TFFF - Stage One Complete
Sunday 1st June
Tacfit Firefighter First Alarm
STAGE 1 IS COMPLETE!
Tacfit Fire Fighter First Alarm
Stage 1 Complete
Reflections – Notes, Data and Summaries.
- STAGE 1 - Take 2 cycles (8 days) to recover with mobility and compensation training. Start Tacfit Firefighter with The Tacfit Firefighter Challenge. Complete 7 cycles of Tacfit Fire Fighter at Level 1 (Recruit Level) to ease into the program. COMPLETED.
- STAGE 2 - Take one cycle (4 days to recover). Combo of mobility and compensation/recovery work. Do the TFFF Challenge at Proby Level (Level 2). Complete all 23 cycles of TFFF at Proby Level (Level 2). The first 7 cycles will be strictly Proby and after that I will see whether I can progress some movements to higher levels.
- STAGE 3 - Unknown future!
SUMMARY (AND REVIEW)
Today I will work backwards! I’ll start off with my summary and then dive into the amazing ocean that is Tacfit Fire Fighter.
Ok. Where to begin? There are many beginnings here so I start with one word. Layer. Or to be more precise: Layers.
Stating the obvious here, but a quick look at Tacfit Fire Fighter would tell you that it is a fitness program. The words strength, power, metabolic conditioning etc, contained within the sales material denote what one can expect. However, this is one tier of a beautiful cake or the entrance to Doctor Who’s Tardis.
The reality is that there are many layers to this 'fitness program'. If some of the physical attributes were looked at from a metaphorical perspective, it would start to paint a different picture. Yes, strength is physical, however, this type of training enhances mental and emotional strength. Yes, power is physical but this program also provides the emotional power to overcome non-physical resistance such as cravings, road rage and general crappy thinking!
For me it denotes a unique intelligence within the programming of Tacfit Fire Fighter.
I believe that many fitness programs may unknowingly have similar layers (not necessarily the same quality), however, Tacfit Fire Fighter facilitates the understanding and focus of these layers. It takes exercise and says, “You are no longer just exercise. You are a pathway to undertaking physical training that incorporates elements which transcend the physical and can be applied to regular daily life. By undertaking this journey today, you can become a better you tomorrow”.
Before I started this type of training I had many questions, doubts and uncertainties. Was it for me? Would it work? Blah-de-blah.
I was reading a blog post somewhere in Cyberspace and a very simple statement captivated me. It was akin to the following (I forget the exact words), “Reading something is not enough. You have to do it and internalise it before you can understand/appreciate it”. This one sentence decided it for me. I would do Tacfit!
And, boy, am I happy I did.
I am in danger of making this a sales pitch! This is not my aim. I do, however, feel that the details that follow relate to the above and add credence to it.
I have been training with Tacfit Fire Fighter First Alarm (hereon in known as TFFF) since the 23rd April. I started off with 8 days to recover from my previous training program followed by the TFFF Challenge and 7 complete cycles of Recruit (Level 1).
The journey thus far has been………hmmmmmmmm………Which adjective to use?………Amazing? Yeah, that’s cool………Ah, got it!………Enlightening.
Here I will just list what my gains from my TFFF experience to date:
- Fat loss (and according to my fat % monitor I was already in single digits!)
- Strength gains.
- Increase in tissue elasticity. I have no idea what the technical term is but I can feel a greater storage of elastic energy on compression.
- Increase in heart rate recovery.
- Deeper tension release (residual tension from training and life in general)
- Greater intuition – Balancing work and recovery. Understanding and regulating training intensity.
- Deeper understanding of myself mentally and emotionally.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I have to make it clear that prior to starting TFFF I was already undertaking Tacfit training. I started Tacfit26 in October 2013 and displaced it to train with TFFF. I had already developed many of the above, however, TFFF has further advanced this. It has been wonderful to see further progress in certain areas that I thought I had already developed!
The areas that I had previously enhanced are also part of TFFF and anyone undertaking this kind of training will benefit:
- Increased mobility.
- Injury prevention through mobility and compensatory training.
- Better posture (or more accurately, poise).
- Increased energy levels.
I did not include these in the first list above as I have already attained these attributes through my prior Tacfit26 training. With TFFF I am maintaining and further developing them.
If someone were to ask me whether they should do TFFF my answer would be, “I don’t know. We are all different with different focuses. Read my journey and if it resonates, go for it! If you are not sure, go for it anyway!”
If someone were to ask me if TFFF is for fire fighters only my answer would be, “This program seems perfect for fire fighters but is also perfect for everyone else. I am biased. It works for me and I am an English teacher! It will 100% increase strength, add muscle (where muscle is needed), reduce fat (especially with using the compliance system within the program), restore mobility and is health first.
This type of training also helps process physical, mental and emotional stress. We all have that. It just varies depending on the life we have chosen for ourselves. It is the most intelligent all-encompassing fitness program that I have had the privilege of undertaking.
If you are interested in it, take the leap. I think you will be glad you did”.
The following information relates to my personal journey thus far. It includes data, thoughts, opinions and so on..............
DATA AND OVERVIEW OF SPECIFIC ELEMENTS
DISCLAIMER - I will be presenting data that is NOT required when one undertakes TFFF. I have included it for information purposes only and use it to aid my performance goals. I have indicated which data is required and which is through personal choice.
I have been doing mobility for the last year and a half. It is magic and EVERYONE should do it! I believe that my mobility was already good prior to starting TFFF but have received additional enhancements. Since undertaking the TFFF mobility program I have developed the following:
What I like about the TFFF Mobility Program. It is clear and concise. The coaching cues are spot on. There is no background music (I do my training in the early hours of the morning and don't want to wake my wife up!). Also stopped listening to music while working out to focus on performance.
COMPENSATIONS / RECOVERY
I would be lying if I said that I have been doing the compensations for the same amount of time as mobility. I kinda have but not with the same consistency. It was only when I made this area of training a performance goal did I overcome the apathy that I had towards it. I would find all manner of excuses NOT to do the compensations. Now it is an essential part of my training.
I have said this before but it is worth saying again. This stuff, in my opinion, is more important than the ‘main training’. Recovery from training is vital but this recovery also provides recovery from general daily living. Going on the premise that everything we do is a skill and that we are in a constant state of training, we have to release the chains of tension that accumulate through specific daily training (aka daily living).
I overcame the compensation mountain about 8 months ago and now do it religiously. TFFF has given me the following:
What I like about the TFFF Compensation/Recovery Programs. The coaching cues are fantastic. The programs are a good length of time with the flexibility to do more and the encouragement to use intuition.
MODERATE INTENSITY – TUT - STRENGTH TRAINING
We’ve covered the vegetables. Now onto the meat!
I’ve had an amazing journey of discovery with the Moderate Intensity training days.
I feel that I have developed a greater level of strength within the movements and because they cover all 6 degrees of freedom will translate beautifully to daily living. I am sure that I would be laughed at in the gym if I tried to bench press a heavy weight BUT there would be no laughing at the display of extreme range strength from this kind of training. The power I feel through angular and rotary movements is wonderful. I recently got a 45lb Clubbell and am very comfortable with arm casts and shield casts. The strength element of TFFF has really helped. Not so long ago an arm cast with a 20lb Clubbell would have sent me to hospital!
Heart Rate Data. (not required by TFFF - personal choice)
|Cycle||Avg Peak Heart Rate (Monitor)*||Avg Recovery Heart Rate (Mechanical)**|
|TFFF Challenge - TUT30||NO DATA||107|
|1 - TUT20||NO DATA||119|
|2 - TUT20||136||105|
|3 - TUT30||137||119|
|4 - TUT30||134||111|
|5 - TUT40||147||117|
|6 - TUT40||143||117|
|7 - TUT30||140||111|
* Peak heart rate was taken from the my heart rate monitor.
** Recovery heart rate was obtained by counting during the rest periods from seconds 15 to 30, then multiplying by 4.
The above are averages per training cycle. Average heart rate (inclusive of peak and recovery) for all cycles is 127.
What I like about the TFFF Moderate Intensity Days. Phew! So much to say. Let's keep it simple. EVERYTHING! Full body training through all 6 degrees of freedom. Mentally challenging. Physically challenging. Emotionally challenging but with health as priority. Cool as you like!
HIGH INTENSITY – METABOLIC CONDITIONING
Love it. Love it. Love it.
The focus on peak heart rate has been wonderful. Before I was only focusing on heart rate recovery (and still do) but the inclusion of peak rate monitoring has been a great learning curve.
I can now multi-task (my wife would be proud of me), and am able to do myriad tasks during the rest periods including heart rate monitoring, recording data, etc etc. TFFF does not require copious data recording but I do additional stuff because I can. Before I was barely able to record my reps within the fog of chaos but now it is a different story.
I love this element as it trains one how to deal with many things during a stressful situation. Not only training the body, Baby!
Scores. (Data required by TFFF to measure progress)
|Cycle||Score||Peak Heart Rate||Lowest Level|
|1 - Protocol 1||27||154*||Recruit|
|2 - Protocol 2||264||156*||Recruit|
|3 - Protocol 3||17||160||Recruit|
|4 - Protocol 4||6||166||Recruit|
|5 - Protocol 5||155||164||Recruit|
|6 - Protocol 6||09:55||163||Recruit|
|7 - TFFF Challenge||20||161||Recruit|
* Peak heart rate during entire workout, not average of peak rates from each exercise. I need to check with TFFF.
What I like about the TFFF High Intensity Days. Same as the Moderate Intensity but on steriods!!!!! Come away feeling worked but on fire. I always have more energy leaving the workout.
Oh. So many.
1. Being humbled by the process. I came out of Tacfit26 a third of the way through Level 2 and decided to start at TFFF Recruit (Level 1) thinking it would be easy due to prior conditioning. Noooooooooooooooo. It was challenging and beautiful.
2. Going deeper in the compensation exercises.
3. Learning even more from the excellent coaching cues.
4. Developing balance and increasing mobility in the spine.
5. Saying goodbye to ankle cramps.
6. Developing specific movements during the Moderate Intensity days.
7. Fine-tuning moderate intensity output.
8. Nudging ever closer to true high intensity training. I WILL hit an RPE of 10 in the not too distant future.
The me of old would have held this belief, but now............Of course there are lows in life. Real world and all that jazz. However, with this training there are no lows for me. This attitude is also impacting my 'non-training' life.
We need a descriptor. Bye bye LOWS, hello LEARNING CURVES. That'll do.
THE LEARNING CURVES
Oh. So many! Just kidding. Two stand out and I wrote extensively about them in previous logs:
1. Andy. Learn the exercises, will you!!!!! Details HERE
2. Mental and emotional turning point. Details HERE
COMPLIANCE - NUTRITION / TRAINING
Experience has taught me that certain numbers cannot be relied on when dealing with weight and fat percentages. Especially when one is using cheap equipment. I have included the numbers below for info purposes but I don't take them with a pinch of salt; more a handful!
My weighing scales are a brand that I have never heard of and my fat % monitor is a cheap handheld device. Hydrostatic body composition testing facilities sound cool but I can't see myself going to one to check something that will probably change a week or two later. Anyways. Here are the numbers:
|Date||23rd April 2014||1st June 2014||Loss / Gain|
|Weight||73.6kg / 161.92lbs||73.8kg / 162.36lbs||Gained 0.2kg / 0.44lb|
|Body Fat %||9.00%||8.22%||Lost 0.78% body fat|
The above is an average taken over a 3 day period. Naked weight taken 3 consecutive mornings upon waking. Fat % taken 3 times in a row over 3 consecutive days.
That about wraps things up for this cycle. The next stage is as follows:
1. Take one cycle (4 days to recover). Combo of mobility and compensation/recovery work.
2. Do the TFFF Challenge at Proby Level (Level 2).
3. Complete all 23 cycles of TFFF at Proby Level (Level 2). The first 7 cycles will be strictly Proby and after that I will see whether I can progress some movements to higher levels. We shall see..............
Song for this stage - "Hall of fame" by The Script feat. will.i.am.