Candice Warner – SAS Who Dares Wins Australia


Training Overview By Kev Toonen

With Candice’s training for the show ‘SAS Who Dares Wins’ I took the same approach I did when involved with the Human Performance Cell within the Special Operations Command and, really the same approach when I deal with any athlete. I look at the goal, see what the demands of the sport/task is, then I test the individual and from there reverse engineer from task to the start to create a program.

With Candice we looked at her Strength, both lower and upper body and her aerobic energy system, once I had a solid idea of where she was we set about making her body bullet proof to complete the task. I worked heavily on her lower body strength (this added in her ability to carry heavy loads over long distances and varied terrain) as well as her upper body strength / strength endurance so she could tackle the physical training over long periods.

I was mostly concerned with injuries, and by that I mean I wanted to ensure her body was up to the physical strain the show would throw at her. Knowing the guys who facilitate the “abuse” I knew it would be extremely taxing and as close to a real selection course as they could get it. When I say injuries, I mean things like when you are tired and fatigued and you fall or take a bad step, someone with strong ligaments, tendons and relative strength (strength/size ratio) will be able to get back up and keep moving, someone who isn’t will have a course ending injury.

As well as the physical preparation I needed her to adapt to the volume and workload that she would undertake whilst on the show and that is as mental as it is physical. There were programmed sessions, weeks in the preparation where I wanted her fatigued, sore and exhausted. Athletes train and perform when they are at their best, the military need to perform at their best when they are at their worst, physically and mentally, you don’t get to have a bad day in combat.

I also got her doing what we in the Army call “pack marches” – carrying a heavy backpack over long distances, hilly terrain. That’s just how we used to get to our version of “work”, from there I wanted her to perform. So she used to pack march to the gym and then train for 60-90 mins, we did this few weeks just so she could “feel” what it’s like to be tired, sore and then have to go in for more work.

Now the best thing about Candice is she works hard, all the time and was/is the easiest person to program and train. The accolades for all this should be with her, I programmed it but she was attentive and gave her all each day for months, I guess that’s why she was a pro Ironwoman at 14 years old, and able to do all this training while being a mother of 3. Its hard to understand just how exhausting something like this is unless you have done it, I am very proud of her, its a huge accomplishment.

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