Monday, July 15, 2013

Fitness Reminder

Max did a good post on ruck marching today. John Mosby also talked PT. If there is a single combat veteran/ SWAT or SOF person who argues that physical conditioning is not important I have not met them. Fitness matters a lot.

In the survivalist/ preparedness as well as the "militia" sphere it is by far the area most people are weakest in. 

The most important issue with fitness is that it does not have a fast forward turkey fried option. Fitness takes consistent effort and time. There is just not a way around it. That means you need to start now. Do not be crazy trying to do some super hard internet crossfit/ military athlete workout tomorrow. Start with something reasonable and gradually increase time/ speed/ weight over time. Most programs can be scaled appropriately to your strength and fitness level.

Do not disregard the importance of diet. First and most importantly you simply cannot outrun the fork. The saying that you lose weight at the table and get fit at the gym (and track) is very valid. Second the relationship between proper nutrition and athletic performance is very direct. You wouldn't expect the cheapest nastiest imported surplus ammo to shoot sub MOA or 2 year old, non stabalized gas that may have a bit of water in it to fuel a race car so why is the stuff you put into your body any different?

Couch to 5k is a good option to consider. Work in some sort of strength program and you will be headed in the right direction. We could argue exact methods, techniques, training plans and such. That is an interesting discussion to have for sure. However for a person who is 20-40 pounds overweight that genuinely cannot recall the last time they ran a mile none of that matters. Joe Beer Belly will benefit greatly from any sort of semi reasonable training program. Heck simply getting outside to go walking is a solid start.

Do not try to make a total 180 in nutrition and fitness overnight. It would be great but you probably will not be successful on nutrition and will likely hurt yourself working out. Do it gradually over time, a bit better every week till you are in a good place.

For fitness it is good to have goals. Obviously they should be reasonable and fit your age/ health/ body and have reasonable expectations for time. Going from a fat shmoe to a powerlifting SOF Pipe Hitter will not happen in a month and is not a realistic goal for a 60 year old with some medical issues. I do not want to get people down, just be realistic about your goals. I would recommend having interim goals to keep you on track. Say lose a pound a week and stick to X workout schedule.

You can do amazing things, it just takes time. A former co worker of Wifey's decided she wanted to run a marathon. The woman was obese and as out of shape as you can be. She got some quality coaching and started working on it. She ran a (slow) marathon 10 months later and lost about 40 pounds in the process.

Get started!

Edited to include: Day 2- 3 mile run this morning and 3 mile ruck this evening. My legs felt yesterday this morning while running uphill but otherwise it was fine on the fitness front. In terms of food I screwed up and didn't eat enough during the day. Forgot to bring a mid morning snack and ate a light lunch. I was a bit hungry throughout the day and my energy level was a bit low till after dinner. Anyway I ended up right on the nose at 1,800 calories so that worked out OK.


Justin said...

Good post, Ryan. I started lifting consistently about 4-5 years ago, and it has been a gradual slog from where I was to where I am now. It has taken me about an hour a day, 5-6 days a week, with only a few breaks here and there. I was able to hit some new PRs tonight, so I am pretty stoked.

Your point about diet is very valid. Even when seeking to gain, diet is at least as important -if not moreso- than training.

With my recent ankle injury, running and even bicycling is out, so I am currently focusing on bulking/strength. Might as well roll with the punches. I can walk and hike and carry a ruck, but I can't wait to get back to serious cardio.

This was a good and needed post, and I hope folks pay attention to your advice.

There's no way to store or prep for PT besides doing it. When you need it, it you don't have it, you're out of luck.


Prairie Patriot said...

"Do not disregard the importance of diet. First and most importantly you simply cannot outrun the fork. The saying that you lose weight at the table and get fit at the gym (and track) is very valid. "

I wholeheartedly second this. You'll never trim down or push through training plateaus if you do not fuel your body with the right kind and right amount of food.

Just a suggestion, but people should keep a food diary for one month. I think you'll be amazed about how many calories you are actually putting into your system. Once you know, then you can start to make smart decisions. There are plenty of food trackers for smart phones out there. There is no excuse to not start today.

Anonymous said...


Between reading your blog and comments on about the new health care system, I was inspired to finally get back to the gym.

I was a competitive runner in my teens and a tri-athlete in my late 20's. Starting a small business and family can interrupt the fitness routine.

I got back to regular pt about 6 weeks ago. Hitting the gym 4-5 day per week with cardio and weights.

My diet changed slowly, the easy thing to reduce or eliminate is the after dinner junk. I found that if I have a "sweet-tooth" I mix up a fruit/protein shake and it satisfies the cravings.

Thanks for the inspiration!


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