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.

 

Training Motivation – What Drives You

 Core values, Fitness, Sports Specific, Warriors  Comments Off on Training Motivation – What Drives You
Apr 012016
 

People workout, compete, or undertake intense tactical or combat sports training for a myriad of reasons – for general health, for recognition of winning, for recognition from others of how they look, ego driven – to feel invincible or feel like a Navy SEAL, Marine Raider, Army Ranger, or Green Beret.

For many tactical and first responders (police, fire, EMS security), the motivation for training will take on a different nature with varied consequences if one does’t train correctly or consistently.

  1. Succeeding at a rescue or response
  2. Keeping my place on the unit or detail
  3. Staying injury free
  4. Improving chances of a promotion

The reasons above are positive in nature, conversely there are negative motivators as well.

5. Losing a victim, or co-worker due to a lack of training or necessary level of physical fitness

6. Losing my place on the unit or detail

7. Hurting myself during a response because my joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments weren’t prepared for the stress.

8. Routinely being passed over for promotion because of low fitness or tactical evaluation scores

Stay focused on the positive and what tactical fitness training can do for you because losing sucks.

 

Incorporating Defensive Tactics in to Security Training

 Core values  Comments Off on Incorporating Defensive Tactics in to Security Training
Jul 092015
 

The ultimate goal of a security program is prevention. Security directors and managers are tasked with protecting bad things from happening to people, assets, reputation and so on. A host of measures are used to facilitate the goal of prevention:

Physical/IT Security – barriers, cameras, access control, lighting, signagae, intrusion detection, encryption

Policies & Procedures – Loss prevention protocols, travel security, vendor/guest documentation, investigation and prosecution policies, sexual harassment, “What to do in case of…”,

People – Security staff + employees. Numerous training courses are designed for security staff and employees to help them identify and or deescalate criminal, violent, or hazardous situations before such incidents snowball in to something grave.

THE DANGER AREA

The danger area can be identified as the time and place when an incident happens despite all of the previous counter measures described above and all security assets are suddenly geared toward responding and containing the threat. It is at this juncture when training is put to the test.

A common occurrence that happens at many facilities is when security staff is presented with a violent current or former employee, or intruder who is not responding to efforts of deescalation or is intent on doing something violent. 911 should be called but often a police response could be too late to contain and apprehend an attacker. What if a small private school is protected by a solitary security officer at the entrance but has no command center to call for back up yet is confronted by an aggressive intruder. Will the officer pick up his cell phone and call 911 while an attacker is rushing him?

Defensive Tactics

When a security and even a police officer have to physically restrain or contain a violent person, much can go wrong. Unfortunately, many corporate and facility decision makers are so weary of any violent confrontation that they would prefer that security staff not intercede when confronted by an attacker. These decisions are based on fear that the security officer may cause more harm than good, might get hurt, or bring about a law suit. Well, I say that security officers should be empowered in knowing how to defend themselves and contain a violent attacker.

Defensive tactics training is best applied if it is conducted in partnership with a similar security course like Management of Aggressive Behavior (MOAB), as part of a security officer’s on-boarding process, or  within an advanced security training program like executive protection. Even with the best efforts of using verbal judo on an aggressive person, sometimes situations turn violent. Defensive tactics training will compliment a verbal judo/MOAB type of course.

The length of a defensive tactics course can run the gambit from 1-2 days to a week or longer. Budget and manpower needs will often dictate the length of the course. Ideally, on going training is preferred so participants can continuously practice and be prepared for a host of scenarios.

Many security officers will often seek defensive tactics training on their own which is commendable however, if the security officer’s actions are not inline with corporate policy for response, the officer can get in trouble even though he or she may prevent a major incident from happening. Once the initial defensive training is attended, security officers should receive stipends to maintain their defensive tactics capabilities since they are perishable skills.

 

Here are some quick steps to help incorporate defensive tactics in to security training:

1. Get approval from corporate and client decision makers

2. Identify a course to to which to partner defensive tactics training

3. Make sure that all participants are physically and mentally fit to engage in defensive tactics training

4. Identify respected self defense/defensive tactics schools or trainers

For more information, please register at www.battletestedsolutions.com

 

 

Theory Versus Experience

 Core values  Comments Off on Theory Versus Experience
Feb 052015
 

In any profession or industry there exists people whom by their understanding of theories or history of whatever subject are recognized as subject matter experts. Likewise, there are those people who have “boots on the ground” experience in various professions and industries that are also subject matter experts. “Theorists” and “operators” don’t have to be mutually exclusive, one can hold a PhD. in astrophysics yet still be an astronaut.

In the tactical operations industry there are experts who theorize how police, security, firefighters or military members should respond to or train for a given situation and conversely there are those experts who have lived through or managed various tactical situations and have different understandings of what is needed to succeed in moments of crisis.

This I can tell you for sure, the skills needed to respond to physical and stress inducing situations are perishable. For every skill – firing a weapon, dragging a body to safety, close quarter combat, defensive driving, etc. there are points in time when one’s proficiency in said skill drops due to lack of practice. When a tactical situation results in death, we see many talking heads or so called experts theorize that perhaps race or some socio-economic factor was the reason why someone was killed. In actuality, my experience tells me that a lack of training and practice doing drills may very well cause the first responder to act impetuously having lost the skill to respond correctly given the scenario.

Reality based training is so critical for success yet for many emergency response agencies, budget becomes an issue.

Learn how to get the edge in tactical situations by following this blog or by following Battle Tested Solutions across various social media outlets.

 

Apr 032014
 

Battle Tested. I have to admit my brand name is pretty catchy. In fact I own a number of domain names with battle tested in it; more on that at a later time. But let’s be honest, Tied and True Fitness just doesn’t have the same impact as Battle Tested Fitness. My strategies and programs for tactical fitness training come from having  to prepare my body, mind, and nervous system for any type of crisis.

Questions I always get are, “So how does one get to be battle tested? Do you have to serve and survive in a war zone?” To answer the second question first, no one needs to be a veteran or have aspirations to serve in a combat role. However, many could use tactical fitness training to be prepared for dynamic physical engagements. Here are a number of instances where being tactically fit can come in handy:

1. Industrial accidents – strength and speed required to push over equipment and run from danger.

2. Natural disasters – earthquake, hurricane, flood. Does one not need physical strength and fortitude to pack up as much belongings as possible in a short time and evacuate by car or other means?

3. Active Shooter – a far too common occurrence, laying motionless can save your life as well as sprinting for cover.

4. Black Friday – negotiating rushing crowds and masses of people is a hidden threat that will challenge one’s physical fitness.

In addition to training first responders to many of the situations listed above, Battle Tested Fitness delivers strength and conditioning programs that replicates the physical demand caused by “worst case scenarios” so that if an event should happen you are as prepared as possible.

– Greg

 

Battle Ready

 Core values, Fitness  Comments Off on Battle Ready
Jun 052012
 

Planning for a physical engagement requires much from your body and mind. Here are a few pointers for getting battle ready for a host of real life or sports related challenges:

1. Train your body for the specific physical demands of your event or engagement. If you are trying to pass a military, police, or fire department physical entrance test like an obstacle course, running eight miles won’t help you improve your anaerobic strength capacity or speed, agility and quickness, but progressively intense total body resistance and reactive training will help you get the results you need. Conversely, spending a majority of your physical training time lifting heavy weights won’t help you improve your time in endurance sports. It is OK to cross train in other sports and incorporate various levels of physical intensity, but keep your main focus on preparing your body for the specific demands it will face.

2. Situational Awareness. Doesn’t matter if you are in a field of play or field of fire, mental acuity is paramount for success. Having strong internal discipline and razor sharp focus will only enhance your performance. Wayne Gretzky understood the importance of situational awareness in the hockey rink; he attributed his success for knowing, “where the puck was going to be.”

3. Tapering the intensity before a big event. Going all out in training is good, just make sure it is not days before your body and mind will be put to the test. The central nervous system (CNS) regulates the body’s functions, if you don’t give the CNS enough time to recover from the accumulated physical and mental stress, you will not be at your best when you need it most.

Use these tips in preparing for your next sporting event or physical fitness test and be battle ready.

Preparing for Intensity – Seven Tips

 Core values  Comments Off on Preparing for Intensity – Seven Tips
May 232012
 

Prepared for Intensity

 

You may be a special operations operator preparing for a hostage rescue, a fireman about to enter a burning building, or an athlete moments before a competition; its go time. Have you taken the necessary steps to prepare for this moment? Though the above mentioned events are radically different from each other, they share the elements of physical and mental intensity. How does one get ready for such engagements? Here are 7 tips  to help someone physically and mentally prepare for extreme moments of intensity.

1. Train your body to physically be ready for the stresses you may encounter. Running up a flight of stairs maybe be easy, now add 60 pounds of gear, not so easy. Firefighters often are loaded with heavy equipment and then are burdened with carrying a survivor of a fire to safety.

2. Wearing the appropriate clothing and gear suitable to your body. You may be a great athlete but if your shoes don’t fit well or a part of your clothing chafes your skin, the added irritation will cause you to become distracted and be efficient in your movements.

3. Practicing in the environment to which you will be engaged or tested. Trail and mud runs are fun but training on a treadmill won’t help you develop the physical capabilities and mental comfort to compete at your best. Replicate the real thing in practice as best as you can.

4. Have mental pictures of how you will navigate the upcoming moments of intensity. Have a strong mental game plan of what you will do when faced with extreme challenges.

5. Rest – sleep is key. The central nervous system regulates much of the body’s functions, lack of sleep often over stresses the central nervous system resulting in poor performance.  For military personnel sometimes sleep is a luxury and if so operators should train to be 100% functional despite a lack of sleep.

6. Diet is an important factor. It is best if the blood sugar levels and heart rate are stabilized prior to moments of intensity. Though adrenalin will spike the heart rate, a lack of adequate blood sugar can result in muscle failure and too high a heart rate caused by caffeine and refined sugars will sabotage fine motor skills.

7.  Learning from others. Find out who previously has undertaken the same tasks or events and learn their “tricks of the trade”. Understanding from others about what works or doesn’t goes along way to mentally prepare yourself for your mission, rescue, or event.

 

Gladiator Run

 Fitness  Comments Off on Gladiator Run
May 032012
 

Despite opting not to do trail runs in the mud with quasi military type obstacles for since they were conceived; I did the real thing with 60 pounds on my back and weapons for a few years, I will be competing in a Gladiator Run in San Jose on May 19th. I figured what the hell, let’s see if I still got it. I have been training for it and feeling like a lean, mean, fighting machine, and am ready to take on the course.

5 Elements to Improve Tactical Performance

 Core values  Comments Off on 5 Elements to Improve Tactical Performance
Mar 092012
 

When you have to go from “Zero to Hero” this is how your prepare yourself:

1. A basis of great nutrition and supplementation found here:  http://www.battletestedfitness.isagenix.com

2. Fast Twitch Muscle Fibers- You get these by working out in fast short bursts using weighted resistance and sprinting. Running for hours on end won’t help develop fast twitch muscle capability.

3. Sleep – Caffeine can only take you so far, a rested central nervous system will help you keep your “edge”.

4. Train with your gear. It’s great to run an obstacle course or a 5K, but if you wear a duty belt or heavy gear as a soldier or fireman, train that way. For security personnel that means your work shoes, communication unit, weapon if any, and body armor.

5. Mimic the environment you will find yourself in a worst case scenario. If you are working a special event as an on- call emergency responder  (police, security, fire, EMS)- practice for worst case scenarios like a riot, shooting, or fire, something that causes panic.  If you don’t practice this element, you will panic when your skills are needed the most.

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