TACFIT Commando + Max Strength Work

posted in: FAQ, TACFIT Commando | 0


Hi John,

Really enjoying doing the program. Just finished day 7. I have a few questions if you do not mind. Do you recommend doing the program as is, or maybe adding in a max strength routine possibly on the low intensity day? Also, is the program building the back enough or should I add in pullups, if so when? Lastly, my form on the tripod extension is dowright horrid. I am a 50 year old CPA aka stiff. Any ideas?

Thank you, Ron


Hi Ron,

Thanks for your questions. Sonnon would likely tell you to do the program as is, and I understand where he is coming from. The program was designed to be complete, and needing nothing else. It is certainly a comprehensive program, and that may be reason alone to not play around with the programming. That said, TACFIT Commando was created for a very specific purpose, and sometimes that purpose doesn’t fully align with a trainee’s goals – especially when most of us aren’t tactical operators, Navy SEAL’s, secret agents, etc.

Most people that I deal with want some of the benefits of TACFIT Commando, but also want some other fitness training benefits that TC does NOT provide. So, I can totally understand why you’d want to include some max strength work or also supplement the routine with additional exercises like pullups, and I would tell you that this can certainly be done – and should be done if it aligns with your goals. So, it becomes a matter of the best way to do it, and there’s no easy answer to that question. As is often the case, it depends on a lot of factors. So, take my advice with that in mind.

If I was going to add in an additional exercise like pullups to the routine, then I would sub that at the end of a moderate intensity session, and I would keep the total training intensity and volume at or below 80% of maximum (no max effort work on a moderate intensity day). Other than that, you could do it any way you’d like – 3 sets of 10, a pyramid, density training, etc. That’s an easy and straightforward inclusion.

Regarding max effort lifting, this is where it gets a little more complicated. Firstly, I would advise against doing any max effort training on a low intensity or moderate intensity day unless you have drastically changed the training schedule. If you did this on the 4-day wave as outlined in TACFIT Commando, then I’d assume the training volume would be far too much and you would quickly end up burnt out, over-trained, or injured. It would probably be too much to recover from on a 4-day basis.

Now, if you’re using an adjusted routine such as the 7-day wave or another schedule that you create yourself, then I think it could absolutely be done. It just comes down to creating a program that will take you right to your edge and no further. You want to be able to fully recover from your sessions to avoid the risk of over-training. If this is the type of thing you’d like to experiment with, then I’d recommend starting with 1 max effort lifting session per week, and 1 high-intensity TACFIT Commando session per week. Try that out for a few weeks, and if you don’t see any signs of getting burnt out, and all of your results are otherwise positive, then either keep it up, or consider adding a little bit more training volume. Naturally, there are a ton of ways to program this, which is why I’m leaving it amgiguous. Just try to find the best schedule for you, and then become very meticulous about your progress tracking.

Something important to keep in mind is that there is no perfect program. Every fitness program, TACFIT Commando included, is designed to work for a broad range of people. So, naturally, it isn’t perfectly suited for any one person. Even individually tailored programs will have flaws. Of course, there are ways to get around this and provide within-program customization, but my point in saying this is that ultimately your results should dictate your approach. If you measure and track your results on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis, then you will know what is working and what is not. Whenever going into “uncharted territory” with a fitness program, I always recommend getting serious about your results tracking because it’s easy to get off course and do more harm than good. I hope that all makes at least some sense!

Regarding the tripod extension exercise that you’re having trouble with (note: this advice applies to anyone struggling with a specific exercise technique), I would try to identify what is giving you trouble. Is the movement just beyond your skill level, and it’s simply a matter of more practice? Is your mobility limited, in which case you simply cannot achieve the required range of motion for the exercise until you improve your joint mobility? Do you have tension in or around your shoulders, spine, ribs, hips, knees, etc.? Whatever is holding you back, identify it and work on improving that specific thing. If you’re not sure exactly what it is, then just make the best guess you can and take action on it, or try to find a local coach to help. In my experience, it’s usually an issue of limited mobility and/or excess muscle tension, combined with an exercise that is either completely new and thus, unpracticed, or a movement for which your body isn’t yet ready to tackle, in which case, you’ll need an easier progression. Whatever the case, do whatever it takes – daily mobility, a few targeted yoga poses, targeted strength work, etc. Don’t lose hope, the tripod extension can be done!

For anyone looking for more information about the complete TACFIT Commando Program, check out my comprehensive review here: TACFIT Commando Review. Also, for anyone who is over 50 and still not sure if this program would work for you, see here: Is TACFIT Commando for people over 50?