“One of the biggest threats to Law Enforcement is Law Enforcement itself.” -Adam, CEO of Effective Fitness and PolicePosts
No truer words have been said.
Why do we feel this way?
Simply put, it’s the nature of the job.
This article will serve to shed some light on how the career can affect your health as well as give you tips and resources to take control of your health so you can enjoy life outside of your shifts and long after you retire.
Police Work is Sedentary
In the Law Enforcement profession it is highly likely that you will spend a good amount of time sitting down or just staying in the same position for long periods of time. Whether this is due to sitting in a car on patrol or desk time, police work is primarily sedentary.
This leads to weight gain and a plethora of unhealthy habits and lifestyle factors for cops.
It is also very common to be sedentary for an extended period of time, then suddenly need a burst of...
Let's get this straight from the start. Every police academy is different. The standards one agency has may be completely different than the standards of another agency of an agency city or town.
The first step in preparing for the Academy is to reach out to the agency you are interested in joining and learning from them first hand what to expect.
Find an officer that is fresh out of the academy and ask them all the questions you have.
Common questions to ask include:
It is best to do research about the requirements of...
What do those phrases mean to you?
Does it mean train hard every day in the gym? Does it mean to be mentally tough? Does it mean going 100% in everything you do?
There are multiple interpretations of the word “hard”. It’s a catchy word, used in the tactical/LE community. It is thrown around in order to produce an emotional response which will then trigger action.
But how "hard" do we need to train?
How long do we need to train?
Should I be doing more reps, more sets, more cardio, etc?
Sometimes... but more often than not training LESS is better.
I'm sure you are asking yourself "What did he just say?"
"Less is better? He must have had a typo there..."
No, you read it correctly.
Being a police officer or a tactical athlete is stressful.
Our body can only tolerate and handle so much...
Push ups and pull ups are the hands-down the most popular upper-body bodyweight exercises.
While both of these movements are so commonly done in the gym, there is a lack of education and knowledge on how to properly progress them.
Most people just do max effort sets a few times a week and hope that by doing that, they will achieve more reps in a few weeks.
While that works sometimes.. there are better ways to go about it.
Instead of doing 3-5 sets of max reps and waiting 60-120 seconds and repeating, we discovered that doing 6-9 sets of 35-50% of the reps and resting 45-90 seconds leads to better results.
By taking this approach you prevent yourself from fatiguing out after the first set and not being able to achieve the same number of...
First Responders and Tactical Athletes don't have a problem losing weight. Every January, thousands of first responders start dieting.
The majority are successful at shedding a few pounds through February/March! But.. by April many of them are starting to struggle with their weight-loss and begin adding the weight they all worked so hard to get off at the start of the year.
They get frustrated and blame themselves for a lack of "discipline" or blame their "bad genetics" for their inability to reach their goals.
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As a first responder/tactical athlete, shift work is part of the job. Throughout your career, you will have both night and day shifts. Often, you may have be alternating back and forth between the two. A massive challenge you will experience is structuring your nutrition plan to help you to achieve your health and fitness goals.
When you finish reading this article, you will understand why eating is so hard during shift work as well as develop an action plan to get you on track towards your performance goals.
In the US, up to 18% of the US work force alternate shift schedules. Recent studies have shown that when compared to non-shift workers, shift worked had a 17% increased risk of all cardiovascular events and close to a 20% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
Another study shows that shift workers had a 9% greater risk for diabetes when compared to non-shift workers.
Contrary to popular belief, bodyweight training can be a great stimulus to build muscle.
The key to building muscle is that you need to train close to fatigue/failure. While research still argues the exact recommendation of how many reps shy of failure should be performed, a general recommendation would be to be within 5 reps shy of failure.
The reason why going close to failure/fatigue is important is that as you approach failure you will recruit more muscle units. As the muscles fatigue, more motor units will be needed to complete the same task. Therefore, more muscle fibers are active close to fatigue.
The issue with bodyweight training, is that often the intensity is not challenging enough to get "close to fatigue".
Have you ever seen someone go to fatigue on air squats?
Probably not.. If so it would have taken them a long time to get there (assuming they are healthy and already workout regularly).
Ideally, we can get "close to fatigue" while...
Regardless if you are sick or not. Make sure you stay hydrated, eat good food and GET SLEEP! Don’t overeat. We know people like to snack to pass the time however avoid overeating. If you don’t take care of yourself you can’t take care of other people.
"Muscle Confusion" is the concept of changing exercises regularly to "SHOCK" the body/muscles to send them a signal to grow and improve their strength.
Is this concept a good plan for optimal growth and strength development? What are the pros and cons of this strategy? This article will cover just that.
To make progress in any movement pattern these 3 principles are the most important to consider. They are in order of most importance.
1. Consistency - Are you working out regularly enough to make a change? Typically 2-5 days a week is needed to make a change.
2. Specificity - Exercises that we select should mimic the activities we want to improve. To get bigger legs you should squat.. Not do bicep curls!
3. Overload- We need to do MORE each workout to send a signal for the body to improve strength and build muscle. If you lift the same amount of weight day in and day out, your muscles...
Every training program should start with a goal. Where do you want to be in 12-16 weeks? Do you want to be stronger? Faster? Leaner? More muscular? More endurance?
If you want to improve your deadlift, it is going to take you weeks of training the deadlift at least 1x a week to improve your deadlift. If you are deadlifting once every 2-4 weeks, you are missing multiple opportunities to send more signals to your body to improve your strength.
If you are training off how you feel that day, you are wasting so much potential. Training programs are often designed to have athletes overreach at the end of the cycle. This is a period of time where you push harder than normal by doing higher volume and/or intensity for strength and hypertrophy adaptations. During this time...