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.
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!