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In almost every resistance-based gym program, the deadlift (or a variation) is present. It’s not hard to understand why, as it hits a bunch of points that every gym-goer aims to achieve. It is an excellent compound movement that works both your anterior and posterior lower body, and posterior upper body. For most people, it’s going to be their heaviest lift, so, for anyone looking to move weight around - whether for training or ego, it’s excellent.
I define ‘old school thinking’ as accepting, from the get-go, that the way something is being done right now is the only way to do that thing. It is accepting that doctrine derived from the Vietnam war is the most effective way to train for modern warfare, rather than analysing current combat environments and challenging the doctrine. It is accepting that mental toughness is solely developed through “hard training”, rather than providing a challenging adult learning environment that develops problem solving abilities in difficult situations. And it is accepting that shoulder, lower back, hip, and knee injuries are just an inevitable part of the combat soldier role, rather than challenging the way people structure their physical training. 
As of October 1st, DVA has introduced an altered approach to giving veterans mental health support. Dr Kevin Kraushaar, a trauma specialist with years of experience working with veterans and DVA’s procedures, has written an article giving his take on the new support model. It’s his second article that we at Anvil T&D are posting, and it offers an explanation of the new treatment system and explores whether or not DVA has implemented an improvement or another obstacle. 
The demands on our day-to-day lives range from the trivial to the fundamental, based on the needs and expectations set by both ourselves and those around us. The average person is constantly beset with ‘what needs to be done’, and as responsibilities grow - so, too, does that list.
Recently, I wrote an article about Goal-Specific Training, and how important it is to consider the end goal, for both the overarching type of training program you are doing, and  the individual exercises you do each day that you train. As an example, I included a small, infantry-specific program that demonstrated how you can take a defined set of goals and create a program that is applicable, effective, efficient, and enjoyable. I decided that after writing that program, I wanted to write a separate article going into more detail about why I chose those exercises for an infantry soldier, as well as some considerations that should be reflected in how combat soldiers could employ strength and conditioning to make them as effective as possible in their role.
This Program is a very basic 6 Week Conjugate Rotation, modified from a program I wrote for myself a little while ago and really enjoyed. It is designed to build a bigger Squat, Bench, and Deadlift. It is really back-to-basics style programming, and I’ve written it for people who are looking for a new program, or would like to try a conjugate style program for the first time.
Size. Strength. Bigger Squat. Better 10km run time. Better conditioning. Bigger Bench. I always had a goal. And yet, if you had followed that up with another (probably even more important) question, “show me how your program will help you achieve that?”, or, “how will your workout today take you one step closer?”, I would have probably been a little stumped. Sure, I could tell you I wanted a bigger bench, and point to my Arnold 6 week program full of supersets and push-pull splits, and say, “well, if I do enough flat bench twice a week, surely my bench will go up?” Yeah, it might. But, is that all there is to it? And, why do I want a bigger bench? And, what if that isn’t actually working?
The population’s experience with mental health concerns is subjective, and varies from person to person, so when someone who hasn’t directly experienced or witnessed something as complex as PTSD - from where do they draw their understanding? What about someone who is experiencing it, but their personal experience doesn’t align with their current perception? What is the first step in understanding an acronym that represents a complex and diverse levels of experience?
At Anvil, we sell Custom Training Belts. One of the team, and my training partner, recently said to me over coffee, “Why don’t you write an article for the people who don’t know what belt they need, or why they might even want one?” 
So here I am, writing down everything I know about Training Belts. If you do spend some time in the gym, or you’re a crossfitter, olympic lifter, powerlifter, bodybuilder, or just a casual gym goer with a deep thirst for some understanding of why those fat guys strap themselves in before sucking in as much air as they can and benching some stupid amount of weight for 1 rep with an 8cm range of movement - this one’s for you.

How long does it take to form a habit? How about an addiction? How many times must I perform an activity to cement it in muscle memory? And, how long does it take something to become monotonous, especially if I’m just doing the same thing over and over again?

And why does any of that matter?

I admit that for 2-3 years, I fell into the crowd of people that didn’t see any compelling reason to train my biceps - and I admit that the most likely reason for that was a lack of research on my part. While there is no clear cut group upon which you can label ‘bicep denyers’, the belief appears to have the highest presence amongst the ‘functional’ fitness communities. 
During the time that I wasn’t adding some kind of direct bicep stimulation into my programs, I did a range of different training types, and none of them seemed to me as sports in which I needed bulging biceps to excel. As I look back now at the training I’ve done in the past and the ways I could have improved it, one of the things I wonder is if doing some kind of isolated bicep training would have been beneficial.

Volunteering – It’s like your first “LIVE” hand grenade throwing range experience. It’s a bit scary, you’re relying on others NOT to screw up. It can be funny (like the guy who let go on the downward swing in front of himself and everyone); then a run for dear life, a dive and three guys piling onto the Sergeant behind the sandbags. Then, the swear words and the usual debriefing - it happens! 

Never Volunteer for Anything:  “Nunquam Voluntarius Pro Quisquam”

It was recently brought to my attention that with the issues of gun control and mass shootings in the United States, it was counterproductive for me to post pictures of soldiers firing their weapons at the range on our Instagram page. The argument presented to me was, “If we are trying to promote a community focussed on positive mental health, pictures of us with guns will work against us because gun control and mass shootings are at the forefront of social and political focus in the US.”

Initially, I had a whole range of different reactions to this perspective. As an infantry veteran who spent a significant period of his early adult life learning the  specifics of various weapon systems, and subsequently teaching these to countless new soldiers as an Australian infantry instructor - I found it very difficult to see a correlation between civilian mass shootings, gun control debates, and images of soldiers on operations overseas. As a professional soldier, the importance of weapon safety, the lives of your mates, and the rules of engagement are drilled into you with every training scenario or learning opportunity. For a link to be considered between a supplementary image on an article post and the mass shootings overseas was deeply insulting.
If all you do for the rest of your life is walk 10 minutes after every meal, you can reap significant benefits compared to if you don’t do it. However, for most people, this should not be where you stop. Every day you do this, you reinforce the habit that exercise is a natural and necessary part of a healthy life. Not only does exercise become a physically reinforced habit, your brain forms associations between the activity and a positive psychological/emotional outcome of ‘feeling better’ - also the psychological positive reinforcement of completing goals you set for yourself, or overcoming challenges you set for yourself is productive. 
There is no point arguing the benefits of exercise. That argument has been won time and time again, with benefits being demonstrated across mental and physical health and well-being, short term and long term health, and an improved quality of life. And yet, I learned recently that the newest generation of children in the United States is the first generation in history with a shorter life expectancy than their parents and grandparents. This is due to increasing levels of obesity and the plethora of health conditions that come from a sedentary lifestyle. This isn’t limited to just the US, either. In Australia, obesity levels are higher than ever, with over 25% of children recorded as obese (according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018).
A runner may have a sprained ankle, a weight lifter may have pulled a muscle, or it may just be the flu.These injuries and illnesses that you have inevitably experienced throughout your life can feel like a setback, and it’s normal to feel that - I know I feel that way, no matter what I’m training for. The common response we come across to these setbacks, however, is usually:
“I can’t do anything because I’m injured/sick.”
Heat injuries come in two forms. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Both are a direct result of dehydration, which is defined by the Australian Government health agencies as “when the water content of the body is too low”. Loss of fluids in a hot, Army environment was a daily concern. Combat troops are constantly training in warm uniforms, wearing body armour, and carrying heavy weapons and packs.
When I decided I was leaving the military, I knew I wanted to study. I’d been pushing my body for five years straight and was missing the mental challenges that only an academic setting could provide. So despite the confused and fearful looks I received from career soldiers who couldn’t imagine a world outside a green uniform, I pursued that. If you’re also someone from a military or emergency service background looking at studying, then the one thing I would want you to take from this is that what may appear to be a drastic and reckless change, is absolutely possible.