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Watch US Navy Veteran Austen Alexander Take On the SWAT Fitness Test

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YouTuber and US Navy soldier Austen Alexander are no strangers to fitness challenges. After I had already challenged Olympic swimmer Markus Rogan, the
Navy SEAL screening test, CrossFit Games athlete Lauren Fisher on the USMC fitness test, and himself on the SOCOM Dive Screener. Alexander is well versed in what it takes to be a senior military agent.

In a recent video, Alexander participated in the SWAT Physical Fitness Qualifier (PFQ), a fitness and strength test used to screen applicants before moving forward in training. “The SWAT PFQ is the physical fitness part we use to assess the guys who want to try themselves out for our team,” explains Kenneth Bradley, a SWAT sniper and war veteran in Iraq and Afghanistan who has been tasked with Assess and monitor Alexander’s efforts. “It’s also the biannual fitness test we do for guys on the team to make sure they’re maintaining a high level of physical fitness.”

Austen Alexander and Kenneth Bradley

instagram.com/kenbradleyfit

At the beginning of the challenge, Bradley leads Alexander through the first phase of the PFQ. With an individual time limit of 90 seconds per exercise, the participant must perform at least 40 push-ups, 15 pull-ups, 20 burpees and 40 squats.

After completing the second phase, a “slicker” 800 m run and another 400 m run with a vest and gas mask must be completed in nine minutes and fifteen seconds. The third phase is a 225lbs (102kg) sled push, 25 air squats, 25 push-ups, and 25 jumping jacks in a three-minute and forty-five second time limit. Finally, the fourth phase is 10 minutes of treading water and swimming 50 meters – two lengths of pool – to close the PFQ. (Continued below)

Going through the first SWAT PFQ, Alexander can do 40 pushups in 35 seconds and rest for just under a minute before starting his 15 pull-ups, which are performed to strict standards. “The first five [reps] has to be locked before falling off the shelf, ”explains Bradley. “After those five you can fall down and knock out the remaining ten.” Alexander does the full 15 reps in 52 seconds and hits the 20 burpees – chest to floor, clap over the head – next, you end the round in 55 seconds. For the air squats, Bradley instructs, Alexander’s legs must be parallel to the floor and he must reach full extension on the way up, but can break if necessary. Alexander wraps the squat in 47 seconds before giving you two full minutes of rest before the second phase.

At the beginning of the second phase, Bradley builds a 200-meter round trip for Alexander – to complete his 800-meter run – which is repeated a total of four times. Alexander runs the route at a six-minute-mile pace. With a final time of three minutes and one second, he gets ready to put on the weight vest and gas mask for the 400 m run. Alexander manages to maintain a constant pace, impresses Bradley with his fitness and completes the second phase of the SWAT PFQ with a time of six minutes and 41 seconds.

Next up: phase three. First, Alexander must do 25 squats before moving the 102 kg sled and repeating another 25 squats. Then Alexander has to pull the sledge back to the starting position before hitting 25 jumping jacks.

Finally, Alexander goes into the pool to tread water for 10 minutes and swim 50 m, which equals a “seven” on the effort scale. The US Navy veteran finishes the fourth phase of the PFQ with a time of 11 minutes and nine seconds. “If he tried SWAT now, we would traditionally be leaving the pool,” explains Bradley. “We would for [firing] shoot and handgun torture and on to the rifle. “

In an interview with Alexander, Bradley confirms the US Navy veteran as an “honorary passee of the SWAT Physicial Fitness Qualifier!”


Ed Cooper is Assistant Digital Editor at Men’s Health UK, writing and editing on anything you want to know – from tech to fitness, mental health to style, food and more.

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Men’s Health

Lee Crooks ready to ‘Offload’ as Hull FC launch men’s mental health programme

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Hull FC becomes the newest rugby league club to run Rugby League Cares’ offload program.

Offload is an initiative by former professional rugby league players with the aim of helping men improve and maintain their mental health and fitness.

The project has already been successful in a number of different clubs in Yorkshire and the Pennines and, through their foundation, the Black and Whites will be running a pilot project in the city.

The FC will play six hour-long “games” from the Community Hub at MKM Stadium with the help of former UK international Lee Crooks, who wants to use his own life experiences to help others in his hometown.

The program starts on Thursday October 7th and is open to all men over the age of 16. Sessions are offered to make the “squad members” comfortable when they want to share troubling issues or mental health issues.

Crooks will lead the program and over the course of six weeks he will use the rugby league as a platform to discuss topics like stress and coping, build positive mindset, analyze negative thinking and build resilience.

A part of Offload since its inception, the FC Hall of Famer is running a number of programs across the country and encouraging men who may be struggling to participate and get involved.

“It’s for like-minded men to come in and talk and discuss,” said Crooks. “We deliver slides and talk about various things.

Hull FC legend Lee Crooks.

“It’s just about getting people to come in and chat and talk about the problems they encountered in life or during lockdown, and it’s all provided by former rugby league players who have suffered from some mental health problems themselves.

“When I signed up for Hull, I got married when I was 17, and while I didn’t have a lot of rugby issues, I struggled with the family, being a husband and having two young children when I was 20.

“Because of the family side of things and the insecurity of being a father or husband, I struggled a little.

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“It is only when I look back now that I realize that that was the problem.

“I grew up in an area where talking about emotions was considered a sign of weakness, and I think a lot of people still do.

“Men don’t talk about their problems as much as they should, and the biggest statistic we publish is that 78 percent of all suicides are male, the ones if you can’t get it off your chest.

“Many workshops are about what I have overcome and what people can do for coping mechanisms from a mental health perspective.

“Just being able to do the workshops has really cleared up the backlog of things that I’ve had in the back of my mind for some time.

“You don’t have to be a rugby fan, you can play rugby yourself, but if you want to come down and talk and get rid of something, we’ll try to discuss things.”

For more information on Offload and to register, please contact Crooks at lee.crooks@hullfc.com.

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Men’s Health

Africa: Modern Masculinity in Africa – Pressures, Expectations and Breaking the Mold

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From juggling the traditional and the modern to just a few ways to express your inner fears. The DW show The 77 Percent examines what masculinity means for African men today.

What does it mean to be an African in the 21st century? What pressure are men under? And how do we define masculinity in the modern world anyway?

These were just some of the questions the panel was asked in the latest edition of The 77 Percent’s Street Debate in Nairobi, Kenya.

Conversations about masculinity and masculinity are not unique to the African continent. But many African societies now find themselves in an often stark conflict between traditional and modern values.

“The majority of us come from a patriarchal society,” said Charles Okumu, the moderator of the Man Enough program in Kenya, which seeks to redefine traditional roles and masculinity.

“There was a way we should act, or see how our fathers treated our mothers.”

Tradition meets modernity

In many African societies – especially in rural communities – traditions still play an important role in everyday life. Men and boys are often brought up to see the “man” as the dominant force and provider in the household amid changing social norms.

In fast-growing cities like Nairobi, it is even more difficult to keep up with modern values ​​in the face of persistent ideas of what makes a man a man.

“Some of our patriarchal paths that we inherited from our background are not really helpful in modern life,” said Okumu. “There are still some who want to behave like our fathers. But on the other hand, modernity has taught us to deal better with ourselves.”

The Kenyan influencer, radio host and comedian Eric Omondi has seen a great deal of development in Kenyan society compared to a few decades ago.

“While the roles were clearly defined back then – the man who brings the bacon home and the woman who cooks it – they no longer exist,” Omondi told DW.

Juggle expectations

As modern and traditional values ​​collide, African men, especially the younger generation, find it difficult to live up to expectations on both sides.

“There is a fight that comes from within,” said Okumu. “To want to do things that are morally right in the modern way … But there is this inner struggle of still not wanting to let go, as we saw our fathers show us the way.”

Many men still feel the pressure of their families to live up to these male “ideals”.

“The expectations are great and [often] unrealistic, “said Omondi.” From his parents’ demands that he keep paying it with his younger siblings and aging parents – aka Black Tax – to his wife or girlfriend’s need for a new hairstyle, facial and a house on a hill [while] to be emotionally present and sensitive to all of your feelings. The list goes on and on. “

Okumu believes that boys have also lagged behind in education, albeit inadvertently.

“For the past decade or so, there has been an emphasis on girl education and empowerment – which I fully support,” said Okumu.

“However, it was done at the boy’s expense, and now these boys and girls have grown up. These girls are now better informed, make more informed decisions, and make more money leading to a much more informed one [woman]? “

Focus on mental health

This discussion of masculinity also highlights the importance of the mental health of African men – an issue that remains difficult to openly discuss.

“Most African societies have an implicit need for men to ‘man-up’ – so that all the emotions a man feels should not be expressed openly or even privately,” said comedian and influencer Eric Omondi.

“Because of this, many have [men’s] Challenges are swept under the carpet and rarely discussed “

Infertility, domestic violence, and financial abuse in Omondi’s cities are just some of the many problems African men face and are reluctant to talk about, even among family and closest friends.

If left unaddressed, these issues can lead to higher rates of gender-based violence, depression, and suicide in men, Omondi said.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), suicide rates in Africa are above the global average. Stress in men was compounded during the COVID-19 pandemic, with job losses and isolation taking their toll.

But more African men are talking about the pressures they are under.

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Resources like Okumu’s Man Enough program encourage participants to move beyond traditional gender roles.

Okumu also emphasized the importance of providing boys with good role models from a young age.

“Boys become the men they see around them,” he told DW during the street debate.

“We have to make a conscious choice to talk to our children, not because we feel that way [this or that] defines masculinity, but helps them see how easy it is to be a responsible person. “

Comedian Omondi believes that African men today can benefit from adopting values ​​from other cultures while remaining true to their roots.

“Now that the world has become a village, it’s not far-fetched to grab a little of what works from western or eastern cultures and blend it with our very rich African culture as modern men,” said Omondi.

If you are struggling with your mental health or have thoughts of suicide, don’t hesitate to seek help. Find resources for mental health services in your part of the world here: https://www.befrienders.org/

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Men’s Health

Best Foods to Eat After a Run, According to a Dietician

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Every run is a good run. Whether it’s marathon training, light jogging or sprinting, the health benefits of a higher gear are enormous. So what’s the best way to optimize it? Most people shut down their diet before running – especially what they will eat before a run or competition. This is important, of course, but what you eat after a run is just as important for recovery. The average routine after a run is usually like this: stumble through the door, sweat a bit, sit down, shower. What is missing here is the refueling phase. You have to regain what you drained.

Depending on your goals – i.e., training for a marathon or just more regular weekly mileage – your post-run diet should aim to refuel, rebuild, and rehydrate to aid the recovery process and maximize the training effect. The focus of your post-run diet should be on replenishing glycogen (stored energy), repairing the damage done to your muscles, and replacing lost nutrients and minerals such as electrolytes.

Here are three guidelines to follow when figuring out what to eat after a run:

  • Focus on complex carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores in your liver and muscles: The recommended amount is 0.5-0.7 grams of carbohydrates per kg of body weight within 30 minutes of training – for glycogen resynthesis.
  • Replace electrolytes, minerals, and water that you’ve lost through sweat: Hydration is key as your body and muscles are mostly made up of water. A weight loss of just 2 percent through sweat can lead to reduced performance and cognitive decline. Although the sweat rate and the concentration of sodium in sweat are very individual, you should add some sodium and chloride as these are the two most important electrolytes that are lost in sweat. Also take into account plenty of water. Approximately 16 fluid ounces of H2O per pound will be lost during your run.
  • Build and Repair Your Muscles Damaged During Your Run: Adding some protein to your diet after your run has been shown to help the muscles absorb carbohydrates. Aim for 0.14-0.23 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Look for a carbohydrate to protein ratio of 3: 1 or 4: 1 within 30 minutes. Do not wait more than two hours to get back to eating.

The best foods to eat after a kickstart recovery run

1. Chocolate milk

Chocolate milk takes the top spot here because it happens to be the perfect post-run drink. It’s packed with high quality protein and those fast-digesting carbohydrates for muscle regeneration and glycogen synthesis. Low-fat chocolate milk already has a carbohydrate to protein ratio of 4: 1 and is probably the best-researched post-workout recovery option on this list for superior workout recovery benefits. Lactose intolerant? Become lactose-free and still benefit from all the advantages.

2. Greek yogurt with berries and honey

Greek yogurt is superior to traditional yogurt in that it contains much more protein – one cup provides 15 grams of protein compared to about 5 grams for the same amount of regular yogurt. Top this with mixed berries and honey for some quickly digestible carbohydrates and antioxidants for muscle recovery.

3. Eggs and toast

Each egg contains around 6-7 grams of high quality protein. Cook two or three of these in a few minutes, place them on a couple of slices of whole grain bread for high quality carbohydrates – and do the math. You are done.

4. Avocado toast with poached eggs

Start with a high-protein whole grain bread option like Dave’s Killer Bread, then mash some avocados with salt and pepper for healthy fats and some sodium and chloride for electrolytes. Top with a few poached eggs (fried or scrambled eggs is fine) for your protein.

5. Salmon, sweet potatoes, and asparagus

In addition to being a great source of protein, salmon offers post-exercise recovery benefits as it is high in healthy, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Combine your fish with sweet potatoes or brown rice to add some carbohydrates. Add asparagus or broccoli to round out a full post-run meal.

6. Tuna and whole grain crackers

Tuna is handy to eat anywhere after your run. I especially love these extra portable tuna bags. Tear it open and your simple 24-25 gram protein snack is ready. Combine it with some whole grain crackers for high quality carbohydrates.

7. Cottage cheese with pineapple

Cottage cheese is a great source of protein, providing both whey protein (more digestible) and casein protein (slower). One cup of cottage cheese provides 28 grams of protein – plus its sodium content helps replenish lost electrolytes. Add in a favorite fruit (I’ll use pineapple) for an extra easy carb boost.

8. English muffin or bagel with nut butter and banana

Choose a whole grain English muffin or gel for an easily digestible, high quality source of carbohydrates with some healthy fiber. Top it off with nut butter (see Nooty protein-rich nut spreads), a sliced ​​banana, and a dash of honey.

9. Protein oatmeal with blueberries and peanut butter

Oatmeal is a high quality source of carbohydrates and is rich in a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which is beneficial for digestion and intestinal health. Prepare your oats with milk and add ½ to 1 scoop of your favorite whey protein powder. Top with blueberries and blackberries, which provide powerful antioxidant compounds called flavonoids that aid regeneration. Top it off with peanut butter for healthy fat.

10. DIY protein shake

Protein shakes have long been the staple food for regeneration after training – especially for building muscle. It’s also the perfect elixir for post-run recovery. Get creative with your shakes. There are tons of protein options (whey, plant-based, nut butters, Greek yogurt, etc.) and the fruit choices (bananas, berries, pineapples, mangoes, etc.) are also diverse. Adding extra nutrients like spinach, kale, or avocados will earn you extra points. Here’s my perfect post-run smoothie recipe:

Berry Have a good rest

Ingredients:

Directions:

Put all ingredients except protein powder in the blender and mix on a low level. Then protein powder and mix again until a smooth consistency is achieved.

nourishment

  • 292 calories
  • 34g of carbohydrates
  • 25g protein
  • 7g fat

Jordan Mazur, MS, RD, is the nutrition director for the San Francisco 49ers

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