Ranking Fitness Skills – Which is the Most Important?

 Fitness, Tactical Fitness  Comments Off on Ranking Fitness Skills – Which is the Most Important?
Mar 142017

When we think in terms of sports, we can place a greater emphasis on certain fitness abilities than others. A power lifter is only concerned with pure limit strength in the bench press, deadlift, and squat. A long distance runner seeks to attain supreme cardiovascular endurance. A football or basketball player’s fitness abilities will differ by position but speed, agility, and quickness are shared fitness traits between the two sports.


For a first responder, combat serviceman, and tactical professional, there are a host of fitness skills that most be sharp at all times. Similar to athletes, certain fitness skills are required more in some tactical professions than in others. Here is an analysis of some fitness traits in relation to a tactical athlete’s profession.

Speed  – necessary for nearly all professionals. Sprinting to attack an enemy position, chasing a suspect, running to put out a fire or to safety, or running to intercept an assailant; speed is an important fitness requirement.

Strength – A soldier will need the strength to carry weapons,  supplies, and lift wounded comrades. A firefighter has to be ready to carry and evacuate victims, axe through doors, and even carry comrades. A police officer doesn’t need overpowering strength but functional strength if someone is resisting arrest. A SWAT officer generally is required to use more strength to carry breeching tools, and other equipment. A close protection agent, like a police officer needs a basic level of strength but one does not need to be built like an ox.

Cardiovascular Strength Endurance – For the soldier and firefighter, battles and fires can last for hours and even days. Conditioning is essential to sustain optimum performance over the course of many hours. Police officers, and in particular SWAT officers will sometimes be engaged in stand-offs with criminals and the occasional long gun battle but no one is running a marathon to apprehend anyone.

Anaerobic Strength Endurance – All tactical professions require a decent level of sustained strength over a short amount of time. Think of the conditioning of an MMA fighter, short intense engagements taxing the muscles with periods of rest here and there. Hostage rescue breeches, riots, fires, advancing to an enemy position, require the tactical professional to engage his or her body repeatedly until the situation is over. Small battles and fires can of course lead to large ones requiring soldiers and firefighters to possess great cardiovascular strength endurance.

Agility/Quickness – The ability to dodge and overcome physical obstacles is paramount in all tactical professions. Zig – zagging through a firefight, crowd of people, wreckage from a fire, or any environment with minimal cover or concealment requires tactical professionals to move in all directions.

There are of course more fitness traits to list but the above are main ones to consider when preparing to enter or remain in a tactical profession.

For anyone wanting a one on one consultation or tactical program, please contact me.


Maintaining Tactical Skill Sets

 Core values, Warriors  Comments Off on Maintaining Tactical Skill Sets
Jun 142013

Skills and abilities whether tactical in nature or athletic, will diminish over time if not maintained. For many tactical operators or first responders, there is an intense learning curve during initial training and within the first few years of employment. Candidates and probationary first responders are repeatedly tested and sent to various courses to attain the necessary skills of their profession. After passing a basic proficiency in a host of different skills,  emergency service/security/military personnel will suffer a drop in their capabilities if too much time passes before they are required to do more job related training. Budget and manpower needs are often the reasons why agencies don’t consistently send their personnel for training. Sometimes it is up to the individual to seek out training so they are optimally prepared to handle the hazards of their profession. For the armed law enforcement or security professional here is my list for the most important skill sets to maintain:

1. Firearm training- though the percentage is very low for security or police personnel to fire their weapons, the liability of carrying a weapon is extremely high, so practicing shooting skills at least once a month is essential. Every other month agencies or individuals  should incorporate a reality based drill which will test team members abilities to work under stress. (Generally, SWAT team members have the opportunity to shoot and train more frequently)

2. Self Defense Skills  – Basic moves that involve gross motor skills will be maintained longer than more intricate and technical moves. Self defense skills should be evaluated every 3-4 months but the tactical operator should train once a week in close quarter combat.

3. Fitness- physical fitness demands may vary profession to profession but the first responder/tactical operator should prepare themselves physically as if a “worst case scenario” is a routine occurrence. The fitness lifestyle is a daily pursuit so one must make time to ensure that he or she is physically able to meet any challenge.

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