Q: Good morning, I work for the U.S. Marshals and am interested in starting a new workout program in May. Currently, I’m working on Asylum Insanity. I’ve completed Power 90, P90X and somewhat of Insanity. While these programs are excellent, I’m interested in a program associated more closely with the work I do. I’d like to incorporate heavy weight training (squat, bench press, clean and press) along with cardio. My goal is not to be the most cutest or bulkiest. My goal is being able to stay in the fight without losing my stamina in order to maintain control of the situation. If you’re able to provide a workout plan or guidance on what exercises I should incorporate accurately, I’d appreciate it.
My Answer: Well I’ve written an article on strength training for cops, so give that a read. The program outlined in the article will develop real world strength and conditioning relevant to our line of work. The article also summarizes some of the physical demands of police work and how to go about training to meet those demands.
Strength training and conditioning for peace officers is similar to that for other power athletes: martial artists, gymnasts, wrestlers, sprinters. And yet most people train for endurance. They run for an hour or do some bodyweight circuit for an hour. When people get into fights, they don’t fight for an hour. If they did, then that means neither fighter was very good.
Most people get winded from a fight, not for lack of endurance, but because their opponent was stronger than them. They don’t have the strength to overcome the other guy’s resistance, and so their muscles shut down and they gas out.
Charles Staley used the analogy of a rope ladder to describe the strength-rep continuum. If you train to develop strength, then you will raise your endurance also. If you train for endurance, then you will only develop endurance and not strength.
So work on heavy weight training with squats, bench press and the clean and press. Add some pull-ups, chin-ups and sprints.