Build Functional Stength And Power


There’s no better population to test cutting edge supplements and training methods on than elite military soldiers since they’re required to have functional strength year-round. Today’s military personnel are bigger, stronger, and faster thanks to a revamped workout philosophy that stresses progression and overload instead of randomized “bootcamp” sessions. “Instead of overtraining with 8 or 10-mile runs multiple times per week, Physical Training is more about being able to accelerate, change direction, get up, get down, climb under, jump over, etc.,” says Captain Tony Soika, a tactical strength and conditioning coach and company commander for the U.S. Army. Build full-body strength and explosiveness with this military-inspired four-week training plan.

These 12 exercises are divided into two workouts, “A” and “B.” Perform workout “A” on Mondays/Thursdays and Workout “B” on Tuesdays/Fridays. Perform exercises 1A, 1B, 1C and then rest 20 seconds. That is one set. Do three total sets. Repeat for 2A, 2B, 2C. Take 2 seconds for the negative, pause for 1 second, and do a 1-second positive. *Follow this tempo for the explosive moves: 2 seconds negative, 0 second pause, explosive positive. Building broad shoulders and six-pack abs, like Chris Evans in Captain America, is merely a side effect of this four-week power plan.


1A. Squat Jump* – 3 reps

1B. Bodyweight Squat – 12 reps

1C. Towel Supine Bodysaw – 12 reps
Place your upper back on a towel. Lie faceup on the floor with your knees slightly bent. Push your hips upward. Without pausing, pull your upper back toward your heels. Pause and then reverse the motion, by pushing your heels into the floor and straightening your knees.

2A. Box Jump* – 3 reps

2B. Single-Leg Bodyweight Romanian Deadlift -12 reps per leg

2C. Box Single-Leg Lateral Crossover Step – 12 reps per leg
Stand with your right side next to a box. Place your left foot on the box. Press your left foot into the box and push off until both legs are straight. Reverse the motion and return to the start. Do the recommended reps on your left leg before moving to the other side.


1A. Explosive Pushup* – 3 reps
Get on all fours. Place your hands on the floor, in shoulder-width position. Maintain a straight line through your ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders. Bend your elbows and lower your body. Push yourself up so forcefully that your hands leave the floor. Repeat.

1B. Pullup – 12 reps

1C. Box Inverted Shoulder Press – 12 reps
Get in pushup position, with your feet elevated on a box. Push your hips up so that your trunk is almost perpendicular to the floor. Lower your body until your head almost touches the floor. Return to the start position and repeat.

2A. Close-Grip Pushup – 12 reps

2B. Box Dip – 12 reps
Stand between two waist-high boxes. Place your clenched fists, knuckles-down, on top of the boxes. Lift yourself so your arms are completely straight. Bend your knees and slowly lower yourself by flexing your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Repeat for the recommended reps.

2C. Rope Inverted Lat Row – 12 reps
Loop a climbing rope over a sturdy overhead anchor. Grab the ends of the rope about three feet off the floor and hang with your arms completely straight. Your body should form a straight line from your ears to your heels. Pull your shoulder blades back and then bend your elbows to lift your chest as high as possible. Pause, then return to the start.

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