Downrange Density



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"Maximal performance of technique;
not maximal output of effort."

If you’re looking for a fancy and fun new fitness program, and have no real concerns other than your waistline and the snugness of your t-shirt sleeves, this probably isn’t the program for you.

This is a serious program, engineered with science, forged by decades of experience, and designed to support those with the most stressful occupational specialties known to man.

A word from Scott Sonnon

CAVEAT: Although this program was used to train the three-time United States All-Army 3 Gun Champions, this program will not transform you into a marksman, soldier or operator. Even if you developed the same fitness levels of an operator, you would not become one. Operators are who they are because of their character, and uniquely because of their ability to sustain damage and not be deterred from their purpose. You would not believe what their willpower is capable of, so let this caveat state that this program has no claim of transforming you into an elite warrior.

You can develop strength of will through this program. But please never mistake theory for reality. This program involves the necessary physical exercise that establishes tactical fitness. You may think you’re capable of walking “downrange”, but you will never know until, like operators do, how you experience extreme violence and physical damage that would kill any other human, and choose, as a quiet professional, to keep going.

That caveat written : Downrange Density IS the type of comprehensive, methodical and meticulous program necessary for you to be able to physically recover from and rebuild for traumatic and overwhelming circumstances. Only your character can truly prepare you for those events: and your character is built and strengthened through the daily discipline of discomfort. Rigorously apply slight discomfort every day, and you may be prepared for adverse stress. To recover rapidly after it happens, and to rebuild from the damage it incurs, you will need a program like Downrange Density.

LET’S ADDRESS YOUR REAL-WORLD CONCERNS NOW.
What problems are you really facing?

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That's the question that I'm forced to answer on a continual basis.

Answering your problems has become a hard-won mastered skill that I have needed to hone due to the fact that my highest risk clients happen to be the most remote, have access to the least resources, have the greatest impediments to the consistency required for adaptation, and due to the intense volume of stress on their jobs and lives, they have the least bandwidth of available physical energy, working memory and willpower reserves.

Even if you've received success from a program, honestly, it's been because of you, not because of a program. Above the merit of your good discipline, it is a complete accident that it provided value to you. That said, there are bad programs, which siphon your energy, memory and willpower because they’re programmed incorrectly (as they don’t consider how your brain chemistry works).

In economics, this bad programming is differentiated as industry push vs. market pull. Others thrust programs upon you, because they believe that they know better than you what you want (they're the "experts" after all).

Working with world champion athletes, special mission unit operators, the world’s best surgeons, combat pilots and instructors, and Fortune 100 executives, I can say that elite performers are pushed completely over-the-top with inane programs created by those who haven’t endured the sacrifices they have to achieve their success. So, they think top performers require harder, longer, heavier work, rather than sufficient, sustainable work.

As a result, other programs fail to address:

  • What your actual needs involve.
  • What your capability of digesting information is due to your work pace and lifestyle
  • What strength of challenges you encounter when facing behavioral change.
  • What your risk and pain tolerances are and how to avoid and mitigate them.
  • What limitations you have on time, space and equipment.
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Although there are many logical programs that may even be effective at their intents and purposes, are they your intents and purposes? They rarely are, so they push upon you what they think you want or need. They don’t ask the question that I must ask working with the world’s top 1% peak performers: What is the minimum effective dose necessary to achieve the goal of a program? More isn’t better. Just Enough is Best.

I am going to show you my secret sauce for determining “enough.” And weeks after I publish this, like all of the other good programs I’ve released to the public, it’ll be stolen and co-opted, and unfortunately, the carrion feeders will screw that up, too, and create more damage than when they started. Why?

The program you do is usually designed from the program creator's education, as everyone has a particular "style" or emphasis dependent upon with whom they studied. Programs can also be designed based upon the creator's personal experience; they become good at a thing, so they are impassioned to teach you how to do the thing that brought them success. Many programs are regurgitated ideas of other people's education and experience, and because they're facsimiles, they are, by definition: poor copies of the originals. As anyone knows in any field, quality decreases over time of copying.

There are rarely programs which you design by your expressed needs. You probably haven't had a program created by your "pull." This program is an example of a program responding to a pull, rather than originating from a push. As you consider what your "pulls" are - your needs, resources and requirements, consider for a moment what someone facing the highest demands requires:

DOWNRANGE

This term used in military refers to fighting in a combat zone: the single hardest event in humanity. I've never been a warrior, only ever a fighter and athlete. I am no longer those any more, either. Now, I’m just a coach. But I do know what it takes to build the world’s elite performers in multiple high stress domains. I have studied the impact of stress physiology before the field was even named stress physiology. And I have had the privilege of working with those who go downrange for nearly three decades as a coach.

What my guys face downrange is unlike anything in sports or industry athletics. They're not "tactical athletes" (as some prefer to call them) because there's no competition they're hoping to medal in. I was a professional athlete for two decades, and what warriors do is far more challenging, demands greater sacrifice, and incurs significantly higher adverse effects. They need greater support and intelligence from their programming; not harder pushes.

Those who go downrange accomplish their missions at a personal cost that exceeds the training or combat injuries they sustain. Combat-related injuries are actually a significantly smaller percentage when compared to the totality of their job and training.

I named this program Downrange to honor them, because if they can do it - if they can find the resources, time, energy and know-how to sustain themselves in those terrible circumstances, maybe you can think about them, and the example they offer, and you can shake off any complaints, put away excuses and fully participate in a program that addresses your challenges.

MINIMUM EFFECTIVE DOSE

If you have one piece of equipment, if you cannot access a heavier weight, or have no equipment at all; if you cannot change any other variable, you can change one: time

The time at which you compress your periods of exertion - whether physical or mental - create your periods of adaptation. Too little, and negative adaptation occurs; too much - and negative adaptation occurs. Temporal processing, which you can think of as timing for your brain, is the most important meta-cognitive skill. If you improve timing in one sense: touch, movement, hearing, sight, you improve performance in all of them. This “general mastery” effect happens because your internal timepiece sets the clock for most functions in your body and brain.

So, find the "minimum effective dose" of exertion to create a sufficient but non-excessive stress - let’s call it “enough time” - to create positive adaptation. If you know exactly how much and use no more, you will adapt faster than anyone else, because above that marker is counter-productive. One day, you will need to counter the negative adaptation created by going over that minimum effective dose.

In epigenetics, we are studying how to identify micro-timing. How precisely can we identify and program the proper timing of an individual’s performance, to ensure quality and quantity of life? We are only at the very beginning of scratching the surface of our genetic potential.


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A Little Background.

I am going to share with you what I was forced to develop for myself. Because of my own physical and mental challenges, I had no other choice than to find the quantifiable marker for "enough" exercise. And I did, through mostly error and a lifetime of trials. But now, I have isolated the exact measures which guarantee success. Because of epigenetics, we DO know what ALL humans require, and what individualization involves. This program involves “enough time” for what the human genome requires to enable sustainable peak performance.

DENSITY

In exercise science, you learn that you don't adapt during the work, but during the recovery periods. So, by intelligently compressing the periods of recovery, you increase the speed of adaptation. Most coaches have no idea on how to intelligently design programs, because they have good ideas that they think they should push on to you. Unfortunately, an intelligently designed program involves crafting the incremental steps that allow you to climb upward.

Density training involves compressing the space between work periods. You can do this through toggling the duration of the rest periods. This is the traditional approach. In the early 2000s, I published the first Double Density training model ever released. I’ve refined it over the past nearly two decades of teaching it.

However, for most people, the problem isn't the effectiveness of the formula. The problem you have most likely encountered is lacking an accurate point of departure, and lacking an ability to track your travel toward your destination.

Downrange Density allows you to do that in a plug and play, self-diagnostic fashion that no other program has ever done. You determine your baseline through Step 1. Practice the exercise in Step 2. Hold your form in Step 3. And discover your progress in Step 4. And when life intervenes, you have a re-assessment ability to find out where your NEW point of origin is, so that you can re-start (because, to your brain, you are only EVER re-starting.) No other approach has ever given you a clear point of departure, method of progression toward your goal, and a measurable destination.

PHYSICAL ABILITIES TEST

Functional movement has long been pontificated. But what is “functional”? No one has considered it from the perspective of evolutionary biology. We evolved to acquire food. For humans that means hunting (or when unsuccessful in hunting, gathering edibles).

Considering our design as hunters, if we are to evaluate our functional movement capabilities, it should be from a consideration of what allows us to track, kill and carry our food home (and if you no longer do that, are you following an exercise program that substitutes the engagement of that Design?)

The Physical Abilities Test (PAT) was designed with this goal in mind: to evaluate your functional capability to successfully hunt. Since my primary clientele are soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen, officers and agents, the "hunt" is for a predator, rather than food. If you're not in the military or law enforcement, you can still use the PAT to evaluate your functional movement capabilities, because all humans evolved to be successful hunters. Whether you like it or not, you are a hunter. Even though you may not feel like you have the skills and conditioning to fulfill that natural heritage, moving like a hunter extends the life of your body and brain for good reason.

The seven core movements in the PAT test you in a particular format, with an intentional rationale. Perform them in the manner offered for optimal results.

BUILD YOURSELF INTO A BETTER HUNTER

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Unfortunately, most programs are pushed down from ideas, rather than pulled up by needs. The greatest need that you will face is the ability to develop and hold good technique. Everyone talks about it. No other program designs in elements to make that a reality.

So, this is how an intelligent program is designed in order to guarantee results to a wide range of individuals:

  1. Physical Abilities Test : this is used to evaluate the essential aspects of performance in a particular job or lifestyle. This PAT shows the essential aspects of how to hunt a predator, for which you were evolutionarily designed.

  2. Once you have the PAT, then those core movements must be built, so for each of the PAT movements, there must be foundational exercises to rebuild and strengthen those movements. These will be both developmental (in that you need them to develop the full movements) and corrective (in that you need to "downshift" to restore a lost component of that movement before continuing with poor form).

  3. In addition to the foundational exercises, there must be a way to compensate for any imperfect adaptations which occur. Even if you have good technique in the performance of an exercise, there will be slight imperfections to which your body will adapt like any others. Compensatory exercises allow you to release the poor form while keeping the positive adaptation, so that you regain and strengthen the 7 core functional movements in the PAT.

  4. The density of the program protocols progress over the schedule. This progressive density approach takes the total time of recovery, and gradually compresses it so that quality of form is never compromised, and so that you use a minimum effective dose of effort.

When you use these four characteristics of intelligent program design, you will precisely acquire all of the positive adaptation and prevent and release the negative adaptation.

We are honored to help you better prepare yourself for a long, thriving life, through Downrange Density.

Who is Scott Sonnon?

Proclaimed by Men’s Health magazine as the creator of the World’s Smartest Workout, Coach Sonnon is the Flow Expert. He has been acknowledged by Men’s Fitness magazine as “one of the Top 24 Trainers in the World”. His methodologies are recognized by Men’s Health magazine as “guaranteed to build muscle and burn fat anywhere, anytime” and Men’s Journal claimed his work to be “Absolutely Essential!” He has been Ranked “#1 Best!” by Cleo Magazine and is regarded by Black Belt Magazine as “one of the 6 most influential instructors of this century”.

Scott Sonnon was forced into a life of seeking alternative exercise options due to early childhood joint disease and motor challenges. Institutionalized for his learning difficulties in a psychiatric hospital, teachers and doctors advised that he set low-bar realistic expectations on his potential. Through tremendous persistence he rose to become an adjunct professor of physical education at Penn State University, a US National Team Coach and a 5 time world martial arts champion.

Suffering a broken neck, back, leg and arm, he sought out non-surgical options to healing, and became the first Westerner to formally intern with the former Soviet Union science researchers.

Healing his own injuries, he then became renowned among firefighting, military and law enforcement, for ELIMINATING injuries from the government agencies who hired him to renovate the health and fitness programs at their academies.

His breakthrough programs help people transform their bodies from painful low performance to painless peak performance using his flow routines.

Through the very down-to-earth authenticity of his presentation, and the heart wrenching stories of triumph he shares from his youth have put him in great demand of nearly a half million miles of flying a year, his heart has always returned to his birthplace, working with families and helping men, women and children prevent pain and injuries and restore job functionality, physical vitality and expand quality of life in 65 countries!

Scott Sonnon is COO for RMAX International. He is an adjunct instructor for the US Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) and has acted as an SME for many agencies including: Israeli LOTAR Counter-Terror Academy, NYPD Academy, 3/160th SOAR, U.S. Marshals Academy, U.S. DHS Office of State and Local Law Enforcement, the US CBP Use of Force Center and several U.S. Military SOF Units. He provides his consulting to the U.S. Veterans Hospitals as a service

Scott Sonnon serves as the Tactical Fitness Ambassador for 5.11. Scott and 5.11 are co-developing new technologies in tactical fitness, biomechanics and stress physiology. He leads training each day at the DHS CBP Office of Air and Marine Bellingham Branch ‘Fight Cage’ and connects this daily resource to a host of carnivores online.

He’s been featured as a keynote speaker for TED Talks, Mensa, Arnold Classic (the world’s largest athletic event), and as a global master instructor for the Nike Training Center; and featured in Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Black Belt and other magazines.

TACFIT, in a fraction of the standard training time improved performance results beyond other tested methods; and consistently proved to completely prevent ALL training-related injuries despite that creating superior results. - An Elite Federal Law Enforcement Academy

SGT Iannos underwent the full Downrange Density program, significantly improved his fitness and mobility and, subsequently, placed 1st at the All Army Small Arms Championship, as the champion "Top Shot" in the competition.

SGT Iannos winning the All Army Small Arms Championship
SGT Iannos winning the
All Army Small Arms Championship
SGT Iannos awarded an M1 Garand by the U.S. Secretary of the Army for his Championship performance
SGT Iannos awarded an M1 Garand by the U.S. Secretary of the Army for his Championship performance

Daniel T. Markert
Lieutenant Colonel of Infantry
California Army National Guard

I have worked and trained with Scott Sonnon multiple times over the last seven years. In 2015 I was leading our state combat marksmanship team and we needed some assistance in defending our three back to back wins at the US Army Small Arms Championships. Some of our best team members were beginning to experience the ravages of our military occupation: over training training injuries, flare ups of wartime injuries, and the cumulative deleterious effects of the training, deployment, and lifestyle stresses inherent to the life of a citizen-soldier. Scott analyzed the mobility, tactical movements, and combat shooting drills of ten members of our team. He then rapidly developed this Downrange Density training program. We won overall individual champion shooter and the multi-gun action shooting .

This program is not for everyone, as Scott states up front. But this program will greatly benefit those who have taken a beating from life because they are hard chargers.

If you carry a gun for a living or compete with one, this is definitely for you.

It is also of great benefit to those who train people, as it will give you insight into programing mobility, compensation, strength, and conditioning for occupational needs.

Downrange Density is another tool in the toolbox for tactical fitness and I highly recommend it.


Nicholas Anderson

“As a devoted TACFIT athlete I have read and done almost ALL of Coach Sonnon's programs.

I have meticulously studied through all the manuals and other writing material I could get my hands on because of the information in them and how they have helped improve the quality of my life.  I can say that for me, Downrange Density is one of his best bodies of work: standing up to the level of TACFIT 26 and BAD45. 

The Density progression style of programming is truly a unique and genius approach to learning about how a body adapts and accurately systemizing how to track and adapt toward functional progress.  This program also seems to have a bit of everything TACFIT athletes love in other programs but a collection of which has never been shared together. From various use of tools like TACFIT 26, locomotion and complex motor patterns like Tactical Gymnastics, and strength movements like BAD45 and Powerformance Kettlebell Training.


Joey Hernandez
US Army, Special Operations Combat Medic

"As a medic, I was responsible for between 50 and 80 pilots, crewmembers, and maintainers, as well as the point of injury evacuation care for numerous customer ground forces. By far, the most common injury sets I encountered were musculoskeletal, either overuse injuries from the gym, or occupational injuries caused by posture, equipment, and vibration from years of flight. My final rotation with my last unit, I conservatively logged over 150 patent contacts for physical therapy type treatments in just over 65 days.

I’ve been using Coach Sonnon’s programing since 2005, starting with Intu-Flow. Since then, I’ve been privileged enough to follow, and eventually work alongside, Scott from the initial TACFIT Commando program through to the most recent modular plans. During my last SOF combat rotation, I was utilizing a program he’d sent me, simply dubbed Downrange Density. I wasn’t at the top of my game prior to heading out the door, as I’d let office hours and meetings dominate the majority of my working life. During the two 28 day cycles I managed to fit in, along with some more controlled nutrition intake, I experienced a very positive body comp shift and greater ease of movement then I’d had in the year prior. As a bonus, I was able to keep my workouts under an hour a day, and I was never sore when I need to fly a mission.

We can all let our health get away from us, at every level of experience and maturity. For me, Downrange Density represented the road back. By training at that minimum effective dose, my recovery times were excellent and I always had the energy I needed for whatever came next. Like every skill of value, effective efficiency is always going to have the advantage over trying to grind through, succeeding only at reinforcing the same dysfunctions that are holding you back. If you’re willing to leave your pride at the door and downshift when your body calls for it, the progress is astounding. "


Q&A

Downrange Density is a complete program designed to restore, enable and amplify functional fitness. It has been tested in the worst possible circumstances and proven to remain highly beneficial. It has been tested in the most rigorous competitive environments and again proven successful. And it has been tested on a wide range of fitness populations, and regardless of impairments and restrictions, it has been shown to deliver results. Choose Downrange Density if you would like proven fitness benefits regardless of your current circumstances.
Downrange Density is very beneficial to beginners because it offers a “downshift” of each exercise that allows you to receive fitness benefits even if you are re-starting your fitness lifestyle. Additionally, because of the unique customizable format of the protocol, the workout level can be tailored to meet your current fitness level, rather than hold you to unrealistic expectations.

Optimal for Downrange Density would be a non-abrasive rope of the length you can acquire (no more than 40 feet, though), and a sturdy backpack, duffle bag, or ruck sack that you can load (no more than 40 pounds / 20 kilograms, though). Substitutes to the exercises found in Downrange Density can use bodyweight, kettlebell, dumbbell or clubbell.

Increases the Ease of Everyday Life: slight, daily discomfort helps the body fight off illness and makes the body more resilient to sudden changes (through a scientific process called “hormesis”). This makes everything that you do easier. Step outside your comfort zone, and your zone of comfort expands. Greater Muscle Memory: The more “maps” that your brain has for functional movement, the more memory it has for keeping good form in all of the activities of your daily life. Functional movement makes everything you do safer, as well as easier.

Increases Flexibility and Coordination: Mobility has been misunderstood for many decades. Think of mobility as the combination of flexibility and coordination. You can move without pain in all of the ranges you need, and you can do so with accuracy and precision. Improves Balance and Posture: Functional movement increases the natural ease with which your body carries itself and other weight. That improved posture also allows you to have better balance, by the nature of improved whole body function.

Helps remove Joint Pain: Joint pain primarily comes from over-use, misuse and disuse of complete range of motion. By restoring balance and posture in usable ranges of motion, you prevent the pain from happening, and will even reduce and remove current pain through restructuring your body alignment and proper use. Reduces Your Risk of Injury: Injuries happen because of impaired and restricted ranges of motion. When you restore functional movement, you remove impairments and release restrictions. The body heals itself when it moves as it was designed. As a result, functional movement allows you to prevent and reduce injuries.

Downrange Density is designed to be “hard enough” - in medical terms, Downrange Density uses the minimum effective dose of exertion in order to achieve the adaptation you need for functional fitness. If a program is “too hard” there are downshifts and alternatives which will allow you to continue by finding the sufficient exertion level to achieve your results.
Some programs you can use in conjunction with Downrange Density. Instructions are given in the manual on how, where and what can be integrated.
Downrange Density includes programs which can last from 10 minutes to 60 minutes depending upon what you’re target level is for the day. You have the choice on how to select the proper program to meet your needs and demands.
Downrange Density package content


The above is a symbolic depiction of the product’s content. For illustration purposes only. The complete product’s content comes in a digital/downloadable format.

Follow-Along Mobility and Compensation Videos

Follow along with Coach Sonnon as he moves with you while cuing proper technique for all levels, and movement transitions through the prescribed sequences. These training videos provide an excellent training tool for your practice by both seeing and hearing from Coach Sonnon himself. Even as you internalize these sequences, these videos will always be a powerful reference tool to look back at to reinforce or clean up your technique.

Instructional Tutorial Videos

Coach Sonnon breaks down each technical aspect of every movement found in Downrange Density. Each exercise is covered and its technical nuances as well as what skills are being honed, and each exercise's anatomical benefit. All this instruction also covers each level of progression within an exercise to hold-fast its accessibility for all fitness levels. These include downshifts to access the technique and make corrections and up-shifts as the technique improves and add incremental challenge for positive adaption.

Programs for Variety and Customization to your Occupational and Lifestyle Tempo

Within Downrange Density are 10 different but parallel programs*. Each program can be customized and fitted to your individual needs contingent on your lifestyle tempo, vocational demands, and personal preferences. Having these varieties ensures that you will be able to program and plug in Downrange Density into your life in the most beneficial strategies to optimize the results of your physical practice. One of the key trademarks of the TACFIT system is its intelligent programming, and in Downrange Density, this holds especially true.

* Programs are included in Calendar Journals.

Calendar Journals

Each of the Calendar Journals correspond with the customized programing and provide a per-day mobility, workout, or compensatory protocol. All the leg work has been done for you. Every per-day protocol will have details of the work to be done, references, and workout protocol worksheets to write your reps, time, and heart rate for accurate data recording to tangibly quantify every step of your progress. Everything you need within your reach on a daily basis.

Field Manual

The Downrange Density field manual is your key tool for briefing yourself for all the aspects of this program. From the history of this programs development, to its key factors of execution, and the ins and outs of the unique density style workout programming of this curriculum; while also including a reference guide and written descriptions for ALL the movements and exercises used in Downrange Density. The field manual is also packed with educational information to ensure you are getting the most from your training practice physically and mentally. With this as your guide, the instructional and follow along videos, the programming options and corresponding calendar workout journals, Downrange Density prepares you for success on all levels of your training practice and self development.

Important Note:
please check the Q&A section above for the Downrange Density equipment recommendations.



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