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Law Enforcement – The Occupational Athlete

By Dr. Tamara Mouras
Criminal Justice and Homeland Security faculty member, American Public University System
Guest Contributor, Sports+Fitness NetworkPolice Fitness 2

The daily occupational duties of a law enforcement officer call for a certain level of strength and conditioning that should be maintained throughout a career. Basic physical performance can directly relate to on the job performance when law enforcement officers are interacting with the general public. Law enforcement officers are called upon at any given time to physically confront, restrain and pursue individuals involved in criminal activity. However, because of the shift work (12 hours on/12 hours off), family responsibilities and/or pursuing higher educational goals, time to complete lengthy training sessions may not be possible on a daily basis for law enforcement officers. Therefore, each training session should be tailored to the law enforcement occupational athlete concept to reap the rewards of successful strength and conditioning training sessions. The occupational athlete is an individual who must maintain a specific set of physical standards to meet and parallel the demands of the professional occupation. For law enforcement officers to meet the occupational athlete standards, long training sessions do not necessarily need to be the main ingredient for success. There are a few simple training tools found in most law enforcement gyms which can provide the platform to meet the occupational athlete standards.

A) The Pull-Up

The basic Dead Hang Pull-Up is one of the most vital strength tools a law enforcement officer can include in their training session. Whether the law enforcement officer is looking to create strength solely through Dead Hang Pull-Ups or the law enforcement officer is looking to add conditioning by performing multiple reps of pull-ups over a prescribed number of rounds, the Dead Hang Pull-Up can be used to provide various different and possible training outcomes and/or goals.

  • Possible Dead Hang Pull-Up Variations
  • Eccentric Dead Hang Pull-Up (5 second ascent/5 second descent)
  • Dead Hang Pull-Up with Added Weight

If law enforcement officers are looking to add power and explosive strength to their training routine, adding a Kettlebell weight can create a new strength dynamic in which they can generate a weighted Ballistic Dead Hang Pull-Up of a 1RM.

B) The Battle Rope

Battle Ropes are an essential tool, as this particular conditioning tool relates to the conditioning law enforcement officers may be called upon at any given time when pursuing criminals. Public safety and being able to draw upon physical conditioning are key elements for law enforcement officers and their job responsibilities. Battle Rope training sessions can be completed rather quickly and when properly completed Battle Rope training sessions are a “Controlled Sprint.” The Controlled Sprint concept is the ability of an individual to sprint at their top (max) speed or relatively close to their top speed while also keeping in control of their body mechanics as well as control over their breathing. This is a vital element when law enforcement officers must pursue and apprehend criminals. The concept parallels the possible daily events when law enforcement officers are working the streets. Also, Battle Rope training sessions will have little to no impact on the joints and bones of individuals. Therefore, the individual does not need to have the same amount of downtime to recover. This little to no downtime helps law enforcement officers stay more mobile and ready to move more quickly while on the job.

C) The Kettlebell

Kettlebell training was first introduced to the United States in the early 1990s. The explosion of Kettlebell training has spread into many gyms across the country and rightfully so. The positive aspects of Kettlebell training as with the Dead Hang Pull-Up can be strength-based and/or conditioning-based. Kettlebell training sessions can also be completed rather quickly, which is suitable for law enforcement officers who have to use careful time management for their day and activities. The main movements of Kettlebell training should include: 1) Deadlift, 2) Goblet Squat, 3) Swing, 4) Clean, 5) Snatch and 6) The Get-Up. An example of a short but effective Kettlebell training session is below.

  • Deadlift X 5
  • Goblet Squat X 5
  • Swing L/R X 10
  • Clean L/R X 10
  • Snatch L/R X 10
  • The Get-Up L/R X 5
  • Rest and Repeat for 5-10 Rounds

About Dr. Tamara Mouras

Dr. Mouras is a strong supporter of incorporating a healthy lifestyle for all levels of athletes, instilling the idea of strength to gain better performances in any athletic and professional arena. Dr. Mouras instructs small invitation only private training sessions using power and endurance to help individuals excel in their sport and/or professional field. Dr. Mouras also offers and builds conditioning programs. Dr. Mouras holds B.S., M.S., and Doctoral degrees and the following specialty certifications: StrongFirst Level I & II, ONNIT Academy Foundations, ONNIT Kettlebell Specialist, Battling Ropes and WKC.

 

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