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“I learned that a law enforcement injury prevention, tactical fitness and wellness class was given a thumbs down for any officer from a large department because ‘fit cops don’t stop bullets.’ Apparently poor fitness, obesity, stress, substance abuse, chronic fatigue, poor nutrition and disease are acceptable as long as they pay their union dues. Frankly I am appalled and embarrassed,” medic8 writes at fitresponder.wordpress.com. As are some of us at our own waistline. But how important is fitness for someone with a concealed carry permit? How fit are you?

29 Responses to Question of the Day: Are You Fit Enough for Armed Self-Defense?

  1. Fit cops fight against freedom in this system. Long live obesity in every police department. Makes em’ easier to ridicule.

  2. Rather than fat I prefer to call it my homemade body armor. Anyone who shoots me is really gonna need that 12 inches of penetration that the FBI stipulates.

  3. Given the hours and circumstances under which our LE officers have to labor, I know it’s hard to maintain fitness. Heck – it’s hard enough for me as a cube-farm-refugee Scout leader to keep fit.

    That said – it should be done – and the mafie union bosses ought not to oppose it.

    So glad Texas is a right-to-work state!

  4. The ex-mayor of my home town once commented that we have the”largest” police force in MN and at the time we only had 2 officers. We now have 3 and its the largest in the midwest.

  5. After many, many years of packing it on, I’ve started the process of trying to take it off. One of my motivators is self defense. My present conditioning is a big disadvantage and I don’t like the idea of ceding so much right off the bat.

  6. Full disclosure: I’ve written for S.W.AT. and MMA Worldwide magazine and am a strength coach, so I have experience/views on both sides of this issue.

    A fitness program for law enforcement personnel provides 2 main benefits.

    1. A strong and fit law enforcement officer is better able to control a suspect should they go hand-to-hand. Specificially, the issue is of grip/hand strength. A cops hands are the first point of contact they’re going to have on a suspect and a strong grip can convey the message “Don’t f*ck with me.” With corrections officers, I spend a significant amount of time training their grip, as it’ll prevent escalation of force.
    2. A strong and fit law enforcement officer will have a efficient cardiovascular system and will be better able to handle stressors, such as getting shot. The better your fitness levels, the better your chances of surviving any sort of trauma.
    Of course there are other issues, such as improved reflexes and mental/cognitive processing and problem solving.
    A few years back, a friend of mine was writting his master’s thesis on the use of deadly force with overweight vs. fit cops. I’m not certain what his final conclusion was, but it was interesting.

    As for CCW, the same holds true for civilians…regardless of occupation, we all have the same biology. If anything, fitness is even more important for CCW, since civilians don’t carry the assortment of non-lethal technology, cops carry.

      • Lets also not forget, the smaller the target, the bigger the miss.

        And understress of a CCW incident, and having to exert yourself…someone NOT in shape, is begging for a coronary.

        • Actually, coronary artery disease is caused by plaque build up, not stressing the heart per se. Just because someone is overweight or out of shape does not mean they will get a heart attack. It is much more likely they will just tucker themselves out and sit down to catch their breath.

          Much of today’s medical dogma is actually inaccurate regarding obesity, diabetes, cholesterol, etc…

        • Definitely understood. I was making the comment for effect rather than medical accuracy.

          Although, stress can exasperate a heart condition which is much more likely to be present in someone with allot of extra weight on them.

          My point is, there isn’t a need to become a gym hero over night. Just get on a treadmill once in a while and maybe join Weight Watchers.

  7. I can do an eight pound curl with one finger, and I work it out regularly.

    All kidding aside, I carry a gun because I don’t have the strength and stamina to sustain a fight even if my opponent is only armed with a blunt instrument. More important, if I am attacked, I feel no compunction to get into a fistfight…I am old and have nothing to prove and much to protect.

    BTW – I refer to my additional portage as emergency M.A.E.s – Meals Already Eaten.

  8. Many departments have moved, and are moving away from,
    physical fitness programs due to cost and liability reasons.
    They tried “legislating fitness,” but BS injuries and such have
    cost agencies in the long run.

    If you are out of shape, you are unprepared for a fight, whether in
    uniform or not. Actually being out of shapes makes you ill prepared
    for any emergency situation.

    • I did join a gym and am in the process of slowly getting back to my fighting weight – one that does not require a truck scale.

  9. I’m in better shape than most old guys. I’m in worse shape than most young guys. I also shoot better than most young guys. So if I’m attacked by an old guy, I’ll beat the sh!t out of him. But if I’m attacked by a young guy, I think I’ll just shoot the bastard.

  10. As has been said often, most outside the home encounters for CCW users occur at very close range. The odds of grappling, pushing, etc. are going to be pretty high. Seems like keeping up some fitness would be a wise thing to do if you are able to.

  11. As fit as I can be until tomorrow. Strength and cardio are a big part of my weekly routine. Being fit is key for survival.

    I’ve taken Southnarc’s ECQC a couple of times… you learn very quickly that not being in shape is pretty much unacceptable if you want a chance in a real encounter. Most assailants won’t attack you from a distance, they will close first before engaging you. That means you are fairly likely to end up in some sort of bad breath distance kind of fight. To win in that type of space you need to be fit and trained well. Neither is a one shot solution.

  12. Fitness? I thought obese LEO’s, er, heavy duty rigs… were the reason Tasers were invented. I play a lot of tennis (singles) so I’m fit. I’m still not willing to duke it out. That’s so high-school. I’m fit enough to run. If a perp looks like he’s a better runner AND a better fighter, I’ll shoot. If I’m at home, he’s simply made a serious mistake. As for LEO fitness, I promise every community that simply hiring more hot young chicks into the PD will improve everybody’s fitness, every cop, every shift, every rank.

  13. I’m old, I’m fat and I’m armed.

    Young guys and old guys in good shape can fight you if you attack them. I’ll just shoot you dead.

  14. 10 years of Jiu Jitsu. Crossfit like a maniac. Extensive defensive handgun training.

    Self defense doesn’t start and stop with that gun in your holster. If you think it does, you are fooling yourself.

    I’m in the US Army and I’ve participated in some fun little training exercises where you are engaged in a hand to hand fight with a holstered practice weapon (airsoft). The scenario usually involves surprised in a doorway or something similar where you can’t draw the weapon easily or have arms pinned in a way that prevents draw and presentation of the weapon.

    I’ll tell you one thing. At that point, who wins that self defense fight is entirely based on fitness, strength, and training. Having a gun doesn’t mean you are safe. It just means you have a gun.

    RLTW,
    Mike

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