Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

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Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by TheLastOne » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:20 pm

Alright, I've tossed the idea around for a basic fitness thread for people doing firearms classes since last summer's Milcopp. Several people had concerns about being in 'good enough shape' to bust out a 3 day class.

Here's the first indicator you may be out of shape: A THREE DAY CLASS OF MOSTLY STANDING AROUND HAS YOU WORRIED! Don't get me wrong, there's running back and forth and going to lunch, but mostly you are going to be standing. I stand for a living, and I'm good at it. You may sit for a living, and I bet you are way better at that than me!

So, here's my two cents on some things that may help motivate you towards better fitness in general, and for sure enable you to handle a 3 day Firearms Training Program.



First thing first:
I'm a guy on the internet. I'm not a professional trainer nor trainee, and I'm sure as fuck not your doctor. If you think you might die, don't do this stuff. You should probably talk to your doctor even if you thing you probably won't die, because all the commercials on tv say so. I am, however, enthusiastic about being more than half-way fit. I think of it as being in 'fighting shape'. If you've ever boxed, you know 3 minutes of fighting is a hell of a cardiovascular event.

I like to keep myself in shape where I can fight many minutes and die from being hit, stabbed, or shot, but NOT from a fucking heart attack 45 seconds into trying to save my own ass. Winning is a great goal, but I'm usually pretty stoked if I don't die from choking on my own vomit or needing CPR. Your goals may vary.

Concessions:

1) I'm a crossfit fan boy. Honestly, it's the first thing I tried, and holy shit it works (for me and a bunch of other people). The idea is functional-type exercises performed in short fast sets of reps in combination with other exercises. Educate yourself. I'm linking some youtube shit later that I pulled out of google. Maybe Sweatin to the Oldies will work for you; I'm sharing what worked for me. Crossfit workouts are generally 'short' but intense. I promise you can find at least half an hour a day to make yourself healthier.

2) My goals are over-all cardio fitness with lean and mean being the goal, not body building. I don't get bodybuilding, but a lot of people are into that. If you are, this probably isn't your thread. I want my pants to fit with a gun shoved down them, I want to be able to pick stuff up sometimes, haul my ass up stuff sometimes, run if I have to, and be able to focus on the fun of hikes/snowboarding/kayaking/punching people rather than worrying about how much shit hurts or having to go home early because my vagina is sore (yes that was sexist or something, but I'm still 16 on the inside so it's still funny to me).

3) I don't know everything. Or anything, really. If I get something wrong here, holler. I've been doing this stuff for a measly 2 years, but I'm in the best shape of my life and I want other people to feel that they can get there too.

Holy crap that's a lot of preamble, on to business: This thread is specifically towards how to train for a 3 day class, and I'll get to that (at some point?). Here are some generalities about how to go about working out/getting fit. Sometimes a person just needs a little help with the plan to get the motivation to get started. Questions like 'where can I do this?' can be the tiny speed bump that prevents a person from getting started.

The 'Easy' Way: Pay a mofo to train you. This is for the rich bastards out there. Do what I did, join a cross fit gym, learn to do it right, go at LEAST 3 times a week. Crossfit is pretty popular right now and may be expensive where you live. Check it out though, it may be easily within your budget! Make sure they are certified crossfit trainers. There is a certification process. Be encouraged if the jerks make you work your way up to actual workouts. If they are making you learn form and purpose before you start getting into it, you are probably in a good place.

The At Home Way If you're a person with a basement or, better yet, a garage or backyard this may be your gig. Watch youtubes of workouts, find Workout of the Day (WOD) websites (even zs has a WOD thread!) and find new and interesting ways to challenge yourself. Stuff you'll need: pull up bar, kettle bell, jump rope. This is the bare minimum stuff. As you go you can add some dumb bells and maybe a bar bell. I'm going to caution you against super heavy shit at home because if you get hurt when you are alone, it's a long painful crawl to get help. I use 20lb dumb bells, a 45lb kettle bell, a thai jump rope, and a pull up bar at home. (And a 30lb weight vest, but you really don't want that :lol: ). The specific exercises below will use equipment like this, however do not underestimate just body weight exercises. I'll list some of them too.

The Middle of the Road Your local rec center probably has a ton of equipment, a place where you won't piss off downstairs neighbors, and is probably a whole lot more affordable than the crossfit place. Mine opens at 5am and closes at 9pm. No excuses not to make it.


The Exercises

Here are some youtube channels where you can see demos of the exercises I'm talking about, or just look at pretty ladies with really nice abs.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8A3618802EF8B308" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.youtube.com/user/CrossFitHQ?feature=watch" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC8594C43D84130D0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

You can search yourself to find some more, I'm not getting paid to do this and dinner won't cook itself. I'm going to list exercises, and then some of my go-to workouts.

FORM IS KEY. IMPROPER FORM LEADS TO INJURIES. IT IS ALSO FUCKING CHEATING. A HALF ASSED PUSH UP MAKES YOU LOOK DUMB AND YOU WILL TAKE LONGER TO SEE RESULTS, IF ANY AT ALL. Doing 5 really good, proper pushups is way better than 15 bad ones. You only competing against yourself. Plus, when you improve to 50 really good pushups, it will mean something to you. This isn't for whiners, this isn't for cheaters, this isn't for anyone except for those who really want to make it happen. Learn the form from watching videos. Video yourself if you are working alone, or ask a buddy/stranger to help critique you. Nut up and ask for help, it's important. The rec center has employees who probably know a little something.

General exercises that will work the muscles used in a 3 day Firearms Training Program:

1) Walking Lunges. Ok, these suck, but I promise your leg muscles will be where you want them to be for crouch walking all day, stooping to pick up mags with your chest rig and rifle on, etc. Your legs are probably a pretty weak link in your system. LEARN THE PROPER FORM so you don't blow out your damn knees. You will want to do these body-weight only at the start. I do these with 40lbs of weight. It will take time to work yourself up to it (I still tip over sometimes :lol: )

2) Squats! Again, more leg work because you freaking need it. Form is key here too. Get low, and lock your hips out when you are back up. Don't cheat these for speed. You'll get to where you can do these with weigh too. Weeeeee! One of the most painful workouts I ever did was 5 reps for time: 300m walking lunges, 50 body weight squats. I did this workout on a Tuesday, and I remember this because I was having a hard time walking until the following Monday.

3) Kettle bell swings. I started with a 25lb bell and it kicked my ass. I'm up to 45, I know assholes who use 70, but they also carry their car home. Swings are more of a whole body exercise, but will work your core good. You'll hear a lot about your 'core' because it's important. It helps you breath, it strengthens your back, and enables you to use the strength in your limbs.

4) Push ups. Yep, everyone's favorite. Do them right. Chest and chin to the floor every time, straight as a board, and lock your arms out at the top. Don't cheat. These make your arms strong dummy. They'll make your chest prettier too. Get good, and then do em with a weight vest.

5) Sit ups. There's a lot of ways to do these. I do two ways usually: 1: lay out flat, legs straight out, and your arms straight above your head (like you are on the rack). Hands and arms come up as you sit up, reach all the way to your toes. I often do these with one 20lb bell in my hands (medicine ball is softer if you drop it on yourself). Way 2: legs bent like you are used to, do whatever with your arms, but when you come up, your shoulders touch your knees. Either way is called a 'full sit up'. I don't know much about crunches, people do those, these work for me. I augment with knee raises, toes to bar, knees to elbows while hanging from the pull up bar.

5) Pull ups! Nothing makes you feel like a dude like a pull up. Again, no cheating. If you know how to kip, do it, otherwise full descent and chin over bar or you are jerking off. Kipping seems like you are cheating, but the experts say you are actually using more muscle groups yada yada. I do both.



These five are enough to get you started with what you likely can find at home. Used sporting goods stores are great.

You have to do cardio. Running is efficient if your body can do it. I like running, sort of. Only because I see it affects my cardio positively. I'm one of those people that isn't super fast, but I can run all damn day. You are likely different. Jumping rope is super great cardio. Get a weighted rope like a Thai one and feel like a man. It is also a good way to work on footwork if you box. Rocky wasn't doing that shit for fun (but I think it is :crazy: ). Doing the workouts below will also be cardio if you aren't fucking around.


The Workouts These are my go-to-need-a-workout-now workouts. Again, if you are going to puke or faint, stop. I've blacked out in the shower at home after a workout. Nothing like calling the boss and saying you will be late because you passed out in the shower and need to stop at intensive care to make sure you didn't have a heart attack or something. Keep your phone close. In case you are wondering what the workout was: 5 Reps for time (30lb vest on) 25 Grasshoppers each leg (you look it up), 15 sit ups, 10 push ups, 100 jump rope, 7 pull up. It was June and hot. Whatever.

These will be set up as exercises and reps. The reps will be at the top, which means you do the numbered exercises that many times... if this isn't making sense, somebody say so. Time yourself. Seek to improve. As you get better, add reps or weight or both. These are all at 3 reps for time for beginners. I do 5 at least. Also, you are doing these as fast as possible. Don't be standing around in between. I purposely have these rotating between muscle groups because I'm nice. You can go straight into situps from a pull up. I always include pull ups and push ups. Always.

3 reps for time
10 pull ups
20 sit ups
15 push ups
15 body weight squats.


3 reps for time
10 pull ups
5 walking lunges (each leg)
15 push ups
20 kettle bell swings

3 reps for time
100 single under jump rope
10 pull ups
25 sit ups
10 push ups

3 reps for time
300 meter run (once around the block)
10 push ups
15 sit ups
10 pull ups



You get the point. I challenge you to do a workout daily. I'd rather workout in the evenings, but girlfriend time is after work, so I get up before dawn to make shit happen while her pretty ass sleeps, and I stay in the kind of shape she wants to look at. MAKE TIME. You are competing against yourself, and you are doing this for yourself. Changing my life this way made/makes me feel better; you should feel good too.

Mix stuff up, learn new things, add different equipment MAKE IT FUN. Get a box jump box, learn how to do Turkish getups, do push ups with a dumb bell in each hand, when you come up do a row or extend into a T. Learn, improve, get excited about your new super powers. Go to a 3 day class, go home and go to the gym the next day.



So this is way more long winded than I expected, but I wanted to provide a stepping stone to motivate and encourage a mofo to get in the sort of shape they are proud of, to make them able to physically handle what you are training for in the first place.

This is an open thread; post what works for you too. DocFabulous wants to talk about using the military standards for physical fitness as a baseline. He and I are both on the same page that we feel you should REALLY shoot to exceed those baselines, but it's a good place to start.
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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by ancient_serpent » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:39 pm

Good read, should help some that aren't into working out get interested.
I actually stopped going to gyms a while back.
I mean, I have nothing against them, I just don't use them anymore.
Most of my workout equipment is a set of pull up bars, a sledge hammer and truck tire, a few kettlebells and some logs of varying weight I found in the woods near my home.

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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by TheLastOne » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:42 pm

^ That is what it's all about IMO; finding what works for you. My needs are to get out of the condo and have enough people around to give me the perceived notion that they are watching, which makes me work harder :lol: That, and jumping rope in the house is a no-go.
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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by Gingerbread Man » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:59 pm

Awesome topic is awesome. Solid advice.
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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by ancient_serpent » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:08 pm

TheLastOne wrote:^ That is what it's all about IMO; finding what works for you. My needs are to get out of the condo and have enough people around to give me the perceived notion that they are watching, which makes me work harder :lol: That, and jumping rope in the house is a no-go.
Oh, I also use an Elevation Training Mask the 2.0 version) as well. I think it works very well and gives my lungs a great workout during runs.

A downside to the unorthodox workouts I do is that the neighbors must think I'm out of my freaking mind. Outside in freezing weather, training mask on and beating a truck tire with a sledgehammer for an hour, occasionally lifting and flipping the tire over my head and throwing it across the yard...

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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by TheLastOne » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:40 pm

ancient_serpent wrote:
TheLastOne wrote:^ That is what it's all about IMO; finding what works for you. My needs are to get out of the condo and have enough people around to give me the perceived notion that they are watching, which makes me work harder :lol: That, and jumping rope in the house is a no-go.
Oh, I also use an Elevation Training Mask the 2.0 version) as well. I think it works very well and gives my lungs a great workout during runs.

A downside to the unorthodox workouts I do is that the neighbors must think I'm out of my freaking mind. Outside in freezing weather, training mask on and beating a truck tire with a sledgehammer for an hour, occasionally lifting and flipping the tire over my head and throwing it across the yard...

:lol: Keeps the neighbor kids out of your yard I bet!

I will say Denver really is no joke for training. I haven't tried an elevation mask, but I can tell the difference from here and sea level, and again up to 10-12k where I like to hike...
Regular Guy wrote:Awesome topic is awesome. Solid advice.
Thanks RG! :D
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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:51 pm

<tags in>

Okay, TLO is a crossfit junkie. IMO, that shit works. More on that in a minute.

My background: I have an imaginary Ph.D. in Fabulosity from the school of hard knocks and a minor in Not Dying In Gunfights. I trained a fuckload of Marines. I entered as a fatbody, and left in good enough shape to take on two of me from highschool, and at times I lead the Body Conditioning Program (BCP) as well as my own platoon for PT and remedial PT. That said, I am not a healthcare professional, personal trainer, nor am I an expert in anything. I'm just here to share what works for me and what i saw work for the platoon.

Round is not an acceptable shape: Everyone likes to say "In shape" or "in pretty good shape." I've found that generally this means "I still get winded walking up 4 flights of stairs and I can't do a basic PFT." I've had such gentlefolk ask why I think basic PFTs are a good judge for civilians. Lets put it this way:

Image

That steaming disgrace to the uniform passed an APFT at least once. That should tell you why the PFT should be a basic measure. PFTs are also tiered, meaning they have different scores for different age brackets, and in general they require nothing but a buddy and a stop watch to conduct.

USMC Personal Fitness Test: The USMC PFT consists of a 3 mile run, dead-hang pull-ups, and crunches.
-Pull-ups- Mount the bar at a dead hang and begin pullups or chin ups. You will hit a dead hang (elbows straight) at the beginning and end of each rep, and your chin will break the bar in the middle of each rep. Failure to perform either disqualifies the rep. DO NOT dismount the bar until the entire set is complete. Dismounting the bar or resting in any position other than a dead hang will end the count. Kipping is defined as the unnecessary swing of the body with the intent of using momentum to cheat the exercise. Kipping disqualifies the rep. Swearing excessively is authorized and in some commands is encouraged.

-Crunches- Pretty basic exercise. I'll let the video at the end demonstrate, but I will say it's better to do 50 good crunches where you're actually crunching than to do 150 crunches where you're using momentum and your upper leg muscles more than your abs. Core strength matters. You have 2 minutes to complete as many as possible.

-Running- Remember what I said about excessive swearing? FUCK YEAH IT'S TIME TO RUN! 3.2 miles in no less than 28 minutes. Lets put it like this. I can ruck-run and still beat that. Remember to breath and occasionally shout obscenities at the burning sensation in your legs.

Vidya time!

Not a bad demo video, though not conclusive.

For those who don't have a pull-up bar, I recommend substituting in the APFT pushups. Push-ups are timed (2 minutes) and must be done in proper form.

Vidya 2: The Videning!

Armored vehicles in the background not required.

Scoring: Normally there are three categories for PFTs. For our purposes, anything below a first-class will be considered failure.
Pushups are worth 1 point each.
Pull-ups are worth 5 points each.
Crunches are worth 1 point each.
The run is scored on time, with the maximum score being awarded for a time of 18 minutes and the minimum score of 40 being awarded for a time of 28 minutes.
Minimum score in each category is 40, maximum is 100. minimum score to pass is 225 (for our purposes) with an ideal score being above 250.

A note about age: the military standards allow for some relaxing of the standards for age.
27-39 year olds may adjust the running portion to 19:00 and 29:00 and the minimum score to pass (first class for our purposes) relaxes to 200 points. Ages 40-45 may again relax the score for the run by 1 minute and the minimum score to 175. Ages 46 and above may relax the run score 23-33 minutes and minimum passing to 150 points. Women should meet the same standards, as none of the exercises rely on moving the same weight for all builds and body types (for our purposes) since the PFT is focused around getting yourself over, under, around or through any issues.

That's the basic PFT. Army standards and practices vary, and I've never completed much less administered one, so I'll avoid touching their run portion or the crunches vs sit ups debate. Either way, you can see it's not all that hard, nor is it hard to train for.

As far as exercises to help that goal, I've always been a fan of crossfit-style ass-kickings. Otherwise, do the exercise to help the exercise. Sprints or speedplay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fartlek) will help you run more better gooder. To get better at push-ups/pull-ups, I recommend doing those exercises in intervals, and combining that with some strength training.
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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by Dogan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:56 pm

Great place for Pushup/Situp/Squat programs: hundredpushups.com and the sister sites.
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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by ancient_serpent » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:17 pm

The Army APFT is not a good indicator of physical fitness. I saw plenty of out of shape people pass it. The test consists or a two mile run, two minutes to complete as many push-ups as you can and two minutes to do as many sit-ups as you can.
Not very difficult and in my opinion the way that they teach the sit-up is very bad for your neck (you have your hands interlocked behind your head and pull forward on your neck as you sit forward: most having difficulty with this event, particularly as you get tired pull really hard on their necks).
The 4 mile standard (32 minutes) isn't a bad one, the 12 mile road march ( I forget how long you have ) is ok too.
Shouting obscenities actually does help get through particularly painful exercises.

*edit* Was sitting here thinking about it, it really seems like there are a lot of people that buy cool backpacks and awesome gear but don't focus enough on fitness. God forbid some disaster happens, you will be able to perform how you've trained. If you've been hitting the workouts on a regular basis you'll likely be able to respond well. If you've done little other than train to sit on the couch and eat chips, then that's what you'll be able to do well.

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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by feedthedog » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:32 pm

I was never a big fan on the APFT....

The Army seemed to think I was in better shape at 175lbs (skinny) than at 220lbs (strong). In shorts and a t-shirt, that may have been true. Once I threw on all of my gear, I felt a lot better with some more muscle.

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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by rednekrampager » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:13 pm

Awesome thread. Many Thanx to the op for starting it. Lots of great info , not just for a 3 day class , but staying in great kick ass shape.


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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:56 pm

To those not a fan of the APFT: That's cool. Like I said, there are fatbodies, but a fat out of shape fucker getting a first-class is rare (the way I outlines it above.) I'm not a fan of the Army 2 mile run or the fact that you can score ridiculously low on some of these and still pass. I'm even less a fan of females being given extra time on the run and only being required to do the flex arm hang (Marines) which is why i tweaked it a bit. Again, it's a basic indicator, it's not something the majority of America can do, and if you can't pass a PFT you might need to reconsider spending money on a carbine course.

Once you can score over a 250 PFT, you can start looking for your next fitness goal. I noticed the guys that liked bodybuilding usually got their asses kicked by the 3 miler, or would be having a rough time on a pack run or long march. This is where a bit of honesty comes in. First class is passing, like gettign a C in school. 275 and above is "you're doing good, find the next challenge."

Image
This guy is strong, but odds are he can't run distance for shit, and has several other weak points. Liekly has a massive calorie intake and often lifters like this have a specialized diet.

Image
This guy probably has a pretty good handle on everything as a whole.

Recap: if you can beat the PFT, congrats. Move forward onto the next goal. Don't trash it just because you started working out hardcore and it's easy for you now. There's a reason that operators and more highspeed units have additional indocs and physical quals. Our STA team's initial indoc was 48 hours, consisting of a total of 16 miles of ruck-runs and another 4 miles of swimming on the first day. If you passed the first one, they gathered a group of twelve and started the two-week indoc.

But guess what? You had to run a 275 PFT or better just to get a slot in the initial indoc.
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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by Vicarious_Lee » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:38 pm

Thanks for this, guys!
ancient_serpent wrote:The Army APFT is not a good indicator of physical fitness. I saw plenty of out of shape people pass it. The test consists or a two mile run, two minutes to complete as many push-ups as you can and two minutes to do as many sit-ups as you can.
Not very difficult.
Granted, but you have to look at the people that take MilCopp and other tactical training classes. The above level of fitness is often FAR and above the average American gun owner. 4 flights of stairs? Please. Many can't do two, slowly, without getting out of breath. While TLO and Doc's advice is excellent, I feel that it is well above what is needed to take a pistol/carbine class without getting completely wrecked, and probably well above what any sedentary 40-60-year-old could ever hope to pull off.

Remember, Braxton's a strong fat guy that never works out, but "works" hard all day driving a wrecker, and he smokes, and I feel like he physically came through in much better shape than I did last year. The oldest two people in our class were 58 (artificial hip) and 68 (artificial knee). They did okay, but they struggled with their speed and endurance significantly. Hip Guy (a wonderful dude that was about the finest all-around shooter there) still had a weak quadriceps muscle and it got to him on every single vertical transition. All of them.

So, I'ma try and dial it back to explain what I, a surprisingly unfit person for their age and weight, think you need to be able to do to get the most out of a tactical class.

TL;DR:

If you can do half of what DocTorr and TLO are suggesting you'll be golden. A little tired, a little sore, but ready and capable to go hard for 3 days. Dave says this class requires "a high level of physical fitness". I completely disagree, unless he means "A high level of physical fitness compared across all demographics of America, including the disabled and elderly." That said, you can't be too fit for this class. Or anything, really.

VLee's Prep:

I'm that guy that spent 3 weeks doing (minimal) sprints, pushups, burpess, planks, core exercises, but no squats and no endurance before MilCopp 2012. It wasn't enough. I say it wasn't enough because by day 3 my core was such jelly that I couldn't make standing hits at 300 meters. My legs were blasted (I ran A LOT harder than the oldest folks), and I was feeling like I cheated myself a little bit. So, what should I have done more of?

Core, legs, and endurance, in that exact order. Like TLO said, most of this shit is standing around. You're not gonna be running long distances, and recovery times are long. The main thing you need to do is be able to stand around with a bunch of gear on, hit dynamic transitions to ground and back, and hold still enough to shoot. Cardio really isn't necessary for a class like this, but core strength by God certainly is.

So, VLee, what exercises didn't you do enough of?

I'd say, in this order, this is what I wish I'd have been much more versed in:

1. Squats (unladen). Just be able to do 50 squats or more at a time without becoming a puddle.
2. Leg strength. Blasted legs destroys accuracy anywhere beyond 100 meters. Do some stairs, or box jumps, or lunges. More is better.
3. Core exercises like planks, situps, and not even pushups...just hold the pushup position for 30 seconds or more and do several sets of them. A weak core is a weak everything. My back isn't what it used to be. So many people in this world with back problems, and I'm not even one of them, but a strong core is like a 6-figure back account: It can just make so many of life's problems easier.

I think that if you work out even 60 minutes a week. Just one hour of hard, dedicated exercise; you're going to get a lot more out of this class. I said in the original AAR that this class is undeniably expensive. Don't show up out of shape any more than you would show up with a bad gun that shits the bed. You don't want to be wasting this investment.

Thanks again, fitness guys. :awesome:
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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:12 am

Forgot one.

Stretch. I've seen pictures of gravel in MilCopp AARs, and fired on a gravel range or two. it's fuckign hilarious the first time someone busts ass, until someone does a split/rolls and ankle during a fire and movement drill.

Lee: sure, a carbine course is a lot of sitting, standing, and smoking. Strengthening those muscles, though, will help you a lot. I understand some folks can't rock and roll. My 50 year old CO could, as could his 60 year old CO. Fitness starts early and keeps going from there.
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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by Gingerbread Man » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:15 am

Vicarious_Lee wrote:If you can do half of what DocTorr and TLO are suggesting you'll be golden. A little tired, a little sore, but ready and capable to go hard for 3 days.
This. I have my exercise science hat on now. If you're not a little moderately sore after three days of running around you cheated. And don't be demoralized if you can only do 1/4 of what they suggest. Just keep going. Rotate your work out with different activities. You only need 30-40 minutes per session. Doing more is not productive. If you can only do 3 push ups, 5 sit ups and 1/2 a chin up set realistic goals. Set your goal for 2 weeks to increase to 4 push ups, 6 situps and a 3/4 chin up.
And to the folks who are in shape, don't bust on someone who isn't but is trying. Help them, encourage them and don't be dismissive. Calling or acting like folks are just lame fatties will not help them and it will not create allies/community. I work with some people who are really out of shape and wind quickly. Just let them take their breaks and encourage them to come back. "See ya next class", "Let's lift together next time your out" will encourage them to return. We have a big challenge right now in the western world with obesity/poor fitness levels, sorry, if you're reading this, it's on you to HELP.
Now, I wish I could do a 1/10th of what TLO is talking about, I still walk and do choirs but I'm very ill right now. ***Whiner*** But I'm really disappointed with my condition right now. :cry:
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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by TheLastOne » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:07 am

Everyone has to start somewhere. DO NOT let me come off as elitist in any form about this. I weighed 120 pounds when I graduated highschool. I put on FORTY FUCKING POUNDS in boot camp and ait. Then they made me leave because I get kidney stones :roll:


Point being, when I started 2 years ago I was 175, 5'11. Guess where I'm at now? 175 5'11. But that 175 of jelly belly is now aircraft grade aluminum :clownshoes:

I ain't perfect, never gonna be. But start somewhere. Like they said, these are somewhat advanced, but if you want to bootcamp your ass to better health (and if you can do it and not die) do the above. Start smaller if you have to. I don't Rambo everyday, but I do something. This morning was 3 reps for time because I was late: 10 pull up, 20 sit up, 10 dip push ups, 10 kb swings and a 1 mile run. I felt it, but I'm capable of more. But it was better than nothing at all!

The idea here is to motivate, not overwhelm, discourage or disparage. Do something to improve, use this thread as a goal or a map. Despite our bickering here sometimes, we're all pals. No one wants to see anyone fail. We want to see you succeed. If you feel you only want/need/can do half of the above, that's pretty great! Because it is half more than you are doing now! So go fucking do it! :words:


Also like doc said: stretch. I don't stretch enough and it's gonna burn me someday.

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This fucker said something about not needing to limber up because you don't see lions do it... well lions kill and sleep and fuck and that's it. They can also jump onto a house and shit. You aren't a fulltime killer, so you should probably stretch.
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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by ancient_serpent » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:50 am

If I come across as overly harsh on the APFT, it's because I saw so many get a decent score on it and think that they were in great shape.
I think the Marine Corp PFT is a much better indicator of fitness, better than the Army's and much better than the Indiana State Police PFT (bench-press body weight, agility course, 1.5 mile run and a body fat test).
I was 155 when I started basic training but lean. Now, 15 years later I'm at 190 and still lean, lol.
It would be difficult to overstate the need for legs, core and shoulder endurance in regards to getting into fighting shape. Big arms and huge chest muscles look cool, but legs and core are more important.
When I start getting cocky about my level of fitness, I do this:
- knock out 200 body weight squats and reassess, OR
- 10 minutes of kettle bell clean and press (or 200 presses, whichever comes first) and reassess OR
- 400 sledge hammer hits on my truck tire as quick as possible
Doesn't take long and are great ways to get a general read on your strength and endurance

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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by DannusMaximus » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:14 pm

If you need additional motivation, think about what this class is going to focus heavily on - - small team training. If you show up not in as good as shape as possible, you're letting down your team. I've been to carbine classes before (not MilCopp) where the actual amount of training conducted suffered because we had to take so many breaks for the gentle souls who didn't show up ready to fight.

You're going to this class to learn how to fight. Show up in shape for it. Don't let your partner down.
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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:20 pm

Regular Guy wrote: And to the folks who are in shape, don't bust on someone who isn't but is trying. Help them, encourage them and don't be dismissive. Calling or acting like folks are just lame fatties will not help them and it will not create allies/community.
Isn't but trying is one thing. I enlisted at 6'1" and 230-ish. Not too much muscle in there.

I graduated boot 175 and still able to lose some fat. Everybody has to start somewhere. The difference is how hard you try. If you're gonna try, try hard, and make sure you're working out your body and changing your diet and habits. Nothing's more annoying than the guy at the gym who's been lifting the same weights for a year with no change, or does the same cardio every day with no change or weight loss. Feel free to combine some weight loss and cardio by rationing yourself as a measure of your preps.

Changing exercises up:
You are not a machine. You are not set to run the same course of motion daily. One of the large successes of Insanity, P90X, and to some measure Crossfit is the principle of muscular con fusion. Essentially, you are not setting a pattern that your body can optimize for, but rather telling it that it will constantly be ready to demand performance from any muscle group at any time. If you think of your body as a platoon of soldiers standing guard duty, then think of exercise as running drills. If you run the same drill at a scheduled time every day, they get lazy and complacent. Instead, you can run drills with no announcement and run different drills, forcing them to be on the alert at all times. The analogy isn't perfect, but you get the idea.

Lastly, if you run carbine courses and such for fun, then cool., Whatever. Gunfighter-style fitness isn't for you. if you intend to prepare yourself to survive and win, or at least die putting out a good effort, then you need to be looking at the whole shebang, not just the fancy gun drills. I might ask Pistol Pete to do some chatting about the stuff he's learned from SouthNarc, and how much physical activity there really is in a defensive shooting. Obviously my experience running a carbine usually meant going to look for a gunfight, or rucking out to secure and area and pursuing an enemy, but there is some transfer.

Scenario: Multiple shooters in a civilian setting, such as one of America's premier shopping malls. Gunmen appear to be wearing mall security uniforms (for the lulz) and their leader is dual-wielding MP5 clones with a large lizard tattoo visible on his forearm. You attempt to egress and succeed in taking down one of the attackers, but in the process your SO is wounded. You can still hear gunfire and screaming behind you, but you are 100m from the visible exit and if you can make it to your car (another 100m away) you have a blowout kit and can stabilize her while you dial up an ambulance. Game on. Can you carry your SO to the car?

Scenario: you child has an athsma attack. The car is a mile away and you need her backup inhaler. Game on.

...and so on. if you just want to be in shape enough for a 3 day carbine course, take a spin class at the YMCA and do some basic dumbell lifting. if you wanna be in shape enough to dominate the gunfight, there's more to it, especially when you start learning some of the unorthodox shooting positions. You'll also find that when you stop worrying about your body, you shoot better. If a carbine course wipes you out, then you're not focusing on your shooting enough and you're not getting the full benefit.
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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by Nightwing » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:30 pm

From someone who has had to do a 2 mile run for another to get an inhaler, it puts things into a different perspective. 2 miles to the car about a solid 3/4 of it up hill. 2 runners myself and our team captain at the time. Running where every second counts, and every second is counted in gasping breathes is fracking scary. I couldn't do it today. We were lucky that the ambulance arrived when it did and that we didn't have to carry her more then 1/4 of a mile. Needless to say practice was cancelled that day, and I felt worse then after a race for the next few days.
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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by Gingerbread Man » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:38 pm

Okay, I was inspired by everyone's comments and pulled a light work out. Only hacked half the time. :gonk:

Anyway, 40 minutes on the thread mill at 3 mph. Weak.

I did 60 push ups in 4 sets, 75 sit ups in 3 sets and 80 unweighted squats in 4 sets. Not bad but not awesome. Thursday I'll hit it again. :D
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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by TheLastOne » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:48 pm

Regular Guy wrote:Okay, I was inspired by everyone's comments and pulled a light work out. Only hacked half the time. :gonk:

Anyway, 40 minutes on the thread mill at 3 mph. Weak.

I did 60 push ups in 4 sets, 75 sit ups in 3 sets and 80 unweighted squats in 4 sets. Not bad but not awesome. Thursday I'll hit it again. :D

Killer. This is probably a good (but pain in the ass for you ) way to do it. Break it down into bits that don't kill your lungs, but still get your muscles some practice.

Also, I wasn't really scolding anyone above, just want everyone to be on the same page and feel welcome to contribute. :v:
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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by maldon007 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:25 pm

Great thread, was slacking in my running... Hard to run with the wife with 70 gillian kids (ok 3)... But I just threw one in a stroller and went out alone for 3 miles or so (no, can't run 3 miles solid, but ran at least as much as walked... I'm old... and fat, damnit!)

Thanks!
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Re: Basic Fitness for Firearms Enthusiasts and Other Humans

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:43 pm

maldon007 wrote:Great thread, was slacking in my running... Hard to run with the wife with 70 gillian kids (ok 3)... But I just threw one in a stroller and went out alone for 3 miles or so (no, can't run 3 miles solid, but ran at least as much as walked... I'm old... and fat, damnit!)

Thanks!
I'll let you in on a secret: I had a Gunny with 5 kids, four of them were sets of twins. He hooked the three youngest ones into a triplet carrier deal that he towed behind his bike and used them as resistance. It's not for everyone, but certainly an idea. Also had a buddy that would load a child-carrier on his chest and an equal-weight of sandbags in a ruck and use that. Hardcore parenting to say the least.

Good to hear you made it work for you though!
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