Recommended reading list for tactical athletes

The following list is a compilation of books I have read and learned from over my athletic and military career.  If you are looking for books for your upcoming deployment or spring break, head to your local book store and pick up a few of these choice selections.



William McRaven


  • Spec ops

Steven Pressfield


  • Warrior Ethos


  • Gates of Fire


  • Turning Pro

Sebastian Junger


  • War



  • The Iliad

Dick Couch


  • Warrior Elite


  • Chosen Soldier

Chris Kyle


  • American Sniper

Marcus Luttrell


  • Lone Survivor

Athletic Development

Kelly Starlett


  • Becoming A Supple Leapord

Lynn Cox


  • Swimming to Antarctica

Brian Mackenzie


  • Power Speed Endurance

Leadership / Coaching

Jame Zug and Paul Assaiante


  • Run to the roar


The APA Swim Fin Progression is a free program designed for tactical athletes who are adding fins to their physical skills development program.  Swim fins provide the necessary propulsion to successfully transport both yourself and a partner/survivor in costal and military environments.  While powerful, fins are also dangerous to new users who’s body’s have not been exposed to this type of stimulus before. Ankle,calf, knee, hamstring, and lower back injuries are common in candidates exposed to fins for the first time in the school house environment.

Most special operations pipelines require participants to be skilled in the craft of moving through water with power and speed, while having the skill to manage fatigue.  The swim in a tactical scenario is usually just the beginning of the mission, train accordingly.








I have grown uncomfortably attached to my Jet Fins from my school days... They are not available to loan!
I have grown uncomfortably attached to my Jet Fins from my school days… They are not available to loan!

WSSD Photos


The first session of our December series focused on developing communication skills and physical hardiness.  All candidates present were given the opportunity to participate, and all accepted.  After a briefing on how a whistle can be used to direct personnel in loud scenarios, the class sent into the surf.

PenultimateFullSizeRenderUpon being birthed from the sea, the candidates were instructed to tactically move up through the surf zone.  Our old Murphy was in attendance.
PenultimateFullSizeRender-1Progress was slow up the beach due to a lack of situational awareness, and the class repeatedly were sent back to surf.


It’s never over, until its over.  Cold, wet, and sandy for over an hour and a half, not a single participant dropped from training even when sent out on a 1.3 mile soft sand run.  NECQUE!

If you would like to pre register for our upcoming session of WSSD please contact Coach Schep



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Block Programing As A Solution For Maritime Athletes

Often times Navy and Coast Guard units underway are left with limited solutions for maintaining ship’s company fitness performance due to sea conditions, limited equipment, and available time throughout the day. During monsoon season in the South Pacific, for example, sailors may spend weeks being battered by heavy seas which results in all fitness equipment on board being secured. This volatile work environment and its negative effects on performance can be offset by developing a flexible approach to programing that relies on educated athletes to make choices and develop programs in the field in real time. By adopting a Sea Borne Block Programing (SBBP) approach to maintaining sailor physical readiness it is possible to not only maintain but improve base level V02 max over the course of an underway.

Block programing as a concept is not new, the wheel has not been reinvented in this article. The basic premise of block programing is too designing several workouts or training progressions that are divided up categorically based on duration, and rate of perceived exertion/intensity. Once you have this skeletal outline, you add the muscle of the program by building a matrix that accounts for watch’s, sleep schedules, special evolutions, etc. Each matrix can be scaled to the wide spectrum of athletic abilities demonstrated by ship’s company, and variability means no two cycles of the program will work out the same twice.


We will go discuss block programing as a concept and go into more detail about the practical application of it in a later article. Make sure to follow us on Instagram @apexpredatorathletics for updates on article publications

“Blue’s Revenge” Calisthenics + Distance (CAP)

“Blue’s Revenge” is a Calisthenics + Distance work out designed to push your limits.

30min AMRAP

x400m swim

x10 spider man push ups

x10 plyo lunges

x100m sprint

x200m swim

x100m sprint

x40 flutter kicks

x20 hand release push ups

x20yrd bear crawl

x400m run

06/10/16 Rest (CAP)

Today is a rest day for CAP.  Below are some link to helpful active recovery and mobility options for you to stay active while still giving your body the chance to recover.  Also make sure to focus on common injury areas like the shoulders, lower back, and hips when mobilizing.

Here is a great video from Dr Starrett demonstrating a mobility progression to loosen the shoulders.  If you have time check out mobilitywod.com for more great content.  This is a great resource even if you don’t choose to pay for the services.

Onnit is an online retailer and education company that produces high quality content for free.  This hip mobilizing sequence is a perfect way to open yourself up.

06/09/16 Distance – Swimming (CAP)

Todays training evolution is designed to develop your skill at managing out put during Distance training. You will complete 4 rounds of max distance swims along the shore line for 6 minutes per swim.  Alternate direction each round.  Swim outside of the surf break if you have any at your training grounds.  Take rest as needed between rounds, not to exceed 3 minutes.

Distance swimming

Fins are optional, if you use them in your sport/job use them here.  If you don’t, then don’t.


4 Rounds

x6min Max distance swim

  • <3min rest between rounds


When swimming for distance, make sure you alternate which side you breath on, unless there is significant wave action.  If there is wave action breath on the shore side to make sure you wont get swamped by early rollers or white caps.

If you are training in a lake, swim along the shore line or you can substitute swimming across the width of the lake as a round.



06/08/16 Calisthenics + Endurance (CAP)

Calisthenics and Endurance

4 rounds

– 2 min rest between rounds

800m run

100m tactical bear crawl

100m sprint

800m run

calisthenics and endurance

3 rounds

xMax effort APA Hang Complex

  • Complete the following movement pattern with out touching the floor
  • x1 pull up
  • x1 chin up
  • x1 toes to bar
  • x1 alternating grip pull up

06/07/16 STRENGTH (CAP)



The strength portion of the “in season” program is deigned to help reenforce areas of your body that could fail in a critical situation.  Pay close attention to the RPE rating for loading.  We advise all athletes participating in this program to stick to this loading in order to maximize results.  Over training does not equal more gains.  Listen to your body.

4×1 (per side) turkish getup @RPE8.5

3×6 db split squats @RPE7.5

4×6 standing db curl & press @RPE7,5

3×6 db front raises @RPE7.5

3×6 db fly @RPE7.5



Todays sprints and plyometrics work is designed to really push your amphibious skill set.  Your grip can be augmented with sand or dirt in the field.  Please don’t bring chalk to the beach, no one likes that guy.  Always have qualified rescue personnel on hand when conducting training evolutions in the water.  NEVER TRAIN ALONE.


Salt Water Cleanse

6 min AMRAP

6 clapping push ups

100m swim

8 kb swings

200m run

sprints and plyometrics

Sprints are a great way to simulate stresses on the body in a lifesaving situation.  Control you breathing and exert a controlled effort.