LEO Fitness

AlaskaCTX

Private
Minuteman
May 6, 2018
3
1
6
Alaska
Hey y’all, I just got hired on with one of the departments here and I was curious what y’all think the big focus should be for me in terms of fitness before the academy? I’m AD military and already in pretty good shape (4 mile run in 35:30, 70 push ups without stopping, squat 315 for 5x5, etc) but I want to know what your pre-academy focuses would be! I saw some other post on here in regards to similar questions but everything was either in the academy or already in FTO/probation.
 

TacticalDillhole

Shiner of shoes
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Jun 26, 2012
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Endurance. It’s all about endurance. Keep the run paces fast and do body resistance exercises (pull ups push-ups sit-ups burpies etc). I wouldn’t even touch heavy weights until after the academy. Rowing machines are my absolute favorite overall cardio, I fucking hate running with a passion. I do it but I do not enjoy it.
 

Havoc_1_Actual

Sergeant of the Hide
Hessian
Belligerents
Feb 25, 2019
199
22
22
Western NY
I’ll second that...do a lot of HIIT type training, build that endurance up. I’ve been on the job 7 years and this is something that I’m asked quite a bit. As a fitness instructor, I’ll call out the guys who will fail from day one. The muscular ones often take the top of the list as MOST of them ignore cardio. HIIT is nice as it does not require long grueling runs. Good luck
 

WATERWALKER

0311 SHELLBACK
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Apr 19, 2014
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Deep in the Lone Star
I’ll second cardio & body resistance type excercises. Add some ab work as well. Eight-count bodybuilders is something I’d add too. Try to get your run time down to a 7 minute mile pace & life will be good.
 
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mr45acp2u

Private
Belligerents
Sep 27, 2010
27
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AZ
You're in better shape than 90% of the people who will be in the academy class with you. Most of the time the academy is about cardio, strength training takes time and effort. Not their focus.

Protect your joints, knees, shoulders and the like. Don't do anything to hurt yourself prior to starting.
 

Yoteski

Private
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Feb 13, 2017
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Agreed, cardio is where it's at for the academy. Strength won't really help you at all in the academy for much of anything. Focus on pushups and situps for some core strength to avoid injury. Biggest thing is to make sure you stretch well before activities; again, the last thing you want is to get injured. The key to the academy is just getting it done.
 

Yoteski

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Feb 13, 2017
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I will say that post academy, hit the weights and try to bulk up a little bit. It will give you more confidence in knowing you can physically control someone a little easier if you have to. Also, there is definitely a psychological advantage to "looking" like you can handle yourself. People will just be less inclined to fuck with you you look the part. It's part of our primal make up. I cringe when I see guys who put on a uniform and think it gives them some sort of super power that prevents them from getting their ass kicked. We all know the kind, frumpy looking, uniform looks like shit, etc. Look professional and like you care about your body even a little bit and you'll lessen your odds of getting "tested" quite a bit. I'm a little overweight myself, but I'm in the gym at least 3 days a week lifting fairly heavy. I could probably slim down quite a bit if I ran more, but God I hate running, lol.
 
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black5.3

Sergeant
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Jun 1, 2017
331
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I will agree with others. Get your run times a little better and concentrate on core exercises as well. If you keep lofting then drop the weight down some and get the reps up. When i finished the academy i picked the weights back up and slacked on cardio. I am of the mindset that strength can get you out of a lot of situations you might encounter in LE than being able to run 5 miles in 20 minutes. Besides most people that try to fight are only fighting to get away and not squaring up to go a few rounds. I train to overcome a situation like that with the strength to end the altercation quickly and overpower them and detain them. When the cuffs go on 90% of those situations are over. Everyone has their own little thing but thats mine.
 
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wrightjr

Private
Minuteman
Jul 5, 2018
18
7
6
S. Ga
I have worked in corrections for the past 15 years and initially I hit the weights hard and bulked up a lot because I mimicked what I saw the inmates doing. I walked in as a skinny 190 pound scared / nervous 18 year old who could bench about 250 and ballooned up to a muscular 255 that could bench mid 400s. I too shared the sentiment that super human strength would serve me well in every situation, and most of the time the brute force / strength did. Once I joined the tactical team and started my training / academy the bulk and muscle was a hindrance in most cases because I had neglected to keep my cardio up due to me powerlifting and trying to become the biggest and strongest dude in the gym. Eventually I went back to the drawing board and revamped my outlook. I started becoming more interested in being more well rounded and working out smarter to reduce injures. I'm not nearly as strong as I once was but I learned that I don't need to be, and my joints and tendons thanked me for it. I now weigh 230 and rarely workout with weight above 300 pounds because at this point I feel that my current fitness/ strength level is sufficient for me. Use this approach and you will be okay (meaning listen to your body and set your own goals). Most of the people you will encounter in the line of duty won't be in shape or fit, so as long as you maintain your current level of fitness you will be good. As I learned in my line of work all the strength in the world won't benefit you if you are gassed from the 100 yard dash across the institution when you respond to a situation, so stay motivated / focused and keep pushing yourself. Best of luck at the academy.
 

wrightjr

Private
Minuteman
Jul 5, 2018
18
7
6
S. Ga
Not for all of us! Lol, some of us refuse to be the weak link! Watching dudes workout for hours on end behind the wall was all the motivation I needed to get serious.
 

xNF_9

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Jun 14, 2009
948
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Fargo
Donut lifting no longer in vogue?
That’s supplemental now days. They expect more pounder lifting also.

On a real note I focused on cardio in academy. Now I use a rower for that like @TacticalDillhole. Very little stress on joints and you can make it as hard and long as you want.

Now that I’m on my own strength has been my focus as it’s what I like. Each year I set a goal for different lifts and work on them. This year I have hit 2 already and will continue on working st them. One thing I can say after focusing on heavy lifting is STRETCH!!

Stretchig has been a large focus this year for me. Sitting in a squad for a long shift will tighten up your hip flexors, quads,.....everything really. This is where you will get hurt if you don’t stretch and it will increase your longevity.
 

aslrookie

Private
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Mar 19, 2017
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I agree for the most part about cardio being very important. I’d also argue that you need to be strong too. What is your build like? I am short and stocky, so when it came to use of force scenarios, I was always outsized. You need enough cardio to keep from burning out, but you also need strength to takedown and gain control of people bigger than you when technique isn’t perfect or lack of time.

I had a use of force scenario where I ended up having to pick up a guy who was about a foot taller than me and bigger from his legs and body slam him onto his back in order for me to be in a position of control. I tried a knee strike to front takedown and I ended up on my back, had to fight out of it and then take him down.
 

kenzup

Facta Non Verba
Hessian
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Minuteman
Jan 1, 2019
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Albuquerque, NM
I have been training for a specific selection program in the military for the last year and half. Some of the best resources out there are:
stewsmith.com - former navy seal's programming for a multitude of mil/le programs
soflete.com - operator functional fitness
misfitathletics.com - a strength biased functional fitness program (one of my favorites)
mtntactical.com - formerly military athlete another great mil/le functional fitness program.
Hope this helps
 

rkgsmith

Sergeant
Belligerents
Sep 7, 2005
164
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maryland
You will lift no weights, nor will you ever squat in the academy. Body weight stuff all day long. 4 miles in 35 is not really impressive, but i don't know your age. Push ups, pull-ups, air squats, 8 counts, core exercises, etc, etc is the only way to go. Run everyplace you go. Eat right, sleep right show up in shape and you will be head and shoulders above half the crowd there. We run several classes a year, 40-60 per class. Half have a hard time carrying their phone all day. But carrying a crying towel comes easy.
 
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RS14

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May 7, 2019
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Panama City Florida
A lot of good advise in here. Every academy is different. So I can’t say what is best for that. But for the job. Endurance is what will save your life. Strength is important. But endurance is the most important.
 

Kickin45

Gunny Sergeant
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Oct 7, 2018
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Lose body weight, even if it means loss of mass. Obstacles are much easier when your lighter than normal. Can always bulk up again later
 

FLEric308

Technician
Belligerents
Nov 3, 2009
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Halethorpe, MD
I am an instructor for a large federal law enforcement agency and strength and endurance are good but I would also suggest you focus on core and back strength as well as flexibility. We get a lot of injuries that could be solved with a little more flexibility of the recruit.
 

BigBC

Conquistador
Minuteman
Jun 6, 2019
54
14
12
So-Cal
+1 for flexibility and mobility. If you can afford it get into BJJ full time. It completely changed my focus from heavy weight lifting to being more capable on the ground in full gear. It's humbling the first time someone half your size completely controls your body and starts to put you out.

I still hit the multi-joint strength exercises like DL, Lunges (for me) and DB bench. I also incorporate breathing techniques every night and pre-hab before every workout. GL.
 
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LawnMM

Harbinger of Sarcasm
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Jul 5, 2009
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I've been strong as shit and still gassed fighting a skinny crack user. Endurance is more important. I've yet to feel over powered, found myself wishing for better lungs a time or two over the years.
 
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Ziatriguy

Online Training Member
Belligerents
Jun 13, 2017
98
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12
All the above is good stuff. I will add that a good BJJ class will work your whole body and give you some very usable skills. If you dont do it before the academy damn sure do it after!