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 result 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 programming that relies on educated athletes to make choices and develop programs in the field in real time. By adopting a Sea Borne Block Programming (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 programming as a concept is not new, the wheel has not been reinvented in this article. The basic premise of block programming is to 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 programming 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