For 8 weeks prior to my Navy Physical Readiness Test (PRT) I developed a program
focused exclusively on Tire Flipping. If you have been following these articles then you know that the main goal was to achieve 100 consecutive tire flips with the 300lb tire with an emphasis on tying the breath to the movement
. I will now report on the results that this type of training had on my body and performance as measured by the U.S. Navy.
The Navy’s Physical Readiness Test (PRT) is a two part process that is now called the Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA). The first part, conducted 1-2 days prior to the physical test measures your height & weight and compares it to a chart that determines if you are within Navy standards. If you are overweight then you get your bodyfat measured by a tape measure test. They measure your waist and neck circumference and plug it into a chart with your height and weight that spits out an approximate bodyfat percentage. Males need to be under 22% bodyfat to pass this assessment and be “within standards.” If you score higher than 22% then you FAILED the PFA.
Because of my bodybuilding and strength workouts I have ALWAYS been over the “magical” weight for my height in the last 17 years of military service and have gotten used to getting my bodyfat measured at every PFA. Here is what happened at this PFA. For the first time in 17 years I actually dropped below 215lbs, my exact weight was 211.4lbs. I did not alter my diet at all, in fact my diet was a little off because I have been eating a lot of Cuban food in Miami and when I take my kids out to eat I would be eating ice cream and desserts with them. I do make an effort to eat “clean” 80% of the time. The only thing I did different was the physical training. So it seems that extended tire flipping, which for this article means 100 consecutive tire flips, is a weight loss mechanism. Judging by the way my abs and obliques were more defined I would also forward that it is a fat-loss mechanism.
Now here is the really interesting part. I mentioned that as part of my regimen I added gravity boots. Hanging upside down helps to decompress the spine and provides extra blood flow to the head. For the last 17 years my height has always been the same, 73 inches. When they measured me my height was a little over 73 inches and I heard the Petty Officer who took my measurement say “he is over 73 inches so mark down 74.” This means I was probably ½ inch taller for them to round up. This really blew me away! You hear of people shrinking with age, but have you ever heard of anyone adding a little height to their frame? This for me is confirmation that the gravity boots add an important component to recovery, spine health, and longevity!
Armed with my two official measurement of 211.4lbs and 74 inches the Petty Officers administering the PFA go to the “magical” Navy chart that determines if I am within “standards” and lo and behold for the first time in 17 years I did not need to do the tape measure test! Thus, tire flipping and gravity boots have the capacity to alter the body by making it leaner and taller, but let’s see what happens when you are tested physically…
The Navy PRT consists of two minutes of sit-ups, two minutes of pushups, and a 1.5 mile run for time. There is a chart that determines your score based on the number of repetitions for your age and gender. There is a max number which means you “aced
” the test. For a 39 year old male (that would be ME) my max scores were 95 situps and 76 pushups. I achieved the 95 situps and 76 pushups with ease. I did not do a single situp or pushup in the previous 8 weeks. I DID do Dru Patrick’s Last Man Standing drill to train my core on my recovery day
. Now, the really interesting thing happened with the run.
I do occasional sprint workouts when I get into a groove, but I checked my training journals and had not done any type of running or sprinting for six months. In other words, the last time I ran was my previous PRT. Since I do not like running, what I do at the PRT is find a guy with a pace I like and just trail in behind him. The key is to pick the right pace, too slow and you feel antsy, too fast and you will get smoked before your time. This time I decided to follow the beat of my own drum and just concentrate on my breathing, just like I do when I do the tire flipping. While the breath pattern was different the idea was the same – use the breathing discipline I developed through tire flipping and apply it to the run. I ended up doing a “weird” pattern almost intuitively that was: inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, and 4 short exhales. I felt that the key was in removing the excess waste products and that is what the 4 short exhales at the end of the breathing cycle sought to accomplish.
Keeping the breathing pattern up for the first mile was easy, but after that I noticed that I wanted to change it. Here is where the discipline kicked in and I forced myself to keep the pattern. Lo and behold to my surprise I ran it in 11:45, 30 seconds FASTER than my previous runs! It was also the first time in 5 years that I ran the test in under 12 minutes! While part of it may be due to being a little lighter, a lot had to do with the breathing discipline and conditioning developed through tire flipping.
In conclusion, the Heavy Metal Strength Meditation was a success! I dropped 4 lbs of weight and you could make the case that most of it was fat loss, I increased my height, I “maxed
” the situps and pushups with ease without training those specific exercises, and I ran the best run I have had in five years. In case you are curious and want to try it here is the curriculum I followed
If flipping a 300lb tire 100 consecutive times is a little out of your league right now then get in combat ready shape using Extreme Military Fitness by clicking HERE and after the 12 weeks you will be primed and ready to tackle on the Heavy Metal Strength Meditation.
If you like the energy in these articles then get Listen Up and read 1-5 pages in the morning to put you in the right mindset to tackle on any task or life change you want to accomplish, whether it be physical, mental, financial, or lifestyle.