T Nation

Cardio and Super Soldier Protocol

Hey Paul,

Just bought and read the new book this past weekend. Just like Base Building, I really enjoyed the read. Looking to try to modify the SS protocol a little to be a little more specific to my needs and had a question for you.

I usually powerlift (conjugate) with 4 big training days with smaller mini sessions built into the week. Recently though, I have been doing 4 gym days with 6 days of moderately challenging cardio work because I am looking into going back into the Army (ROTC route).

Because of this, the SS protocol seems interesting to me because it looks like it will be great for building/maintaining some strength and size while still allowing for some intensive road work to improve my run times.

With that background stuff out of the way, my big question is how would you organize the week if someone were to want to go through the SS protocol while mixing in 4-5 cardio training sessions a week.

My thought was to have:

Sun-Tue-Thu as the lifting days (as written, but with calisthenics as assitance on the appropriate days) and then fitting in one interval run (30:60 or 60:60), one timed run (1.5-3miles), and one long run or ruck (45-60 minutes) each week with 2 lower intensity cardio days (elliptical, cycle, row in the 15-30 minute range at lower intensity).

In general, I was leaning towards combining them like this:

Interval run post 1st lower day
Timed run after 3rd training day
Long run standalone on weekend
Restorative session after leg day
Second restorative session after first upper day

Any recommendations on this?


My first question would be, why SO MUCH conditioning? Is it just something you like to do, or are you doing some competitive event outside of this that needs that much conditioning?

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I only do so much because I need to significantly improve my APFT score, 5 mile run, and 12 mile ruck to ensure that I can get accepted into ROTC in the fall.

My goals for conditioning are:

~13-13:30 2 mile run
<40 minute 5 mile
<3 hour 12 mile ruck

Whilst maintaining, and perhaps building a little, strength and muscle.

FWIW, I hate running. I only do it because I need to be better at it.

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When I really got my running time pretty good here was my staple…

Weekends - long run for time. Usually 60-90 minutes at an easy pace.

During the week - Intervals at track - 12 1/4 mile sprints trying to make sure each one was done in 2 minutes or less. 2 minutes between intervals.

During the week as well - fast 1.5 mile run. I’d try to beat my time on this one every week.

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Yeah, that is really similar to what I am doing currently, so it is nice to know I am on the right track. One distance run for time, one timed run for distance (easy pace), and one interval. The other 2 are just restorative cardio sessions at lower intensity. Usually on an elliptical, rower, or cycle to save my knees.

Do you think that would work well with the base outline for SSP?

For sure. Just stick to the conditioning plan you have and do the lifting portion from the SSP.

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