I know, I know. There goes crazy old Jarhead again! Talking about fitness and all that crazy stuff.
Listen ya’ll, if you are not physically fit when TSHTF you might pay for it with your life. I’m gonna preach this until I die.
If you had to sprint 1/4 mile to escape a tsunami, wild fire, or for any other reason could you do it? Could you pick up your four year old and hike a mile or two if necessary?
Strength, agility, aerobic ability, and stamina are all important factors for survival when things get tough.
But what is a good work out? Personally, I think it’s important to mix it up, but ultimately the best work out is the one that gets your butt off the couch and moving. Run, walk, lift weights, ride a bike, Crossfit, bootcamp workouts, whatever. It’s all good.
Here’s how I work out and why I do it like this.
First, I like to lift weights. On Monday or Tuesday I’ll do a chest and triceps day, or back and biceps, squats, or whatever. Basically it’s a day of lifting heavy stuff.
The next day I’ll do a Crossfit workout. These are short duration high intensity work outs and are *very* challenging. They usually work three or more muscle groups and I work very hard on these. Some workouts can be as short as seven minutes, to which many of you will say, “How tough can a seven minute workout be?” My answer: “Very.”
On day three I’ll typically take a rest day. One thing I’ve learned as I’ve passed from my late 40’s and into 50 is that my body needs rest between demanding work outs. Don’t be afraid to take a day off to let your body recharge. It’s tempting to try and keep up with the 25 year olds, but your body doesn’t recover as fast as the young folk.
I should probably do more cardio than I do, but I find that the Crossfit is a good substitute and it’s not as hard on the body as running 5 miles.
Many of my workouts need special weight lifting equipment: olympic bars, free weights, benches, dumbbells, and other gear; however, that doesn’t mean you can’t get in a good workout without all that stuff.
Here’s a simple workout you can try at home with absolutely no equipment. You can even do it barefoot if you want.
I’m going to take some different movements that most of you should know and put them together to make a challenging workout.
15 body weight squats
Do as many sets of this as you can in 15 minutes.
What this means is that first you’ll do five burpees, followed by 10 situps, followed by 15 body weight squats. When you’re done repeat. Do as many sets of these exercises as you can in fifteen minutes.
Here’s a Crossfit workout I like and the only special requirement is that it requires a place to do pull ups:
5 pull ups
10 push ups
15 body weight squats
Do as many sets as you can in 20 minutes using the same rules as above. If you can’t do a pull up you can cheat by doing a jumping pull up standing on a box.
I did this workout about three weeks ago and I did 20 sets in 20 minutes. I didn’t have to do any “cheats”, so in Crossfit parlance I did it as Rx’d.
This means I did 100 pull ups, 200 pushups, and 300 squats in 20 minutes. I’m not trying to show off by saying, “Look at me!” I want to make the point that just because you turn 50 doesn’t mean you’re on the downhill slide and it’s now ok to sit on the couch drinking beer and eating chips. It just means you have to work a little harder to maintain your physical conditioning. Never give up!
Scaling means that if you can’t do an exercise the way it was meant then to substitute a movement close to it that works the same muscles, but isn’t quite as hard. For example: if you can’t do a push up the regular way then do it on your knees instead. If you can’t do a real pull up then do a “jumping pull up.” That’s where you stand on a box or something and then jump while pulling your chin up to the bar.
Scale it down to where you can do it. Keep at it and soon you’ll be able to the actual exercise.
These workouts are hard. Wicked hard. Once you do one of these workouts don’t be afraid to rest a day or two in between. Pretty soon you’ll be able to do them closer together.
This week I lifted on Monday, took Tuesday off, then did a Crossfit workout on Wednesday. I’m pleasantly tired right now and expect I’ll work out again tomorrow. You have to listen to your body and make a judgement call, but be honest with yourself! Are you really too sore to workout or is your motivation low today? If it’s the latter get off your butt and get moving!
I have a steady workout partner and we push each other to the workouts. Every morning one of us will call the other and say, “What are we doing today?” Meaning, let’s work out today. If you can find someone equally committed to their health and workouts you’ll have a great motivator to get moving.
If you haven’t worked out in awhile start slow. Don’t do as many reps, cut the time a little, whatever. The idea is to get in shape, not kill yourself.
Translating Workouts Into Survival
Big deal. I can do a bunch of pull ups and push ups. How’s that going to save my bacon if I get caught in a flood? Truth be told it may or may not help at all; however, if I’m being swept downriver and I manage to grab a branch or tree root I just might have the strength to pull myself out of danger because of the pull ups I’ve done.
I’ll be able to carry heavy loads a long distance because I like to take my back pack out for a walk. If I ever have to bug out I know that I’ll be able to do the work necessary to get the hell out of Dodge if that’s what the situation requires. Last fall I was hiking with the family off a mountain and my son wanted to be carried. I was able to pick him up and carry him down the hill while carrying a 35 lb back pack at the same time. You could do it too!
If there is a TEOTWAWKI event life afterwards will likely be a lot more physical than it is today. Those who are physically prepared for it will have an advantage.
You know as well as I do that being physically fit is important even if TS doesn’t HTF. It can add years to your life and the quality of life you have right now will be more satisfying because of how you feel and the things you can do with your family and friends.
Coupled with a proper diet you might just find yourself living to a ripe old age and being as spry as a cricket at the same time.
It’s the new year and it’s time to get in shape!
Sound off below!
I’ve been doing burpees with my BOB on. Not only is it a hell of a workout, it also settled the contents nicely.
I’ll bet it did! Haha!
Now that would be a killer work out. How many can you do?
I don’t rightly know…I’ve never done it till I couldn’t do any more…I do a couple sets of 8-10 in the morning to get me pumped a bit and the coffee circulating a bit faster in the veins. 🙂 the BOB is a new development; it’s rough on the ol’ back but it’s a good physical challenge.
Amen Jarhead. I’m 62 and try to walk at least 6 miles every day. I keep telling my friends and family, if you do nothing else, get out and walk. For me, it is not only a source of exercise, but it gives me a chance to see what is happening in my area and keep in touch with the neighbors. It is surprising how much you miss when you just drive through an area everyday.
Great job, JAS! I agree 100%. Even if you’re just out there walking you’re well ahead of the competition. My dad is in his mid-70’s and walks every day when the weather is good.
You inspire me!! You never know if future events, such as gas problems for instance, could force us all to have to walk to everywhere!! When I was a kid/teenager, if we didn’t walk there, we didn’t go. We only had one car in my family and dad had it at work, and he wasn’t going to use his gas to chauffeur us kids around! Also an excellent point about seeing what is really going on in your area, and who’s who.
I frequently see obese, out-of-shape preppers who really need to spend more time working out than accumulating stuff. Also, some of them have not grasped the concept that they might have to actually carry that bugout bag somewhere.
Here’s a post from yesterday about moving that bugout bag in the snow: https://www.survivalcommonsense.com/recycle-a-plastic-tobaggon-into-a-survivalfeed/
I walk every night, and have regular gym workouts. IMHO, I think one of the biggest dangers when everything goes to hell is people will not be physically able to use all that stuff they stockpiled!
Hey Leon – I see that fairly often as well. I’ve watched Youtube videos where guys discuss combat operations and other wild stuff, but the problem is they’re so heavy there’s no way they could do any of the stuff they talk about.
Sprinting from house to house with a bunch of gear and a rifle is friggin’ hard work even for an in-shape 25 year old, much less a 45 year old who’s main exercise is 16 ounce curls.
Good video link there. We just call them sleds here in Maine, but I’ve done exactly what you talk about here and it works great. I pull one of my kids and my pack one one when I’m on snowshoes up here. They love it and it’s a great workout for me.
I’m amazed at the amount of weight that can be moved on one of those sleds. The whole elk we hauled out was small, but still, would have been a load that required several trips to move. The 5×5 bull that was killed in the morning was a bigger challenge. But nothing the sled couldn’t handle.
When I was younger, I thought I was in shape and boot camp showed me I wasn’t. Now near 50 I am still in better shoe than most my age. Preppers or survivalists as we used to be called ask yourself this. Can you run a 5K (just over three miles) this should be something you strive to do daily. Can you walk/march 10 miles? Can you at least bench your own body weight? Can you do pull-ups sit ups? if not than start today. All the guns gear and training is NOTHING without peak physical conditioning, if it was the military wouldn’t stress daily PT it would sit back and rely on its ultra hi tech gear,guns and training.
Can I get an amen.
I have spent many years coaching kids. When it comes to conditioning we hear lots of whining at times. My advice to all of them is staying in shape is a life long endeavor. If we can instill that a young age, the rest is just details. Give me a person with a good work ethic and no survival skills over a book smart lard butt any day.
No offense to those of you who have let yourselves go, but I plan on taking in some kids who have proven to me that they are willing to sacrifice some sweat and blood. I can teach them the rest very quickly.
Said it before but it’s worth repeating. Look into kettel bells. You can do every single muscle group with 1 weight.
No benches, cabled equipment or other crap to take up space. I’ve been a strength trainer for 20 plus years. Logged a lot of gym time. Kettle bells are by far the best workout I have yet to find.
The strength gained are from real world movements. Not ridged structured motions. Seriously, how often are you going to lay on your back and push something strait off your chest?
Now how often are you going to bend over pick something off the floor and place it over head height? Got a high shelf at home?
The strength I’ve gained since switching to kettel bells is very impressive. Plus it’s very cardio intense. I time my rest periods to 1 minuet between reps. This keeps the heart pumping.
There are many varyations to styles for kettle bell workouts. Light weight lots of reps little rest. There’s tons of videos on YouTube from people allot more knowledgeable than I am on workouts. I very strongly recommend anyone looking to stay or become fit check them
You will be shocked at what some online research and a 15lb Walmart kettle bell will do.
Sports Athority is a other good source. They have competition regulated KB for sale made by Rage. Highly recommend them.
Sports Athority was even able to get me a 100 lb kettle bell.
My goal is the 200 lb kettle bell, but that’s going to take some
I’m a novice prepper, gardener, shooter. I’m not willing to call myself an expert strength trainer but I’ve done my time.
Kettle bells hands down the best workout I’ve had in my 20 years or training.
I’ve used kettle bells and really like the workout they give you.