Tactical Gymnastics, or TACGYM, is a moderate intensity bodyweight program of the TACFIT range developed by Scott Sonnon specifically for movement flow, energy efficiency and injury prevention among many things.
This unique blueprint is also beneficial for strengthening joints and tendons as well as for achieving regular fitness goals like stamina, flexibility, strength and agility.
Muscle building and fat loss are NOT the primary focus of this program, rather a by-pass product of the workouts, just like a fighter’s physique is not the primary goal of a fighter but merely the result of his combat conditioning.
This is sophisticated program even by TACFIT standards, with tons of materials including accurate video tutorials and bodyweight sequences different from the Tacfit Commando, Tacfit 26, Tacfit Warrior and Six Degree Flow programs.
However, this is also a moderate intensity program so much so that there isn’t a specific warm-up part and can be used as an addition to other plans as well, or standalone.
This review will analyze Tactical Gymnastics to find out how it works and whether it may be the right solution for you in the tactical game.
The Ideal Candidate For Tactical Gymnastics
This is a program ideal for those seeking a professionally made bodyweight conditioning plan good enough for elite forces but not as hard as full tactical blueprints.
The whole idea of TACGYM is to offer low to moderate intensity workouts that encompass many different training philosophies and fitness goals like improved agility, flexibility, joint suppleness, but especially movement fluency and efficiency.
The workouts focus on body coordination in a flow state and the ability to develop “graceful power” or bio-mechanical efficiency, that is the ability to express power with a fraction of your strength or greater power with your full strength.
The workouts take only 20 minutes to perform with different weekly schedule to choose from, but they are challenging enough to elicit good old fashioned fat loss and and moderate lean muscle as well.
However, the focus of the program is not on looks, but on performance and efficiency, the former being merely a bypass product of the workout regimen.
All in all, Tactical Gymnastics is a good choice for those who want an equipment-free, bodyweight program that can be done anywhere with a primary focus on coordination, agility and performance and secondarily on appearance.
The Program Structure
Tactical Gymnastics looks like a really well made and top-notch plan. There are a lot of materials to go through, being the result of Scott Sonnon’s 30 years experience in many different fitness disciplines like French Parkour, Russian Systema, Brazilian Gymnastica Natural, Chinese Bagua, Indian Vyayam, Indonesian Silat or Persian Zurkhaneh.
Scott Sonnon took ideas from these disciplines to create the routines in Tactical Gymnastics. He has actually tested them in person over the years and refined them for his own tactical ends to produce a safe and proven blueprint for everyone.
The bio-mechanical exercises are flow-like movements designed to increase coordination, balance and agility, being connected to each other in “kinetic chains”.
However, each exercise is broken down into easy starting movements that increase in difficulty later on, helping the learning process.
The whole point of these drills is to develop body and spacial awareness, as they involve a lot of ground impacts, rolls, transitions, absorbing and re-directing the energy through the next movements.
The result is greater strength for the same effort, stronger joints, greater flexibility and range of motion and improved agility.
There are 12 workouts in the program, divided into four levels of intensity, all with relative introduction videos and follow along videos, plus additional lower body stretching routines and flexibility routines for the upper body, all with extra follow along videos.
The videos are shot from different angles for a better perspective and are really well made, accurate and impossible to misunderstand. Each enter and exit position is demonstrated step by step all the way up to the last movement.
Tactical Gymnastics is a digital program, which means all these materials are delivered to your PC, tablet or smartphone through download links upon purchase and not to your door.
Delivery is immediate, take or leave internet connection speed fluctuations. This convenient format also saves a good deal of money on storage, inventory and shipping costs.
Advantages Of Tactical Gymnastics
Tactical Gymnastics routines can be performed anywhere, anytime, even though there are different schedules to choose from, depending on your level of fitness.
One of the best parts of the program is its total flexibility. This is achieved through a concept called Intuitive Training Protocol, which means essentially adjusting your workout intensity to what your body tells you to do.
There are also different weekly schedules to choose from, depending on your recovery ability and/or commitments, making it easy to slot the program into your life.
Another notable advantage is that while the program is heavy on materials, it is actually easy to follow thanks to the abundance of well made follow along videos, which means you can get started immediately without going through tons of materials first.
The workouts, while challenging enough to elicit progression in coordination and agility, reduction in body fat, and increase in lean muscle, are also moderate enough to be used in conjunction with other programs.
You do not need to dedicate all your time and energy to this program alone, but you can use it as an addition to your current workout regimen for a better all round conditioning.
Or, of course, you could use it standalone.
It is noteworthy that all the exercises in the program are new and not taken from other TACFIT plans. These are moderate intensity drills that can be performed by anyone right away, not just by tactical personnel.
Needless to say, Tactical Gymnastics is an equipment free program, meaning no extra costs in gym membership, commuting or home gear.
All you need is a little of floor space, your body and gravity, a legacy of general tactical principles which require special forces to be able to train and be action ready anywhere and anytime with minimal fuss.
Uniqueness Of The Program
Unlike the other programs of the TACFIT range or any other tactical protocol, Tactical Gymnastics is probably the most accessible in terms of toughness.
Despite its tactical pedigree, or maybe because of it, anyone can do the program regardless of his/her initial fitness levels, as the routines can be scaled down to your own current strength and flexibility levels.
This accessibility is the result of the deep know-how of the author, Scott Sonnon, acquired over decades in the field of tactical training and special forces performance.
The reason why these drills are not super tough like those of Tacfit Commando or Tacfit Warrior is precisely because the author wanted to render the acquisition of agility, coordination, flexibility and movement efficiency accessible to everyone, and not just to a few athletically advantaged individuals with a ton of training history.
So, if you are not in the special forces quite yet but want a doable approach to getting there or simply want to improve your motor coordination, Tactical Gymnastics is a good place to start.
The idea of a milder approach entry level to tactical fitness came to Scott Sonnon by observing first hand the “test and cull” approach used by some special forces in the selection of their recruits, whereas up to 85% do not make it because of its inherent brutality.
Tactical Gymnastics is not just for those 85% who did not make it to better prepare them for the task, but also for all the “civilian personnel” who do not know a thing of combat or defense but care very much about fitness and conditioning, regular guys or gals like us.
About The Author
Scott Sonnon is a highly regarded combat and self defense martial artist of global reach who specialized in training and conditioning for elite forces, tactical personnel, SWAT teams, body guards and anyone who makes a living in the defense and combat fields.
With decades of experience in all aspects of conditioning from different sources, he is now considered a benchmark to look up to when it comes to being fit and action ready 24/7.
A master of functional strength for military applications and real life situations, he also expanded his knowledge to civilian training with countless boot camps worldwide and a range of high quality training programs for everyone.
Among his formal accomplishments, he holds teh following:
- Master of Sport degree.
- Adjunct professor of physical education at Penn State University.
- US National Team Coach and 5 time world martial arts champion.
- Member of Mensa International.
- Inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame, the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame and the Personal Trainer Hall of Fame.
Tactical Gymnastics Components
TACGYM is a digital program made up of 6 parts, including PDF manuals and demonstration videos. Here is what you get:
TACGYM Manual – The theory and core of the program, 79 pages with 12 workouts in 4 intensity phases, described in text and pictures. The manual includes logs for recording your performance and response, heart rate, repetitions, level of difficulty and so on.
TACGYM Videos – These are 12 briefings about bio-mechanics, safety and breathing techniques.
TACGYM Follow Along Videos – 12 complete 20-minute follow along workouts that you can do right away from the start, no need to digest complicated theory, just plug and play.
Archimedes – Yoga For Lower Body Flexibility – This is a kit of 3 briefing videos on how to enter and exit each movement to prevent injury, plus three 6-minute follow along yoga stretch routine videos.
Body Rolling For Myofascial Release – A component consisting of two videos: one instructional video and a follow along video. This part teaches yoga postures and
body rolling technique to increase energy and extend range of motion.
Caduceus – Flexibility And Mobility For The Upper Body – Again, one instructional video containing 13 ancient martial art and conditioning drills, and a 5-minute follow along video that can also be used as a cool down.
The Bottom Line
Tactical Gymnastics is a moderate intensity body-flow workout blueprint ideal for those who want to increase mobility, coordination and range of motion while losing fat and gaining lean muscle at the same time.
It is a very flexible bodyweight program that can be adjusted to suit your fitness levels and life commitments and can be used either standalone or with another programs.
TACGYM offers the same quality standards of the tacfit range, featuring highly professional information and detailed follow along video tutorials that makes it easy to perform unfamiliar movements.
As in all of Sott Sonnon’s programs, the emphasis of Tactical Gymnastics is on performance and functional fitness rather than on physical looks, though these may come as a bypass product of the training regimen.
If you are looking to improve your mobility, stamina, balance and coordination but feel intimidated by the more hard core tactical protocols like Tacfit Warrior or Tacfit Commando, then Tactical Gymnastics provides an accessible entry point for your performance goals.