Fitness Preparations

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by cowpuncher, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. cowpuncher

    cowpuncher Active Member

    I thought I'd throw some thoughts out there for comment and thought...

    1) Are you working out? In the gym or at home? What are you doing?

    2) If you don't workout, what do you do to stay in shape?

    3) How will that help/hinder you in a SHTF situation?

    I've got some concepts I'll throw out there, but I'll wait a day. I'd like to see what others have to say first.
  2. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    I lift weights. Lite amounts in constant repetition. I think it will help because over all health will contribute to a better moral, and I can lift heavy stuff so that's nice.
    I think that enforcing an exercise routine in survival situations is probably one of the more beneficial things you can do.

  3. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

    I've discussed in detail in some previous posts my fitness crusade. In short, I was 275lbs last February and now I'm ~180 due to good eating and lots of running on an elyptical trainer. This year was weight loss and now in 2010 I'm going to try to start doing more to increase muscle tone/mass, like weights and pushups and situps. I've done a health 180 and plan on staying healthy.
  4. LVmutineer

    LVmutineer Guest

    This one hit home. I used to do 30-min on the treadmill set to maximum incline with a 30
    # pack, as fast as I could walk. Started smoking again, gained 20#s. Now I'm on the patch again and walking the dogs ofr 30 minutes but I don't break a sweat. I can't run I have flat feet and get horrible shin splints. This gives me an idea though, think I'll put a pack on when I walk the dogs.

    When I'm tempted toward ciggetetts or icecream I try to recite this in my head "#1 most important survival tool, my brain-feed it right. #2 most important survival tool, my body, condition it well." -it helps.
  5. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    For 28 years I've climbed trees for a living. This has been a fairly rigorous workout on a daily basis. When I'm not in the trees, there is always something to do around here. Fixing fences, processing firewood, caring for animals, gardening. As long as there is daylight, we are working in one way or another.
    I spent this past weekend rebuilding the chicken run because the horses decided that the bales of hay I had stacked around the coop for insulation would be better served in their bellies. It was only made of "T" posts and chicken wire so I rebuilt it with 4" wooden posts sunk 3' in the ground and chainlink.
    As a smoker, I'll never be able to run a marathon, but I can work at a steady pace all day long. I used to have employees half my age that couldn't keep up with me on the job. The physical conditioning will be a great advantage when TSHTF. As long as we aren't overrun by zombies we should be able to keep this place going with a lot of hard work and without all the modern amenities.
  6. Todays Survival Show

    Todays Survival Show Survival and Handgun Podcaster

    For me, fitness has been more about what I eat and the combination of foods I eat. I work out during my lunch hour. It's only a 25 minute workout but I do it 4 days a week. I lift very light weights. I signed up for a personal trainer a year ago and he showed me how to get the most out of very light weights, high repetitions. But again, food combinations are more important in my humble opinion. For example, being careful not to mix starches with meat and not mixing fruits with protein, etc.

    Also, I've found that eating 5-6 times per day. 3 large meals and 3 very low calorie snacks in between.

    I dropped 37 lbs in 18 months. Slowly and safely. No special pills or potions, etc.
  7. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    Wow that's cool. I couldn't eat that many times a day though. I think I would feel like it was my primary purpose. I usually eat two time a day and it keeps me going. Well that and the ridiculous amount of coffee!
  8. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    I'm a yoga person, myself ... :D I try (?!?) to do no less than 15 minute per day. (and to be honest some of it is not that easy :D) Also I walk most evenings... other than when hunting season is in.;) ... so I will start walking again in Jan.

    That with 'all the animal care' and 'garden' is a work out! :D
  9. cowpuncher

    cowpuncher Active Member


    Before I start sharing my thoughts, I figure I should answer my own questions, in the interest of full disclosure.

    1) Yes, I work out. I teach MMA/Combatives at a gym, so I work out there. I have a complete training facility at home too however, for which I paid less than $300 total. I lift weights, run sprints and distance, and teach/practice Brazilian Jiujitsu, Judo, and boxing for two hours, five nights a week. That much exercise isn't appropriate for everyone and I wouldn't do the martial arts that often if I wasn't responsible for teaching the classes.

    I am 33 years old, have numerous previous injuries, including a broken hip, broken back, ruined knee, and crushed face (surgically recontructed following a horse accident.). I weight 205-210 pounds with approximately 12% bodyfat. I bench press 305 pounds for repetitions, squat over 450 pounds for repetitions, deadlift 500 pounds for a dozen repetitions, and can power clean 225 pounds for ten-plus reps. I run a 7:30 mile (far slower than my previous 6:00 minute mile average). This is not because I'm a bad-*** but because I believe that fitness is CRITICAL to survival in the event of disasters or TEOTWAWKI.

    Because I have jobs, hobbies, animals, and guns, I am going to post these in multiple parts. Today's is part one.

    It’s generally accepted in society today that fitness is a good thing. Strong muscles (not necessarily large muscles) are good. Being able to do whatever physical activity you need to do without running out of breath is good. Eating healthy foods so your cholesterol and blood sugar and blood pressure and lipid levels remain in the healthy ranges is good. Fitness is good.

    Scientists, teachers, and the general public look at fitness training in one of two ways. Some people look at it and say that, “If I can do the chores I need to do, I don’t need to exercise!” The other party says, “I go to the gym and lift weights and run on the treadmill, so I’m in shape!” Neither is inherently wrong, but neither is completely correct either. From the standpoint of preparedness, whether for natural or man-made disasters or TEOTWAWKI, neither is even particularly close to complete.

    I am a former Army special operations soldier. My views on fitness for survival are based on those experiences. There is something to be said for basing your disaster preparedness fitness program on the programs used by guys who jump out of airplanes and hike up and down steep, high mountains, or crawl through swamps and jungles, with loads that may equal or even exceed their natural bodyweight. This is especially true when you consider that AFTER that, they still have to be able to fight a battle!

    As a young Ranger, I was expected to be able to perform a minimum of 62 push-ups in two minutes or less. In reality, I was expected to perform at least 82 push-ups in that time frame. Both I and most of my peers at that time exceeded 100 push-ups in the two minute time frame.

    I was expected to perform 72-92 sit-ups in the same time frame, and then run two miles in 13 to 14 minutes. Following the run, the Ranger PT test standards at the time required the completion of at least 7 chin-ups. That’s a decent baseline for anyone to aim for in fitness.

    The reality however, is that the missions we were tasked with, even ten years ago, demanded physical conditioning far in excess of those standards. The demands of survival post-SHTF also demand more than that. In the past several years, the 75th Ranger Regiment has modified their approach to fitness. Too many “survivalists” have not. Too many are stuck in the rut of “what worked for my grandpa will work for me.” While that’s admirable and applicable with many technologies, in this case it’s not.

    The Fitness Factors

    In relation to preparedness, there are a couple of factors that apply to fitness training. These include relative and absolute strength, power, muscular endurance and cardiovascular health. We will look briefly at each of these.

    Relative and Absolute strength:

    Relative strength refers to the ability of an individual to move their own bodyweight through space. Gymnasts and yoga practitioners tend to have high relative strength levels. The traditional Army PT test referred to above measures relative strength (and muscular endurance and cardiovascular health, of course).

    Having high levels of relative strength is useful in a survival situation, whether your situation involves working around the homestead, bugging out to a safer location, or just staying healthy. That having been said, relative strength is not as important as absolute strength.

    Absolute strength refers to your ability to exert adequate force to move a given amount of weight in space. If you are a 185 pound man who can perform 100 push-ups in two minutes, but refuse to lift weights, you’re not going to be as useful in a survival situation as a man that can only do 80 push-ups but can bench press 300 pounds. Why not?

    The truck you have to push out of the ditch doesn’t care how many push-ups you can do. It only cares if you’ve got the absolute strength to move it.

    Carrying your BOB, LBE, and weapons, PLUS whatever other gear you have to carry while “bugging out” noone caresif you can do 200 sit-ups. It just cares if you have the absolute strength to carry twice your body weight. As a soldier, I regularly carried a total weight of 200 pounds on missions. I carried a rucksack that weighed 90-110 pounds. I had a 15-20 pounds weapon (M249 SAW with accessories). I had 45-50 pounds of LBE and a 45 pound armor vest; I had a 7 pounds helmet to wear occasionally too. On top of all that, I had to carry enough water to last. I regularly carried two one-quart canteens, two two-quart canteens, and a 100 oz camelback. That’s around two-three gallons. With water weighing 8 pounds per gallon, that’s an additional twenty pounds. That’s a total of over 220 pounds that I had to carry for miles. It didn’t matter how good my push-up and sit-up score was. All that mattered was if I had the strength to carry all that crap. I did, because I lifted heavy weights daily. I still do and I can still carry that weight.

    If you are genuinely going to prepare for TSHTF, you need to lift weights-heavy weights. A good measure of what kind of weight you need to lift is described by Stuart McRoberts in his book “BRAWN.” He believes you should be able to squat with two times your bodyweight, deadlift 2.5 times your bodyweight and bench press 1.5 times your bodyweight. Those are pretty good measures, but they don’t refer to absolute strength. A better absolute measure was developed by a friend of mine who is a former Navy SEAL. Based on McRoberts’ work, my friend decided that his group needed to be able to squat 400 lbs, deadlift 500 lbs, bench press 300 pounds, and perform 20 dead-hang pull-ups. THOSE are standards you should shoot for. They are achievable by any healthy adult male, 16-60. Is it easy? Yes, actually it is. You can achieve those weights in less than a year of exercise, working out only three times a week!

    You do not have to be an Army Ranger or Special Forces soldier. You don’t have to be a Navy SEAL. You don’t have to be a “natural” athlete. Any healthy adult male can achieve those numbers in that time frame. Most healthy adult females can achieve at least half those numbers in the same time frame.
  10. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    My excercise level was at a very high level, but, it has dropped due to some crazy problems.

    I used to run a small metal shop where we didn't really have equipment to move the steel, so, my body was the equipment. It was not unheard of for me to pickup a piece of 4' x 4' x 3/4" plate steel (approx 500lbs) and move it across the shop to the cutting table, put it up on the table and get it ready to cut. It wasn't unheard of for me to pickup the hot steel bare-handed and carry it to the prep-table for polishing / packaging and getting it ready for shipping.

    In the winter time, I would strap on my X-country skis and work them for 6hrs at a time, and, if I tracked my travels via GPS odometer, I have seen 200km of travel in a week (or two) depending on circumstances.

    I have been known to ride my bicycle over 1400 miles in a couple weeks and have full gear strapped to it (food, clothing, shelter, etc).

    A couple years ago I was infected real bad with the WestNile virus. I went from ~200lbs of rock solid muscle and capable of walking with a 150lb pack on my back for 8hrs to ~160lbs of zombie-flesh. I could not eat for 3 weeks straight, could barely drink, could not stand-up for a full week (if I had to move anywhere, I crawled). It took me a 1 1/2 years to start to gain my energy level again (where I wasn't panting just trying to get off the bed) and I am no where near my pre-WestNile days - yet. I keep trying to build up my stamina, but, I hit a wall of energy and drop right there. I keep pushing that wall further and further - am not where I want to be again - yet.

    We are in the middle of a huge blizzard right now - tomorrow if the winds die enough, I am strapping my snow-shoes on and going for a hike. :2thumb:
  11. Boris

    Boris Active Member

    my thoughts...

    i was working out 5 days a week lifting weights, swimming, combatives. i have been sick for a week and a half and dr says i will be out of action for at least another week and a half. i just found out that the gym is moving and so no pool. may have to go to bodyweight work. did that in the service so i know it works. i have several police and military bodyweight routines in my computer library. there are many options. find one that works for ya and get after it. being in the best condition you can is as much as part of preparedness as is BOB or weaponry or food storage.
  12. Turtle

    Turtle Well-Known Member

    Agreed . . . personal health and fitness is often neglected.

    One thing that I would add . . . Make your work-outs relevant to what you are training for.

    I train with swords and axes 3-4 times a week and train with weights and a punching bag 2-3 times a week. I had a sword instructor demonstrate one time, years ago, that he could rotate his arm, bent at the elbow, further towards his back than I could, and the reason he could was that he had trained and stretched this muscles over the years in ways that are particular to swordplay. Likewise, I have overpowered my brother-in-law, who is an inch taller than me, 20 years old to my 30, weighs twenty pounds more than me, plays varsity rugby and icehockey for Catholic University, and can lift a LOT more weight than I can. I overpowered him while training with sword and shield, because he has not developed the same specific muscles that I have.

    So, keep that in mind; he can bench a whole lot more than me, but because I've trained the right combination of muscles, I can beat him.

    In addition, I've seen guys who can bench a lot, have trouble pulling my 75# longbow. All depends upon which muscles you are working out, and why.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  13. Todays Survival Show

    Todays Survival Show Survival and Handgun Podcaster

    Also started back up in martial arts recently. Fun! I missed it, Krav Maga again, this time. An old guy like me has a hard time keeping up with some of those men and women in there.
  14. Lake Windsong

    Lake Windsong Well-Known Member

    Along with traditional workouts, we use yoga. Workout the mind, body, and soul. It helps with stress management, balance, flexibility, etc.
  15. Bua nó Bás

    Bua nó Bás Member

    This is a major priority area for me. I have been working out in a Gym for the past year trying to lose weight and improve my fitness and was 264 lbs when I started out, I lost a good bit during the year, but in recent months have reversed that trend and gained some pounds.

    After Christmas I intend to make a serious effort at losing these unnecessary pounds, by setting weekly targets and working to achieve them every week.
  16. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

    It's hard during the holidays. I've been floating within 3 lbs either way of 180 for a while now. Just haven't had time for the elyptical. I've been doing a couple pushups here and there and after the holiday intend on cobbling together some used weights, a little at a time. For me, being able to move better, breath easier, sleep better, and yes, even look better, is inspiration enough to watch what goes in my mouth, though I will sneak in some bad stuff now and then. I've always been heavy, but right now I weigh what I did when I graduated from high school in '94. DW is down 50 lbs and doing this thing together was a huge help to us both.
  17. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    Keep up the good work! :congrat:
  18. gamom

    gamom Active Member

    As a former Marine I believe fitness to be of utmost importance. I workout with my two teenage girls (regimen to follow) ... my husband works out with the three oldest boys and they do their own thing as well for their particular sports and whatnots. The three youngest are also actively involved in sports and are on the go all the time. Everyone but the two teen girls are in excellent shape ... the two teen girls asked me to work out with them to keep them on track. They're both competitive cheerleaders and yet those workouts simply aren't enough for them.

    Anyhoo, our regimen ...

    Mon, Wed, Fri - strength training

    Tue, Thu, Sat - jogging, abs, stretching

    We also cross train a lot with a variety of activities: swimming, kickboxing, hiking, etc.

    Whoever mentioned that you should workout with what you are going to need to do is correct. It might be easier for you than the average unfit person to chop some wood or pull a bow BUT it'd be second nature if you are doing it now. All the older ones know how to chop wood, including the girls, and my 11 year old girl and 17 year old boy are in archery ... to which I have them give us lessons along with my husband who bow hunts. And so on and so forth ... practice things you'll need is very good advice.
  19. TheHammer

    TheHammer Member

    I do strength training at the gym.

    For more practical strength and endurance I drag a sled or wear a loaded backpack when i take my dog for a walk.
  20. musketjim

    musketjim Well-Known Member

    I workout at the gym and at home. Nice treadmill at home along with a heavy bag and speed bag. Snowshoeing, running and skiing and as some folks here know I hike into BOL with a backpack and sledge and do most work there by hand.:2thumb: At gym I use whatever aerobics gear they have that's different from my normal workout. I also powerlift. I don't lift the same poundage as when I competed of course. I love the whole fitness lifestyle, lifting, triathlon, crossfit. :D It's all good. Fitness and mental attitude is key, you always have your body with you even when your gear is gone.