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Military Career Article

stew smith

My grandfather has had an interesting life. He enlisted into the Army in 1936 and retired a Chief Warrant Officer after two wars and nearly 30 years of active duty service. Afterwards, he took the highly developed skills of his military career and applied them to become Chief of Police of his hometown for nearly 20 years. With two retirements coming in monthly, he has provided nicely for himself and his family throughout the years. Careers in military and public service are fantastic opportunities to serve your country and be well cared for with health and retirement benefits.

My expertise in this career change begins here with preparing physically for different physical fitness tests of a law enforcement position. Some of the exercises are the same as any military physical fitness test, such as the basics calisthenics tests of a timed run, pushups, situps, and pull-ups. Depending upon your law enforcement career decision, a variety of exercises will also be tested to include:

Bench press                          Agility Tests

Shuttleruns                           Timed runs from 1 mile to 5 miles long

Weighted pull-ups (SWAT Vest – 25lbs)      Pushups, situps, pullups

500 yard swims                    Rope climbs

Obstacle Courses                Victim Drags

Excelling in these tests takes practice as with any other physical event. Many of the tested events above can also be better prepared for by a series of exercises that involve the muscle groups utilized. For instance, the FBI Swat Team has a job related Performance Standards Test (PST) where several tasks are performed and timed. These include a pullup test with a 25lb SWAT vest and the following events

The Assault Dash is not your ordinary 40 yd sprint you may have run in high school. This one requires you to wear body armor weighing 18 lbs (SWAT vest of 11lbs + 1 - 7lbs plate), carry a Remington 870 shotgun and wear a helmet. Starting in the prone position, the candidate must run 40 yards as quickly as possible. Some of the exercises used to help develop this tested event are:

8 Count bodybuilder pushup                  Bear Crawls

Squats                                                    Lunges

Sprints                                                   Variety of abdominal exercises

               Lower back exercises

The Tactical Obstacle Course is a challenging ½ mile run with three job related tasks thrown in at the 220yd, 440 yd, and 660 yd marks. These tasks are:

220 yd mark - Cone running weave (40 yds long) – 9 cones spaced 5 yards apart.

440 yd mark - 175lb victim drag (10 yd drag)

660 yd mark – Cone running weave dropping to the prone position at each cone.

This event test speed, endurance, and agility. Done in regular exercise clothing, the candidate will not be weighed down by the SWAT Vest. The exercises to help train for this event are:

2 and 3 mile Track Workouts                 8 Count bodybuilder pushups

Squats                                                   Sprints

Agility drills / Box drills                           Lower back exercises

                    Grip exercises – towel pull-ups

For full workouts and descriptions of the law enforcement physical standards of many of the federal, state and local divisions, check out the Fitness eBook Store. If you need assistance with any training feel free to contact Stew Smith at, he is here to help.

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