I started my 8 Weeks to SEALFIT journey last spring. The title of the book implies an 8-week program, but in fact that applies to the Advanced Operator Training schedule, and I was not ready for that at the time. I decided to start with the On-Ramp level (4 weeks), then Basic Training (4 weeks), with some recovery weeks in between, and finally, I dipped my toe into Advanced Operator Training. That last one amounts to two full workouts in a single day! What was scheduled for 8 weeks, I split into 2-week increments, so it became more like 12 or 16 weeks. Then, I decided to repeat the schedule, in a modified (easier) way, to improve my technique… And here we are.
How do I feel after all this SEALFIT training? Tired. Also, my lower back is sore. I think the sore back was due to last week’s deadlift session, and although I don’t think it’s serious, it has definitely lasted a few days now. As a result, I scaled back on all my weightlifting this week, rather than increasing my weights. This is similar to how I felt after my first year of P90X. I think I took a good thing and worked on it for too long, with inadequate sleep. Recently I heard that elite athletes sleep 10 to 12 hours per day! My schedule may not allow for that, but I can work on the things that keep me from getting the right amount and quality of sleep.
On the plus side, I have achieved certain goals, such as learning to use a barbell, deadlifting my bodyweight, and lifting what I consider to be heavy weights overhead, which I could not do before. I have learned a lot from these Crossfit-style workouts about variety, exercising indoors and outdoors, and using my body for moving in more “natural” ways such as get-ups and bear crawl. I have done more running over these months than I did for years before. Also, those first couple of weeks in Advanced Operator Training, when I at least tried to fit the full schedule into two daily sessions, were a glimpse into the challenges faced by real Navy SEAL candidates.
For the next month or two I am scheduling “recovery” workouts. I will still be breaking a sweat, and lifting lighter weights, challenging myself every day, while making rest and recovery the priority. Maybe when next spring comes, I will go back to the barbell, sandbag, and all the other toys, for a fresh start.
Even while I am taking a break from the exercise portion of the program, I am learning from Mark Divine’s blog and podcast, and reviewing the book. Hopefully I can take some of those lessons into other areas of my life. Hooyah!