• Crossing My Fingers


    Always moving forward with the evolution of our Team, this past Sunday’s morning SS7 was a different kind of session. Yes we did some PT….



    …..worked on water exploration and aqua-dynamic cooling procedures….


    …carried awkward AND heavy items of strategic importance….


    ….all the while preparing the Team to prepare for the mission………….


    So I hope all of you enjoyed your Sunday morning – I know those that were able to participate in the horrible smoke-session that occurred – may possibly never show up again, since it was an hour a half longer than I had planned. Man….I hope folks come back to train. Maybe I’ll make it interesting so they will…..crossing my fingers…..



  • Time flies by in the Blink……and then you Smile



    We all do it, some with more intensity than others. Caught up in the quest to be better. Whatever life’s direction seems to take us…..



    This past SS7 in at Stadium Bowl was no different. Show up, get the workout done, then move on. Pretty typical…..
    ..or was it?

    I haven’t seen Kyle in quite some time. His life – just as busy as anyone else’s I suppose. And here he was, 7am on a Sunday morning, probably an hour’s worth of a drive down from the north, just so he could come work out. There wasn’t any special “hook”, no special event tagged alongside the workout that would really entice you to get up on a slow Sunday morning to go suffer in arguably the most intense set of stairs that stand guard over the Thea Foss Waterway – The Stairs at Stadium Bowl.

    And yet there he was – the one who would happily invite you to his VQ (Vision Quest – no not the 80′s movie….something much worse, involving the spirits of animals and such…) and then tell you how the guys at his work don’t understand that a video game character “can’t move and fight like that with a ruck on!” For Kyle, the experience has taught him what you can or can’t do with a ruck on your back, and to hear him passionately tell me this story about the challenges he faces at the office, makes me smile.


    It’s seeing Kyle that reminded me of this very simple and true fact about TRVLSQD: You can be caught up in life, go away for a while, and jump right in at any time, at any workout, and the promise you have from me and everyone else – You’ll receive the kind of hugs, high-fives and smiles that accompany the return of an old friend. Yeah so he’s been gone for a while….so what! There are plenty of folks that many of us don’t see too often, and the same thing seems to happen every time someone shows that we almost forget what they look like…..Not that we could forget you Kyle:)


    It was great seeing you again Kyle – way to crawl yourself right back into the heart of the Team!
    Sometimes time really does fly by, and then a friend gives you that reason to smile:)


  • Sunday Suck at 6am – It’s the Basis for Our Training


    It’s almost always brisk at 6am when you’re getting the Team together for a workout. This time of the year there’s plenty of light already, and it’s simply a matter of getting after it. Those of you that came out were treated to spectacular instances of elevated heart-rate, a few servings of Sugar Cookies, and maybe a drink or two (of Puget Sound’s Best:)


    Pictures are worth….well…they’re worth the emotion they evoke when you were the one exerting yourself and then you get to see them after the fact! Well done to Mike D, Chuck, Leah, Seth, and Chris. You were a tight fire-team, until you took two casualties that left only three of you to charlie mike. And the 3 of you successfully brought the components home with no damage!


    Chris Mickelsen – Your education into the ways we create teamwork has only begun – I’ll see you in the suck brother!


    ……So what did you do Sunday morning at 6am?

  • Finding Our Way – Lake Tahoe Custom NAVIGATOR


    Everyone can train for a GRC, a Light, or any other GR Event. To be able to participate in an Event that isn’t designed to “crush” you (don’t confuse with easy – climbing at elevation “sucked” the wind from my lungs) is a welcome reprieve from the standard PT beat-down.

    This past week/weekend I was fortunate to join a 1/2 dozen or so other TRVLSQD folks as we converged down to South Lake Tahoe to attend the Custom NAVIGATOR. I know a little bit about logistics, and to see an event of this scale pulled off by Team Maris was simply awesome! From Grant and his Chef Boy-I-Am-Hungry skills, to the surprise trainer (Mykel Hawke – Man, Woman, Wild & TV Personality, Ex-Green Beret) and the sporadic bear sightings, this event was one of the greatest gatherings of Cadre & GRT’s ever! I won’t divulge too much of the magic of the event, and would like to say that although we were gathered to learn and explore, we all shared in mourning the passing of Jeff Proietti. We may have been on the other side of the country from where this unfortunate accident occurred, and we still felt his presence as we stood outside the Lodge in the sunshine. In your honor Jeff – Rest Easy, your GORUCK Family has picked up your torch and we’re carrying it forward.


    Special Thank you to Team Maris, Team Goggiano, all and every Cadre involved in this events’ success!

    So whether it be NAVIGATOR, ASCENT, BEACHED, or any other GR Expedition – go out and get after it,



  • Hulk Out: Back Day


    Oh Back Day…how I love you? Let me count the ways!

    1. A strong back = a great way to avoid future neck, shoulder, and back pain.
    2. A well trained back = a balanced physique (people tend to work their “push” muscles than their “pull” muscles).
    3. Helps improve posture – showcasing a “leaner” look.

    Back muscles are one of the most important muscle groups to ever work out (I’ll talk about Leg Day in a couple of weeks). Think about it, we use our back in almost everything that we do whether mundane like bending over to tie your shoe to getting out of bed or complex like bouldering and playing kickball (if you pitch to me, I prefer a baby bounce pitch…). So yes, it’s key to keep your back strong.

    Pull-Ups, Rows, and Deadlifts are the three quintessential exercises that workout your back, including the many variations out there. For this week, we’ll focus on the deadlift – my fave!

    With the Olympic barbell set on the ground with your starting weight, stand center of the bar with your feet positioned at shoulder distance apart and toes pointed at a 45-degree angle. Squat down with your knees and use a reverse grip to grab the bar. Take note that your elbows should be on the outside of your knees. Dip your hips down so that you are no longer bent over the bar and slowly stand up. Your arms should be straight with a slight bend at the elbow. As you stand, the bar should be raised up to your hips (slightly above or below depending on the person). Slowly lower the weight back down to the ground. That’s one rep. Keep your back straight throughout the entire exercise and your eyes should either look up or forward.

    Whether from rucking with XXX lbs of weight on you, heaving a giant log with your team on all of your shoulders, or stepping up to carry a casualty, you and your team will need your back to be healthy and strong. The last thing you’ll ever want to do during a GR event is to throw out your back while changing socks – so take care of yourself!

    Stay strong, keep breathing, and finish your m@#$%r f&*#@n’ set!

    What You Will Need:
    Foam Roller
    Jump Rope OR Treadmill, Track, or any place that you’re comfortable doing a light jog
    Pull-Up Station
    Cable Station
    Olympic Barbell + Weighted Plates

    10 minutes of foam rolling

    5 minutes of jump rope or 15 minutes light jogging

    4 exercises, different sets, various reps
    Rest for 1:30-2:00 minutes between sets.
    Rest for 2:00-3:00 minutes between exercises.

    Pull-Up (+ Seated Lat Pull Down Super Set): 3 sets of 8-10 reps

    • Set-up the Seated Lat Pull Down station before starting.
    • Starting from a dead hang, perform as many body weight pull-ups as possible.
    • If you can do 8-10 reps, great – you’ve completed your set.
    • If you cannot complete the 8-10 reps, quickly move to the Seated Lat Pull Down station and perform until the 8-10 reps have been completed.
    • That’s 1 set.

    Bent Over Neutral Grip Single Arm Dumbbell Row:  3 sets of 8-10 reps per arm

    • Using a flat bench, kneel over the bench.
    • Keep your back flat.
    • With a neutral grip, grab the dumbbell and slowly raise the weight so that your tricep is parallel to the ground.
    • Lower it back down slowly so that the dumbbell is hovering over the ground.
    • That’s 1 rep.
    • Complete reps then switch sides.

    Pull Through: 3 sets of 6-8 reps

    • Treat this as your warm-up to your next exercise – the deadlift.
    • Keep the resistance light and go slow.

    Barbell Deadlift: 9 sets

    12 reps ___________
    10 reps ___________
    8 reps ___________
    6 reps ___________
    5 reps ___________
    4 reps ___________
    3 reps ___________
    2 reps ___________
    1 rep ___________

    Regarding the deadlift, try using only the lifting chalk (to dry out your hands and maximize your grip) only when needed and apply right before approaching the bar.  Keep your use of the wrist straps and belt to a near minimal and only towards the end of the workout set as the weight increases. The reasoning behind this is that it will help increase your hand and forearm (aka grip) strength and to strengthen your lower back.

    Also as you lift heavier, it will be easier to drop the weights between reps. It’s a common practice with those who do heavy, heavy deadlifts. Be mindful of your gym’s rules and do your best to be safe about it.

  • Hulk Out: Bell Ringer


    Kettlebells. Yep, we’re using them.


    Whether you’re tight on time or limited in space, kettlebells are a great go-to for quick and easy workouts at the gym OR at home. These odd shaped weights are perfect for momentum-based workouts.

    If you don’t have one or don’t have access to one, don’t fret. GORUCK sandbags can work in a pinch or with a bit of creativity, your full loadout ruck will do great.

    The Bell Ringer is technique driven and meant to be performed as a circuit. Feel free to blast through this workout. Again, you won’t need much for this particular workout – weight and space. That’s it.

    If you’re familiar with GORUCK events, then you know that your ruck is your greatest asset as well as the Cadre’s preferred torture device for PT. With the Bell Ringer, you’ll get a taste of what that’s like by using only a kettlebell throughout the entire circuit. Choose your weight wisely and NO SWITCHING WEIGHTS MID-CIRCUIT!

    Stay strong, keep breathing, and get swingin’.

    What you will need:
    Foam Roller
    Rowing machine or jump rope

    10 minutes of foam rolling

    3 sets of 500m row (1 minute of rest between sets)
    5 minutes of jump rope

    5 exercises, 10 reps each exercise, 6 sets
    1:00 – 1:30 minute rest between sets

    Alternating Kettlebell Push-Up

    • Lay the kettlebell on its side so that the handle portion lays it flat against the ground.
    • Start with your right hand on the kettlebell, go down, push-up while quickly switching hands and repeat with left side until your right hand is back on the kettlebell. That’s one rep.

    Kettlebell Overhead Press

    • Cradle the kettlebell with your hands around the rounded part (not the handle).
    • Start position is at chest level.
    • Press the weight overhead then back to the start position. That’s 1 rep.

    Russian  Kettlebell Swings

    • Keep your back straight throughout the exercise.
    • Have your legs at shoulder width apart.
    • Explode through the hips and raise the kettlebell up to shoulder height then in a controlled motion, lower the weight back down to the start.

    Sumo Squat with Kettlebell

    • Have your legs slight wider than shoulder width with your toes pointed at a 45-degree angle.
    • Keep your back straight throughout the exercise.
    • Use an overhand grip with both hands to hold the handle.
    • Go at a 30X1 tempo (refer to GORUCK’s Guide to Tempo Training)

    4-Count Flutter Kicks

    • The start position is both feet 6 inches above the ground.
    • Keep your legs perfectly straight and toes pointed throughout the exercise.
    • Cadence is a 4-count: 1, 2, 3, (rep #). Perform until all reps are completed.


  • GORUCK Challenge and GORUCK Light in the Emerald City


    Sometimes you just need to go for a walk with your friends…to get out in the open air, to take in spectacular views, to enjoy the sights and sounds of a city we all love – Seattle. Sometimes we need to jump onto the other side of the event – to see what happens from a Cadre point of view.


    Sometimes we need to watch our friends SUFFER at the hands of a sadistic, military trained instrument of death A.K.A – Cadre Daniel. To watch his surgical strike on the Team was nothing short of amazing. The amount of pain he inflicted was glorious & legendary!


    If you have any doubt or reserve that the GORUCK Challenge or the GORUCK Light is an event for you, I’m here to tell you -NO WAY! The above pictures are nothing more than a sampling of teammates – friends, all suffering at the hands of one GORUCK CADRE. Don’t take my word for it…..go back and look at their faces….

    Faces of Agony


    Faces of Defeat


    Faces of Sheer Desperation



    ………..now go click on the GORUCK link to the right of this post – and sign up:)



  • A Special Message from Cadre Bert

    In early May, Cadre Bert sent out a special message to the GORUCK Tough family. As a power lifter, you’ll see why I’m excited.

    “Check it out…..there is an art to rucking. Some people are naturally gifted and can ruck the lights out, others like myself have to work hard at it.

    For those of us that are not naturally gifted at rucking….we have to train all aspects of the body and engage those weaker areas will well rounded strength-training. Obviously being 300lbs and a ball of muscle is not the best setup for rucking, but being well-rounded and strong in lower body, core, and upper body will only make you a better rucker…..especially when the weight increases.

    Arguably the three primary lifts always have been and always will be Bench Press, Deadlift, and Back Squat. Since as early as the 1950′s, different American sports teams from high school all the way to the pros have had a special lifting clubs.

    Well Meatheads…you asked for it so now you got it. I would like to introduce the “GORUCK 1000lb Club.” There will also be a 500lb Club and 750lb Club for women only and a 1200lb Club for the super Meatheads.

    500 lbs750 lbs

    1000 lbs1200 lbs


    The GORUCK 1000-Pound Club is a combination of your squat, dead lift and bench press. A lifter must meet or exceed 1000 lbs., with any combination of these three lifts, to become a member.

    Specific Cadre will be designated as graders.

    Each participant has to schedule an appointment with a Cadre coming to their area and must use their gym/box as well as provide their own spotter for Bench Press and Back Squat.
    Gloves, Wrist Wraps, and/or Lifting Straps are permitted. Bench Press Suits/Shirts are not allowed.
    Weight lifting belts are permitted for all 3 lifts.
    All 3 lifts must be completed in one session, monitored by same Cadre for all 3 lifts.


    Power arch is permitted, but participant’s glutes and upper back/shoulders MUST stay in contact with the bench at all times.
    Feet must remain stationary throughout the lift.
    Spotter may assist participant in liftoff, but not during lift. Participant gives “READY” signal to spotter. Cadre will look for a “SHOW OF CONTROL” in which the bar and the body must be completely still.
    Weight bar must come down so the elbows reach a minimum of 90 degrees.
    Bar MUST touch the chest, but no bounce is permitted.
    Full extension must be reached before re-racking the bar.
    Bad lifts include:
    Extreme instability of the bar
    Extreme body movement (I.e. feet leaves the floor).


    Participant must have full control and stability during entire movement.
    Thighs must be parallel, or close to parallel, to the ground during completion of squat.
    Bad lifts include:
    Uneven, or excessive, leaning towards one side.
    Rounding of your lower back.
    Extreme instability of the bar.
    Taking steps during lift.


    Lift must start from the ground.
    Participant must maintain straight or slightly arched posture.
    Hip and knees must move evenly during lift.
    Body must reach full extension before dropping weight.
    Bad lifts include:
    Uneven, or excessive, leaning towards one side.
    Extreme Instability of the bar.
    Rounded back posture.


    Start training now……more to follow and standby. The patches are being made as we speak. You want this one….you gotta earn it like all the other GORUCK patches, but this one you have to earn by yourself.

    You’ll pass out before you die!”

    Guess who’s gunning for the 1250lbs club? BOOM!

    Stay strong, keep breathing, and my life for Iron!