We're thrilled to have the support of Skipton's Sam Boatwright. Sam is a personal trainer and long distance runner. He completed his Epic Run challenge in 2012, running 2,500 miles around the UK in 50 days, raising money for Help for Heroes. You can learn more about Sam on his website.

Sam kindly agreed to put together this training plan for us.


Training plan:

It is important to remember that everyone started somewhere. As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. With this in mind, take things steady. We need your heart rate to get into the 75%-90% “fat burning zone”.
Many aspects vary on where and when you can train. 

In order to get the body warm, we need to increase your heart rate. 
1.    Walk up a small incline. If outside choose a short, medium-gradient hill. If in the gym get on the treadmill – start the walk at 3.0-3.5mph with a gradient of 5%. Do this for 5-10 minutes and your heart rate should increase. If this is not the case, increase your gradient. For an advancement, start at a steady jog for 5 minutes at 2.5% gradient, then every minute increase the gradient by 1% and speed by 0.5mph and keep pushing till failure.


Being able to complete an assault course of any description requires core strength and the ability to move your own body weight. 

2.    Press ups – 3 sets of 10 repetitions with a 30-second rest. If you are unable to support your full body weight put your knees on the floor but keep your hips forward and weight over your hands. 

3.    Plank – Elbows and toes are the only part touching the floor. 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, for 8 repetitions. Advancement is to hold for longer but with the same 30 second rest. 

4.    Body weight squats – 4 sets of 20 repetitions. Low into the heels, keeping the core engaged. 

5.    Lunges - 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each leg (20 in total). Alternating legs, keeping core engaged and the body long. 

6.    Mountaineers – 3 sets of 20 repetitions. Hands in press up position body long with just toes touching the floor. Run your knees up to your chest alternating your legs. Keep the core engaged and back straight. 

7.    Pull ups - 3 sets of 10 repetitions. These are easily developed from beginner to advanced. Use a straight fixed bar inside or outside. For a beginner extend your legs out so that you are hanging from your hands but your feet are out in front on the floor. Your hips are parallel and your body straight.  To advance, start taking less weight off until your feet are off the floor and you are hanging from the bar by your hands.

8.    1 Minute Bear Crawl – this can be done inside or outside. With just your hands and feet touching the floor, staying as low to the ground as possible slowly crawl from one point to another. Works the abs and arms through moving our own body weight. 

9.    2 minute shuttle runs – Two points 20 metres apart. Run as fast as you can point to point with a 30 second rest. Repeat this interval 4 times for a beginner and 8 -12 times for advanced. 

10.    Step ups - 30 repetitions on each leg. Find a step that is the same height as your knee. Place one foot on the step and the step up onto it, pulling your knee through as if pulling your knee up to your chest. Leave the foot on the step and keep stepping up on the one leg, 30 times. Do this each side. To advance from this hold weights in each hand 5kg+ and step 50 times. 

11.    Jumping split squat - 3 x 1 minute – . Small step is needed for this. Have one foot on the step and one on the floor. Squat down, then jump across swapping sides so the other foot is on the step and one on the floor. Repeat this during the minute from side to side. 

All of these moves can be advanced using weights and most can be done outside of the gym in your own home.

Keys to completing an assault course
•    Core Strength
•    Remaining upright for maximum oxygen efficiency
•    Composure and not panicking