Men's Health

SPECIAL OPS FITNESS SECRETS

IT’S 11A.M. ON A BLEAK MORNING AT FORT BENNING,

Georgia. Gunfire barks out from over the hill. Heavy, low clouds spit rain on the 21 obstacles that make up the 1-mile assault course the U.S. Army Rangers use to hone agility and speed. The obstacles are named in blunt military vernacular: the Tough One (a 33-foot-high rope-and-ladder climb), the Weaver (a log pyramid that they wriggle up, through, and down), and the Inverted Rope Descent (a 75-foot slide from a 40-foot tower). Ten Rangers are racing for four places in an upcoming all-service fitness and tactical skills contest.

The competition began at dawn with a maximum-pushups test, followed by a run of undisclosed distance. Most guys banged out 80-plus pushups before a run that turned out to be 8 miles. Next the men faced a “long” ruck with a 45-pound pack and a 10-pound dummy weapon. The distance, which again was undisclosed at the start, was 12 miles. The men have no idea what awaits them; this is a core aspect of Ranger fitness. “Being prepared for the unexpected is part of any mission, so we train for the unexpected,” says Nicholas O’Brien, 34, the human performance program coordinator for the 75th Ranger Regiment. The first competitor, M.Sgt. Joshua Horsager, 38, chugs in with a time of 3 hours and 16 minutes. Horsager has completed three-quarters of a marathon at a 9:48-minute-mile

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Men's Health

Men's Health1 min readFood & Wine
What The Heck Is Tofu, Anyway?
In America, soybean seeds hit the earth as early as July and sprout within a week. The plants grow into October and November, when the cold nights cause the leaves to brown and fall off, revealing mature soybean pods. The beans are then separated by
Men's Health1 min read
The Lawn Mower Flow
YOU’VE SEEN a lot of flow in Men’s Health recently. You know, those moves that essentially chain several exercises together. They help you burn calories, develop muscle, and learn coordination and athleticism. And the best part: They’re fun. The brai
Men's Health4 min readFood & Wine
Your No-meat Meal Plan
Half a block of tofu has the protein of three eggs and, interestingly enough, the same taste and texture when sizzled. 1 PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM3 OR 4 CHERRY TOMATOES1 TBSP OLIVE OIL, PLUS MOREFOR BRUSHING½ BLOCK (14 OZ) FIRM TOFU¼ TSP GROUND TURMERICPIN