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Still in the Fight - An Introduction to Combat Athlete Reconditioning
Still in the Fight - An Introduction to Combat Athlete Reconditioning

CST AdminJul 18, 2016 2964 Comments

To preface this series, I will share a piece of my own story. For the last two decades as a health and wellness professional, I have dealt with my own injuries and surgeries sustained during my time serving in the US Marine Corps, and have lived with chronic neck and back pain from multiple automobile accidents.

The beginning of my career in health and wellness started in early 90’s as a young Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune where I was entrenched in the one-dimensional training model of the “Pump and Grunt” Bodybuilding era and old school Marine Corps exercises. My body succumbed to participating in ego-based training and outcome-based military training modules in an attempt to “Get Big."

I left the Marine Corps in 1995 at 21 years old struggling with sciatic nerve pain, neck pain, low back pain, shoulder pain, tendinitis and torn abdominal muscles.Two weeks after I left active duty, I ended up in surgery at a VA hospital.The surgery wasn’t performed properly and for two years I struggled with chronic pain and the classic VA pipeline that some of us know all to well with no alternative tools for my toolbox. As a result, I was forced to take a second look at my training methodologies.

Through self-exploration, trial and error, and years of conducting intense due diligence of different training styles, I began to incorporate a template of what is now the Combat Athlete Reconditioning Program. Currently I provide training, education, and consulting for Civilians, Military and Law Enforcement through Wellness Solutions Group LLC. Additionally, I am proud I serve as the Director of Functional Movement and Rehabilitation on the Task Force Dagger Special Operations Forces Medical Advisory Board and as Founder and Executive Director of Warrior Wellness Solutions a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. During this time, I have had the honor of working with hundreds of wounded, ill, and injured veterans and active duty service members giving me a front row seat to what could have been implemented on the front end to mitigate their current injuries and tools to “Stay in the Fight.”

In my future posts, I'll cover the Combat Athlete Reconditioning Program in detail. This includes the two (2) distinct tracks that my tactical athletes follow as well as the three (3) primary "Modules" I use to deliver the tools to them. The two tracks are:

Track A: Directed at the wounded, ill, or injured combat athlete who will be cleared to return to active duty and reintegrate with a unit.

Track B: Directed at the wounded, ill, or injured combat athlete who has or will be medically discharged and needs to learn new and adaptive tools strengthening them to defend their home and family in spite of their injuries.

While we explore the solutions for these two tracks you will learn health and wellness tools for both “Prehab and Rehab” through Functional Movement and Integrative Nutrition. These will be tools you can implement to “Prehab” for those tactical athletes still serving in military or law enforcement with the Combat Chassis of a GT 500 Mustang or Jeep Wrangler. The tools will also help you “Rehab” if you are a responsibly armed civilian with the Combat Chassis of the Chevy Impala or the Ford Pinto in used car lot.

I will cover these tools in three (3) Modules:

Module 1: Foundation Training This segment delivers a solution to get out of back pain, enhance athletic performance, and prevent injuries. The military and law enforcement community has thousands of compression-based injuries resulting from compromised joints, improper load carriage, overtraining, and an overemphasis on movements in the sagittal plane.This system will teach your body to return to homeostasis.You will learn how to anchor and decompress the body through breath, strengthen the core and posterior chain, and improve posture.

Module 2: Fuel Your Primary Weapons System –You will learn solutions for addressing Inflammation, Gut Health, Adaptive Field Nutrition, Super Foods, and Nutrient Density for Resiliency, Performance and Tissue Repair.

Module 3: Adaptive Band & Kettlebell Training -This segment will teach you ways to work around your injuries and limitations to achieve balanced functional strength utilize multi-planar movements within the four pillars of human movement.It will prepare you to move to the next level in the journey to improve your power, speed, quickness and functional strength of your Combat Chassis.

My next post will cover a discussion the Track A and Track B athletes and why/how they're trained differently. 


“Improvise, Adapt, Overcome”

Elijah Sacra  United States Marine Corps Veteran

Exercise Physiologist-Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

Special Operations Forces Health Initiatives Medical Advisory Board

EMAIL: Elijah@ElijahSacra.com 

PHONE: 919.525.4693

  • Glenn
    27-Jun-2016 06:32 PM

    Looking forward to your discussions. After 25+ years in military, LEO, and SWAT, my knees and back aren't what they used to be, yet I'm still in the game.

  • Keith Deverell
    29-Jun-2016 09:02 PM

    Over 23 yrs LEO and spent much of my youth believing bigger is better. Huh, shoulders are trashed. slimmed down and now do functional fitness. Wow much better. Bags bells bands and bars. No more nonsense.

  • CST Admin
    02-Jul-2016 02:17 AM

    Glenn, hope we can help you out! Elijah has some great experience to share.

  • CST Admin
    02-Jul-2016 02:18 AM

    Keith, glad to hear you're on the right track and feeling better! Stay tuned and thanks for you comment.

  • Josh
    19-Jul-2016 02:27 PM

    Really looking forward to this too. The other gentlemen have a bit more time on the job than me though haha. However, last year I was involved in a shooting and was struck in both legs, trying to get back into shape but struggling unfortunately, hoping to learn somethings that can help out!
    Thanks in advance

  • Psybain
    19-Jul-2016 04:53 PM

    Looking forward to part 2!

  • CST Admin
    19-Jul-2016 04:58 PM

    Josh, thanks for your comment and your service! I think you'll get a lot of value from what Elijah has planned. Hope we can be an enabler to your recovery.

  • Stacy Little
    19-Jul-2016 07:16 PM

    No military background, I'm just a civilian, but am looking forward to reading and learning more.

  • CST Admin
    20-Jul-2016 02:13 PM

    Stacy, thanks for reading! We're all agents in charge of our families/communities/ personal protection detail.

  • Mike
    11-Aug-2016 09:07 AM

    Thrived in the 80's, bench press, curl bar Led Zep on the turntable, bigger is better mentality. 50 YOA now, pins and wires in shoulders, multiple surgeries, chest and back, discs out in neck, knees thrashed... whatever, I ain't complaining. Ok enough! Started the CST program as soon as I discovered it and changes started happening immediately. Not only in physique, power, strength, speed and agility but more importantly, MENTAL. Alpha brain "feeders" need to be on a mission, whatever it is and if you're an old school garage gym rat like me and haven't adapted, you have probably been wading in your own disgusting cesspool of uninspired, stagnated mediocrity. Question for readers; How many of you have the "Well at least I went to the gym today when many did not" mentality? Kind of like taking a bath and pissing in your own tub. Yeah, you bathed, but did you get clean? Probably not. The program has changed me physically and mentally and I have been born again inspired. There's nothing like finding things to ignite you when you're 50. I never went to gym for results, I went because I loved grinding it out and haven't felt that "love for the grind" in a long, long time so Thanks Mac & crew for igniting me again. I have also incorporated the mentality to my teammates and I have seen a new energy out of the team, not just physical...that's the point, it's just as powerful for mental ignition and gets you kicking ass in every part of your life. So stoked I found this when I did. Longevity is the objective, everything else is a By-product. Oh yeah, btw, using Mac philosophy, if I had cloned myself, my 50 yo self could kick my 20 year old ass, just maybe not after a power day workout!! Keep up the great stuff guys. You're reaching a hell of a lot more people than you realize. My .02 -Mike (25 years LEO Trainer FA/Tactics/ 23 Years current SWAT TL.

  • CST Admin
    12-Aug-2016 12:41 AM

    Mike, rock on brother! Great to hear about your progress. Awesome quote here: "...you have probably been wading in your own disgusting cesspool of uninspired, stagnated mediocrity."

  • Pete
    22-Aug-2016 02:50 PM

    I'm a former paratrooper with banged up knees looking forward to your information. Tried Cross Fit and got my ass kicked because my knees couldn't take the squats and sprints.

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