SHTF Fitness Preparation (Strategic Survival Guide)

In this guide, you will learn SHTF fitness standards and how you should go about fitness.

Physical preparedness is an often overlooked component of being ready for the future. Being prepared entails being able to withstand whatever is thrown at you.

This may include wading through knee-high water or scrambling over a mound of rubble. It might even be a life-or-death situation.

When you combine these physical accomplishments with your large bug-out pack and additional supplies, SHTF fitness takes on a new meaning. This raises the question of whether or not you are fit enough to save your own life.

Let’s look at some minimal SHTF fitness requirements to make sure you’re prepared.

Requirements for SHTF Fitness

To be considered for a military or law enforcement position, you must fulfill minimal physical fitness criteria or standards.

The work has a wide variety of needs, and survival is no exception. You should do fundamental human actions, but more importantly, you should manage anything thrown at you.

You don’t want to be the group’s weak link, do you? Worse still, if you’re alone, you’ll have to rely only on yourself to get through difficult circumstances.

Running away from assailants, jumping across a creek, swimming to safety, climbing over a fence, and lifting and carrying goods all appear like real physical tasks.

Let’s look at the minimal minimums you should be able to accomplish based on that. If you can’t, it appears that you’ll need to get some training.


SHTF Fitness Running

It’s crucial to have enough endurance, especially when carrying equipment over large distances. Running is one of the most fundamental human actions that will be required at some time.

For training, a recommendation is to do quarter-mile repetitions are used to increase endurance and, to some extent, running speed. You’ll begin by running four quarter-mile intervals with no more than two minutes of rest between them and run times that are within five seconds of one another.

This will need some trial and error. Increase the number of intervals by one every other week. Reduce your rest times to 15-second intervals whenever possible. Each week, complete two sessions.

The end goal is to get around 25-30 minutes for a 3-mile run.


Swimming Fitness Recommendations

Swimming might be the difference between life and death in some cases. When heavy weather occurs, floods can occur, and getting to safety is critical. The 12-minute swim test is a wonderful method to see how well you can swim. Simply swim for 12 minutes as far as you can.

For training, begin by exercising two to three times each week for a total distance of 200 yards in 50-yard intervals. Each week, increase by 50 yards until you reach 500 yards. Then, every other week, increase 25 yards until you can swim for 12 minutes without stopping.

The end goal is to get around 400-500 yards in 12-minutes.


Climbing Fitness Recommendations

Everyone should be able to manipulate their body weight, and what better method to do it than climbing?

Climbing up a tree or over a fence is a very real requirement. We’ll execute the tactical variant (thumb next to index finger), which is more applicable to real-world obstacles, by doing a minimum of pull-ups.

If you’re having trouble completing a pull-up, start with assisted pull-ups until you gain strength. This is best accomplished by enlisting the help of a band. Begin by crossing one leg over and placing one foot through a band. Grasp a bar over your head and squeeze it firmly. 

Make space between your neck and shoulders by pulling your shoulder blades down. Push your elbows out to the sides until your neck is parallel to the bar. Return to the starting position slowly. Three to five sets of three to five reps performed twice per week will help you gain the strength needed to accomplish the above criteria.


Deadlift Strength Fitness

Picking up a heavy object off the floor is about as simple as it gets, so it’s no surprise that it made a list. What kind of workout can you do to help you with that?

It’s a deadlift. For men, it’s 1.5 times their weight, while for women, it’s 1 time their weight. Stand comfortably with the bar directly above your shoelaces to begin.

Take a deep breath in through your belly button, brace your abs (as if you’re about to be punched), and hold it. This will aid in the stabilization of your spine. Drive your hips backward until you feel your hamstrings tense, keeping your lower back flat.

To reach the bar, bend your knees. Grab the bar and slam it down. It’s best if your grasp is just outside your legs. An alternating grip (as seen above) will perform best with heavier weight. To achieve neutral neck alignment, make a double chin and tilt your head backward.

Instead of looking up with your head, look up with your eyes. Drive your heels through the floor while pulling the bar back into your shins. Squeeze your butt at the very top to finish. Return to the starting position by reversing the preceding instructions.

Deadlift strength may be built similarly to pull-up strength by performing three to five sets of three to five repetitions two to three times per week.


Man Jumping SHTF Fitness

Jumping over barriers or merely possessing the required lower body strength to do so may be quite useful. How about leaping from one building to the next? What are the chances?

To do so, we’ll employ the standing long jump. Jump ahead as far as you can while standing still. At your heels, take note of where you make touch with the earth. Around 20 inches is a decent vertical leaping height.

The squat leap is an excellent lower-body power training exercise. Begin by standing up straight. Drop straight down, keeping your hips back, and leap as high as you can. Move quickly down, then quickly up. Before starting another exercise, make sure you stick the landing. Do this eight more times. And repeat 2-3 times a week.

Other Workouts

Other workouts to check out include:

  • Varied Terrain Interval Running
  • Kettlebell Squats
  • Burpees

Last Words

I hope you follow this simple guide as closely as possible to meet standard military fitness. While this isn’t a list of hundreds of exercises, you’ll be OK if you can master these skills. These should be considered minimums, so if you find them tough, you still have work to do.

With appropriate training, you should be able to exceed the SHTF fitness minimums greatly. Physical readiness is critical to any bug-out strategy, and it cannot be emphasized enough.

You never know what life has in store for you. Make the necessary preparations for the worst-case scenario, and don’t let fitness be a stumbling block.

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1 thought on “SHTF Fitness Preparation (Strategic Survival Guide)”

  1. Every day in school, we had to climb a rope in the gym as part of our regular practice. It was roughly 15 feet to the top of the gym. Only the overweight children experienced problems. Because of the attorneys, that would be unacceptable now. Someone might trip and injure himself.


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