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Physical Training for Survival and Weight Loss

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Well I don't know as much about wilderness survival as probably most of the people on here but I'm learning and I want to contribute what I can. So here goes.

Physical training for survival and Weight Loss

We can all agree that you can't run, jump, climb and do other strenuous physical labor that might be required in a survival situation as well if your 20, 30, 40 or 50 lbs overweight. This is the reason for this blog.

First off I would like to cover weight loss.

Whole volumes of books have been written on this topic and most of them contradict each other so I'm going to share what has worked for me over 4 years of trial and error.

The KISS Method of weight loss.

Keep It Simple Stupid

Very very simple and it will work for you.

Step 1- Cut the crap! This means high sugar items, high fructose items and other junk food too numerous to list. You know the junk food I mean.

Step 2-
Eat 6-8oz of either meat, fish, poultry or protein supplement and one serving of green vegetables 6 times a day.

I have used this several times before with great results. This is not a starve yourself diet, you will probably eat more during this diet than you really would like to. You'll think there is no way I can be losing weight eating this much, yet the pounds come off quick. See, told you it was simple, now let me tell you why it works.

If your goal is to lose weight then what you are really trying to do is raise your metabolism. The easiest way to raise your metabolism is to eat a meal every 2-3 hours in a given day which usually works out to six meals. What this does is your body never stops digesting food and your metabolic rate of kcals burned will increase as time goes on using this diet. Meaning you'll burn more and more calories at rest with this diet. Also on this note, protein synthesis uses twice the number of kcals (or calories) than carbs or fats. And what this means to you is more kcals burned per hour and you don't have to do anything but EAT!

Training is a little more tricky. What ever you do whether its body weight work or free weights don't under any circumstances do "the machines" or nautilus circuit machines in commercial gyms. The reason for this for this is your joints. These machines are simple and take no learning curve and this is their main attraction. The huge glaring problem with this is (no personal trainer will ever tell you this) they force your joints to work in one range of motion and this range of motion is different for everyone because people are not all made just alike. Some people are taller or shorter or wider or any number of thousands of differences between people. So, how in the world can you make a machine with one fixed range of motion and make this work or be even safe for everyone? The answer is it is not possible period. What these machines do is allow gyms to have their clients "feel" like they worked out. The commercial gyms have figured out long ago that if you take 12 machines which take 3 minutes per machine and have everyone workout with these machines you can have more paying customers per hour than any other method. Working out on these machines also doesn't do your body much good. And you will have joint pain and trouble from wear and tear that you cause by not allowing your joints to use their natural range of motion.

When in life do you ever use your muscles in isolation from other muscles except in the gym? You don't. Think about what your body does when you pick up a heavy box off the floor. You would start by bending at the knees and pushing your butt toward the rear. Once your in the down position you would use your arms to pull the box to the center of your chest (or the center mass of the body which ever gives you the best balance). Then you would reverse the lowering process by bending the legs and pulling your butt forward in order to stand upright with the box. What you have just done is a Squat. Which is the best exercise for lower body strength (along with the deadlift for the hams and glutes). My key point here is... In order to be fit to survive when you have to, you must mimic the actions in life that you will use to survive when you train. And that my friends leads us to the big six exercises.

Push- bench press, military press
Pull- Rows, cable pull down, chin ups, pull ups
Twist- note: you don't have to twist to work the twist muscles.

Here is where for the sake of writing a blog and not a book I have to leave the learning of the exercises up to you. I will say this though full body workouts 3 days a week are just about perfect for correct training and rest periods. Example:

Monday- Squat, bench press, deadlift

Wed- Squat, rows or cleans, military press

Fri- Squat, bench press, deadlift.

Do this for 3 months while increasing the weight in 5 lbs increments for upper body and 10 lbs increments for lower body. I know lower body work sucks at first but after about 1 month you start to love them for the huge gains in muscle, strength and endurance they will give you. All of these exercises are hard work, my best advice is get used to it and learn to love it. When the SHTF your gonna be working and fighting for survival. YOU better be fit! I will be happy to go into more depth on these topics with anyone who is interested.

Two sites I want to recommend are: (not just for bodybuilders)

T-Nation (cutting edge science of lifting and athletics)

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Updated 10-22-2008 at 10:46 PM by ADEPT



  1. bulrush's Avatar
    I agree about eating more veggies. My doc says veggies have magnesium which helps process the fat you are carrying. Also, eat LEAN meat. Deep fried anything does not count as your meat. A 6oz steak wrapped in bacon also does not count.

    And a baked potate slathered in butter and cheese likewise does not count. Use herbs for flavor, not fatty butter or cheese. It worked for me.
  2. Okwaho's Avatar
    Just eat only what would be available naturally.