How to Get in Shape for The Collapse

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How to Get in Shape for The Collapse

Fitness is not always the first thing one thinks of when planning for an emergency situation, but I would argue that it’s the most important tool you can have when preparing. Your ability to function physically at a reasonably high level will most likely be the difference between living and dying.

Your family, your friends, and your community will be in need of help and if you are capable of providing that help you will be a valuable asset.

Fitness in emergency situations is misunderstood by a wide segment of the population. Extreme exercise programs advertised as being able to get you ready for the unknown and the unknowable are nothing more than a way to guarantee that you will hurt yourself. A fair percentage of the armed services in the U.S. have abandoned these types of programs as being too dangerous.

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Extreme workouts are being replaced by practical, principle based strength and endurance programs that produce superior results and avoid the high risk of injury. The demands of a survival event will not wait for you to recover from an injury. The last thing you need is to get hurt exercising just before you’re required to be at your best during a disaster.

A strength coach named Mark Rippetoe said “Strong people are harder to kill and generally more useful.” It is the intent of this article and ones in the future to give you the knowledge and skills that you need to be effective and physically capable when the time comes.

Disasters don’t happen in order

An exercise program designed to get you in top condition for whatever emergency comes your way is going to depend largely on readiness and resilience.

The goal is to be ready at any time and to do that you need a solid base of strength and endurance. The ability to be able to respond without warming up or stretching is what you are after.

If you are carrying extra weight you would do well to start working on that immediately. Lugging around anywhere from 20 to 50 extra pounds is going to hinder you in a survival situation.

To the extent possible this program will not require a lot of equipment. Some of the items you can make yourself with readily available free or low cost materials such as cinder blocks, tree branches, rope, pieces of pipe, rocks, and jugs of water or milk.

There will be a lot of walking or rucking and six to seven exercises designed to build strength into basic movement patterns: pushing, pulling, squatting, pressing, hinging, and carrying with the idea being to bulletproof your body and have the strength to be able to exceed the demands that will be placed on you.

There will be options on how to arrange the exercises; 3 exercises, divided up between two workouts and alternated back and forth ie: Group A on Mon./Group B on Wed./Group A on Fri. then Group B on Mon./Group A on Wed./Group B on Fri., or 1 exercise each day plus some walking.

Let’s get started shall we

Here is a basic template based on the first of the two above options:

For each of the exercises listed pick a weight that allows you to finish all the sets with some gas left in the tank.

Monday (A)Kettlebell Push Press 3 x 8
Pull up progression 3 x 5
Goblet Squat 3 x 8
Walk x 30 – 45 minutes
TuesdayWalk x 45 – 60 minutes
Wednesday (B)Kettlebell Floor Press 3 x 8
Kettlebell 1 Arm Row
Kettlebell Dead Lift 3 x 8
Walk 30 – 45 minutes
ThursdayWalk 45 – 60 minutes
Friday (A)Kettlebell Push Press 3 x 8
Pull up progression 3 x 5
Goblet Squat 3 x 8
Walk x 30 – 45 minutes
SaturdayWalk 45 – 60 minutes

Sunday: Long walk start at 60 minutes and add 10 to 15 minutes each week up to 4 – 5 hours

The second week you would do Workout B on Monday/Workout A on Wednesday/Workout B on Friday

The exercises are done on 2 minutes so start the clock, do a set, when the clock gets to 2 minutes do the second set and when the clock gets to 4 minutes do the last set. Then take 2 full minutes of rest and start the next exercise.

This is a basic program designed to get you stronger and add endurance. You should do this for 6 weeks to allow you time to adapt. It is not that time intensive, with each workout, not including the walk, taking about 18 to 20 minutes.

This will not seem like a lot and there may be a temptation to do more but I would advise against it. Take the time to really master the exercises. There is beauty in simplicity and your capacity and strength will increase with these exercises.

Following are some resources you can use to explore further on your own:

  • Bodytribe: Has a reasonably priced subscription plan which will focus on using your training to enhance your ability in the world outside of the gym.
  • Dan John University: Has a workout generator that allows to you enter your goals, your training time, and your available equipment to produce a program that fits with your time.
  • Original Strength: Has a lot of mobility and warm up ideas that should be done every day.

Since the goal of this program is to have you ready at a moment’s notice you should mix up the times during which you workout. So sometimes do it in the morning before breakfast, sometimes do it in the late afternoon or evening, or sometimes do it in the middle of the day. This will start getting you used to being able to perform whenever the need arises.

In the second installment of this series we will discuss other ways to continue on the developmental path begun with the basic workouts including work capacity which is the ability to maintain a high level of sustained output. We will also cover some DIY equipment to save you money.

 See you next time.

About the Author: Michael Campi began his fitness journey at 10 years old watching the Jack La Lanne show with his Mother. He has been investigating and learning from some of the finest minds in the industry ever since that time.

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