View Full Version : Is PT a part of your personal firearms defense strategy?

Will Beararms
April 1, 2011, 09:49 AM
After a 20 year hiatus from PT, I have begun daily push-ups and sit ups, free weight training three days per week and brisk walking four days a week. I am on a low carb, doctor monitored diet. I have sworn off beer and soda and have limited coffee to two cups per day. My adult beverage selection is restricted to one glass of red wine or one glass of scotch.

In years past, my emphasis was on big pecs, big arms and how much I could lift. Now approaching 47, I am more worried about endurance, reflexes and core strength. I understand now working out is a blessing and a gift and at my age the ability to do so, could end at a moment's notice so I have to give the credit to a Higher Power. I want to make that clear. If you are reading this and cannot do PT for health reasons, my heart goes out to you and I am here to encourage you.

This having been said, I wonder how many here incorporate PT into your strategy and tactics. My stomach and waist have been dangerously too large for a ton of health reasons and I noted it affected both my reflex, endurance and accuracy with handguns mostly at range time. My proficiency with a shotgun was also affected. My BP was high so working in an enclosed range made it worse.

Things are getting better thank God but I have a long ways to go to get the cardio where it needs to be. What PT strategies are you doing to keep the reflexes in check? Do you believe it is important?

Thanks for your comments and PM me any time if I can encourage you.

April 1, 2011, 10:40 AM
For the last 25 years, I've made it my policy to stay in good enough shape to do my age in straight, military PT pushups on my birthday. I turned 65 last February. It doesn't get any harder if you stay with it.

Now, I can do 100 pushups in 3 minutes and 15 dead-hang pullups. I'm sure that's partly responsible for the fact that I'm shooting better now than when I was 30.

Will Beararms
April 1, 2011, 11:15 AM
Japle: Man you are an inspiration! Thanks for your input. I am working to get to where you are now.

April 1, 2011, 11:36 AM
NO BEER? :barf:

Will Beararms
April 1, 2011, 11:37 AM
Hey man; I know it but I feel so much better without it and my PT is so much better. I am avoiding anything with carbonation. I can tell the difference when doing Push Ups and Sit Ups when I have had even two beers the next morning.

April 1, 2011, 11:43 AM
I HATE you Japle:D:D:D

TBH I don't have a PT regimen, but I could probably beat me my last PT course I did in the Navy when I retired. Owning a working horse farm beats doing push ups, frogs and jumping jacks any day. Let me tell you I loath hay bales though:D

I'm not sure if it really helps my shooting, but I know it's better than playing video game's all day.

April 1, 2011, 03:01 PM
Let me tell you I loath hay bales though.

I know what you mean. I remember loading bales on the wagon at my father-in-law's farm when I was in college.

We had to roll them over first to make sure there wasn't a rattlesnake under them before picking them up and heaving them on the wagon. About ten minutes of that and I was used up.

April 1, 2011, 03:22 PM
If you want a great workout, that covers pretty much everything, get a road bike and ride the hell out of it. An hour a day pedaling up and down hills as hard as you can go, will get you in shape quick, and maintain it.

Its also a lot easier on the old joints compared to most other things, including walking.

April 1, 2011, 03:33 PM
Good for you Will,
All except the beer part.
An occasional ale is part of the good life.
Like right now, but only one.
And life maybe isn't longer, but it's better, being in shape.

April 1, 2011, 03:40 PM
I'm pushing 50 and have been working out regularly for the last 8 years or so. I used to run 20-25 miles a week but lately (6 months) have been running 5 miles twice a week and doing a good core/strength/aerobic mix workout sponsored by my employer at lunch two other days. The rest of my exercise consists of bike rides and walks with the family + yard work. I've never been really strong for my size, but the core work makes a big difference and I have been getting steadily stronger. Having stronger arms and shoulders makes Bullseye shooting a lot easier. I've always hated pushups but don't even dread them any more. I also minimize caffeine intake for the sake of Bullseye. Drinking alcohol has never been part of my life, just never felt the need as alcoholism was a big problem in prior generations.

April 1, 2011, 05:38 PM
UASD is a big part of my self defense plan. That implies a certain amount of flexibility and strength. Those must be maintained. The idea that the gun is the do all and end all of an SD situation is fundamentally flawed.

April 1, 2011, 05:56 PM
Where to even begin...?

Years ago I was a security contractor with the DOD in Iraq. I wasn't a very big guy (I'm 6' but I could never break 200 pounds, staying around 170-175), but I was gifted with a very athletic body at a young age. Needless to say, being in shape was a high priority for me.
One year I decided to take a PT class at a local college, and maaaan... I guess Japle was the instructor, because every day this guy who was older than my father (I was 30 at the time and my dad is 32 years older than me) would take us through the most amazing core training regime I've ever encountered!
That guy didn't instruct us, he led us. With the exception of our pre-check-in run, he did every exercise with the class, which included 500 crunches of different sorts, and this was 5 days a week.
If he required us to run during class, he ran with us, and he taught me more about pushing myself past my perceived boundaries than I learned in the military or the police academy, because he didn't make you do it, he told you how to do it. Gave tips on how to dig down for more, not just mentally, but physically. He would say "Work out smarter, not just harder." Like taking larger strides if you're tired, because you can slow down your pace, but still cover the same amount of ground at the same speed.
He taught me how to increase my lung capacity by actually exercising my lungs the same way you would do with any other muscle group (which blew my mind).
I've taken all sorts of combat classes and done things to work on reflexes, but learning perseverance from that junior college instructor has been one of the most important things I've ever done.
The reason that matters now is because 5 years ago I was paralyzed by a head injury. I've spent the past few years fighting my way back from being a quadriplegic, and let me say, it has been an incredible (and eye-opening) journey. I'm capable of walking now, but I'm what's called a hemiplegic because one side of my body is more severely affected by the paralysis, much like a stroke victim.
These days EVERYTHING is about physical training. I work out daily with my pistols (an Astra A-110 and Sig P220) because they're much cooler and "manly" than the purple 3 pound physical therapy weights.
There is no "fast" exercising for me these days, so reflex work is out for the time being because nerve damage prevents rapid muscular responses, although shooting guns is helping to overcome that issue, at least with my arms.
I cannot run or jump, but just about everything becomes a cardio workout because of physical difficulty.
And I am proud to say that today I discovered that I am strong enough to finally do a standard pushup! (but not two)
I'm lucky enough to have a history that has provided me with a wealth of situational knowledge, and a lot of shooting/self defense dynamics. I'm working on building a modified range training program for myself and perhaps for others like me.

I guess my point is this: Don't let your physical self slip away from you. You never know when your capabilities will be diminished. While you have the time, take the time to make yourself better. PT, even if not daily is an important part of shooting well.

PS: Whenever I get bummed that I can't squeeze the trigger faster, I just pull up a Youtube of Jerry Miculek blasting off at the speed of light, and I remember that no-one else can do that either.

Old Grump
April 1, 2011, 06:20 PM
Rubber bands, squeeze rubber exercise pad, Isometrics, free weights but mostly I leap to conclusions and run off at the mouth a lot. That takes care of my cardio. :D

Will Beararms
April 1, 2011, 07:43 PM
Great stuff Di. Keep it up and keep us posted. Your attitude is contagious.

April 1, 2011, 07:55 PM
... but PT definitely benefits my shooting skills.

Reality is, though, that isn't why I do the PT.

One major reason was that as a Navy officer, I was expected to maintain at least a minimum standard, and I never did like just making the minimum. It's hard to set an example from the rear of the pack.

Another major reason was that as a pilot, I get subjected to intensive physicals. Annually, for the military; later, semi-annually, for FAA first class medical.

A third reason was that I wanted to avoid some of the pitfalls that run in my genetics, on both sides, several of which target sedentary or overweight people.

A fourth reason is sheer vanity. I hate it when I get out of shape. (This happens every so often, though. Pattern is that I work out a lot, and then something happens that triggers an old injury; then I don't work out due to pain; then I get fat; then I recover, and am totally disgusted, and start working out hard again. One of these cycles just occurred over the past couple years - I've cut around 30lbs, and over 3" off my waistline, in the last year.)

A fifth reason is that martial arts are much easier to practice, and more effective to employ, if one is in at least reasonable shape.

The last reason is that we're thinking about having a kid one day; I'll be an older father, and I figure I owe it to any potential child to keep myself in the best shape I can. Should help me play, when the child is younger, and should help keep me around longer for the potential kid.

So, my shooting benefits from better physical conditioning, but that conditioning was not part of any firearms strategy.

April 1, 2011, 08:04 PM
I don't work out so I can shoot well though I bet upper body strength training would help shooting a lot.

I do 45 minutes (175 "floors") on the motorized stair climber twice a week.
This so I can go hiking with a 25# pack and do 10/12/14 or whatever mile trips without being incapacitated for days afterwards.

Fitness is good. Sitting in a cubicle all day is bad. Driving hours to get to/from the cubicle is bad. Someday I'll retire so I can exercise to Japle's level :-)

April 1, 2011, 08:18 PM
As a new member reading some of the post concerning PT I am convinced that any PT would be good for conditioning and the ability to handle firearms in a training or emergency situation. I am a 56 year old triple bypass survivor and moderate exercise along with bike riding has made a big improvement in my physical and mental condition. You can react quickly and make better decisions when you are healthy. Thanks for the stories, it's never to late to start.

April 1, 2011, 08:28 PM
I started to do a flight of 300 stairs in my neighborhood back in August, and it's helped my hill-climbing ability a lot. After your 40's it doesn't get any easier.

April 1, 2011, 08:46 PM
I don't do PT to enhance my shooting.

I do it because there is the very real chance of having to go 'hands-on' with an attacker to get enough space to draw (or to escape).

Billy Shears
April 1, 2011, 08:55 PM
I've found CrossFit to be a great help at challenging myself to reach a level of fitness I never even thought possible. Got hooked on it while in the Army and still enjoy it. It's tough, the toughest physical effort I've ever done, but it never gets boring and all the workouts of the day (WOD) are scalable to each individual's capacity.


April 1, 2011, 09:19 PM
I work out twice a day. 45mins of cardio every morning (mostly biking or jogging) and about an hour of weight training every evening. I did not inherit the best physical fitness genes from my family, as most of my relatives fall somewhere between heavy and obese. In order to maintain my BMI, I have to work twice as hard as most of my shipmates and only see half of the results that they do...

Such is life I guess.

Deaf Smith
April 1, 2011, 09:44 PM
PT? As in physical Training?

Nah. I just to Taekwondo, Krav Maga, and boxing.

I don't have time for PT.


April 1, 2011, 09:45 PM
I didn't start working out til I was in my mid-thirties. Wish I had started in high school. At my strongest I was 45 and benching 435 pounds. I was actually in the best shape of my life. Now though, it's 10 years later and my wife can't seem to quit falling. When she falls she usually breaks something and becomes total care. That means the gym is out until she can start moving on her own. I've just this week gone back for the first time in over 5 months, as she broke her leg in October. That's pretty much starting over for a couple weeks, but you get stronger much faster than originally. I'm now doing ski machine for at least 10 minutes, then hitting the weight; chest, abdominals, back, triceps, biceps and done for the day. I used to run in the park for a warmup, but switched to the ski machine for old knees. My BP is up for the first time in many years, but 5 months of nothing is probably enough to do that, along with all the stress of my wife, elderly mother, house problems, etc. Just a week later and already I'm feeling better. Working out is not just a hobby for me. It's now a necessity for proper health, and a decent stress-beater. As soon as the weather breaks, I'll be getting out my bicycle, also. That's probably the most fun you can have exercising.

April 2, 2011, 12:21 AM
I'm trying to get into better shape, but asthma severely limits my ability to exercise. Sometimes I can't even lift weights.

April 2, 2011, 01:02 AM
Short answer; NO. :)
It should be. Proper diet & fitness are good goals to have or use.

About 3/4 years ago I read a gun press article by a retired LE officer who stated a new or late model vehicle to drive is a good idea when available.

At first, I took issue with the remarks but as time went on, I saw the valid point the retired cop was making. A good condition or well maintained vehicle can keep you from being stranded or may prevent you from a violent crime.


April 2, 2011, 02:21 AM
Spending time here on TFL is great exercise, my fingers have never been stronger!

Oh, and round is a shape!

Seriously, I get out pretty much daily hiking, recurve bow and firearms shooting, hunting, living in Alaska can be pretty physically demanding (big depending on what you do and where you live in Alaska).

Not to mention the other forms of exercise that I do; so I will not...

April 2, 2011, 02:34 AM
Weighed myself last night and it wasn't good. I hit 280, so that means I've gained 42 lbs since my son was born last march. It's time to save a few dollars and hire a personal trainer again. I also need to get my butt back into my submission grappling/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes again.

I hired personal trainer 2 years ago to help me get back into grappling shape after tearing my MCL and it was worth every penny, drop of sweat and muttered curse. I ran the quickest 40 yard dash in my life, 4.62 seconds, at 250 lbs. I was stunned at the results I got in 2 one hour sessions a week for 7 weeks. My cardio went through the roof and my training partners even noticed how strong I felt coming off an injury that didn't allow me to train for an extended time.

I've always been into martial arts for fun and defense, but being in good physical shape s an important factor, it makes everything easier. The more diverse your training the better. It makes it more fun and allows you to train your body to recruit muscles you wouldn't normally train. Looking good and strong is great, but functional strength trumps all else. Moving a person who is fighting you is incredibly difficult and you may have to do it in a self defense scenario.

Single Six
April 2, 2011, 05:01 AM
Oh yes. I've been running and lifting weights since I was 18; I'm 43 now. The heart and also breathing rate accelerate madly under stress [particularly the stress of a physical or armed encounter] so it makes sense that if you're already in great shape you'll handle it better. Also, check out the "Captains Of Crush" hand grippers available at www.ironmind.com. These industrial strength hand grippers are tougher to squeeze closed than any you'll find at Wal-Mart..and my grip has never been stronger. Plus, what it's done to improve my handgun shooting is very noticeable. :D Give 'em a whirl yourself and you'll see what I mean.

April 2, 2011, 08:17 AM
I do it because there is the very real chance of having to go 'hands-on' with an attacker to get enough space to draw (or to escape).

BINGO!! That is exactly correct. Plus the fact that the unarmed defense may make the use of lethal force unnecessary. Everyone should know at least basic blocks and escapes. That and knife defense moves (I know an officer who will make that guy eat his own blade, while it's in his own hand, every time)

Besides, there's just something priceless about face flopping an attacker. I had one inmate jump at me at the top of some steps. I arm barred him and he rode those steps down on his face. Cuffing him was rather simple, especially since his shoulder was dislocated. I weigh 280 pounds, not what you want hyper extending your elbow.

I had another inmate that tried to slash me across the throat with a razor blade in a tooth brush. He actually cut me in the shoulder. I kneed him in the abdomen and then delivered a hammer blow to the back of his head. We both went to the hospital on that one.

The point is, when a use of force is necessary don't hold back. Nail him as hard as you can as fast as you can. Back down while he is still capable of bringing force and you could be dead. Dominate the situation.

April 4, 2011, 09:43 AM
I do PT just to stay healthy and in shape. it sure doesn't hurt the cause of self defense, plus it feels great to be in shape.

April 7, 2011, 11:50 PM
I need to start a proper PT regimen again. Fortunately I have kept my caloric intake and quality of food pretty consistent. However, with my new job I just stay too tired to really work out.

I have noticed my groups getting larger when I shoot. I think a lot of it is a result of weaker arms and hands. The more I worked out the better I controlled the gun and the better I shot. Less working out and less practice lead to bad follow through and form.

April 8, 2011, 04:43 AM
For those who say they limit themselves to one glass of adult beverages a day, you must not of seen the bottle a day for those who are commonly assosciated with the term PT. That, or you just a heck of a lot wiser then us :p

Anyone who has some health or weight issues and looking to keep some sort of good shape, I HIGHLY reccomend getting into a pool. I was on a swim team for roughly 10-12 years and it was the best shape I was ever in, even after almost 4 years of the military. It's low impact and you get a workout even if you have to take it easy at first. Plus, it'll help with your breathing control ;)

April 8, 2011, 06:09 AM
When I got back after my last tour I developed an odd heart condition and could do no PT. The only real exercise I got was two miles of walking a day.

I gained 40 pounds in six months.

Turned out the condition was treatable and I started the PT again about a year later.

I lost 43 pound in six months.

Being fat is absolutely no joy or pleasure. I don't know how people do it. I still had strength but could barely run and had no endurance. I could hardly bike either as bikes are not designed for 265 pound people. The bike would literally rattle apart under the stress and require constant maintenance due to me overloading it with my girth.

It seems to me to be a miserable existence. So I would say if you can exercise by all means do. I don't know if it will help your shooting any but it sure can't hurt anything.

old bear
April 8, 2011, 11:32 AM
Will, I hate you. No really good for you. I can only wish I had your dedication to really get back into shape. Retirement can be hard in more than one way.

Keep it up.

April 8, 2011, 07:16 PM
For the last 25 years, I've made it my policy to stay in good enough shape to do my age in straight, military PT pushups on my birthday. I turned 65 last February. It doesn't get any harder if you stay with it.

Now, I can do 100 pushups in 3 minutes and 15 dead-hang pullups. I'm sure that's partly responsible for the fact that I'm shooting better now than when I was 30.

You, sir, are freaking AWESOME!!!!

My P.T. program revolves around an over all life strategy as opposed to a purely defensive strategy.

As a service member, being "physically strong", and moving "further and faster" was a part of the job description.

Now that I am no longer in that line of work, and getting a little long in the tooth, I have found that I feel WORSE if I DON'T do P.T. than when I do. So while the intensity and time may have decreased a bit, I have increased the frequency, and do P.T. every single day.

Fitness is certainly an attribute in defensive situations, and any other physical endeavor, however, I feel the biggest benefit, and the MOST important, is in how fitness enhances the over all quality of life.

April 9, 2011, 08:59 AM
Now that I am no longer in that line of work, and getting a little long in the tooth, I have found that I feel WORSE if I DON'T do P.T. than when I do.

Yep. No question about it.

If I don't do my core exercises, I get lower back spasms and my flexibility suffers. If I don’t do my cardio, my abs disappear under a layer of fat.

In my experience, the key to staying in shape isn’t doing an endless series of isolation exercises, it’s doing a small number of compound exercises that mimic the movements you’d have to do if you really needed to perform in an emergency, plus the exercises you need to keep your core muscles in top shape, plus cardio.

For anyone who cares, here’s my weekly routine:

Monday and Friday:
Some light stretching, followed by one set of 100 pushups. Goal=minimum of 65 (my current age) in 90 sec and 100 in 3 minutes.
Nautilus pullup machine: 15 dead-hang pullups (knee pad locked down), 15 pullups @ -50 lbs, 15 pullups @ -65 lbs.
Nautilus crunch machine: 50 reps @ my body weight.
Nautilus lower back machine: 50 reps @ my body weight.
30 minutes on the treadmill @ 3.6 mph and 6% incline.

Nautilus leg press machine: 15 reps @ 300, 15 reps @ 360, 15 reps @ 400.
Cable twists: (don’t know who made the equipment) 3 sets of 25 reps @ 10 lbs.
30 minutes on the treadmill @ 3.6 mph and 6% incline.

I finish every workout with five 3 minute rounds on the speed bag. That’s just for fun.

That’s it. I’m in and out of the gym in under an hour and a half.

April 9, 2011, 12:58 PM
Anyone who has some health or weight issues and looking to keep some sort of good shape, I HIGHLY reccomend getting into a pool. I used to think that also, especially after having a pool from the time I was 12 until I was married. When I was a kid, you couldn't get me out of the water. But I went back to a pool at 48 or so and did nothing but laps for 6 months, rather than float around and pretend like some of the guys at our gym. I did them to absolute exhaustion 3 days a week to see what it would do for me. It did nothing; I lost no weight, my breathing didn't improve, and I didn't really even feel any more limber than before. Total disappointment. I expect it would have to be better than nothing, but I get better results with simply 5 minutes of treadmill and a workout. It must depend on age and body type, but I'm done with pools. I would tell anyone to try it, but if it hasn't done anything for you after 2 months, it likely won't.

April 9, 2011, 01:53 PM
For those with movement difficulties I would suggest starting with some Yoga and Tai-Chi, also the "Airplane" exercises are good for those of you constrained to cubicles!

I was lucky to be in decent shape before a shoulder injury 6 years ago and surgery on said shoulder 4 years ago but what I learned doing research and listening to my Physical Therapy Doc's was amazing. My left shoulder is still an Achillies Heel for me but I am getting better daily.

April 9, 2011, 07:53 PM
Many of you feel the need to carry a CCW thinking your life is in danger, however, you can't seem to take care of your personal health which will probably be the death of you. Its not only a good idea from a tactical standpoint to do a little exercise...its just an all around good idea to shed the weight and get in-shape or at least do some type of minimal exercise to keep yourself in check.

I see guys at the gym who are severely overweight. I want to ask them, what was the thing that told you to lose that weight?
Didn't you notice when your waist passed 40 inches?
Didn't you notice when you couldn't fit into any of your clothes?
Didn't you notice when you lost two inches of your penis under all that fat?

Now their problem is they're so out of shape they have to use weights most of us would laugh at.
They're embarrassed by the fact they can’t do a single pushup or pullup. They can’t do bench presses with just the bar. They can’t bend over far enough to do deadlifts. They’d kill themselves trying to do a squat. So, they spend their time in the Nautilus room, because no one can see what tiny weights they’re using. I see them crank out 15 reps with light weight and then move the pin down so it’ll look like they were actually working. They get on the treadmill and mosey along at 2.5 mph and zero incline, sweating like mad.

It’s like timetohunt said; they’re going to die of neglect long before anyone can kill them.

April 9, 2011, 10:22 PM
For those with movement difficulties I would suggest starting with some Yoga and Tai-Chi,I work out, so I don't have movement difficulties, but I am looking for a center that teaches Tai-Chi when I move, as I understand it to be one of the best stress relievers.

April 10, 2011, 10:12 AM
My job keeps me in decent shape, but I gotta say GOOD for Beararms; giving up soda and beer wow I just don't have the will to do it and I have tried lol>

April 11, 2011, 04:09 AM
If you cant run 3 miles or do some pullups, then you should question whether you are qualified for military service.


What does running three miles have to do with combat or military service?

Im not sure what they do in today's Army, but it certainly does not seem the same.

It likely is not.

April 11, 2011, 07:08 AM
What does running three miles have to do with combat or military service?

Directly, probably not much, but it implies a level of fitness and personal responsibility that should be a part of every service member's life (same applies to firemen/women, paramedics, LEOs, etc.) Being able to run 3 miles (or alternatively, 30 minutes without stopping) is not that big a deal, no matter if you are 15 or 65. For those whose knees preclude running, there are other ways of demonstrating a similar level of fitness.

April 11, 2011, 12:04 PM
After 23 years I have yet to see a single soldier run three miles, unarmed, unequipped wearing gym shorts and a T-shirt through a battle. Maybe it happened in that old army.

A much better indicator of performance would be a 12 mile march with full kit, weapon and ruck sack. Also a test that indicated what soldiers could do in short bursts, such as rushing a building, clearing a room, capturing an enemy. These things would be much more important than jogging three miles.

Sorry for the detour.

What I am trying to get at is that new PT test (which there is a lot more of than indicated here) is designed around short bursts of high energy activity and not slower long haul activity. This is a much more useful type of measurement of performance under stress.

April 11, 2011, 01:37 PM
Firearms, and PT, are but two parts of my overall health and well-being strategy.

Run, swim, lift, play sports, eat right, get plenty of rest. Laugh often and be happy.


For those questioning the logic behind the Army PFT, I suggest browsing FM 25-100, FM 21-10, and FM 7-0.

Although the above post hit the nail on the head.

For "Soldier/NCO of the Command/Year/etc" they do include many skill-based tests, in addition to a basic PFT, weapon certification, and a grilling panel interview with Senior NCOs.

Many law enforcement agencies (granted they operate differently) have gone to shorter "long" runs and more burst events. For example, the current FBI PFT includes a minute of max situps, 300m sprint, maximum untimed pushups, and a 1.5 mile run, with max pullups for HRT candidates. There's a minimum requirement, but it's just that, the bare minimum to scrape through.

I've seen some agencies including shuttle runs and other measures of physical fitness, agility, and overall athleticism.

April 11, 2011, 01:47 PM
Most people who work and have a family dont have the time to devote to long runs and intensive training which is understandable.

Neither long runs, intensive training, or equipment are required for individual fitness, and even 30 minutes a day is enough to develop or maintain healthy muscle tone and cardio conditioning.

It seems to me the US Army has softened up its standards probably because it could not get enough recruits to pass the old fitness test. That is honestly a disgrace.

I can't speak for the Corps, but in the Army, the tail wags the dog. The overwhelming majority of Army individuals hold specialties that do NOT require the physical and mental toughness required of fighters, so rather than set standards that would accommodate the limited number of fighters, the Army opts to set their standards for those that "fight" from behind the walls of a FOB, or in an office / TOC behind a computer screen.

What does running three miles have to do with combat or military service.

Seeing as how fire and maneuver is the concept pretty much EVERY offensive military operation is based on, I would say running would fall into the "maneuver" part of that concept.

Running the short distance required of the Army, and the Corps, demonstrates a BASIC level of cardio fitness that can more easily be built on to perform the more demanding tasks of combat. Long range movements and foot patrols in difficult terrain, under a load, are much easier to perform, adapt to, and recover from, when individuals have a good foundation established through running.

This foundation also supports an assaulters' ability to maneuver to positions of advantage that allow him to close with and destroy enemy positions. Troops can only carry so much ammo, and can sustain fire for a relatively limited amount of time, so it becomes crucial that a maneuver element is capable of moving to a new assault OR support position as fast as possible. That means RUNNING.

While most of the military will NEVER have to fire and maneuver due to having non-combat duty positions, those of us that did / do will need to have the leg and cardio strength and endurance that "running three miles" helps to build and maintain. Running helps to set the conditions for success and survival on the battle field (not the FOB/TOC/motor pool/aid station), and THAT has a LOT to do with combat and military service, whether anyone realizes it or not.

April 11, 2011, 01:58 PM
For those who say they don't have the time, look up a gentleman by the name of David Goggins.

33 years old.

Full time, he's a Navy SEAL.

He's married with a family.

In his SPARE time, he runs ultra marathons (100 and 150 miles), performs 500-mile bike rides, and does other extreme endurance sports. This was after he quit being a powerlifter, and lost a ton of weight.

Now, what excuses do you have?

Tom Servo
April 11, 2011, 02:32 PM
I was involved in a serious car accident once, and the injuries left me with some serious physical limitations. Fortunately, my quality of life is good, but I won't last long in a hand-to-hand confrontation.

As such, I've had to change strategies. I have prior training in Aikido (which doesn't place much emphasis on strength), and some of those techniques are viable, but for the most part, I'll be more heavily dependent on a firearm should things go that terribly.

Those three cups of coffee a day do grant me catlike reflexes, however. ;)

April 11, 2011, 03:49 PM
The ability to run three miles is a start but hardly enough. In AIT 5 miles is a standard run and you will run further. Don't worry if you are out of shape, after boot camp, you won't be. If you are a Marine, an Infantry man or a Navy corpsman; you will then go to advanced infantry training(ait) after that you will have little trouble running 3 miles or 5 miles; assuming you are healthy of course. So what does running three miles have to do with the military? Nothing if you are lucky enough to avoid deployment over-seas; everything if you aren't!

April 11, 2011, 05:56 PM
Definitely PT helps, imo.

Especially cardio since it makes the heart more efficient, beating less during rest and shooting sport times. The breath becomes calmer, which can also improve shooting scores.

I do running, bicycling, stairclimbing.

April 11, 2011, 07:03 PM
even 30 minutes a day is enough to develop or maintain healthy muscle tone and cardio conditioning. Yep. I've lost about 40lbs in the last year doing 20-30 minutes daily.

April 11, 2011, 07:17 PM
... there's a book I'll recommend. An acquaintance of mine wrote it, and it's been selling well. It's about how to workout with virtually no equipment, using bodyweight and household / hotel room furniture. There are two or three exercises that would require light dumbbells, or similar, but the vast majority of exercises in the book require little more than the right attitude.


For background, Mark is a former USAF Combat Controller, who helped design the fitness program currently in use by the Air Force for Combat Controller training. You can find reviews of the book pretty easily via google, and even those that criticize Mark's writing style seem to praise the actual exercises.

And the really nice things about it, in my opinion, are:

1) As noted, you can do most of this stuff in your home, or at your hotel when on business. You don't need a gym, or special equipment; and

2) Mark has provided ways to increase difficulty for each exercise; he has also set things up to allow design of effective 20-minute workouts.

I have a signed copy, and I highly recommend the exercises in the book.

April 11, 2011, 08:35 PM
Uh-oh.....I feel another type of pictures coming along..

Can we post progress pictures? Before and After?

We can turn this into a bb thread! I was with the forum.

Benched double my weight 6 months ago. And worked out three years straight before that...all went great..However....haven't in 6 months. Work -__- too much over time.

Now...YES! I felt more comfortable shooting then, than now..

April 12, 2011, 07:55 AM
I concur with MLeake. Mark Lauren has one of the best books out there. His book gives you enough information to customize your own plan. If you don't fell comfortable with that, he has multiple fitness regimines in the book.

I customized my own plan and in just a month I was remarkably fitter in every way. One of the reasons is that Mark focuses on functional fitness. His excercises work multiple muscle groups. Your body learns to use muscles in unision to help with real world situations.

Even some of the most basic looking excercises can be monsterous. Try doing the bear crawl. I like to do it as modified tabatas. I like a 40 second sprint followed by a 20 second "walk." Do that for ten minutes. In days you will see improvements in your upper back, shoulders, chest, arms, and cardio.

You can find numerous "easy" excercises that will tone and tune your body. My first day I did 30 rear lunges per leg. I over did it (Mark warns about that) and it hurt to sit down or walk for two days. In about a month I could do a one legged squat. Not everybody will get those results. However, you will be astonished at how fast you improve.

Sorry to sound like an infomercial. I just fully believe that with Mark's book you can achieve an amazing level of fitness. You just have to be willing to sacrifice 30 minutes a day 5 days a week.

MLeake, try doing "the roof is on fire" with a 10 pound weight in each hand. I tried doing it and cut the "lifts" from four to two. If you can reach 7 (14 lifts) you are doing awesome. If you make it past 10 (20 lifts) you are a god among men. That would put you over 57 (114 lifts) total. I was lucky to reach 4 :D
(It is like a ladder, only you keep progressing instead of coming down.)

April 12, 2011, 01:24 PM
I just started back exercising last week. Walking briskly for 2 miles now. I began by walking 1 mile in 30mins, 2 miles in an hr. Today I shattered my time by walking 2 miles in 35 mins. I couldnt believe it myself. But that's what my watch said. Or it could have been the big dog chasing me that made me walk faster. =) I can really tell a difference in my endurance and confidence. But for the range time. Ill have to wait until tomorrow and see if it has had any impact on my training.

April 15, 2011, 05:04 AM
The ability to run three miles is a start but hardly enough. In AIT 5 miles is a standard run and you will run further. Don't worry if you are out of shape, after boot camp, you won't be. If you are a Marine, an Infantry man or a Navy corpsman; you will then go to advanced infantry training(ait) after that you will have little trouble running 3 miles or 5 miles; assuming you are healthy of course. So what does running three miles have to do with the military? Nothing if you are lucky enough to avoid deployment over-seas; everything if you aren't!

I assume you mean after bootcamp a Marine with an infantry contract will go to SOI (School of Infantry)? They won't let you out of bootcamp if you can't pass a PFT so you really shouldn't be out of shape. Also, PT runs are few and far between in SOI. You simply don't have much time for it. It's approximately 2 months long, and I think we ran a total of 7 or 8 times. Is it enough? No. But, there's too many other things going on such as ranges and forced marches.

For the record, I hate running with a passion. I'm not good at it and if I slack for even a bit my time suffers. However, I do understand the need for the 3 mile test. In 2008 or 2009 (right around the new year) I found myself running about 4-5K back to the COP in Iraq. I was doing a mission only a few kilometers out right on the Syrian border. We ended up taking fire from a vehicle when we were on our way back, and the best course of action was to simply get the hell out of there. It wasn't without stopping once or twice to to keep accountability of the patrol and make sure the two civilian contractors were still with us. Like I said, I'm not a big fan of the 3 mile run and enjoy the CFT much more then the PFT. Having the ability to run 3 miles though definitely helped that night in Iraq.

I saw earlier someone mentioned a female Sgt 1st Class and that combined with the talk of marches reminded me of why I hate the battalion I am in. We were going to do a SHORT hump with the battalion, maybe 6-7 miles at most. A female LCpl complained to her MstSgt that she was too short to carry her M16A2 and wanted a M4. Unfortantely she got it. Then, a female 1stSgt complained that she as well was too short so needless to say she got an M4. I often wonder how they got through bootcamp where the standard issue is an M16A2. Sorry to go off track with that, but at least it's firearms and PT related ;)


April 16, 2011, 11:13 PM
Sorry guys, but at 68 I let Smith and Wesson do the heavy lifting, with the help of John Browning.


April 17, 2011, 06:25 AM
Like one of my instructors told me:
What good is it to survive a defensive encounter, only to die of a stress-induced heart attack while waiting on the police to arrive!