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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Iraqi Scud Missiles and High Intensity Interval Training

So no sh@#, there I was, in northern Kuwait, March 2003. Staging for the big invasion into Iraq with the Rakkasans of the 101st Airborne Division. We were located in Camp New Jersey, one of the many forward staging camps.

A week or two before the invasion, the Iraqis started launching Scud Missiles at us from southern Iraq. We had Patriot SAM batteries at every camp that defended us from the daily missile threat.

There was a fear that old Saddam had ordered chemical warheads to be placed on the scuds, which would not have been cool at all. So every night when we finally got to sleep, we had our chemical suits (J-List) and protective masks handy. Invariably, just when you fell asleep, you would hear the big boom of the patriot missiles being launched and then the wail of the warning siren letting you know it was "game on".

The siren sounded just like the emergency broadcast one in Columbus, which helped my PTSD tremendously, every Saturday at noon when thy would test it.

Everyone had to get up, grab their stuff and sprint to a bunker, which was several hundred yards away. Then you put on your mask and waited for the all clear. As far as I know, the patriot missiles intercepted the majority of the scuds but a few got through to some areas (not near us) and some casualties were heard of. So we got our share of HIIT Sprints in every night before the invasion.

Through Afghanistan and Iraq, I never saw the value of running 5 miles every day for years on end. But I did see actual combat value in sprints and HIIT training, especially with heavy loads. Any surprise then, that my program is predominately heavy weights and HIIT type training. I base what I teach off of what I know works, unlike other people who tell you what works from what they read in a manual. I base my training off of the "been there, done that -got the t-shirt" principle.

Remember that when the FAT missiles are raining in, sprints will save you. Long, slow runs won't. Trust me - I know.

Dempsey's Resolution Fitness
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