Building Your Fitness for Survival

 Building Your Fitness for Survival

You can have all of your supplies ready but if you aren’t fit, you won’t go far!

Following a crisis there is a very real possibility that we will be spending a lot of time on our feet. Not just that, we will also be carrying lots of heavy gear too.

If there was a serious earthquake that brought houses down around you, are you physically capable of going into those buildings and carrying people out to safety? Honestly? This is why it’s important that we get our fitness in order.

The advantages of working with just your bodyweight include being able to train anywhere without lugging equipment around with you, and increased body awareness.

The exercises that we are going to be looking at require no fancy equipment or gym. They use only your own bodyweight so they can be done in the comfort of your own home.

Strength Building

We are going to be undertaking much more strenuous tasks following a disaster so it’s important to build our strength now. We are going to try and target all muscle groups with our chosen exercises. The exercises below will help with your endurance, grip, and strength.

  • Pull Ups with a 5 Second Hold – 4 x 10 reps (if you don’t have a pull up bar you could use something like a wooden broom handle across two chairs.) Use it like the form you would in a push up except that your pulling. Or better yet, head to the local park and hit the monkey bars.
  • Push Ups with a 5 Second Hold – 4 x 15-20
  • Deep Squat – 10mins x 15. Hold a towel up over your head with your arms straight and keep it taut. This will force you to keep your chest up and improve your form. Bend your legs to lower slowly, keeping your knees wide apart, until your hamstrings touch your calves. Then drive back up slowly. Set a timer for ten minutes. Do 15 reps at the start of each minute, and rest for the remainder of each minute. This keeps your heart rate high for more fat loss.
  • Squat Jump – 3 x 15. Bend your legs, keeping your knees wide apart and your heels in contact with the floor, to drop into a deep squat. Place your hands lightly on the floor and pause for two seconds, then drive up off the floor powerfully, clapping your hands together overhead. The two-second pause removes any rebounding effect to help you build greater strength in the deep squat position.

Stamina/Endurance Building

There are going to be times that require us to be on our feet for long periods of time. These are the moments when you really find out if your body has what it takes to survive.

  • Mountain Climbers – Begin by bending down and placing your hands on the ground in front of you in a crouched sprinter’s stance. Keeping your hands in place, move your legs in a running motion as you jump and alternate from side to side. Keep your back straight. Repeat 15 times per side.
  • Calf Raises – Standing next to a wall for balance, put your feet together and rise onto your toes. Hold for two seconds and slowly lower downwards. Repeat 20 to 25 times.
  • Superman – Lie face down on the ground and raise your arms and legs off the ground. Hold for 30 seconds. Complete five repetitions.
  • Front Planks – Lie on the ground as if you were going to do a push-up. Bend your arms at 90-degree angles and lift your body up as you rest on your forearms. Keep your feet together and your back straight. You should be able to draw a line from your head to your heels. Hold for 30 seconds. Complete three repetitions.

Agility Building

You can use the following exercises do develop your speed and coordination. Agility is defined as an athlete’s ability to move at an accelerated pace in one direction and then instantly decelerate and shift position within a matter of seconds.

Proper agility and mobility are essential to preventing injury, especially when you are thrown into unusual positions.

  • Plyometric Agility Hurdles – set up some low agility hurdles in two-foot increments. Keep legs shoulder-width apart and jump up and forward to clear the hurdle. As you jump, jump again, driving forward with your arms. Repeat this for 10-12 reps per set with a total of three sets.
  • Plyometric Box Drills – this can be any unpadded box that is between your 14 to 36 inches in height. Stand in front of the box and step up onto it with one leg and bring the other leg up as you straighten both legs. Step back down and repeat on the opposite side for one rep. Repeat 10 times for one set. Complete three sets in total.
  • Tuck Jumps – keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Bend knees and jump straight up, bringing your knees to your chest while in the air. Grasp your knees quickly with your arms and let go. When you land, repeat the next jump for a total of 10 to 12 reps. Rest and complete two more sets.

Mentally Prepare Yourself

You could have all the latest equipment but if your head isn’t in the game, you won’t survive. The same goes for when you’re working out. If your mind isn’t in it, you’ll give up all too easy.

There is a big difference between finishing a routine because the book says to end there and getting to the end of a routine and thinking “now that was a workout”. It’s about reaching the end of what your body can take and then taking ten steps more.

People like to give up all too easy and then they wonder why they never achieved what they wanted to achieve. There are few people that can fight through the pain and the agony when the body says to give up.

Whatever you do, don’t ever give up!

When you think you’re at your breaking point, take another 5 steps and keep going.

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