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SandBag training for SWAT: week 1

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  1. #1
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    SandBag training for SWAT: week 1






    Gang. As mentioned in the past I do seminars and such for law enforcement and military, generally tactical LEO and SOF. The SWAT team from the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC)* plans to compete in Connecticut SWAT Challenge, which is the 4th largest SWAT competition in the United States.** NEMLEC is a regional RRT/SWAT team in the New England area. If you recall from my web site and such, I had done a seminar for this group a while back.***

    I have been put in charge -as Senior PT Advisor -for the team, and am in the process of getting them ready for the match. The PT portion of this match is the toughest in the nation. The events schedule is found here:

    06 Events

    In particular, take a look at the “UNDER ARMOUR/STORM CASE PHYSICAL FITNESS CHALLENGE.” I have been to the other larger challenges, and none of them had a stage like that! That’s one mother-fer of stage right there!
    This was the fist week, so I was looking to get a baseline with the guys. Nothing high tech or expensive is needed here. A great way to work on functional strength, unbalanced loads, and conditioning, as well as grip strength, is by using sand bags.

    Sand bag training is very difficult and challenging and is particularly useful to MMA fighters, tactical law enforcement, SOF, strong man competitors, and others, where functional strength is essential. It’s also great for grip strength as there is nothing to hold onto. This type of training is perfect for preparing this team for such a challenge.

    In the future, there will be rope climbing, wall climbing (in full tac gear), phone pole lifting, tire rolling, and ever increasing difficulty of combing sand bag training with shooting drills. All designed to increase functional strength, body weight to strength ratio, dealing with unbalanced loads that shift, grip strength, and of course, shooting under great physical stress, as these competitions demand, which attempt to parallel the “real world” for these teams.****

    That’s just the PT portion of the training. Additional shooting drills take place separately, and they are well equipped to deal with that part. However, I feel it’s essential to combine shooting with the PT to keep focus on shooting under stress as these competitions generally stress.

    As stated, this was a baseline day to where we all stood. The rotation of the day was:

    30 pushups, followed by 10 over head presses with 75lb sand bag, run with sand bag, 10 more over head presses, run back to start position, put bag down, run to 7 yard line, and shoot 10rnds to slide lock.

    Shooting was scored using an IDPA target, which means center mass and head shots add no time to your score, outside that, it adds time to your score. So, you have to shoot accurately, or your score goes down. They had to do that rotation 3 times.

    Second rotation was, chin ups using a rope. Using a rope is very hard on your grip, so that’s why I used it. Right after chins, run to the truck, throw 75lb sand bag over shoulder, run to 12 yard line (I actually moved the red cone back from 7 yards to 12 without telling them to make life harder…) and shoot. Two rotations of that. End of the two rotations, who ever had the slowest times had to do it again! It pays to be a winner if you are on my system…anyway, here is a short vid of the two PT rotations we did today:



    For now, these will not be fancy vids with music and all that as I normally do. Just quick bits of the week to week progress, and I will put together my normal vid at a later date. This just gives a quick idea of what the training is like. Yours truly is in the white shirt and black cap.

    PS, well also have some T shirts if anyone is interested. They will have the NEMLEC SWAT logo on the right chest and say “NEMLEC Support.” They are only $20 with shipping, so a good deal and it supports a good group of guys in law enforcement and helps yours truly too. I can put up a pic of a shirt if anyone is interested.






    * = NEMLEC - North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council


    ** = Home


    *** = Testimonial on Will's seminars for SWAT and LEO

    **** = It should be noted I am not a shooting instructor, but I know enough about shooting to integrate it into the PT sessions that will mimic what they will face in competition. The members of this SWAT team practice their shooting regularly as you would expect.
    - Will @ BrinkZone


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    Quote Originally Posted by WillBrink View Post
    Gang. As mentioned in the past I do seminars and such for law enforcement and military, generally tactical LEO and SOF. The SWAT team from the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC)* plans to compete in Connecticut SWAT Challenge, which is the 4th largest SWAT competition in the United States.** NEMLEC is a regional RRT/SWAT team in the New England area. If you recall from my web site and such, I had done a seminar for this group a while back.***

    I have been put in charge -as Senior PT Advisor -for the team, and am in the process of getting them ready for the match. The PT portion of this match is the toughest in the nation. The events schedule is found here:

    06 Events

    In particular, take a look at the “UNDER ARMOUR/STORM CASE PHYSICAL FITNESS CHALLENGE.” I have been to the other larger challenges, and none of them had a stage like that! That’s one mother-fer of stage right there!
    This was the fist week, so I was looking to get a baseline with the guys. Nothing high tech or expensive is needed here. A great way to work on functional strength, unbalanced loads, and conditioning, as well as grip strength, is by using sand bags.

    Sand bag training is very difficult and challenging and is particularly useful to MMA fighters, tactical law enforcement, SOF, strong man competitors, and others, where functional strength is essential. It’s also great for grip strength as there is nothing to hold onto. This type of training is perfect for preparing this team for such a challenge.

    In the future, there will be rope climbing, wall climbing (in full tac gear), phone pole lifting, tire rolling, and ever increasing difficulty of combing sand bag training with shooting drills. All designed to increase functional strength, body weight to strength ratio, dealing with unbalanced loads that shift, grip strength, and of course, shooting under great physical stress, as these competitions demand, which attempt to parallel the “real world” for these teams.****

    That’s just the PT portion of the training. Additional shooting drills take place separately, and they are well equipped to deal with that part. However, I feel it’s essential to combine shooting with the PT to keep focus on shooting under stress as these competitions generally stress.

    As stated, this was a baseline day to where we all stood. The rotation of the day was:

    30 pushups, followed by 10 over head presses with 75lb sand bag, run with sand bag, 10 more over head presses, run back to start position, put bag down, run to 7 yard line, and shoot 10rnds to slide lock.

    Shooting was scored using an IDPA target, which means center mass and head shots add no time to your score, outside that, it adds time to your score. So, you have to shoot accurately, or your score goes down. They had to do that rotation 3 times.

    Second rotation was, chin ups using a rope. Using a rope is very hard on your grip, so that’s why I used it. Right after chins, run to the truck, throw 75lb sand bag over shoulder, run to 12 yard line (I actually moved the red cone back from 7 yards to 12 without telling them to make life harder…) and shoot. Two rotations of that. End of the two rotations, who ever had the slowest times had to do it again! It pays to be a winner if you are on my system…anyway, here is a short vid of the two PT rotations we did today:



    For now, these will not be fancy vids with music and all that as I normally do. Just quick bits of the week to week progress, and I will put together my normal vid at a later date. This just gives a quick idea of what the training is like. Yours truly is in the white shirt and black cap.

    PS, well also have some T shirts if anyone is interested. They will have the NEMLEC SWAT logo on the right chest and say “NEMLEC Support.” They are only $20 with shipping, so a good deal and it supports a good group of guys in law enforcement and helps yours truly too. I can put up a pic of a shirt if anyone is interested.






    * = NEMLEC - North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council


    ** = Home


    *** = Testimonial on Will's seminars for SWAT and LEO

    **** = It should be noted I am not a shooting instructor, but I know enough about shooting to integrate it into the PT sessions that will mimic what they will face in competition. The members of this SWAT team practice their shooting regularly as you would expect.

    im new with sandbag training, are there any tips and drills u could point out that may aid me in my judo etc. thanx.

  3. #3
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    awesome! Looks like fun stuff. Law enforcement guys can be fun to train. they lay it all on the line.
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    Quote Originally Posted by P-funk View Post
    awesome! Looks like fun stuff. Law enforcement guys can be fun to train. they lay it all on the line.
    Yes, you don't have to worry about them giving their all. They hate to lose and are very competitive people.
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    Quote Originally Posted by awaiseali View Post
    im new with sandbag training, are there any tips and drills u could point out that may aid me in my judo etc. thanx.
    Actually, if you do a Google search on sandbag training, you will find a bunch of stuff. The stuff we are doing would not apply well to your needs, but you will fond articles on using sand bags for MMA training and such.
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  6. #6
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    That's awesome! GPP work rocks. I like your exercise selection too.

    I also like these two exercises. Maybe you'll be able to use them.
    1 - Fill a plastic, hollow and thick 10' pole with water so that it's 50% full. Now walk around with it in your arms, do zercher squats, military presses etc. The water will make the pole extremely unstable as the center of gravity is constantly shifting. (Thanks to Dan John)
    2 - Sled dragging and car pushing in every way imaginable. I'm sure you know this one already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Witchblade View Post
    That's awesome! GPP work rocks. I like your exercise selection too.

    I also like these two exercises. Maybe you'll be able to use them.
    1 - Fill a plastic, hollow and thick 10' pole with water so that it's 50% full. Now walk around with it in your arms, do zercher squats, military presses etc. The water will make the pole extremely unstable as the center of gravity is constantly shifting. (Thanks to Dan John)
    2 - Sled dragging and car pushing in every way imaginable. I'm sure you know this one already.
    On 1: best way to do that would to use PVC with end caps. That would work well for the water. Will consider that one for future days, but for their specific needs, might not been needed above sandbags. I cool idea I will keep in mind for sure.

    On 2: as mentioned, above, lots of things are planned, but has to have some direct utility to their specific requirements. Next week we head to a gym run by a pal who is top ranked strong man competitor in the region for 800lb tire rolling, sled drags, etc, then back to the range for shooting drills.

    Following week (week 3) will be much more difficult version of the short vid above, with full tac gear on, etc.

    The only easy day for them was yesterday...
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    Seems like a great training technique...I would love to try!
    Owner of two gym franchises in Virginia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpolito830 View Post
    Seems like a great training technique...I would love to try!
    Buy some sand bags, set up a circuit in your yard, or take a sand bag to the gym, and incorporate it into your program some where. Lot's of options really.
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  10. #10
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    Looks fun, I would love to have a rope wall to climb.
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    Gang. Here is a short vid of the work that was done on week 2. Today was strong man style training, with 800lb tire flipping, alternating grip chin ups, sled dragging, and other movements designed to greatly improve the type of functional strength and endurance needed for the CT SWAT match, not to mention just good training for tactical LEO’s and SOF. Put this up on my photobucket account below

    We did all that at my buddy John’s gym, Excel Sport & Fitness (1) who gave us great tips on form for flipping the tires, improving grip strength, etc,. Anyone looking for top quality training in that area, should contact John.

    From there to the range. At the range, additional rotations of running approx half mile in full tac gear, going over 5ft wall, followed by shooting on the move Mozambique Drills and others. I didn't get any vid due to heavy rain however.

    Nest week, we incorporate some of the work done in week one, and week two, so it’s going to get considerably harder….
    yours truly is in the black polo shirt and tan cap

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  12. #12
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    Folks, for those interested, I now have a series of the SWAT training vids on my youtube site. Weeks 1-10 are up now. Here's week 9 for example:

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    So what kind of progress have you seen in them in 10 weeks? That kind of training is pretty interesting.
    Ron Paul 2012

    No gym for home, work out floor with 30, but is it for 20 like 30 lb when you no lift it to be for men, for 30 lbs instead? or half is 10 for 20 pounds?

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    Quote Originally Posted by danzik17 View Post
    So what kind of progress have you seen in them in 10 weeks? That kind of training is pretty interesting.
    Big improvements in strength, endurance, and shooting under stress. If you watch the early vids, you can see the progression. Difficulty and intensity has gone up steadily at specific intervals. Have two more weeks of training, then the big match. Training tempo and round counts will stay high for the last few weeks.
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  15. #15
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    And you said it was a Connecticut match right? Where in CT?
    Ron Paul 2012

    No gym for home, work out floor with 30, but is it for 20 like 30 lb when you no lift it to be for men, for 30 lbs instead? or half is 10 for 20 pounds?

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    Quote Originally Posted by danzik17 View Post
    And you said it was a Connecticut match right? Where in CT?
    Google CT Swat Challenge.
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    Here's week 11 for those interested:

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    Well gang, I am back from the CT SWAT Challenge for which those SWAT training vids were in preparation for. My guys took 15th out of 34 teams, and 4th at the all important PT Challenge, so there was proof of concept results there from the training.

    For a first attempt, I am happy with the results. There’s no reason at all they can’t break top 10 next year with some tweaks to their training, and additional bang bang time on their part.

    No major issues or screw ups, but plenty of nerves induced small stuff and high Murphy factor stuff which accumulated rapidly, as it always does! I will have video up shortly from the match for those interested….

    Here is part 1 vid of the 2008 CT Challenge. I did the PT course first. I was not able to get vid of all the stations unfortunately, but got enough to give those were not there a good idea of the event. Will have vids that cover the shooting events, and other stuff up shortly. Enjoy:



    PS, hopefully the high res version is up by now as it looks way better if you hit the "watch in high quality" option.
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