With overtime, court, and of course family responsibilities, it’s difficult to stay in shape. The problem is that staying fit is an important component of our job, one that requires time. We need to be strong and aerobically able to tussle and chase bad guys, however, spending hours in the gym is many times an impossibility.
When time constraints are an impediment to a good workout, time management becomes important. To that extent, I’ve developed a 30-minute workout that will challenge you both aerobically and in terms of your core strength. Additionally, the three exercises I’m about to explain are germane to our job, and will result in the confidence and ability to do battle on the street.
To help demo the exercises, I asked Ron Malbon, manager and personal trainer at the Anytime Fitness facility in Fredericksburg, VA for his help. Ron is a retired Marine, a Warrior who recognizes that staying in shape means staying alive.
First Exercise: Heavy Bag (Photo #1)
Working with a heavy bag is an invaluable exercise that focuses on aerobic fitness, core strength, quickness, and power. Moreover, hitting the heavy bag enables you to practice different strikes, e.g., hooks, uppercuts, and straight lefts and rights. To get the most out of this exercise, practice moving around the bag using quick footwork, as well as moving in and out from the bag. Keep your feet moving, even when not punching, as this will make for an even better aerobic exercise.
Make sure you don’t telegraph your punches, keep your arms in close and snap those punches out. Work the body as well as the head, mixing your shots up. Not every punch needs to be a knockout for the purpose of this drill, but ensure that you do practice your knockout punch. Visualize the bag as a person, striking the areas you would if it were an actual fight.
If you’re in good shape, go 10 rounds, 2-minutes each, with a 30-second rest. Others should go 5 – 8 rounds. I like to shadow box the first round as a warm-up; the last round I shadow box to cool down. I also use a timer with a bell that sounds to signal the beginning and end of each round. If you don’t have one, you can use your smart phone’s timer as well.
Second Exercise: Stairs (Photo #2)
As cops, we often find ourselves chasing people up flights up stairs. Including stair work in your routine ensures you’re not only ready to chase, but you still have the strength to cuff your subject once you catch him. If you’re not in good shape, simply do step-ups on the first step. If you’re already fit, do a plyometric leap (jump with both feet) up to the second step. Complete 5 sets @ 1-minute each.
Third Exercise: Battle Rope (Photo #3)
Battle ropes are a quick and fun way to get fit. The routine will test your aerobic capability and strength. I’ve included a video on YouTube that demonstrates different techniques. Complete 5 sets @ 1 minute each. You’ll discover that after working with the battle rope, you will develop a much stronger core and improve your overall strength and fitness.
That’s it—three exercises in 30 minutes that will challenge you and hopefully help get you home each day after your shift.
Stay Safe, Brothers and Sisters!