Only the truly worthy may command the storm, the thunder and the fury of Thor the Thunderer, the Odinson. For mere mortals, only an insane amount of gym time and calorie calibration can allow the physical form to approach Thor-like levels. But who could possibly possess the discipline and dedication necessary for such a feat? The Army Special Operations Command.
Because apparently the elite Rangers and Green Berets arenâ??t sufficiently diesel, the Command wants to put together a program for â??sustaining elevated physical function, conditioning, and speed recovery of injured personnel to optimal peak physical and mental performance.â?? It needs strength coaches and â??performance dietitiansâ?? to get them there.
The name of this sure-to-be-painful fitness regimen? Tactical Human Optimization, Rapid Rehabilitation and Reconditioning. Do I have to do the acronym for you? The Army calls it THOR3. (Which is an optimistic vote of confidence in the Marvel film franchise.)
So far, it sounds a lot like high-performance athletic training pushed to an insane degree. A physiologist will devise a workout regimen that cuts down on overtraining and occurs in â??arduous environments.â?? Strength coaches naturally focus on muscle development and recovery time. Dietitians design an â??effective, comprehensive nutrition program,â?? and adjust it by unit. Think of the forlorn looks at the chow hall at what the next guy gets to eat for lunch.
The Armyâ??s not ready to put out a contract for THOR3 yet. Itâ??s just testing the waters for what contractors might be able to provide in terms of turning their soldiers into Asgardian-caliber warriors.
Any visitor to a military base quickly picks up on the particulars of its gym culture â?? the obsession (or, in some cases, laxity) with lifting or running or Crossfit. Some commanders are more hardcore than others. The Post Exchanges that serve as mini-Wal-Marts for the military often have entire shelves stocked with protein bars, Muscle Milk and weight-training powder. Think of what kind of performance the command is expecting if it thinks none of that is sufficient.
The likely explanation is that the Army is realizing that its decade-long focus on Iraq and Afghanistan has left its elite forces woefully ill-prepared for the looming threat of the Hulk. Frost giants better beware, too. Next the Armyâ??s going to put out a solicitation for a really wicked hammer.