Rule Number 1….Cardio.

One of my favorite movies is Zombieland. If you haven’t seen it, the main character has a series of rules for survival in the new zombie infested environment. His number one rule is ‘cardio’, basically the ability to out run the zombies. Though the movie is quite humorous, and pokes great fun at the zombie post apocalyptic world, it does have nuggets of good advice, this is one of them.

Being in good physical condition is essential on many levels, from maintaining good health and longevity, to being able to survive a disaster situation. What got me thinking about this was Issue #4 of Survivalist magazine which had an article by Jim Mahan titled “Fitness for When SHTF”. Jim goes through and lays out a suggested routine with numerous pictures on the techniques. The exercises are excellent, but something caught my eye and my gray matter had an ‘ah ha!’ moment. When we workout, go to the gym, what have you, we typically don our shorts, t-shirt, sneakers… basically our workout gear. Is this what we will wear when we are actually in a SHTF situation? Probably (hopefully) not. Additionally, when at the gym, we lift weights for strength, or use something more dynamic like a medicine ball or sand bag. This is all well and good in maintaining physical fitness, but is this what we will be carrying with us during the SHTF situation? Definitely not. Thus, we need to rethink how we strength train…or at the very least, insert some modifications…we need to train/workout like we will be in the SHTF situation.


Develop a workout that involves your gear and the clothes we are going to wear, at least once a week. This will get you used to moving with your gear. Instead of lifting a sand bag, lift a fully loaded BOB (Bug Out Bag). Instead of jogging with nothing more than maybe a water bottle, jog with your GHB (Get Home Bag), or walking/hiking with your BOB. Though most cannot workout with our PPT (Personal Protective Tool) in plain view of the public without causing panic, it can be simulated with something less threatening of similar weight. Pushups, squats, turn and lunge, etc. with gear on is a whole different bowl of wax. Why do these? Because when the SHTF you will not just be walking with gear on down a nice little path. You will have to move quickly, quietly, duck, roll, dive, get up, get back down, get through doorways, up stairs, move through heavy brush, cross water…the list goes on. You can develop all kinds of different scenarios to mix up the routine and keep it interesting. If you work in a suit/tie/dress environment, I assume you have a change of clothes in your GHB. Practice quickly transitioning from the nice clothes to the get home clothes quickly, maybe in a dark place of cover an concealment, then gear up and start the workout. It’s fun, and you quickly learn what you can do and what you need to work on.

Check out your route home or to your BOL (Bug Out Location). What obstacles if on foot with gear on will you have to traverse? This is your gym (or find a place similar). Also take a look at your gear…do you stick out like a tacticool sore thumb if you have to go through high populated areas? Maybe get a cover for your bag so it looks a little less threatening. How comfortable is your gear while working out? Do parts get easily snagged? Make too much noise? Too heavy? Thinks fall off easily, or even come flying around and whack you in the head? These are all things you will only discover when going through a more adverse movement and environment other than just walking down the street or a path.

Practicing what we are actually going to do leads to survivability. Be smart and stay safe.

About PapaSwamp

Apex predator, preparedness whacko.
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