep up with the loss, as well as electrolyte depletion. Some years ago I did a 100 mile mountain bike race just a bit south of Max’ establishment. I was training appropriately but realized that fluid/electrolyte loss was going to be an issue. I did some estimation based on ranges of sweat/kilo lean body mass/hr and electrolyte concentrations. I came up with a low and high range just to get a feel for it…and was shocked! I needed to take several capsules per hour of a mixture of NaCl, KCl, as well as Mg & Ca. This was in addition to assuming 1 liter/hr of gatorade. My performance was very good, and I passed roughly half of the riders who had been in front of me over the last 2+ hrs of the event. I was able to perform at a higher level as the day wore on.

    As far as cumulative training and recovery, there are tremendous differences in what people can handle over time. The longer history of hard training, the greater tolerance / ability to recover you will likely find. Fine tuning training to have optimal stimulus without overtraining is more art than science. This is why I encourage athletes I have coached (as well as patients of mine) to keep DETAILED logs of eating, activity, formal exercise, sleep, and other life stressors. Look for patterns in workout performance, testing, and competition. Try to correlate this, and listen to your body.

    Many (perhaps MOST) people have never really pushed themselves consistently over many months to find out what they can manage and how they can perform. I had been a competitive runner for some years, but got seriously crazy with my cycling. I got to a level I could have never foreseen, and was able to complete workouts that still leave me shaking my head now when I look back.

    Collect data, push yourself. Train hard AND rest hard. I know, it is hard to find any semblance of balance while trying to live life and prepare for the future. Be careful in the heat! Watch each other’s back.

    Stay free…

    #28552
    Profile photo of Bob
    gunnerbob
    Participant

    @gunnerbob‘s data sounds in line with what I’ve experienced. And that’s with proper dietary intake leading up to it. Not some hung-over burger-king eating slob. Killer workout man!

    To the OP data:
    Personal experience with mountain trails and that weight means cut those recommendations in half to 8-10mi max per day for 3-4 days successively.

    Tango,

    I appreciate the compliment! I’ve been into exercising for about 12 years, mostly weightlifting (powerlifting/bodybuilding), and in that time I’ve learned to listen to my body… to rest when it’s telling me to rest. I’ve had many injuries over the years, from knees, to shoulders, to blowing an L5-S1 disc requiring surgery in 2014. Getting a little older has taught me to not push it 110% every time I exercise… to save some every now-n-then. Also, to eat right and hydrate. It makes a huge difference in performance, proper diet, and allows one to operate at optimal levels (duh).

    Today’s another training day for the group, and I plan to push the fellas.

    Train hard, train often, and take care of yourselves ya’ll… it may make all the difference in victory.

    #57523
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    While originally from 2014, this Thread still has some realistic food for thought.

    #57565

    Interesting that you’ve brought this back up. I’ve been putting a lot of thought into this over the last decade or so. One thing I would say is that no matter what your age you cannot go 100% training all the time. To attempt to do so will result in injury and sometimes these injuries can be chronic. Peak and trough Cycles rest and Recovery are probably the most important things in any fitness program. If your training at a top level it should be for some sort of defined goal with an endpoint or peak performance date/time and then a rest and Recovery cycle. This could then be followed by yet another build up to top-level Peak. Think about cartilage wear, disc herniation, and soft tissue stresses, knee relacements…..AND disabled parking tags.

    CRCD/CP April 2014, CP August 2014, RC1,
    CTT/CP June/July 2015, Run n Gun/CQB/FoF 2016, DA Georgia 2017, DCH Georgia 2018

    #57566
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    Let’s remember that this applies to our training programs, which is of course true. However this will also apply to real world operations if an “Event” occurs.

    Under those conditions other factors like available resources such as food (calories), sleep (lack of), medications (again lack of), and stress will also have a major impact on our performance.

    Plan for this, determine realistic goals through realistic training.

    When is the last time you spent three days in the field? How about five days survival training without food beyond what you foraged?

    I know this may sound extreme depending on what your true motivation and goals are here at the MVT Forum.

    What are you trying to accomplish?

    I don’t expect answers here, but individually you need to know these things about yourself.

    #57572
    Profile photo of zeerf
    zeerf
    Participant

    :good: great things to figure out before your (or your loved ones) life depends on it.

    #57573
    Profile photo of Barry Subelsky
    Sam Brady
    Participant

    For Alpha types it is sometime hard to remember that “programmed” rest days are part of a good training program…….
    I have learned over time that I absolutely must program rest into my training.

    #57578
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    Sam, excellent and concise point!

    Overlooked even for those who are in their twenties, but especially as each decade goes by.

    Funny and entertaining, but much truth!

    With some quality Training we can split the difference between the two “onces!” ;-)

    #57581
    Profile photo of Robert
    Robert
    Participant

    Let’s remember that this applies to our training programs, which is of course true. However this will also apply to real world operations if an “Event” occurs.

    Under those conditions other factors like available resources such as food (calories), sleep (lack of), medications (again lack of), and stress will also have a major impact on our performance.

    Plan for this, determine realistic goals through realistic training.

    When is the last time you spent three days in the field? How about five days survival training without food beyond what you foraged?

    I know this may sound extreme depending on what your true motivation and goals are here at the MVT Forum.

    What are you trying to accomplish?

    I don’t expect answers here, but individually you need to know these things about yourself.

    <iframe src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/_VrFV5r8cs0?feature=oembed” allow=”autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen=”” frameborder=”0″ width=”570″ height=”321″></iframe>

    Great points.

    When I was cutting weight 8 or so years ago now I was very caloric deficient on a day to day basis during a 4 month period. Some days under 1,300 calories. For a dude that WAS 200+ lbs. that was a stretch. I pushed myself to exercise almost every day just to see what my body could or could not do on essentially half calories.

    Your mental faculties DO start to slow, decision making times slow down. I pushed through with caffeine for the most part. I’m sure it wasn’t good for my body but long term shedding 40+ extra lbs. wasn’t good either.

    I’ve had some various injuries over the years doing combatives and their is usually something you can do to work around an injury. Rehabbing knee injuries I’ve laid on the floor and worked abs, done knuckle pushups with the “bad” leg propped on top of the good one, etc. To me this helps keep spirits up and helps to get back at it quickly. Just within reason of course.

    www.jrhenterprises.com
    RMP, TC3, NODF, CRCD 6/14, CP 9/14. NODF, Land Nav, 6/15. Rifleman Challenge 9/15- Vanguard. FOFtactics 3/16, 10/16, 11/16, 6/17,11/17 CTT, 6/15, 11/16, , LRMC-1 9/17 GA Mobile CTT and DA 10/16, GA mobile DCH 3/18, HEAT1 3/18 Alum weekend 8/18, Opfor CLC 10/18, DA 11/18 CQBC 12/18

    #57582
    Profile photo of wheelsee
    wheelsee
    Participant

    Figured I’d throw this out here …… re: knees. If you tear a meniscus as an adult (think 30 and above), the common treatment is trimming out the torn part……here’s the catch – 60 % will develop arthritis (osteo) within 3-8 years. I see people (vast majority men) who have end-stage OA (osteoarthritis) weekly who have exhausted all other means of relief (physical therapy, oral medications, steroidal injection, viscosupplementation injections – think Hyalgan) and are left with needing total knee replacement (TKR/TKA)

    Take care of your original equipment, rarely is the replacement as good (most with TKR are unable to kneel for any length of time)

    Just an observation from one who has worked in orthopedics for the past 14 years….

    Which is heavier - a soldier's pack or a slave's chains? Napoleon

    Strength, Honor. Maximus (Gladiator)

    If you tolerate evil, you yourself are evil.
    Col Hugo Martinez, Commander Search Bloc

    William, in The Republic - CRS/CTT 2017, HEAT 2/CQB/FonF 2018, DCH 2018

    #57583
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    When I was cutting weight 8 or so years ago now I was very caloric deficient on a day to day basis during a 4 month period. Some days under 1,300 calories. For a dude that WAS 200+ lbs. that was a stretch. I pushed myself to exercise almost every day just to see what my body could or could not do on essentially half calories.

    Your mental faculties DO start to slow, decision making times slow down. I pushed through with caffeine for the most part.

    Knowing these effects I consider to be a good thing, but each has to determine their own health before doing a “fast” regardless of length or purpose. Many in the West have never experienced going without sufficient food.

    Besides the physical discovering if you have the mental motivation to push through is worth learning.

    re: knees.

    Good information and another example of cumulative effects, in my case of a lifetime of hard use and the price paid.

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