Other than firearms expertise and tactics, there is no other component of law enforcement preparedness that will aid in your success and survival on the street like being fit. We all have our own ideas about what workout regimens are most appropriate for the job we do. As a huge proponent of fitness for cops, I've lived it, taught it, and been rewarded for being in shape by surviving a shooting. The doctor told me directly that had it not been for my fitness, I would have died. I don't need convincing; maybe you know someone who does.
I recently sat down with Adam Eidson, who owns RARE CrossFit in Fredericksburg, VA. We discussed how CrossFit (CF) training fits into a police officer's toolbox of practices that will help keep him alive. We both agreed that it's imperative for an officer to be fit. Being in shape transcends every aspect of being a cop; it breeds confidence, which translates into quick, decisive, authoritative action that can mean the difference between life and death. Moreover, if we are going to take the time to work out, shouldn't we spend that time productively? Shouldn't our workouts mirror the tasks that we perform in the course of our duties? The answer to both questions is yes, and CF seems tailor made for us.
What is CF? It's a system of fundamental movements that have been around since man was being chased by dinosaurs. It involves movements like squatting, running, jumping, pulling, pushing, climbing, carrying, and throwing. It's a philosophy that eschews traditional pieces of equipment and paradigms that dictate three sets of ten repetitions. CF trains the body to work most efficiently in the manner for which God designed it. It's a system that doesn't vary, whether its user is a world class athlete, youngster, or grandparent.
Many CF training facilities are little more than warehouses. You won't find any chrome plated machines or floor to ceiling mirrors there. Nor will you find guys and gals strutting around in designer outfits, wearing makeup and jewelry and listening to MP3 players. What you will find are a few basic weights, pull-up bars, kettle bells, jump ropes, truck tires, and rowing machines. What's different about this routine is intensity. After a dynamic workout and stretching, the meat of CF training is a twenty-minute workout. When you've finished, you'll feel like you've been at it for hours. Most of the exercises involve using body weight. That's important for us. We need to be able to run up stairs, climb over fences, and pull people out of cars. That's twenty minutes of building power and aerobic capacity. Many of us separate our cardio and strength training, doing one or the other on alternate days. CF incorporates both on the same day.
Adam told me about a couple of his clients who are law enforcement. Heather, a local sheriff's deputy, is 24 years old, 5'3", and 120 pounds. She came to CF unable to do one pull up; she now does ten. I know many male cops who struggle to do one pull up. Steve is 6' 0", and 300 pounds - another local deputy. He has lost more than 12 pounds in three weeks. Both have experienced a boost in their self-esteem and confidence. Adam was quick to point out that CF clients, as well as anyone who expects results from working out, should combine proper nutrition along with their fitness routine. Eating properly results in better recovery, both in the gym and on the street. Additionally, some people who have experienced chronic health problems may find their symptoms have disappeared or ameliorated after utilizing the CF workout.