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Physical Fitness

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posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 04:34 PM
I hear a lot on ATS about BOBs, what type of weapons to use, hunting techniques, and the use of military FMs such as the Sniper's manual, and Field Survival. While having this knowledge is important, in my view, to survive in adverse conditions(i.e. no power, degradation of society and so forth), it is also important to be able to perform these tasks for hours and days at a time. Survival is about much more than any one aspect. But if you are not conditioned to deal with the physical stresses of such adverse survival conditions, the contents of your BOB and your stack of FMs will not help you.

Physical conditioning is incredibly important. Without the ability to physically endure hardship, your mental ability to cope with it will dwindle very quickly.

Many of you believe we are reaching a time where survival skills are becoming urgently important. Many of the people that I see in videos on YouTube promoting survival techniques and equipment seem to be out of shape middle aged men who NEVER talk about fitness. Even if you're not going to bug out to the middle of nowhere an emergency in your local area can demand that you put some muscle and stamina into dealing with it.

I'm not just going to tell you to "get out there and do sit-ups fatty", I wrote this thread with the intent of showing some of you less-in-shape folks out there how to get in better shape...But it isn't going to be pleasant.

1. Stamina-Running and Cardiovascular Fitness

There was a time when I couldn't run more than a couple of hundred feet without feeling like I was going to die. There is no easy way to get better at running. The only way you're going to get better at it is to push yourselves while running to go longer and longer. If you stop the second you start feeling your chest hurting and pain in your legs you will NOT get anything out of it. I have a solution that worked very well for me.

Find a quarter mile track in your area and follow these simple steps.


Sprint as hard as you can for 30 seconds and walk for 60 seconds. Pick an amount of laps to do that will amount to NO LESS than 45 minutes of training(That's including warm up-and cooldown stretching 30 mins of which should be actual running). Do this 3 days a week for two weeks. After you're done with your first two weeks sprint for 30 seconds and then JOG for 60 seconds for another two weeks.


After your first 4 weeks of running exercises 3 times a week(Mon, Wed, Fri) You will start to feel more comfortable with running. You will notice yourself having less and less difficulty in meeting the standard. Good for you. Now lets make it better. You must now run for 60 seconds, and jog for 2 minutes(or 120 secs). You will do this for 2 weeks before moving on to the next phase of your conditioning.

Distance Running

For the last 6 weeks you've been running around a quarter mile track using 30-60s and 60-120s. What you probably didn't realize is that your body has also been conditioning itself to go longer and longer distances. You've run several miles and didn't even realize it.

Go to your local quarter mile track and start running for distance. No, you don't have to sprint if you don't want to, speed isn't the goal here, stamina to keep going is. Pick a distance you are comfortable with and start running at your own pace. 2 miles around a 1/4 mile track is 8 laps. 12 for 3 miles and so on. Keep increasing your distance as running becomes easier and easier for you.


Believe it or not these programs do work. And if you want your cardiovascular endurance to increase I highly recommend them. I use Insanity on the week ends when I'm not running or doing muscle failure exercises. Speaking of which...

Muscle Conditioning

This is going to hurt. Period. But you will eventually feel better and be far more capable. And you don't need equipment or weights to do this.

Poker PT

Poker PT is a muscle failure exercise meant to condition your core, upper body, and arms.

It is very simple.

1-Get a deck of cards
2-Red cards are arms and upper body and black cards are core exercises

Diamonds are diamond push-ups, hearts are regular push ups, wide arms push ups and overhead claps(depending on your choice at the moment).

Clubs are regular unassisted situps. Spades are oblique situps, flutter kicks(in 4 count which means every 4 reps is a 1 count).

And that is Poker PT. And yes when you are done with all 52 cards you will have gotten one hell of a workout. Such muscle failure workouts should be done twice a week (tues, thurs).

Muscle Resistance Conditioning

The Plank. Not to be done for less than one minute at a time. There are a total of two planks. Side planks(or the side bridge), and forward planks. These exercises are meant to condition your core muscles to lift your weight for longer and longer periods of time. Your core is incredibly important as it is necessary to carry heavy loads for long distances, and lift heavy objects(like injured people).

Other resistance conditioning exercises include wall sits, where you place your back against the wall and lower yourself into a seated position and keep yourself there for a minute or longer.

On week ends you can always go to a gym and run a treadmill, do yoga, or lift weights. I recommend letting your body refresh by soaking in a hot tub, drinking lots of water(which you should do during exercise!), and generally allowing your body to restart for the coming week. Do NOT do anything you are not prepared to do. Injury can and will result if you don't start slow and work your way up.

Physical fitness is not an over night thing. There are NO pills that help you run longer or lift more. But, as well all know, survival is also not an overnight thing. There is no amount of gear in your BOBs that will save your ass when you need to run from a pack of criminals in a chaotic situation.

I hope that some of you have found this thread to be informative and helpful.
edit on 14-10-2012 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 04:58 PM
I really do need to get in shape and your thread provides quite useful information on how to get started. Thank you for your well constructed thread.

Do you think a flabby guy like me would be able to start P-90X cold or do you think that I should start with the cardio and other exercises to build up my ability first?
edit on 14-10-2012 by Mkoll because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 05:01 PM
Excellent points!

Fitness and good health is very important. I have been an athlete all my life and at the same time struggled with my weight. I trained in various systems or programs over many years and still train with an MMA team. I believe things need to be tailored to the individual. I lean toward the philosophy of exercise found in the Primal Blue Print at

You don't have to train like a decathlete champion to get in shape. In fact that can be harmful to you. Mark Sisson was a champion marathon runner and realized how that harmed him over time so came up with the Primal Blue Print.

Do what we were designed for which is what our hunter gatherer ancestors did. That was lots of walking short burst of speeds while hunting or hiding and lifting heavy things and climbing. Of course they ate a better diet for leanness and that is not that hard to do. Base your exercises around those 4 things and mimic the primal diet and you will loose weight and get in as good a shape as ever.

You don't heave to spend hours daily at it either. You can take walk or park your car at the end of the parking lot and walk a little to get in the store or office... do push ups while watching TV etc. I like to use kettle bells for weight training plus some cardio. There is four basic exercises with kettle bells that will work the entire body in 15 - 20 minutes. but body weight excercises work too and I use them also at times. Sprints of course those will really get you in shape for cardio and wind..

That's my 3 cents
edit on 14-10-2012 by hawkiye because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 05:03 PM
reply to post by Mkoll

P90X and programs like it are intense. Do NOT start with a program run by a guy whose muscles are visible from space. You'll fall out of it quickly.

Motivation is key to being fit. If all you feel is pain and no results you won't be motivated for long. The techniques I promote are simple and good for beginners to get started, get better and maintain. I recommend starting small and working your way up. Then if you feel like these techniques aren't cutting it anymore move on to harder stuff like P90X and Insanity.

Another recommendation I would make do it with a friend. You can motivate each other and keep progress logged. You can count reps for each other keep time when you're doing running drills like 30-60s and so on.

posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 05:08 PM
Personal Disclosure:

I train like a soldier. Because I am a soldier. I am in very good shape and have a decent enough PT score to qualify me for some high speed stuff. I used these methods, some straight out of the Army PRT Manual TC 3-22.20, and some of it is stuff that my fellow soldiers and I came up with to challenge ourselves.

Like I said in my post. I wasn't always in good shape. But everything I put down on keys in this post are what got me to where I am today. And it's been 10 months since my initial entry to Basic Combat Training.

posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 05:12 PM
Excellent thread. It's interesting to notice the vast differences in average fitness levels between the lower and high socioeconomic classes. Even more interesting is the perceived social status that comes from being fit in and of itself.

I would suggest people who wish to really get fit to find a protocol, decimate your previous metrics, and throw it out the window. Integrate what seems best for YOU specifically, then move onto whatever newest fad is going on for a week or two. By constantly switching up the variables, you provide the best kinds of stresses to the widest range of muscles, joints, and energy systems.

I was doing CrossFit earlier in the year, and decided to go solo. Now I'm doing a little bit of everything. Knees aren't in ideal shape, so I try to stick mostly to lower impact activities if it's more than a few mintues. That means rowing, swimming, & elliptical for cardio. As for strength training I have an olympic bar, and rubber bumpers to practice lifts with, sticking mostly to deadlifts, squats, and push presses for the time being. Metabolic conditioning sees activities like double under jump rope, burpees, & wall balls. The basics like pullup variations, pushup variations, and situp variations are essential.

Switch up the intensity level, and the types you incorporate for each workout. Switch the overall time you workout vs sustained intensity as well. Try to push yourself really freaking hard about once a week, and leave the rest of your workouts to a high, or moderate stress load. Don't try to add too much volume in work from week to week. Just keep with the gains and all is well. Another often overlooked aspect is to give yourself one week in three-six for detraining. This is where you stay physically active, but at a lower intensity, volume, and power level in order to keep from over-training in the long run and keep with the gains.

After you start to reach your genetic max in potential, you'll see less gains in a given period of time. All good! It means you've done well
Try an extended detraining period to see if you simply need more rest to best recover. If that's not the issue, just realize you've made it near the top, and should feel great about your accomplishments.

Don't follow any one protocol. What I've learned is everyone requires different kinds of diets, rest periods, intensity levels, etc...just keep failing until you succeed!

S + F

to add:

I'd like to also mention fasting as a way to train/stress your body into being ready for a day in which we may have to bare with semi-starvation. It seems intermittent fasting works wonders for many individuals. Some even claim it changes genetic transcription rates of key markers which influence metabolic processes related to diseases like cardiovascular, diabetes, or Alzheimer's. I just started the one in three fasting, where you take a day off from eating once every third day. No problems with it so far. Just have to make sure to drink lots of tea to curb the hunger pangs, and keep me going.
edit on 14-10-2012 by moniesisfun because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 05:16 PM
reply to post by moniesisfun

I hate burpees.

Hate them.

Hate them.

Also, did I mention I hate burpees?

I prefer 8 count push ups. Because at least those don't make me puke after 20.

posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 05:19 PM
reply to post by projectvxn

I hate (love) them, too

Have got to the point that I can do five rounds of twelve in about eight minutes. Twelve as fast as I can and a minute break.

Hoping to break into the 100+ territory within the next 6 months. You know you're super fit when you can drop and give 100 burpees without resting for longer than a minute.
edit on 14-10-2012 by moniesisfun because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 05:23 PM
reply to post by moniesisfun

I do push ups with my IOTV(Improved Outer Tactical Vest) on with plates. After about 200 push ups my arms feel like jell-o and I can't lift a cup of coffee. But the next day I can knock out 60 or 70 push ups in about a minute and thirty seconds.

But I have PT tests to pass every 6 months.

posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 05:27 PM
reply to post by projectvxn

You really don't need to be more fit than that in the pecs/tri's. I'm interested in getting a vest some time in the future. Right now I simply put a 25lb bumper on my back for pushups, or place some books in my backpack and flip it around the front for pullups.

I take it you train with pullup variations for the PT as well? I'm really slacking on those lately. Was up to a dozen or so before I took a break in April. Just started back up a few weeks ago, and am doing freakin 6 at a time. Was hoping to be over 20 before the end of the year, but don't think that will happen until sometime next spring at the earliest..

Here is a link to the vest Pvxn mentions for anyone who is interested to know:

edit on 14-10-2012 by moniesisfun because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 05:35 PM
reply to post by moniesisfun

I'm not a big fan of pull ups. I don't do them often to be honest but they are a hell of a strength building exercise. I prefer suspended dips. Those help out a lot.

posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 05:42 PM
reply to post by projectvxn

I had a flashback

Good to see you doing well, and thanks my friend for your service..

I agree wholeheartedly on the Phys Fitness deal, however can see the benefit of just getting out and walking, hiking, hiking with load, increase over time.. more the "get your body accustomed to terrain travel with a burden..

Good thread.. it's an oft forgotten aspect of preparing for a survival situation..

posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 05:58 PM
reply to post by moniesisfun

Now I'm doing a little bit of everything. Knees aren't in ideal shape, so I try to stick mostly to lower impact activities if it's more than a few mintues.

Tip for the knee problems:

I have trained martial arts for over 30 years thought my knees were shot. When I started doing MMA with the team I work out with I thought I was going to have to quit because of my knees, I kept having to go to the Chiropractor to get the cartilage popped back in. So I tried some of those neoprene knee braces and they worked fantastic! I actually use the wrestling knee pads for MMA.

I was skeptical of using them as I did not understand the concept. Apparently having them on the muscles down there tenses them up just from the contact thus holding the knee joints in place better. One of the guys is a wrestler and he just uses sports tape there same concept. I since have had very little problems with my knees. I use them when I am running etc. too and never have a problem.

edit on 14-10-2012 by hawkiye because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 07:53 PM

Originally posted by projectvxn
reply to post by Mkoll

Do NOT start with a program run by a guy whose muscles are visible from space. You'll fall out of it quickly.

Noted. My brother, who is as out of shape as me and also wants to fix it, is coming back from custom harvesting soon. We'll probably start out in the manner you recommend.

I'd like to say again that this is a great thread
edit on 14-10-2012 by Mkoll because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 08:49 PM

Ny next goal is to get at this level of strengh

posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 09:22 PM
reply to post by ElOmen

Quite simply, that guy is elite.

Unless you are a genetic freak, it's unlikely you'll ever reach that potential.

By all means, try with all your might, though.

posted on Oct, 16 2012 @ 08:08 PM
My lack of physical fitness is a real issue and I've been working on it. I want to make another suggestion for those in transition.

Spartan, GORUCK, Hero, Tough Mudder, etc. "obstacle" races are a GREAT measuring stick that also throws in extra mental tests, sometimes problem solving, an easy-going environment. You'll meet people that are like-minded, make friends, and can learn a lot about teamwork too. Great environments in most cases emergency response and military response.

And good luck, -Mags

posted on Oct, 19 2012 @ 03:42 PM
S&F, thank you. I need to throw on some muscle. I've been doing a bit of yoga for 5 years or so, I am gad I do that at least, I have gotten damn scrawny. It would suck to be weak and not flexible.
I will vouch for yoga, there are some poses in there that can make you damn sore, but after an hour session or so, you feel amazing. It would be great for a cooldown day or maybe post workout.
Also, if you are going to do pullups, add some things to it. Hang at the top between each one for some uncomfortable amount of time. Another, once you are at the top, bring your knees up, then move them, while trying not to swing around, from left and then right. Work your mid while hanging?
edit on 19-10-2012 by smashdem because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 19 2012 @ 03:52 PM
reply to post by Insurrection

Those are also great motivators. Its easy to skip a workout if you're not feeling up to it, but if you know you paid $60 for a race that is coming up, and your prep time is dwindling away, then it is much harder to justify skipping that workout!

Even if you just sing up for a Turkey Trot, or a 5k every couple of months, it is a great way to keep yourself focused on staying in shape!

Great thread Vxn.

posted on Oct, 19 2012 @ 04:37 PM
reply to post by ElOmen

It’s definitely possible. It will take years, just be sure to get your mind right. Also, don’t neglect your legs! Too many people make that mistake and only train the ‘show’ muscles, which unfortunately this guy has done in spades.

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