SGPT interviews GORUCK finisher Christopher J Williams

Q1: I am from Santa Fe, NM and I train in my garage gym. I ran cross country in high school. When I started college I transitioned to powerlifting, and trained and competed for the next 25 years. The only cardiovascular work I did was hiking on the way to go rock climbing, and I preferred climbing in places that had short approaches to minimize the hike.

Q2: I found SGPT in a google search somehow and got on the mailing list. At some point I decided to participate in a SGPT challenge called Controlling The Chaos. It was 45 days of training I was not at all accustomed to, but I was determined to complete it. I bought a ruck from Goruck as recommended, and found to my surprise that I really enjoyed rucking. At the end of the challenge we were asked to set a goal and participate in some upcoming event. I chose to set a goal of participating in a Goruck event, not having any idea what that actually entailed. (I thought it was just going to be a long ruck).

Q3: I started with the SGPT Controlling The Chaos 45 day challenge, and took a week off and started the SGPT 365 program. I like the SGPT 365 program because it incorporates powerlifting at various points, and allows me to train at least periodically the way that I am accustomed to training, and there is rucking every week.

Q4: I workout in my garage which has 2 power racks, 2 pull down/low row machines, a leg press, powerblock dumbbells with 2 adjustable benches, a deadlift platform and an Olympic weightlifting platform with bumper plates and an abundant amount of iron plates as well. Then I bought some sandbags when I started the SGPT 365 program, and discovered I could do my training with considerably less equipment. I use the power racks, both the deadlift and Olympic weightlifting platforms, the sandbags and my ruck.

Q5: I started the SGPT Controlling The Chaos challenge on July 15, 2020, and am currently in Week 12 of SGPT 365. The results I noticed most were that I have almost no joint pain anymore, and my cardiovascular endurance has drastically improved. I completed the Goruck Basic event in Albuquerque, NM on January 23, 2021. I will say that the event was very difficult for me, but the other participants were very supportive and helped keep my mindset positive. Danielle Macy, who runs the Unhinged Rucking Club in Rio Rancho, NM was particularly helpful, and pushed me when I needed it.

Q6: my nutrition (outside of a gnarly departure around Christmas) has been very good, and I’ve eaten more vegetables and fruit than I normally would, and have chosen cleaner sources of meat (organic, free range where possible). I have also eliminated caffeine, refined sugar, dairy, and grains. All of which reduced joint inflammation and improved my endurance as a result.

Q7: my sleep has been alright, but could still be improved upon. I still have a tendency to stay up later than I should, which makes getting up early more difficult. When I do get adequate sleep and get up early, my training is always easier. The rest days that are built into SGPT 365 provide proper recovery, and are not when I would think to take rest days, so it has been helpful to have that dictated by the program.

Q8: Based on the Goruck event, all of the PT was done with rucks on, this was quite a shock to me, since I don’t wear it in my training. It might be good to encourage wearing a ruck during some of the workouts so it feels more normal during an event. I would also add that encouraging the purchase of a hip belt for your ruck would be a great recommendation, because getting hit in the back of the head with the ruck during mountain climbers or bear crawls isn’t as much fun as it sounds.

Q9: Thank you for the fantastic training protocols and for all the encouragement to keep improving!