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  • Focus on weight/strength gain or cardio?

    Hi all, I need some help figuring out what I should focus on in regards to entry level police work. I'm planing on applying for the CHP when the application process opens up again. So I'm looking at 1-1 1/2 year(s) before I would potentially be starting the academy. Should I focus more on weight and strength gains or all around body weight exercises/cardio (push-ups, sit-ups etc.)? I'm 24 years old 5'11'' 155lbs and I have always had a problem gaining weight. People tell me all the time I look too skinny to be a cop. On the other hand, I read applicants and others post comments it's mostly push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups and a lot of running at the academy. Should I worry about being "too skinny" and work on heavy weight lifting or focus on the push-ups? Thanks!

  • #2
    Look at the starting strength program. I, too was a 160 pound 24 year old skinny guy a year ago. To gain the weight you just have to go outside your comfort zone. When you think you're done eating, eat more. Squats and deadlifts are also incredibly important. Just make sure your form is correct.

    Cardio is pretty straight forward. Run until you cant. Swimming is good too. Just make sure you eat enough to compensate for the calories you burn if you're still trying to gain weight.

    Best of luck.
    Sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by theINTERN View Post
      Look at the starting strength program. I, too was a 160 pound 24 year old skinny guy a year ago. To gain the weight you just have to go outside your comfort zone. When you think you're done eating, eat more. Squats and deadlifts are also incredibly important. Just make sure your form is correct.

      Cardio is pretty straight forward. Run until you cant. Swimming is good too. Just make sure you eat enough to compensate for the calories you burn if you're still trying to gain weight.

      Best of luck.
      thats it right there.....anyone who says they have trouble gaining weight, has NOT drank a gallon of milk per day for 3 months. make sure you eat a few solid meals on top of that and do your squats. i gained 33 lbs in 3 months, and i wasn't small to begin with (6'1 185). yes, you'll gain some fat, but you need the caloric surplus to gain muscle. You'll have plenty of time before the projected academy date to shed the fat, but keep lifting heavy to preserve the gains.

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      • #4
        I've never really been able to gain clean weight. I am stuck at 5'11 170. All though I don't see weight gains, strength gains have been through the roof. Like the above said, eat tons of calories. If you can't or don't have time, some buddies of mine have taken weight gainers. All though nothing can substitute a good hearty meal. Don't forget plenty of protein.

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        • #5
          One thing I should add is that if you do start the 'starting strength' program, it is imperative that you become a vigilant stretcher. Twice a day if you can. There is nothing worse than being in the middle of a program, seeing awesome gains, and having to go back to square one because of an injury.
          Sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand...

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          • #6
            I'll second the notion of looking into the "Starting Strength" weightlifting program. It's absolutely the best thing I've done for my body ever in my 33 years on this planet. I have more energy during the day, routine physical effort is less tiring, and I'm hardly ever sick anymore.

            I've had sore knees, elbows and shoulders from too much sitting in front of the computer for years. After about two months of doing five compound barbell exercises, the soreness slowly began dissipating as I built up and strengthened the weak muscles in those damaged areas.

            In addition to improving your overall health, the program will give you a good "base" to work with when adding in and working on the usual array of required PAT exercises. If you feel up to it try and work in some running on rest days, once you've acclimated to the workout schedule. On my three days not lifting I do a day of 4x400 sprinting, another day of a 1.5 mile run at goal pace (<12:00), and the last day with a steadily increasing distance run (3+ miles currently). You will definetly run at the academy, so you better be prepared for it well in advance.

            theINTERN is also spot on about the stretching. You definetly need to make it a daily habit, the more the better. It helps improve/maintain your mobility and aids in your body's recovery after strenuous weightlifting workouts. I do about 5 minutes of dynamic stretching at least 3 times a day, and I can feel how much looser and more comfortable my joints and body feel while at work.
            Last edited by tanefs; 11-06-2012, 02:33 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bgomez3435 View Post
              Hi all, I need some help figuring out what I should focus on in regards to entry level police work. I'm planing on applying for the CHP when the application process opens up again. So I'm looking at 1-1 1/2 year(s) before I would potentially be starting the academy. Should I focus more on weight and strength gains or all around body weight exercises/cardio (push-ups, sit-ups etc.)? I'm 24 years old 5'11'' 155lbs and I have always had a problem gaining weight. People tell me all the time I look too skinny to be a cop. On the other hand, I read applicants and others post comments it's mostly push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups and a lot of running at the academy. Should I worry about being "too skinny" and work on heavy weight lifting or focus on the push-ups? Thanks!
              Are you prepping for the academy or real life police work? There is a BIG difference (at least for most departments these days).
              Some academies still go by the pushup, situp, 1.5 mile, sit and reach, maybe even pullup standard. I would argue that you should prep for that (IF that is what your academy does daily and tests for).
              Some are doing Crossfit or Crossfit-type workouts during the academy, but using those same exercises for their testing.

              Either way, as soon as I finished my last academy (which was pushup, situp, 2 mile test), I dropped that muscular endurance stuff and got into mixed martial arts, lifting heavy, and running sprints. In my humble opinion, THAT type of training has much greater carryover to real police field work (plus its much more fun)!
              www.ShankAZombie.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks everyone for your input! Since the academy is still a ways away I'm going to focus on strength and gaining. Also, stretching is definitely something I need to improve on as well. My legs muscles are stiff and I usually describe stretching as one of my most hated pains/sensations!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by brownj21 View Post
                  Are you prepping for the academy or real life police work? There is a BIG difference (at least for most departments these days).
                  Some academies still go by the pushup, situp, 1.5 mile, sit and reach, maybe even pullup standard. I would argue that you should prep for that (IF that is what your academy does daily and tests for).
                  Some are doing Crossfit or Crossfit-type workouts during the academy, but using those same exercises for their testing.

                  Either way, as soon as I finished my last academy (which was pushup, situp, 2 mile test), I dropped that muscular endurance stuff and got into mixed martial arts, lifting heavy, and running sprints. In my humble opinion, THAT type of training has much greater carryover to real police field work (plus its much more fun)!
                  You mean you don't get into a 5 mile foot chase with suspects?
                  - Will

                  Performance/Fitness Advice For the Tactical Community

                  www.OptimalSWAT.com

                  General Performance/Fitness Advice for all

                  www.BrinkZone.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WillBrink View Post
                    You mean you don't get into a 5 mile foot chase with suspects?
                    I did once and I lost.
                    LOL
                    www.ShankAZombie.com

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by brownj21 View Post
                      I did once and I lost.
                      LOL

                      Might have been to 50lbs of gear! Aint that why God/Allah/Shiva created dogs, patrol cars, tasers, and choppers for?
                      - Will

                      Performance/Fitness Advice For the Tactical Community

                      www.OptimalSWAT.com

                      General Performance/Fitness Advice for all

                      www.BrinkZone.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Cardio for sure. Although, crossfit hits the best of both worlds.

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                        • #13
                          Cardio, stretching, muscle toning. I would work more on strength v\s weight gain. As you get older, weight come naturally and it leaves only with much much difficulty.

                          I started in the Fire Dept. at 19 and was 5' 8", 135 pounds (skinny little ****) and had a 28" waist. Started as a Reserve Police Officer at 24 (same size) and did that for 16 years. Now, after 38 years of being a Firefighter as my full-time job, I am still 5' 8" and weigh 190 lbs. I retired in June, and have lost 10 lbs since. The weight goes on pretty easy, but it is hell to get it back off.
                          My comments are my personal opinion and are based on my life experiences and training. They are not to be construed as legal advice in any form as I am not an attorney. Should you act on any of the information I provide in my comments, you do so at your own risk!!

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                          • #14
                            Weight gain is the last thing you would want before an academy. You need to run, run and run. Extra weight will just slow you down and hurt your feet and knees. You need to do lots of burpes, flutter kicks, mountain climbers, push ups, sit ups and pull ups. If you are close to a crossfit, you should check it out. It will prepare you well for academy life. Good luck
                            Last edited by SHU; 11-20-2012, 07:19 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Most Academies do cross fit type exercises. Also Running is a big component to an Academy
                              Go in prepared if you get in- Too many fail out because of that.
                              MDRDEP:

                              There are no stupid questions, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots.

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