Congratulations, you passed SFAS. That’s a big deal. Think about how much work you did to get to that point and the mental toughness you displayed to get through your train-up and the course itself.
Now that you’re done, you need to get healthy. Even if you feel okay, you might not be. Consider that you likely trained for a couple of months before the course, and then went out and did the course. Much of what you had to do wasn't great for your body. It likely left your body worn out, with a significant amount of fatigue. This would suggest it’s smart to ease into the resumption of your training.
Here, we'll discuss some thoughts about getting back on track. All of this represents suggestions - alter these as needed.
After the end of SFAS, start by taking some time off. Enjoy some great food, some drinks, and whatever else you haven’t had in a while. Many people report that after about 7 – 10 days of doing this, they get tired of it, and naturally, start to shift into a healthier lifestyle. If it’s a bit longer for you, that’s okay too.
What we suggest, like most things, is a gradual shift back towards a sustainable eating pattern. This means that after 2 weeks of junk food all day, maybe week 3 becomes just junk for dinner, and a healthier breakfast and lunch. Week 4 then would have junk for 4 meals in total. You’ll have an easier time gradually making the change. This is more likely to stick than just snapping back.
We suggest getting to a healthy and sustainable lifestyle because it affects performance. Even if you’re eating junk all the time and staying slim, it’s preventing you from reaching your highest levels of fitness. You work out hard, so why not allow yourself to get as much as possible from those workouts by eating properly?
For exercise, you’ll want to follow a similar pattern. Take some time off from working out right after selection. Maybe that’s 7 days, or maybe it’s 2 weeks. Listen to your body.
The exception to this is an injury. If you have concerns about something and that issue remains after a couple of days, get to a doctor immediately. You’re going to be heading to Bragg soon for the Qualification Course (SFQC), and you don’t want to delay that because you didn’t handle an injury correctly. If a physical therapist is recommended, embrace that. They are there to help you and following their guidance can get you back on track.
After some rest time, you’ll be ready to ease back into workouts. Keep it short with low intensity. For your first week, try 3-4 workouts total, no more than 1 per day, at about 30 minutes each. We recommend some light lifting, easy and slow circuits, or rowing or biking for these workouts. The next week, you could jump to 4-5 workouts, and keep that intensity low, but a touch higher. As the weeks go on, you’ll get back in the groove with things. We recommend avoiding running for about 3 weeks post-selection and rucking for 4-5 weeks.
When we look at fitness over larger periods, it generally cannot increase infinitely. It’s okay to have cycles of higher and lower levels of fitness. You just reached some of your highest levels of fitness. And with that, you accumulated a ton of physical and mental fatigue / wear on your body. This deliberate time off, and then slowly easing back into it, ensures you're giving your body a chance to recover. This helps you in the long term and will allow you to reach higher levels of fitness down the road.
Most athletes we talk to generally feel normal after about 5 weeks. Feeling normal and healthy is great, but it’s not the same as being very fit. What this means is that as you start to feel better, don't immediately assume you're ready to go run 12 miles. Make it gradual. This will allow you to increase the intensity, duration, quality, and amount of your workouts over the coming weeks and months. This leads to increased fitness levels over time.
What you don’t want to do is jump right back into your workouts 100%, get hurt from overuse, and delay starting SFQC. Alternatively, you don’t want to skip workouts for 2 months, get out of shape, and show up to SFQC looking, feeling, and performing terribly.
If you have some specific concerns or aren’t sure where to start, send us a direct message.
If you’re in the unfortunate position of having to do PT with your unit, just take it easy. This isn’t the time to go all out. People at work might not understand what you went through, but you need to personally be smart about it.
What should you show up to SFQC ready to do? Be ready to:
- Complete a 12-mile ruck with 45 pounds in 2:45, or less
- Get a 600 on the ACFT
- Run 5 miles in 38:00, or less
- Be able to keep up with PT sessions, whether they are bodyweight circuits, weight circuits, track workouts, lifts, etc.
This is a broad list. The overall goal here is to show up to SFQC ready to perform like a Green Beret. You demonstrated the potential at SFAS to complete SFQC, but the work is not done. You’ll be at SFQC for more than a year, and you need to maintain your fitness as well as you can. While doing that during some of the field training at SFQC is challenging, it’s a lot more manageable before reporting to SFQC. You’ll thank yourself later if you show up healthy, fit, and motivated.
Regarding sleep - get plenty of it. Athletes should be getting at least 7 hours of sleep (a generally agreed upon recommendation). Many people fall short of this. Sleep can act as your most significant tool to ensure you’re recovering, so it’s worth investing the time in. If you were never getting this much, now is a good time to make that habit. And if you never stretched or worked on mobility, this is also a good time to integrate that into your training schedule.
Lastly, you know you’re special. But don’t become the guy in your unit that everyone hates because you act like you're already a Green Beret. Don’t act like you’re better than everyone else. You aren’t a Green Beret yet. Plenty of people don’t make it through SFQC.
Remain humble and be a leader. If you weren’t a leader before SFAS, it’s time to figure it out. You don’t need to be in a leadership position to show the others around you what right looks like.
Make a habit now of being a hard worker. Whether you’re working on your equipment, doing PT, or knocking out admin tasks, do a great job. Everyone should see why you have the capability to succeed at the next level.
Although you might be in a strong unit now, you’re about to head to a unit full of studs who passed SFAS. Every one of them is a high performer so expectations overall will increase.
Haven’t yet gone to SFAS but ready to start training? Check out our SFAS Advanced guide and join the hundreds who have already used it to get selected.
Blue / Green Training designs comprehensive fitness guides for military athletes. Our goal is to enable success and capture potential. Our guides include carefully designed fitness programming and explanations to help our athletes understand the concepts behind it all - something we haven't seen anywhere else. We inspire confidence in our athletes by teaching them effective physical training so they can continue their progress after our programming ends. We guarantee you'll get value from our material.
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