One day with a commando. Salmon cut, burpee check and 300 push-ups

How does it feel to train as a commando? Jesse Itzler, an American entrepreneur and risky guy, decided to find the answer to this question and hired a “SEAL” as a trainer. Jesse talks about what came of it in the book “A Month at the End”. It will be out of print very soon, but for now, let’s read a passage.

Fourth training day. 05:00

New York
-2 ° С

At five in the morning, the bedroom door slowly opens. This does not bode well, given that my wife is sleeping next to me, which means that someone else is in the room. This is followed by tapping on the shoulder. Opening my eyes, for some reason I imagine that there is a long black finger. Shaking it off, I roll over to the other side. Sarah didn’t wake up, which is good. Probably, I was dreaming. I will try not to pay attention.

Ten seconds later, there was another tap on the shoulder. Maybe it’s Sarah after all? Trying to catch a passing dream. But the finger doesn’t give up. Finally, after 20 seconds, a hot breath hits my ear. A monotonous voice destroys the remnants of my night’s peace:

– Wake up, I told whom!

I jump up and start to pack myself, trying not to wake up my wife, who is curled up under the covers.

Getting started

“Kitty” gives instructions: another ten kilometers in the park by this morning, and then you can start your studies. Proceed? I thought we started them three days ago.

So far, the lion’s share of our training has been in Central Park. The Park Drive road stretches through the park with a length of 9.7 kilometers. Once upon a time, in the 1970s, the track of the New York Marathon passed here, and the marathoners ran around the park four times with a tail. Later, the route was moved to a modern route in five districts.

10 kilometers through the park at 5 am is just a warm-up. – A source

Since I moved to Manhattan, I have run here hundreds of times because the place is perfect for jogging. The changing landscape with sloping slopes does not let you get bored, and if you run early in the morning, then almost no one bothers: there are not enough people and cars (much to the disappointment of the “cat”).

The wind is cool today, but it ceases to be felt as soon as we move off. Our breath leaves white clouds of vapor in the air. This is the only interaction of the “cat” with the outside world.

It makes no sound, moving like a submarine: quiet and inevitable.

We run the first five kilometers at 6:00 per kilometer, the next three at 5:00 per kilometer, and the last two at 4:30. We return home by six in the morning. The wife and son are still asleep. Sarah doesn’t even know that the pointing finger of the Master of Running Arts visited us this morning. The last two days after returning from my morning runs, I could be squeezed out. I go home, throw off my sweaty clothes, then shower and fruits, especially bananas. After this ritual, you can get to work.

Working day

45 minutes after the start of my working day, a “cat” comes into the office. I suspect he got here on foot on foot. But his clothes are still the same. He has already run around in these things, and they again look like they were from a dry cleaner. I am not exaggerating. Either the guy has gigantic stocks of identical clothes hidden in the bowels of my apartment, or he is washing and ironing them, standing naked in the laundry. I was somehow ashamed to ask.


An hour passed after lunch break. I ordered salmon slices and veggie dumplings from Josie’s. I devoured everything in one sitting and now I’m sitting at the computer again. The marketing team from Zico has sent in new packaging options and we are discussing what can be improved. “Kitty” sits on a chair, not moving. Suddenly he explodes from the spot.

– Check for burpees! – the coach barks.

– I apologize?..

– Got up for a burpee check. Are you deaf?

“I just don’t understand what you mean.

– Boy, what is a burpee, you know? – This is not a question, but rather a statement.

– Well, yes, I know what a burpee is. This is an exercise from the discipline of CrossFit, which consists of a combination of movements: starting position, standing position, lying support, push-ups, pulling the legs and body to the arms, jumping up with raised arms.

“What’s the damn test?”

– Sure.

– That’s great. Get to work, salaga.

“Kitty” announces that it will time the time it takes for me to make a hundred burpees. “This is a fitness test,” he says, and emphasizes that every burpee should have a push-up. If my result is ten minutes or less, I get excellent, 11 minutes satisfactory, 12 or 13 minutes unsatisfactory.

– And if more than 13 minutes, then you do everything anew.

Oh-ho-ho, I don’t care about the burpee. Even 15 times in one approach they take me out completely.

Meanwhile, the “cat” had already taken off his watch and pressed the “start” button. Bi-yip!

It can even become a gym too. – A source

– Let me at least change clothes!

– Time has passed, quitter.

I throw myself on the floor, get into a plank, do push-ups, pull my knees to my chest and jump, throwing my arms up. Time. After 55 seconds I got to ten. So far, I fit. But the problem is that I am in office clothes and have already started to sweat.

Why am I in office clothes? Oh yeah, I’m at work. In addition, I will need a presentable look for meetings today. Who will I look like if I’m all wet?

So I made the strategic decision to use – or spend, if you like – the precious ten seconds taking off my shirt, boots, and socks. And then the pants. Well, now I am standing in my own office in only my underpants. Eleven, twelve, thirteen … The test continues.

The clock is ticking, I did half the standard in five and a half minutes. I lose a little speed, but still I can reach “satisfactory”. Sweat trickles down my face and back.

And then the door opens.

Someone’s blonde hair flashes in the doorway, and the woman immediately runs back out. This is Jennifer Kish, my irreplaceable assistant. I didn’t even have time to explain what was happening. I want to shout to her that I pass the standard, but the door has already slammed shut. I can imagine what she thought. Okay, let’s not get distracted.

When I get to 60, I start mentally breaking the remaining 40 pieces into sets of ten times. I do ten burpees, then take a breath for 10-15 seconds.

Total 11 minutes 30 seconds. Ready!

An old T-shirt was lying around very conveniently. I wipe dry, but continue to sweat for another 20 minutes. Hips ache as if a tank had driven over them. I throw my soaked T-shirt into the trash can under the table. Ugh, now you can put on your work clothes.

And here I am again at the computer, studying color options for packaging. My legs tremble shallowly under the table. The working day continues, and I am smiling out of the corner of my mouth, remembering this inimitable: “Check for burpee, salaga!”


I return home at ten in the evening. I’m terribly tired. We spent all day with the designers from Zico. We managed to finalize the appearance of the packaging, but we had one more task – to create a buzz around the brand.

Every day we ask ourselves the question: what else could we think of so original so that our product would excite the audience? Today this task has squeezed all the juice out of me. I just want to turn on the TV and freeze. Maybe watch the fourth quarter of the Niks game. I lie down on the sofa and take the remote control. “Kitty” sat with me in the office and saw how much I plowed. Five minutes in the toilet was the only respite for the whole day when no one tugged me – what a bliss! So I decided not to remind him of training and hoped that he himself would not remember.

I started going through the channels. I did not even have time to find the game of “Niks”, as the “cat” offered to go outside.

I started going through the channels.  I did not even have time to find the game of
If your turner is a SWAT, you have to be ready for anything. Any second. – A source

Our workout is the same as in the morning – a circle in Central Park – and a bonus: every 800 meters we stop for 25 push-ups. The second difference is that the cat accelerates the pace. Each kilometer should be slightly faster than the previous one. We start at a pace of 5:30 per kilometer. After 4.5 minutes, we fall and do push-ups 25 times. Then we increase the pace a little and do push-ups after 4.25 minutes – again 25 times. And so on until we reach 5:00 per kilometer at the end of the run.

Every time we do an emphasis lying down, the blood rushes to the head, almost to the point of fainting. Plus, it’s terribly cold outside. I breathe so hard during push-ups that I get hyperventilated. And at least for the “cat”, he mints like a programmed robot. Up. Down. Up. Down. Up. Down. By the time he has done his 25 push-ups, I am doing the ninth. He stands and waits for me, ready to dash on. And so every damn time.


I crawl to my room in such a state that I could fall asleep while standing – like a horse. I have never done so many push-ups in my life.

Training results: 20 kilometers (10 kilometers with acceleration), 300 push-ups and 100 burpees.

Based on the book “A month at the limit”

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