In light of the recent events at LAX, one thing that caught my attention was that a number of people suffered “evasion injuries.” Now you have to ask yourself this question: when the defecation hits the oscillation, do you want to be that guy that twists his ankle in the open and out of concealment? I’m not here to join the “hit the gym” chorus, I’m here to shout it in your face in November because if you wait until January 1st to roll around, there’s an 80% probability you’re going to give up. Humor me. It’s complicated, but there’s a hierarchy to how you invest your time and the dividends paid out. The number one thing on your list should be . . .
Sleep & Recovery
Eight hours. Eight hours. Yes, I know you have kids. Eight hours. Get 3 REM cycles and you’ll be more alert, burn more fat, and your chronic pain will melt away. If you’re working out, great–but your body only heals at the speed of sleep. I took a week off work to drink beer nonstop and sleep until the afternoon. And guess what? I lost 6 lbs and my running times were faster. Take your rest days seriously, go for a light jog and stretch. Start doing myofascial release every day. Buy a foam roller and compress your major muscle groups, moving perpendicular to the grain of your muscles. If you take nothing else away from this write-up, I want you to sleep, stretch, and massage. If you’ve still got a few more spare hours left, then get working on…
Diet & Hydration
I’m not going to shout down carbs like everyone else in your life. You need carbs. In the form of vegetables. Eat a steamer bag of vegetables every night instead of hot dog night. It’s ridiculously easy and cheap. Don’t like the taste? Get over it. Man up. Skip the dressing. If you make fun of people for not shooting .45 ACP and can’t make half your meal unprocessed plant matter, your man card is revoked. Stop drinking any liquid that isn’t water. If you’re working out hard enough, then you’ll want your protein shakes and whole milk, but you’ll time those as pre- and post-workout drinks. Get your tacticool assault pack, actually fill that 3L hydration bladder every morning, and sip it throughout the day. If you’re doing a protein-heavy diet, your water requirement just went up. If your diet isn’t up to standard, you’re going to be constantly sore and get less out of…
Strength & Conditioning
Maximal effort strength work is the fastest way to build explosive power, and explosive power is the best way to prevent injury through overextension of your joints. A good rule of thumb is to find 90% if your current one-rep max and do that movement for 3-4 reps. After a few minutes of rest, you’ll notice an increase in your strength. High weight, low reps. If you haven’t started a strength program, don’t worry, the humble air squat will build hip, leg, and core strength without the need for any equipment. Do as many as you can until you want to throw up, sweating at the gym is better than bleeding on the street. But don’t neglect running. Do shuttle runs or pick your favorite football drills, run them at a sprint pace. Feeling confident? Toss in an obstacle to climb over or under. Master rapid changes in direction and elevation. I understand people do have injuries and chronic pain, but don’t sell yourself short. If you’re diligent with the previous steps, exercise will help you make the most out of what you have left. If you just want to run, that’s fine too. Get on a real cycle, a real program with spreadsheets, notebooks, and calendars. When your human weapon is ready to throw down, then you’re going to get the most out of…
Train as you fight. This is TTAG, you can read gunfighting tips all over this blog. Pick a combatives program if your choice, and spar or do force-on-force. Get used to getting knocked on your butt. Learn how to fall without injuring yourself (especially men–the “clapper” can take you out of play for several minutes). I know not everyone wants to get physical, but guess what? The bad guys are counting on it. Get. Off. The. X.
Did you blow through this and nod every few lines? Or thought this insulted your intelligence? Awesome. Never stop. But if you think your 1911 is an insurance policy, then guess what? You’re the weakest link. John Moses Browning did his part, but did you do yours?