“Preppers Beware: Your Fitness Could Cost You Everything”
I have a deep connection with the prepper community. But the more that I interact with the hardcore preppers, the more that I note their lack of 2 crucial survival components … which we’ll get to in a minute. You see, I’m fortunate to know a couple of hardcore preppers. And some are even NTC Tribe Members. These guys spend most of their waking day thinking about what they may be missing from their bugout bags. They have an escape plan for nearly every catastrophic scenario. And their family is well versed in each step of the process. Whether your opinion of a prepper is favorable or not, you have to respect their commitment. Whenever I have a question about things such as the latest portable solar charger, spare parts for my Glock pistol or which water purifier is best for my home … they have an answer and it’s usually a great one. And, yes, I fact check all the time. 😉
Do Preppers Think About Their Fitness Level When it Comes to SHTF scenarios?
I often use my prepper friends’ advice, test it and then share it with our Warrior Zero Project Members or Tribe. Preppers such as my 2 friends and many in the prepper community are an insightful resource for anyone. Those preppers that practice what they preach have really refined their knowledge and skills. I feel that everyone should have a bit of preparedness knowledge regardless of their philosophy. We should think about preparedness as an insurance policy. We may not need it but if shit happens, it’s nice to be covered.. The Warrior Zero Project focuses on teaching preparedness skills. We realize that in order to enjoy nature to its fullest, we need to know how to interact with it properly. One of the aspects that are required for that to happen is to have skills; specifically preparedness skills. When we are out in nature and it rains, it is great to know a bit of pioneering so that you can build a shelter. If you are cold and hungry, knowing how to catch a fish and fire building are imperative preparedness skills to own. This doesn’t just apply to extreme emergency situations, it also applies to every day life. Let’s also keep in mind that perfect practice makes perfect. We need to perform perfect repetitions regardless of the skill being built. Practice and make it fun! Wait until the emergency happens without having practiced the skill — it usually doesn’t end well for the main characters. If more people had preparedness skills they would embrace the outdoors. Their time would be spent enjoying nature rather than detaching from it; knowledge reduces fear. Earlier I mentioned that the hardcore prepper community tend to lack 2 crucial survival components. So … what are they?
-Health & Fitness Preparedness!
For the purpose of this post, I will focus on Fitness Preparedness. Many aspects of being a prepper are implemented and re-implemented countless times over, this is a good thing. However, it doesn’t make sense to me that something as prominent as health & fitness preparedness gets so overlooked in a community that pays so much attention to detail and is used to countless repetitions.
Let me give you a couple of examples.
One of my prepper buddy’s can teach you everything that you need to know about map & compass. But if he had to put on a 25lb backpack and navigate through the bush or even 2 miles through city streets utilizing those mastered orienteering skills, he would become a casualty. My other prepper buddy is a whiz when it comes to HAM radio (amateur radio). There is a similar issue with him. I have a
favorite spot at a nearby state park that I like to trek to. The spot is awesome because very few people want to devote the time & effort to get there. It’s a perfect spot to practice preparedness skills and it allows me to feel that I’m away. I want to get my HAM buddy out there to teach me more about emergency HAM Radio operations. I also have some new rollup antennas that i recently purchased and want to test out with his guidance. He loves nature as well as the idea of us getting out there – Well- we make plans often but something always comes up. I know that it’s nothing malicious on his part, the desire is there; the fact is that he fears hiking or kayaking the few miles to get there and back due to his lack of fitness preparedness. It’s a bad situation because both of us are missing out on beneficial things that we enjoy.
Since we are on the subject, my call sign is (W2NTC) and for my HAM buddy’s out there.. 73!
I am a fitness and combatives coach, it is what I do for a living. So you can understand why it bothers me that my friends are so set in their ways that they are missing the obvious. There is always the “yes, you are right Coach, I’m definitely starting next week.” But that Next Week seems to be more evasive than a turkey in the field.
The advice that I give to my prepper friends when it comes to fitness preparedness is to learn the Kettlebell Swing.
I know that both of my prepper friends’ main focus is far from fitness and they always complain about not having enough time in their day as it is. If I were to give them a detailed fitness routine requiring an hour or longer per session, they would just delete that email. The key is to get them to understand and more importantly, get them started. There is more to optimal health than just swinging a kettlebell. But if I were to pick one tool to make them a better prepper, that can get them the most amount of attributes needed for preparedness in the shortest amount of time and can be performed virtually anywhere, it would be the kettlebell and specifically the kettlebell swing. Not only is performing the kettlebell swing an amazing exercise to keep you at an optimal fitness level for preparedness but the process of learning and owning the swing will correct most of the issues that are currently holding you back from your full potential.
We all want to be prepared. Why not be prepared for emergency’s as well as a long, healthy life?
I gain a lot from the prepper community and this information is important to share with all of them. I have focused on fitness preparedness from my early days attaining the rank of Eagle Scout through my tour as a United States Marine. We are always learning new things and finding better ways with Natural Training Center. Being able to share this information, especially with those that Get It makes the experience much more rewarding. So let me tell you a bit more about the benefits of the kettlebell swing as it apply’s to preparedness. [stextbox id=”alert” caption=”5 Reasons Why Every Prepper Should Swing A Kettlebell”] Reason #1: Vastly enhances your hiking and backpacking ability- The swing develops your posterior chain and your hip strength. When we hike with a pack we tend to set our hips back because of weak muscles that fatigue quickly. That puts a lot of pressure on the lower back especially with the added weight of the pack. This leads to back and knee pain because of the forward tilting of the body. When you develop your posterior chain (back ligaments, tendons & muscles) and hip strength, you will be able to bear the weight
of the backpack because of your restored & enhanced biomechanics. You will then be able to hike pain free for miles with a considerable amount of weight on your back. I think this is an important ability to have if you want to be ready to bugout at a moments notice. Even if you plan to bugin, someone will have to venture out eventually. If you are not at a good fitness level before SHTF how do you think that you will perform after a week or 2 of dealing with unfathomable stress? Keep in mind that the heavier that your bugout pack is, the more focus that you need to put on your fitness preparedness. We have all seen some of the craziness out there when it comes to a bugout bag’s size and weight. Who is actually planning on humping that heavy gear; how far & for how long? The kettlebell swing will teach you how to move your body as one unit as opposed to segmented parts. This is important especially when loaded down with kits and gear. For instance, integrating or packing your shoulders with your core will greatly help with the pressure put on by shoulder straps from you pack or ruck. Keeping your shoulders packed and activated with your lats will greatly reduce your chance of shoulder injury when falling unexpectedly especially on a trail. Be sure to keep that backpack snug so that you can avoid as much shifting as possible when you do fall but that is another topic altogether. Reason #2: Build endurance for the expected and beyond- The kettlebell swing, when used with the proper protocols, can prepare your cardio-vascular system for virtually any challenge. The swing has been effective in everything from preparing marathon runners to giving elite warriors the extra edge needed for battle.
The warrior who recovers the quickest, usually wins.
There are excellent V02 Max (your body’s ability to process oxygen) enhancing protocols that you can implement in 15-20 minutes per
session. These exercise routines will bring your fitness preparedness to a whole new level but it all begins with an excellent kettlebell swing.
- How good is your endurance right now?
- Can you hike to your destination, with a hefty pack and back with even more supplies?
- Once you reach your destination, will you have enough endurance to perform the tasks expected of you?
- If caught in a combative situation, are you fit to survive? Can you outlast the confrontation efficiently in order to protect your tribe, your family? Do you even have enough endurance to get back to your tribe after the combative situation?
- Do you have the endurance to gather food, water & firewood for your tribe and hump it all back after a grueling day?
These are all questions, as scary as they may be, that we need to answer for ourselves. We can never control the situation but we have full rule over our fitness preparedness. We need endurance and the kettlebell swing, with great form, will get you there. Reason #3: The kettlebell swing will help and teach you to breathe- So you figured that I lost it by now. You have been breathing just fine without a kettlebell your whole life why the hell would you need a teacher? Let’s look at the psychological aspect of the kettlebell swing.. When we are deep into a kettlebell workout session such as a 15/15 workout. A 15/15 is when you perform as many perfect kettlebell swings as you can in 15 seconds. You would then rest for the next 15 seconds equaling 1 round lasting 30 seconds. You would then set a goal for the number of rounds and go for it. Now, not only is this a great workout with ridiculous amounts of benefits being achieved but something also triggers in the brain. We progress slowly with the kettlebell and never attempt more than we are ready for. As this process progresses, the mind begins to adapt to fear and stress put upon the body. Breathing is an essential part of this process. Deep exhales and the ability to relax certain parts of the body while tensing others is the essence of the kettlebell swing. Breathing correctly is what ties it all together. Better Breathing allows you to:
- Cope with stress in a much more effective manner- By remaining calm, you are in control of the situation. You have the ability to think and make accurate decisions. This can mean the difference between survival or death.
- Perform more work by breathing efficiently- The least amount of effort that we use when breathing the more energy that we can deploy towards the actual work being performed.
- Recover quicker from exertion- Deep exhales from the diaphragm expel c02 quicker allowing us to bring our heart rate down faster.
Reason #4: The kettlebelll swing will give you proper foot and ankle control- Correct Foot placement is imperative with the swing. The swing requires us to maintain correct foot position and alignment while keeping our weight on the middle part of the foot. Not only does this build stability in our knees and ankles but it enforces mid foot drive. It is difficult to feel terrain when we are in the dark or in unfamiliar areas. Leading with the toe or heel causes instability with each step. You can slip on an object or misjudge the change in terrain elevation causing you to give up your position, sprain an ankle or worse.
In emergency situations don’t make yourself a liability.
A lot of the discomfort that we feel in our daily lives comes from improper locomotive (walking, jumping, hiking, running) mechanics. Once we develop proper foot position and where to bear our weight, greater mobility will be restored. The more unrestricted mobility that you have the better prepared that you will be to handle the situation. Do not underestimate the benefit of foot position drilling while performing the swing; your knees and ankles will thank you & your noise discipline while on the move will be brought to new heights. Reason #5: The kettlebell swing will give you incredible grip strength- While performing your swings you will be hooking the kettlebell with your four fingers. As you progress to the one hand swing and eventually more advanced swing variations, you will learn to
incorporate various muscle groups in order to maintain a hold of the kettlebell. If you haven’t experienced working with a kettlebell, it is a beast! With it’s displaced center of gravity, the kettlebell has a mind of its own. Therefore, a death grip is usually developed in order to control the bell during ballistic exercises such as the kettlebell swing. Why is a strong grip important to a prepper?
- Imperative when climbing or aiding a tribe member in climbing especially with crude field expedient equipment.
- Facilitate climbs to get to higher ground. Trees, poles and fences are all easier navigated with a strong grip.
- Lower or raise your buddy up or down a cliff or overhand. Pulling a tribe member from an emergency situation such as a building or car fire. A strong grip to hold onto a hand or article of clothing can save your family members life.
- When using tools. Whether its an axe, shovel, machete, hammer or lifting a 16qt dutch oven filled to the lid, a strong grip will ensure safety and effectiveness.
- When handling or deploying weapons. It can be anything from blades to pistols, if you cannot hold onto your weapon when it counts, you may as well not carry it. I am not talking about disarms here, just environmental causes such as mud, sand and rain are enough to render our weapon ineffective. Being able to apply a strong grip to your weapon when needed makes you a better combatant.
- Enhances the effectiveness of a handshake. Don’t underestimate the power of a handshake, especially one that stays in the recipients mind for a while. When someone has a firm handshake, you take note. You are judging that person in your mind. The more firm the handshake the more respect that you tend to give that person. This tends to be more prominent in males. In an emergency situation, you will be meeting many new people. If you want to project a sense of power and lack of fear then you better have a good handshake. Something as simple as a firm handshake can either open a door for you or deter a would-be attacker from having a second thought about harming you or your tribe. Also, Look them in the eyes while deploying your impressive handshake.
Keep in mind that when SHTF we are talking about using these tools to do real work. We are not talking weekend warrior bullshit. This will just be a part of your daily life for a while. If you are prepping, then make fitness preparedness a major part of your plan. I care about our prepper community and want to get the point across about fitness preparedness. When an emergency situation occurs those with the most amount of skill-sets will fare the best. As my prepper friends know, it is all about the tribe or community when an emergency arrives. As a crisis lives on, resources run out and communities become tighter and more closed off. Tribes will need to combine to share resources and Darwin’s Theory comes into play.
Will you get picked to play on the team or will you be left on the court to fend for yourself?
[/stextbox] Skill sets are important but if you do not possess fitness preparedness and overall good health you are a liability to your tribe. Do something about it now. There are many great ways to work on your fitness preparedness. But if you pinned me down for the most effective & efficient exercise for a prepper, it’s the kettlebell swing.
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I hope that you enjoyed reading this post and found it informative.