After the police academy…now what? Here’s your guide to police academy workout and training after graduation!
So you graduated the police academy, you are in great shape, now what?
As a patrol officer, you carry at least 20 lbs of gear on you at all times to include your bullet-proof vest. Most of that weight is on your gun belt, which can eventually lead to back problems. For a good part of your shift, you sit in a cruiser. As a detective, you are mostly behind a desk conducting long investigations. If you make it on a SWAT team, now you are carrying close to 50 lbs of gear.
In my field, as a SWAT officer, and a Detective, depending on the situation, I could be wearing that gear for several hours or I might be behind my desk for several hours.
Unfortunately, the police academy doesn’t prepare you enough for every situation. I see the physical fitness at the academy as a building block, but it is up to you to continue your physical fitness.
Just because they are in jail doesn’t mean they are not training…
Law Enforcement Bad Habits…
I have seen many cops fall back to bad habits. They sit in their cruisers, eat junk food, gain weight, work long hours, do not get adequate rest, etc. I have seen cops graduate the academy, then a couple of months later they have gained a lot of weight due to the above reasons I listed.
I could some up police work in one phrase. Depending on where you work, police work is 90% boredom and 10% action. So those bad habits catch up with you very quickly.
In the world of law enforcement, your physical fitness is extremely important because that 10% could be that life or death fight, rescuing someone from drowning, a foot chase, running into a burning building, etc. You need to be able to go from 0-100mph in one second.
In the world of Crossfit and boot camp type classes the stress of quantity over quality is causing you to overtrain and what leads people to unnecessary injuries. Injuries that can be avoided when proper form is stressed.
Believe me, if you concentrate on form more than the weight you will have a much better workout.
Snacks To Carry In Your Patrol Bag…
Like I stated before, I see cops eating junk food in their cruisers, sitting idle on a street corner. I see cops go into the local convenience and buy greasy chips, hot dogs, soda, candy…you get the picture. You need to fuel your body with proper nutrients throughout the day. I carry a large backpack of food with me all the time.
The reason I do that is that there are times I can’t get to my lunch or dinner because it was too busy of a day.
Below is a list of foods you should have with you as snacks…
Apples w/ Almond Butter
Lots of Water!
Clementines or Oranges
I may die in some far away third world shithole. No doubt buried under a mound of spent brass and empty magazines. I may die on the side of a road. Dispatchers calling my unit number, sirens piercing the still night air. My slide locked firmly to the rear, barrel smoking like a Memphis Barbeque pit. Hell, I may die in my sleep. But you can bet your ass the Sandman and the Grim Reaper are going to be sharing a hospital room. I swear to Christ I have a warning label sewn inside of me. “Bring a friend and some lunch. You’re going to be here a minute.” I have a bar code that scans “Fuck you, not today.” “But Chuck, no man knows when Death will come.” Goddam right. I’m not laying down to wait, I’m lying in wait. Nobody and no thing is taking me without a fight. I’m breaking something. You will know of my demise by the mushroom cloud of violence and profanity. I will die an American death. Rowdy, offensive, and not suitable for broadcast. Closed fucking casket so the apple pie doesn’t attract ants to the party. Believe it. It’s true. -sheepdog inc…. @gymjunkiescom @combatironapparel @kabukistrengthlab @cia_tacticalathlete @thin_blue_line_athletics @paladinmindsetusa @fitcops #combatironapparel🇺🇸 #gymjunkiesupplements #fitcops #paladinmindsetusa #kabukistrengthlab #alpha #tacticalathlete #waitingfortheday
Meals for the road…
On a typical shift, a cop can work anywhere for 8 to 16 hours a day. In that timeframe several things can happen, you don’t get time to eat if it’s busy, you eat a very heavy lunch, you overload on the junk food and now you don’t feel good.
I have gone whole 8-hour shifts without a thing in my stomach other than water and coffee. Not a healthy way to live and work. You start getting more irritable, fatigue sets in, impatience, loss of focus, and various other negative things happen. One thing I always make sure I do is to keep my body fueled and ready to go. I have even gone out on SWAT missions with water and a couple of protein bars in my cargo pocket.
One of my colleagues once wasn’t prepared and went out on a SWAT mission. It was a standoff that lasted several hours and it was a very hot day in the summer. So 50 lbs of gear, hot day and stress mixed in. After the standoff, I see my colleague and he was pale. He tells me that he didn’t have water the entire time and he was dehydrated.
He was tended to by the medic and got an IV in him.
These things happen but how do you prevent them? By always being ready. I keep a case of water and a box of protein bars next to my gear at all times so all I have to do is grab some water and bars as I get my gear on.
Meal prep is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle in law enforcement. Prepare meats, veggies, chicken, and carbs. You will need to portion out your meals to fit whatever your Macros are. Every cop responds differently to stress. Some gain weight, others lose weight. So you will have to find what works for you. A lot of it is trial and error, as from what I learned.
Once you find what works for you, it becomes second nature.
Police Academy Workout And Training
The workouts I have composed today are from various agencies and I have done each of these workouts. They are about functional fitness, as a cop it isn’t about how good I look in the mirror but if can I fight after a foot chase or after swimming to rescue a drowning victim, can I get them and myself back to shore…
The workouts will get you toned and help your endurance
No break between first 3 events
40 Yard Sprint with 40 lbs vest
Max Pull Ups with 40lbs vest
800 meter run @ 400 meter mark do 10 burpees and finish off the run
Then….after a 5 min break
1:00 min burpees
1:00 min Sit Ups
1:00 min 25 yard sprints
Do this for 3 rounds, that is 9 minutes. No break in-between.
Key is proper form, quality over quantity…
Max Push Ups without stopping, once you stop the event is over
1:00 min worth of sit ups
300 Meter Sprint
1 ½ mile run as fast as possible
40 m sprint
Rest time is as long as it took you to complete the sprint. For example, if it took you 10 seconds to complete 40-meter sprint, then your rest time is 10 seconds.
If you want to make the sprints more challenging then do them with a 40-pound vest.
The sprint workout represents the initial part of a foot chase.
Police Officers want them to end as quickly as possible. The disadvantage Police Officers have are all the gear cops wear. So this is where “training like you fight” comes in.
Workout 4 (to be done at the range….with your department issued pistol…and with safety in mind)
50 lbs sandbag (or heavier)
From the 50 yard line…in full gear
50 jumping jacks…pick up the sandbag, place on your shoulder and run to the 15-yard line.
Drop the sandbag- fire 5 rounds standing into the target and 5 rounds kneeling.
Pick up the sandbag run to the 10 drop the sandbag. Do 10 pushups (concentrate on form)
Fire 5 rounds standing at the target
Pick up sandbag…then while moving to the 5-yard line, fire one strong hand only 2 rounds at the target.
Holster your weapon, and with the sandbag still held complete 10 presses with the sandbag
Place sandbag on your other shoulder and while moving fire 2 rounds support side only.
The above workout is to be done with an elevated heart rate, to mimic the effects what happens to the body physiologically when involved in a shooting.
Strength Training For Officers
As a cop you also need to be strong in order to face any obstacle in front of you. From pushing a broken down car off the road to picking up a victim or one of your fellow officers from a gunshot wound and taking them to safety…
Always train the big 3… Deadlift, Back Squat and Deadlift.
All above lifts are to be done 5 sets by 5 reps with at least 2 min break in-between.
Each week or workout cycle add 5-10 lbs.
All the above workouts can be added to your routine…the most important part of this is proper form and nutrition to fuel you through the day.
Remember to always keep pushing yourself in your workouts, don’t become that cliché cop who just gets out of shape because you are not doing your family, colleagues or the citizens you are sworn to protect any favors.
Always train, train, train I can’t stress that enough. Do not lose what you gained from the academy. Keep up with your physical fitness because it will help you in the long run during your career.
Special thanks to Gym Junkies for having me contribute today. I have a learned a lot from them and will share more content…