What Is A Good Level Of Prepper Fitness?

8 May

Everybody can be a prepper. An elderly guy can stockpile essential supplies. A person in a wheelchair can set up a raised garden bed or learn to bake bread. The goal is to become as self-sufficient and independent as you can be.

One of my favorite suspense movies, Wait Until Dark, with Audrey Hepburn, features a plucky young blind lady who wants to be as independent as possible. How well would you do in blind school if you lost your eyesight? Would you have the resiliency to learn braille and all the other skills you’d require?

Resiliency in the face of adversity is an important personal trait. In life, it’s more important than physical strength and endurance. Many preppers are young guys who like exercise, and this post is primarily for them. But in no way do I mean to imply that older, less fit people can’t be preppers.

For an able-bodied and not-to-elderly prepper, what’s a good level of physical fitness?

One test we could use is the basic SEAL fitness test. The test involves push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, a 1.5 mile run, and a 500 yard swim. Many won’t have a place to swim, so we’ll toss out the 500 yard swim. To make things a bit easier, we’ll cut the run to one mile.

Exceptional performance for a smaller or average size guy would be: 100 push-ups in 2 minutes; 100 sit-ups in 2 minutes; 15-20 pull-ups. For a taller, heavier fellow, cut the numbers in half: 50 push-ups, 50 sit-ups, and 7-10 pull-ups. For ladies, I’d cut the push-ups to 20, and 5 pull-ups would be great.

Shorter folks have a huge advantage in bodyweight exercises. A small, un-athletic guy could knock out 15 pull-ups, while an athletic six-foot-five guy might struggle to knock out 12. That’s fair. The tall, heavy guys have huge advantages in most sports, like football and basketball. Shorter fellows do better in bodyweight exercises and gymnastics.

For the run, we can use age statistics. Follow the link to see the numbers for your age group. For somebody aged 42-46, you’d be in the 1% of your age group if you can run a 7 minute mile. That’s outstanding. If you run it in 10 minutes, you’re in the top 50%, which is very good. For a guy age 27 to 31, a 6:40 mile puts you in the top 1%.

If you want to see how physically fit you are, give the SEAL test a try.

Once we’re past age 30 or 40, most of us don’t work on sprints. We’ll never be as fast as the younger guys. Long legs with long strides help. Sometimes “getting out of Dodge” just means putting a short distance between you and danger. A pro football player who can run a 40 yard dash in 4.3 seconds could easily outrun an attacker with a knife. This link has some advice about improving your sprinting.

If you want to mix up your workout a bit, turn one day to sprinting. If you have bad knees, leave the sprinting to football players and leave the bunny hops to the bunnies.

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