April ATHLETE Focus

April ATHLETE Focus

John Heraid

Has embraced change, been open and dedicated to the Coaches and Frogman philosophy. His improvements in cardiovascular performance and mobility are inching him closer to his goals and with this insightful attitude, we cant wait to see where he takes it. We’re proud to have John as a Frogman Project Athlete and think he is a commendable example of the Ultimate Teammate!

What were you looking for when you found Frogman?

I joined up with the Frogman Project because I was looking for a change with my training and was pursuing a career in the Defence Force. I didn’t know much about Navy Divers other than what my Navy Vet brother had told me –  that the CD’s were freakishly fit, strong and the elite in the navy, so I knew that the FP was going to drive me in the right direction.

What program do you follow?

I started out on the Tactical Fitness League on recruit level. Those 3 workout days a week were enough to destroy me in the beginning haha. I remember after the first week I was hurting in places I never knew existed.

After a while on recruit I jumped up to graduate where I really got stuck in and gave it my all. I stayed there for quite a while trying out a few operator workouts yet not being able to quite nail them until recently. I accepted the challenge of the operator workouts and now hit them hard every week! I’ll be looking at going into the Navy Diver Prep in the near future.

What training improvements have you gained?

I would have to say everything has improved since starting with the Frogman Project. But the most noticeable improvements would be cardiovascular performance and mobility, which in turn helps out every other aspect of being a tactical athlete.

Before I started with TFL I was just training with the aim of being “big” never did cardio, never stretched, didn’t know how to properly train just went in and did big basic movements.

I found the program a little daunting at first because I had to Google nearly every exercise to see what was required, but after following the program and not skipping the “boring stuff” I noticed the changes in my body and performance and I was hooked! I’ve gone from not being able to run much more than a kilometer to being able to hit a sub 12 min 2.4km every time without going all out.

That’s awesome! And what do you enjoy the most?

Definitely the variety of the programming and warrior mindset development workouts. Its clear the coaches have a deep understanding of strength and conditioning as well as the bio mechanics of the body and how it moves. This all shows in the programming and the progress the athletes make.

Also, the community is second to none, every one in there is keen to help push and motivate one another. Whether it be with advice, encouragment or that workout time they posted that was just a bit faster than yours, we make each other accountable.

Do you have any FP signature workout times you can share with us?

My personal favourite would be Run Forest Run, because running isn’t my strongest skill yet and you build character through adversity. I got it in a little over half an hour, wasn’t stoked with the time but gives me a target to smash next attempt.

Frogman Project run forest run (1)

What is your current struggle you’re trying to overcome?

My current struggle would be my muscle ups. I have always wanted them and have tried for a very long time. Not long ago I managed to get my first un-assisted muscle up and to say I was over the moon would be an understatement (I was over the bar). Now I can get a couple out at a time but my goal with them is to be able to consistently do multiple reps and variations and I know with TFL I’ll get them!

What hobbies do you do outside of training?

I have started in a course which covers things like basic Bush craft, survival, navigation etc. I believe it’s an essential skill set not only in a defense perspective but in civilian life it’s always good to know how to look after yourself and others if need be. I think everyone should be able to read a map and find their way to a checkpoint or be able to source drinking water and food.

What resources are you currently absorbing?

My bedside if filled with books from Aussie veterans. The first addition was Undaunted by Hugh O’Brien, he’s an ex Australian Clearance Diver and his book really opened my eyes to their world. From there its books like The Crossroad by Mark Donaldson VC and the Commando about Cameron Baird VC to various books about the SASR and the like.

In the car I’ll listen to podcasts like Jocko Willink and Global Recon, to hear from people who have been in a place where I want to go helps me visualize the goal and fuel the fire.

This one is a reflection question- If you could send advice back to yourself, what would you say? Would you approach anything differently?

Don’t hesitate, go all out! There’s no shame in trying and failing as long as you learn from it and move past onto the next challenge. No lamb for the lazy wolf, no battles won in bed.

Have you overcome a particular hurdle that has changed how you approach training?

Coming from a mindset where cardio was bad and big lifts were good, heading into TFL I was a bit unsure on the style of training and how I could do it with the gym equipment I had. But after sticking to it and keeping my head down I’ve come to love it and the places it pushes me (the hurt locker). So I’m more open with my mindset and approach to training.

Are you following a specific diet? Have you had any progress or learnt any lessons along the way? What’s your favourite or go to meal?

I’m not overly strict on my diet, I do have some flexibility and I scale it according to my training days and output. I cycle my carbs so I’ll have a few days with lower carbs and higher protein and fats and then on another day I’ll have a higher carb intake and lower protein and fat. Along with having a weekly 24 hour fast day which I’ve found helps with me.

At the end of the day it’s about trial and error and listening to your body and how it reacts, it’s ever changing. My favourite and easiest go to meal would be lemon and garlic chicken kebabs thrown in with veg for an easy stir fry.

What 3 traits do you think the Ultimate Teammate should have?

Oh thats a good one, lets see.

1. Resilience. Working in a team environment or even by yourself you need to be resilient. Getting dealt the absolute worst hand possible you need to perseverance to get to your end result. Whether it be stress, doubt, anxiety, over thinking or even if its a tough physical requirement. If you were to quit half way through or at the first hurdle you’ll let down yourself but more importantly the team.

2. Accountability. To be part of a team (or the ultimate teammate) you need to be accountable for your role. It is up to you to know exactly what your job is and how it is expected to be done, but also the other teammates. If you don’t know what it is you should be doing, be accountable and find out. There’s no such thing as a stupid question and it is expected that in a team environment everyone knows what is to be done and how to pull their weight.

3. Adaptability. Plans don’t always go the way they should. Being adaptable is an important one because when the task is modified or interrupted every member of the team needs to be able to understand, assess the outcomes and adapt to the new game plan. How do you train to be adaptable? By constantly pushing yourself, trying new things and by practicing the unknown. Easy way to put it is – you’re playing a match and your position gets swapped. Do you freeze and quit? Or do you already understand what that new role is from prior preparation and give it your best for team success.

Signing off

Can’t thank the Frogman Project enough for pushing my limits past my own comprehension and helping me thrive to be the ultimate teammate. Not just in the way of TFL but with the content regularly put up on the website. There’s some really in depth and relevant information in there which I go through regularly. That and the coaches who have a genuine desire to help us all and always go out of their way for us.

Want to know more before diving in?