Rolling Boulders Uphill

Pat Burkhard is the head coach at Agatsu Montreal, is a top notch strength and movement instructor and a proud daddy. Pat is a black belt in Kung Fu and is a former U17 rugby athlete in Quebec. The HRD2KILL Podcast’s inaugural episode deals with general preparedness training and what Pat calls, “The Rolling Boulders Uphill” principle of fitness.

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Rolling Boulders Uphill

The importance of incorporating generalist training is crucial for tactical athletes. At Agatsu Montreal, these guys incorporate so many fitness modalities that it fills a lot of fitness holes. In this episode, Pat talks about “rolling boulders up a hill” to describe how to manage your training plan and that you absolutely need to be well rounded in order to be as effective as possible in the field.

To give you and idea of what he means by rolling boulders uphill, Pat describes it as having your general fitness domains as “boulders”. For instance: strength, power, cardio, flexibility etc are all parts of the athlete’s athletic domains. Crossfit lists their general fitness skills as:

1. Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance – The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.

2. Stamina – The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.

3. Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.

4. Flexibility – the ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.

5. Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.

6. Speed – The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.

7. Coordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.

8. Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.

9. Balance – The ability to control the placement of the bodies center of gravity in relation to its support base.

10. Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

Ask yourself:

Which of these am I lacking?

Now it’s time to put in the work. As Pat describes it,

You may be pushing your strength boulder uphill but then your cardio boulder starts to roll back down.

So being athletically well prepared as a tactical athlete requires you to constantly be pushing each of these boulders at varying intensities to be able to manage the unconventional and often unforeseen demands of your job. For a better idea of what those demands look like and how to prepare for them, have a read of the blog post – Training New Tactical Athletes At The Royal Montreal Regiment

Wisdom of the pod,

“The body wants to survive!”

If you’re in Montreal, check this place out and give Pat a shout.


Train Hard, Fight Easy.

dave morrowDave is a retired infantry officer and Afghanistan war veteran. He’s the creator of the HRD2KILL training program that was built on the principles that got him from not being able to get out of bed to competing in the Crossfit Open, Spartan Races and the Montreal Gaelic Athletics Association. You can find more mobility based exercises in his new book, “The Nimble Warrior”, now available on Apple Books and Amazon or read his new HRD2KILL Blog

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