As promised I’m updating the progress of Major Christopher Story. Major Story previously set a goal to make a perfect score on his Marine Corp Personal Fitness Test (PFT). (See Part One of Fitness Motivation Series)
No small task at age 40.
Major Story sought to challenge himself and motivate his men. He additionally agreed to share his PFT goals with the NRGTRIBE.com readers so we could explore his approach to fitness, mental preparation, and techniques for reaching big things.
People make excuses why they can’t lose weight, accomplish a goal, or make habit changes that lead to greater success. Major Story serves an incredible example of someone who continues to strive for excellence in his life. I was inspired to write about his attempt at a perfect PFT because I thought the challenge offered several opportunites to explore concepts related to fitness.
Fitness is a relative term. For an Ironman Triathlete, swimming 2.5 miles, Biking 112, and running 26.2 miles back to back could define fitness. However, fitness does not always mean the ability to perform super human endurance events. Many of my patients have busy lives. Fitness could mean the ability to play ball with their kids, mow their yard, paint their house, paddle a kayak, hike a trail, etc. For elderly, fitness might mean the ability to walk without falling, climb stairs, or transition in/out of a car on their own.
One of the fundamental keys to maintaining (or developing) basic fitness starts with a consistent approach and intention to become more fit. I call this becoming an Everyday Athlete. The remainder of this post picks up with my ongoing Q&A with Major Story as we continue to we delve into his approach to training for the upcoming PFT.
Major Story has valuable insight as a Marine committed to a lifestyle of fitness.
Q&A with Major Christopher Story (Part Two)
Dr. C: Now that you’ve set the goal, when do you plan to take the test?
Major Story: I plan on taking the test sometime in April. I wanted to take it on/close to my 40th birthday in March, but with everything I’m juggling right now I wanted to be realistic also!
Dr. C: Describe the “Perfect Score” criteria for a Marine Personal Fitness Test?Major Story: The idea is to be well balanced since the test incorporates elements of upper body strength, core body strength, VO2 max, and some endurance. A perfect score for Males is 20 dead hang pull-ups, 100 crunches in 2 minutes, and a 3-mile run in under 18 minutes.
Dr. C: We previously discussed that pull-ups might be a challenge….any thoughts on specific workouts to get you to 20+?
Major Story: I think the key is to actually–DO PULL UPS! Dead hang pull-ups are one of those exercises that no matter how strong you are, you have to perform that movement on a regular basis to remain proficient. I am also going to do some functional fitness- type exercises like pushups, kettlebell complexes, and compound movement weight training.
Dr. C: Describe your running strategy at 40? Do you run daily? Do you vary you pace/intensity/etc.
Major Story: I usually only run 3-4 days per week but focus on quality runs versus quantity. I use a GPS watch and heart rate monitor so I can be somewhat scientific about what I am doing. My focus is to do at least 1 day of speedwork (200-800m sprint repeats), 1 day of tempo or “comfortably hard” runs of 3-5 miles, and 1 endurance run at a slower pace for at least 1 hour.
Dr. C: Describe your daily nutritional approach?
Major Story: I try to always eat a good breakfast of either eggs/multi-colored peppers/sweet potatoes and avocado or steel-cut oatmeal mixed with milled flax seed and whey protein from grass fed cows. Also, I try to never get hungry…about 2 hours after breakfast I eat a piece of fruit with almond butter or a natural nut/see based protein bar (KIND bars are perfect). At lunch I eat some type of meat and fresh vegetables followed by snacks every two hours that are either a low sugar/high protein bar or almonds. Dinner I eat with the family and we usually have a meat, vegetable, minimal carb approach. My main vices are Beer and sweets…I try to limit all other simple carbs so that I can reserve them for things I really want to “waste” my calories/carbs on.
Dr. C: Do you have a training partner? Do you think training with partners makes a difference or do you prefer training solo?
Major Story: I don’t have a training partner. I see the value and have been the recipient of partner training value but my schedule, lifestyle, etc makes it very tough to maintain a partner. I am extremely self-motivated though so I usually don’t have a problem in setting goals and reaching them without a partner.
Conclusions / Questions:
I’m fascinated by individuals who possess drive like Major Story. He has a plan. He focuses on small aspects of the goal /challenge and makes a specific plan to accomplish the small part of the larger goal. From dead hang pull ups to nutrition, he has a plan and a daily regimen to accomplish the incredible.
Just like the discussion on pull-ups, sometimes we simply must start DOING IT. This reminds me of the one simple fact.
Often when you really want something the only barriers stem from lack of plan, we do not execute the plan, and we fail to understand large accomplishments DO NOT happen overnight.
Great achievements flow from daily preparation.
Weight loss doesn’t come from a pill. Fitness –especially great athletic endurance–does not happen overnight.
Goal tending (Executing small goals incrementally over time) achieves the most.
Look for more updates on Major Story’s Quest to complete a perfect PFT exam at age 40. Please shoot me questions or words of encouragement for Major Story. Use this knowledge to make your own challenges and please share!