What is TSAC?
By Nick Barringer MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS (EIEIO)
The Tactical Strength and Conditioning (TSAC) special interest group is one of the largest special interest groups in the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). TSAC provides cutting edge training and nutrition information to those who work in the military, law enforcement, and fire/ first responder fields. I recently had the privilege of speaking with the TSAC program manager, Tyler Christiansen, about himself, the TSAC program, and what makes this program special.
Tyler is an Army veteran who has worked with tactical athletes in the Special Operations Forces (SOF) community, including the 7th Special Forces Group, a Special Missions Unit in the greater DC area, as the TSAC Coordinator at the NSCA, as an Exercise Physiologist at the Army Physical Fitness Research Institute, and as a contractor in Baghdad, Iraq. Additionally, Tyler has worked with sport athletes at Iowa State University, Illinois State University, and the Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball (MLB) organization.
What sets TSAC apart?
TSAC is taking the best practices in strength and conditioning from professional sport and modeling/ manipulating them to best fit in the tactical environment. Essentially we have two populations, we have coaches who want to work with the tactical athletes and then we have the actual tactical athletes who want to learn to be the subject matter expert in their respective unit. Our goal is to train both of these groups up so they can provide the best information and training to their respective communities.
What is one of the most rewarding things about working with TSAC?
What I find most rewarding and what drives me in my work is that these guys put their lives on the line for their community. They stand on that proverbial wall to stand watch and they don’t always make it back home. Every day can truly be life or death so the faster they move, the better they move, and the stronger they are, not only for that particular mission but through-out their careers, can be the game changer.
Is there anything new coming down the TSAC pipeline?
We are developing a TSAC education program with levels 1 through 3. Level 1 is all hands-on and teaches basic strength and conditioning everything from the workout warm-up to the recovery. It discusses basic movement pattern and “why” behind each movement. Level 2 we dig a little deeper and we talk about how to utilize different periodization models in this community, we will talk about additional components like mental toughness and nutrition. Level 3 is where we take the most cutting edge research and teach how to incorporate it into your training program.
A video of the TSAC program’s history can be viewed here.
TSAC Annual Training
One of the other educational arms of the TSAC program is the annual training. This year the TSAC annual training is April 6-9 in Orlando, Florida. The annual training is a mix of hands-on training and lectures from some of the top experts in the strength and conditioning field. The speakers presenting include Dan John, Loren Landow, Joel Jamieson, Eric Cressey, and Dr. William Kraemer to name just a few. If any of the RU readers want to attend the training it is not too late to register and Tyler was kind enough to provide RU with a $50 discount code for the registration: TDSWD15C50
If you are interested in attending you can register here.
I will be there so to the couple of folks who read my articles that may attend, please come by and say, “Hello.” For those who cannot attend, please post any strength and conditioning/ nutrition questions you may have (in general or for a specific speaker) in the comments and I will try to get them answered and publish them for part II of this article.