View Full Version : physical conditioning

December 13, 1998, 05:26 PM
What do you operators out there do to keep fit?

What are reasonable minimum requirements for tactical team members?
physical standards?
weapons qualifications?
skill based testing?

We may be changing our standards (sheriff's discretion) and I would like some outside input. Our team's main area of operations is high risk warrant service (search and arrest) but we are also tasked with any other special tactics situations. Our environment is mostly rural with small (6,000 or less) communities. We have a lot of meth in the area and 2 busy traffic corridors.

I would like to make the assessment standards reflect the job requirements.

Thank You
Buck Peddicord

Edmund Rowe
December 13, 1998, 08:24 PM
WARNING: Amateur opinion follows

If I was designing a Physical Aptitude test for a tactical team...hmmm...

-Sprint test, say 100 yards in x seconds followed immediately by marksmanship test at targets available for short time periods.
-load-carrying test, run x yards carrying 100lbs PLUS full rollout gear, again followed by a shooting test, hmm, maybe a shoot, no-shoot mind teaser...-
-Maybe get one of those football practice frameworks with the pads on it and test if the applicant can move it x feet in y seconds or less.
-Jeff Cooper's "Kenyathalon" concept: Originally set up a steel target 100 yards away (or was it 200?), shoot it, run out there and set it back up, run back, repeat, I think 3 or 4 shooting runs. I have no idea what a good time would be for this. Obviously you could set it up at shorter distances with handgun or shotgun.
-Complicate the above by firing shotgun bird bombs over their heads. Make applicants pay for the bird bombs ahead of time, too.

I guess the key in testing is whether the applicant is testing before or after tactical team training, and what standards you are trying to impose.

One way to keep rookies on their toes is make a policy that the entire first year after passing training/testing is still probationary, and a serious negative report by a team mate and he's OUT.

Once again I'm no expert, just an RKI on a weekend computer surfing trip.


Jeff White
December 13, 1998, 11:19 PM
The test that I took back in 1986 for the joint course ran by the 375th Security Police Squadron (Scott Air Force Base IL) and the Illinois State Police had the following test to get into the school (sorry for the delay, I had to dig out my old manual from the course):
1. 30 seconds of stretching to warm up
2. 30 seconds of windmills (count No of reps)
3. 30 Seconds of pushups (count no of reps)
4. 30 seconds of situps (count no of reps)
5. 30 seconds of leg lifts (count no of reps)
6. 30 seconds of cherry pickers (count reps)
1 minute break
1. 60 seconds of pushups (count reps)
2. 60 seconds of cherry pickers (count reps)
3. 60 seconds of tucks (count reps)
4. 60 seconds of windmills (count reps)
5. 60 seconds of situps (count reps)
1 minute break
Run 1/2 mile in 240 seconds(count seconds completed)

Add all calisthenics together and subtract the time for the 1/2 mile run; this gives a numbered score. Total score should be better then 50.

They told us at the time that this test was designed to burn all of the energy stored at the muscles and force the candidate to o on will power. It was very exhausting, much more so then either the Army APFT of the standard state approved physical agility test for police officers.

I'm certain there have been advances in conditioning and testing techniques since then.


Rob Pincus
December 13, 1998, 11:49 PM
Okay, I'll throw in a few of my unqualified thoughts, based on what I've experienced or noticed as lacking in Many Military/LE training regimens:

These may not be what you are looking for, but I think that these things are important as a base for the physical fitness program.

1. Consistent standards for all team members. ie- the women and older guys will be expected to perform the same jobs, so they should have to meet the same standards.

2.Appropriate Physical Training should be done with full gear and in uniform, often. Including:
Dashes carrying body simulators (or even better, each other!)
Obstacle course
"dry runs" of tactical scenarios (ie-walkthrus)

As to weapons qualifications:

Training should be realistic, as per my many other posts on the site. Simply requiring a higher score on a typical qualification course is almost silly.
Team tactics should be emphasized, as well as shooting under dynamic conditions, as range rules, operator ability and insurance limitations allow.

I think that Force on Force training (with simunitions or similar product if possible) is invaluable, in my opinion. Locally, our county SRT sometimes uses non-team officers as BGs. This is also a good way to "interview" potential new recruits.

As a side note, If your team does not have compatible weapons, well, IMHO, it should. It is a good idea for all team members to be familar with, if not qualified with, all the team weapons, if possible.
I am a fan of cross training team members as much as possible. If everyone is carrying the same sidearm (and can share mags) it is one less thing to worry about.


Mike Mello
December 14, 1998, 08:26 PM
I think Buck that you have to complete PT skills that are mission specific. If in your tactical community they wear 30lbs load bearing vests, that should be part of the test. Los Angeles Sheriffs Department SEB (SWAT) has canidates perform an o course with the vest for time. You get the elements of speed, upper and lower body strength and endurance all in one package. The course is such at if you don't prepare or maintain, you don't pass. Don't get lulled into programs designed by fitness types that only focus on one aspect of fitness(ususally running)

Salazar Schlitz
October 20, 2007, 06:12 AM
At the very least, I think you should be able to do:
10 minutes of HIIT(30 seconds sprinting, 30 jogging, repeat)
3 miles, 50lbs of extra weight in under 45 minutes
5 muscle-ups with gear
5 pistols with gear(one-legged squats)
3 sets of 10 pullups and chinups w/ gear
Obstacle Course

Along with a good number of core exercises, such as weighted situps/crunches, abstraps, one-arm pushups, etc.

As far as firearms drills go, Im not so savvy. I guess some kind of point shooting and IPSC type range integrated into the PT cardio.

Perhaps add some swimming and flexibility training into your regime, and you should be in ass-kickin' shape if you push yourself.

From what I've gathered from firefighters and SEALS I've talked to, I think this would be a good starting point for physical standards.

October 20, 2007, 07:36 AM
1. Consistent standards for all team members. ie- the women and older guys will be expected to perform the same jobs, so they should have to meet the same standards

To qualify as a sniper in the German military someone had to get a golden sportsmedal, the requirements are the same from 18 to 30 years of age. Then the requirements get lowered every five years.

At 48 I still easily qualify for my age group but then when I was young, the 12.4 seconds for 100m were easy, too.

Last year I tried to get below 13 seconds and trained for it - all I got was a pulled muscle:).

I believe there should be tough requirements but realistically staged for age groups.

October 20, 2007, 09:44 AM
WOW...a NINE YEAR OLD THREAD is resurrected....

October 20, 2007, 11:46 AM
Indeed! It was too early in the morning for me to realize that!

Rob Pincus
October 21, 2007, 10:57 AM
Blast from the past indeed.....

WIth nine years of reflection, I'll second everything I said about training in general, take away the emphasis on similiarity of weapons/gears and recommend that everyone take a look at Cross Fit for physical conditioning.


October 21, 2007, 05:40 PM

October 27, 2007, 01:31 PM
Wow. A 9 year interval. This might be a record.

How folks measure up is always a popular topic of speculation.

Those out there not quite sure how you measure up to and aren't quite sure how to go about it:

1. Find out the PT standards.
2. Be able to score them in the 90s.
3. Be able to pass them in full gear.

4. Find out the firearms standards.
5. Be able to score in them in the 90s.
6. Be able to pass them in full gear.

If you do that, you measure up to those applying for selection to what is often termed "special units." Selections' another thing and depends on "the other factors."

October 27, 2007, 01:49 PM
...and Buck40 hasn't posted anything since 01-05-2002!

October 29, 2007, 05:10 PM
Life starts with a 300 Army PFT.

October 29, 2007, 05:21 PM
training should be the same as the way you fight.

October 29, 2007, 07:07 PM
Here's what works for me! Go to the range at least once a week and exercise index finger for about 100 rounds. Then go home and take a nap, after which I exercise again using the TV remote to search the Military, History, and Discovery channels for the latest in weaponry systems.
Then about 5pm, I start the trek to the fridge, for multiple reps with a 16 oz. Miller Lite.
Now it's time to work up a real sweat by grilling a nice steak and baked potato with the works.
By this time, I'm totally zapped, so I struggle to the freezer for a big bowl of Rocky Road ice cream.
Finally, my conditioning is complete and it's off to bed to prepare for the next tactical cycle.:D

October 30, 2007, 07:13 AM
This seems a little odd to me.
We have no idea what kind of applicants you get or how many. Do you have a waiting list long enough to be picky about it? If so, haven't you got access to typical standards for those positions? From your post, I gather you're basically bounty hunters. If that's the case, and you're asking how many chin-ups Slash should be able to do, that's hard to say. I believe the standard is "get the job done". If your position is official, I'd think you'd have standards, and your question would pertain to whether or not they're agreeable.

Capt. Charlie
October 30, 2007, 12:09 PM
I don't think you're going to get a response from Buck, Tanzer; he hasn't logged onto TFL for over 5 years :D.

Let me take a shot at this though. It sounds like he is/was a member of a sheriff's SWAT or SRT. As such, serving high risk warrants is a frequent duty, but obviously not their only duty.

Joining SWAT is a prestigious and highly desired goal among most LEO's, and there's never a shortage of applicants. Setting higher physical standards for these teams has a two-fold purpose: To thin down the applicant list to those that really want it and are willing to work for it, and the fact that team members have to be in better physical shape than the average cop. There's no jelly bellies on these teams :D.

State standards, where they exist, vary all over the lot, and are invariably set at a minimum level. So departments set their own standards, and these too vary widely. Enter SWAT with yet more differences and you've got a confusing mess.

you're asking how many chin-ups Slash should be able to do, that's hard to say. I believe the standard is "get the job done".
And therein lies the problem: What, exactly, IS the job? If he were working in, say, a feed store, you know ahead of time that he's going to be slinging 50 pound bags of feed, so you set a standard of benching 50 pounds X number of times. In a SWAT deployment, you never know what you're going to face. It could be anything from fighting a meth head to running up the steps of a skyscraper, like those at the World Trade Center had to do.

So, to me at least, I can well understand why Buck asked for input.

October 30, 2007, 12:58 PM
Cap'n Charlie,
Sorry, I didn't notice the date, just that it was towards the top of the list with few replies. It still seems odd he'd be asking for advice in such a prestigious job. Looks like Salazar resurrected it.