SGPT Interview with GORUCK Tough Finisher Jay Jairdullo

Check out this interview with Jay as he talks about how he trained to get ready for the GORUCK Tough event.

SGPT: Tell us about yourself?

JJ: 40 years old, married with 5 children.

I am a Police Officer and owner of Primeval Strength and Conditioning/CrossFit Primeval

SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?

JJ: Yes! Played just about every sport growing up.

Organized and good old fashion pick up games in the backyard, street, playground, etc.

Also, enjoyed bike riding and skateboarding.

I played football/wrestled in high school and played defensive end for the West Chester University of PA Golden Rams football team.

SGPT: How did you train for the GORUCK event?

JJ: I didn’t change my training specifically for the GORUCK. I’ve been training since I was 13/14 years old.

New York City GORUCK Challenge


JT: My training styles/methods over the years have changed but I’ve always tried to be consistent. My current training consists of a minimum of 3-4 days per week and includes a warm-up (usually a run anywhere from 400m to 1 mile and some bodyweight movements), a strength movement (Deadlift, Squat, Press or Bench Press) and then some type of conditioning (typically a CrossFit style workout). Here is this mornings workout which is a typical training session:

Warm up:
1 mile run
5 rounds of:
10 Bulgarian Split Squats (each leg)
10 Push Ups
5 Pull Ups

Bench Press
3 x 5 @ 230lbs

2500m Row 8’92

SGPT: Tell us a little about the event?

JJ: The event was the NYC 9/11 Memorial GORUCK Challenge. Over 300 people were registered so they split the group into 4 different starting points. I was in Group A and our start point was the Bronx. Group A was split again into 3 teams and I was on Team Alpha (22 team members). All 3 teams completed the Welcome Party (basically a 3hr PT session) together and then split up ultimately meeting up again at the World Trade Center Memorial. We started at 9pm on Friday (9/12) and arrived at the WTC Memorial on Saturday (9/13) at 10am.

We rucked approximately 14 miles (as the crow flies) and were tasked to carry several items including a 500lb sandbag and a team weight of a sledge hammer and halligan tool in honor of the 343 firefighters who sacrificed there lives on 9/11. We would be given a certain time to make a destination and if we didn’t make our time hack we would PT (usually flutter kicks while holding our rucks over our heads). Our Cadre’s name was SurfHog and as you can imagine by his name he was fond of telling us how comfortable he was in the water and made sure we got to experience the Hudson River a couple of times.

SGPT: What was hardest part of the event?

JJ: The event was both physically and mentally challenging but the hardest part for me was they had us log rolling during the Welcome Party. It was several hours after the Welcome Party was over before I stopped feeling

SGPT: What is one thing you wish you would have done to get ready for GORUCK?

JJ: Log rolls…lol. In all seriousness, I would recommend actually rucking and getting used to carrying a backpack with approximately 35-40lbs on your back for 12-15hrs. The ruck can never touch the ground so you need to become comfortable with the ruck. I didn’t do this and should have.

SGPT: Any tips for up and coming athletes that want to do the GORUCK?

JJ: Train. Incorporate some strength training and conditioning in your training but most importantly train as you are going to “play”. As I said above get used to rucking and do some PT while wearing your ruck. Test all your gear out before the event.

Nothing is worse then getting to the event and realizing your hydration system doesn’t work or the boots you chose don’t drain well (you will get wet). If you are new to rucking I would recommend starting with only a brick or two and work your way up to the full weight.

Challenge yourself mentally too. Complete a difficult workout such as “Murph” (1 mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, 1 mile run for time) once in awhile. The event will be just as taxing (if not more) mentally then it will be physically.

If you are not sure what to do get a coach. Subscribe to SealgrinderPT and check out the workout programs.

SGPT: What boots did you wear?

JJ: I wore the Inov-8 Roclite 286 GTX Boots. They are a lightweight, waterproof trail running shoe. I wore these for the first GORUCK I did in April and they served me well at both events.

I contemplated wearing the Under Armour Valsetz but wasn’t sure how’d they drain and didn’t test them before the event so I went with what I knew would work.

SGPT: Did you use Bodyglide anti-chafe balm, compression shorts or double socks?

JJ: I didn’t use any of those but would highly recommend compression shorts and body glide. They are on my list for my next event. Luckily for me a team member had some Vasoline at this event because chaffing is definitely an issue.

SGPT: Which backpack did you use?

JJ: For this event I used the GORUCK GR1. For the event in April I used the 5.11 Tactical Rush 12 Backpack. Both packs served me well and I would be comfortable recommending either.

SGPT: Many thanks for the interview Jay!

JJ: Thank you Brad! And I look forward to completing a 20X Challenge in 2015!

About the Author:

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