Don’t expect to train yourself like specials ops, be realistic when making workout plans for your physical fitness and survival. Face it, when SHTF your body will be under intense physical stress and movement. Regardless of how much you have prepped, if you aren’t physically fit your chances of survival are dramatically slimmer. There are several variables that demand more from you physically. Focus on following these steps in order and remember, physical fitness and survival are one in the same:
Intermediate Physical Fitness → US Army Pocket PT (Physical Training) Guide
Advanced Physical Fitness Drills I → USMC Summer Survival Guide
Advanced Physical Fitness Drills II → USMC Winter Course
Be determined, take on more than you can handle. As an introduction into intermediate physical fitness, start aggressively walking with a 50 lb rucksack for a few miles while introducing push ups, situps, squats and etc.. The soreness you feel afterwards means you’re doing it right. If you wait until SHTF to get physical it’ll be far too late when your body is subject to:
- Long periods of running, burning hundreds of calories every mile ran, meanwhile your cardiovascular system’s put to the test. Distances ran by physically trained runners are far greater than those who rarely (if ever) run. Now, factor in adrenaline, your body will quickly run out of gas if you’re not physically trained for it.
- Carrying heavy loads over short to long distances would be more common during patrols, scavenging, combat and especially when BOV’s (Bug Out Vehicles) are unavailable for long distance travel.
- Combat requires defending yourself with hand-to-hand combat and fire exchange. Bad people exist in the world and you will have to defend yourself, this is an inescapable fact.
Is Physical Fitness for Survival Necessary?
If you find yourself in a hostile firefight, it’s an intensely tiring activity while running, crawling, short sprints, hitting the ground, fire and repeat. If you don’t train for these exercises you’ll be finding yourself lacking sufficient oxygen intake. Your primary objective in these exchanges must be unyielding and focused on achieving victory. Hunkering down in your shelter can only take you so far, engagement is an eventuality even when you’re on a protected homestead. If your attackers have military or tactical training skills, expect a fight.
Beyond keeping yourself fit and healthy as best you can, there are limits to this created by age, infirmity, disease and disability. A veteran’s wealth of knowledge and experience is of high importance. Above all remember, you were born to be real, not to be perfect.
Physical Fitness and Survival – Workout Plans
Basic Cardiovascular Exercise
- Incorporate 30-minute exercise sessions into your schedule.
- Decide on a form of cardiovascular exercise for a specific day of the week. Using a treadmill or stair-climbing machine, jogging, biking, and swimming are all effective forms of cardiovascular exercise
- Warm up and actively stretch for 5 minutes before beginning any activity
- Exercise at a moderate pace for 20 minutes
- Follow with a 5-minute cool down
- Change your schedule to accommodate longer exercise periods when appropriate
- Stick to your schedule.
Basic Weight Lifting
- Set aside 30 to 60 minute workouts for lifting.
- Don’t rest more than 60 seconds between sets
- Begin by performing total body workouts aimed at conditioning every major muscle group (upper body, lower body and back). Balanced development is extremely important
- Split your workouts as you become a more experienced lifter. This will enable you to better concentrate on specific muscle groups and areas. A common split that targets every major muscle group is: chest and triceps, back and biceps, shoulder and legs
- Rest your muscles between sessions. Allow each muscle group at least one day of rest between sessions. Your muscles can’t grow unless they have time to rest and heal
- Tailor your schedule to best satisfy your goals
- Stick to your workout schedule.