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How should I start training?


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  • How should I start training?

    I graduated from my letc in May 04. After lots of interviews I finally got a job as a patrolman in a really small town. Less than 1k to be exact. But we have 8 officers here due to a casino which brings in alot of people.

    Before I went through my letc class I weighed about 240lbs. at 6'1" could do like 30 push ups and like 50 sit ups. I wasn't muscular just big. I never really did much exercising. I played some sports, mostly baseball in the summer and before I got my job 80miles away from my home town I would play tennis with a couple friends once or twice a week. It was something heh.

    Now that I have my job in LE in this small town of nothing but a casino and away from friends I don't do anything but come to work. I am probably around 265lbs. I can probably only do about 20 push ups, who knows how many sit ups. It seems things have got in the way of my sitting up even more now .

    I have been lurking in the back reading these forums for about a month now and finally registered on them. I never really payed much attention to the "health and fitness" section.

    I would like some input on how to get started into some kind of exercising. I notice alot of talk about running. How should I start out? How far should I be able to run and in what time? I would like to know what else are good options? Should I just start doing push ups and sit ups and run a mile every other day?

    I don't have access to ANY kind of gyms. I am lucky to have access to anything here. 1 gas station, No stores, and a few mom and pop places to eat, no school, nothing to close except a golf course. LOTS of hills. I tread thinking about running here. There is no flat area just hills

  • #2
    Leokgarner, let me start by saying that many people who want to make positive lifestyle changes (in this case, lose weight and become physically active), unwittingly undermine their own efforts ie. without realizing it, they set themselves up for failure almost from the get-go. Some of the ways that people commonly do this. They:

    1. pick physical activities that they dislike
    2. start working out too hard and too many days a week
    3. make their workout routines too complicated
    4. set unrealistic goals for themselves
    5. begin diets that are too "something" - low in carbs, high in protein, restrictive in calories, restrictive in what they "can and can't eat" etc.

    The end result of all of those things are: drop-outs, extreme muscle soreness or fatigue, injuries, feelings of being overwhelmed, feelings of inadequacy, etc. etc. It's why gyms are so full on Jan. 5 and so back-to-normal by Valentines Day.

    People can't just "decide" that they're going to get fitter/healthier/thinner without first figuring out how to integrate the required changes into their life
    When are you going to workout (time of day/days per week/before or after work)? Where are you going to workout (inside/outside/close to home/across town)? Are you going to workout alone or with a friend (and how are you going to coordinate schedules)?

    In short - the activity, time, place, money, travel, clothing, shoes, training partner etc. all have to be coordinated and integrated into your life.

    I was going to ramble on about this kind of stuff for a while, but I'll cut to the bottom lines:

    1. Go with the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid).

    2. Start to walk. 3 times a week for 30 minutes at a time (don't worry about speed or distance, just walk for time). And your hills are a god-send of endurance building and strength training. Believe me, if you stick with your fitness program, a few months down the road the hills WILL NOT SCARE YOU ONE BIT

    Walking is one of the cheapest, easiest and safest activities you can participate in (and cheap, easy and safe are all good things in terms of sticking with a new program). It's also the most accessible - walk out the front door of your house or the PD, and you're good-to-go.

    Convenience is one of the reasons I end up doing more road biking than I do mountain biking - I can walk out my back door with my bike and hit the roads right away. To get off-road I have to drive 40 minutes (that's 80 minutes of driving just to get to and from my workout, which many times I just can't justify).

    3. If you absolutely do not have access to strength training equipment, stick with pushups and situps for now. You can build yourself a pullup bar in the rafters of your garage, or out on the back porch (and don't pass by it without doing a set).

    If your town has a casino it also has hotels. Call them and find out if any have strength training equipment (and if you can access it). Ask your buddies at work if any of them have stuff (and can you go to their house to workout - or are they willing to bring it in to the department if there is room to set it up). Go to garage sales and pick up used benches/weights for really cheap. I've picked up free weights, benches, stair climbers and bikes over the years. Most of it was not pretty, but it was all fully functional and did the job at the time. And cheap as hell.

    4. Find a workout partner. One - because you need to start to make new friends. Two - you can motivate each other. Another cop? A firefighter? Put the word out that you are looking for someone to work out with. If nothing else, try to walk/lift/bike/whatever, at the same time of day. If anyone else in the community is physically active, and they work out about the same time of day, eventually you guys will hook up.

    5. Walk 30 minutes three times a week. Do pushups and situps three times a week (same days or different days - doesn't matter). Don't do too many of either for a while. Add a couple more to each, each week.

    6. When you get your hands on some weight equipment start reading and learning how to do this stuff safely and effectively. Don't lift too heavy. Don't do too many of any lift.

    7. Look for other ways to "painlessly" incorporate more activity into your life. If you use that golf course, lose the cart and walk the 18 holes. Wash your own car instead of using the car wash. Park at the furthest end of the parking lot at work. Walk into stores/banks/restaurants etc. instead of going through the drive-through.

    Eventually, as you successfully meet your goal of walking regularly and doing regular pushups/situps/pullups, you will find that almost naturally (and without a whole lot of effort) you will want and need to add more variety to your workout. Don't force it - it will happen in its own time. You will be walking one day and will try some running (just to see how it "fits"). And it'll feel forced and unnatural. But you'll want to try it - again and again - and eventually one day it will feel sort of OK. And it only gets better from there.

    Same with the pushups and situps - you'll struggle with them for weeks, and then one day you'll do them and realize that it IS starting to get easier. And when it feels that way consistantly enough, you'll WANT to try something else (and you'll start reading this forum with more interest - learning from others what they do to make those pushups a little more challenging). And then you'll either pick up a couple of dumbbells, or you'll hook up with someone who's got a multi-use machine in his garage, and there you go.

    THAT, my friend, is the start of a lifetime committment to fitness.

    Start small - keep workouts short and simple. Start to read more about health and fitness. Have only ONE goal right now - to do the work. Consistantly day after week. Stay with that one goal, and the rest (for sure) will take care of itself.

    In a month, please write back and say that you have been doing SOMETHING regularly for the past 4 weeks. And we can go from there. Good luck.
    Last edited by krj; 08-09-2005, 11:25 AM.


    • #3
      Thats really good advice. forsure look to get some equipment for your home, it doesn't have to be expensive, just basic things. i am currently in a similar situation to you, i live away from home and all i do is go to work and come home, i am fortuante to have a gym at work tho. just get it set in your mind that you do want to change some things around in your life, i think this is the first step. you have to be mentally prepared and motivated to change. good luck.


      • #4
        You can usually pick up a bench set w/ iron weights in the paper for around 100$ used. You can install this at your station to save room at home and win points at work. As far as the rest, I think they have it covered, good luck.
        "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

        For California police academy notes go to


        • #5
          That was great advice KRJ. I totally agree with that.

          leokgarner, just remember working out is 80% mental and 20% physical. Meaning, it is tougher to motivate yourself to work out then to actually do it. Just keep treading away, use things to motivate yourself.

          Music while walking or running. Get g/f, friends, collegues or a family member involved with you. Set short term attainable goals.

          Working out is tough for many reasons. The biggest is the time factor. Work, eating, family life etc takes up a lot of time but you can squeeze 30mins of physical activity in a day.

          Most people quit before 6 months, if you last more than 6 months you have a good chance of making it a regular part of your life.

          Keep this in mind:

          "Everyday you're not working out, someone else is!"

          someone else = the criminals in jail



          • #6
            Hey Thanks

            Sorry it took so long to write back. I have been busy at work and tonight is my first night back on 3rd shift. At this time of night not much going on.

            That is great advice. It doesn't even sound bad, you make it sound so easy. In my law enforcement training we talked about fitness. But when we did our PT it was run, run, run, run, hey keep running.

            I am going to print this thread out, so I don't loose it in case I need to refer back to it sometime. Thanks for the great info.


            • #7
              Originally posted by leokgarner
              It doesn't even sound bad, you make it sound so easy. In my law enforcement training we talked about fitness. But when we did our PT it was run, run, run, run, hey keep running.
              Leo, it's not easy. If it was easy everybody would be doing it, and of course, that's not the case. You've already done the academy-thing, and although I believe that you (as a cop) should be doing SOME running (eventually), the more important issue now is that you find physical activities that you enjoy and can stick with over the long haul.

              Being physically active is one of those things that has a tendancy to snowball - you start walking for a while and that gives you confidence to sign up for a walk-a-thon to raise money for a good cause. Or you run for a while and then one spring you see an announcement in the paper for a local 5K run and you think "what the hell" and sign up for it. Or you have been running for a while, and you used to bike as a kid and you see a flyer on a window for a local triathlon (and before you know it you're hitting the pool again). Or you start building some muscle and then reading with renewed interest about diet, and carbohydrates, and protein, and safe lifting technique, and injury prevention get the point.

              They call it a lifestyle, because being physically active is an integral part of your life. Good luck with it, and keep us all posted.


              • #8
                yah its true its not easy, but there is nothing like the feeling after a good workout, for me it hits when i'm sitting on the bench in the change room, nothing like it!! set some obtainable goals, small ones, and build off of those.


                • #9
                  man I am i nthe same boat with you. i am at a small agency ,PD, only 8 of us and we have two gas stations and a walmart.lolol I dont even rememebr wehat a gym looks like anymore. i just job a mile when ever i get the chance and push ups and sit ups. I dont have to worry much about junk food because we have no wendys or anything like that lmao. I weigh about 210 and i am 6 2 and i hold that weight. Good luck


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Crex4242
                    man I am i nthe same boat with you. i am at a small agency ,PD, only 8 of us and we have two gas stations and a walmart.lolol I dont even rememebr wehat a gym looks like anymore.
                    I worked at large metro YMCA's for many years so had more than my share of a gym environment. Career wise moved into a different (though related) field for a few years and just became a "member" of a gym, and that was a great experience (ie. not always either 1) training someone else or 2) being interrupted while I am trying to do my OWN training).

                    Although I work for a municipal recreation department right now, and do spend some time using their/our facilities (crappy as it is, it's at least accessible), I do most of my training outside. Weight bench out on the covered back porch (have lifted when it was 32 degrees and lifted when it was 92 degrees). Hike, trail run, road bike, mountain bike, paddle - all outside and in all kinds of weather. And there's nothing like doing situps in one of your fields, while wearing headphones, and feeling a baby goat's nose in your ear.............whole 'nother story!

                    There's always a way to make it happen if you want it badly enough.
                    Last edited by krj; 08-14-2005, 04:21 PM.


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