The physical work of being a Police Officer is sometimes very strenuous and demanding, so you need to be ready to go at it any time. Applicants wishing to pursue a career as a Police Officer need to make a personal commitment to develop and maintain their physical fitness. Aerobic fitness, strength fitness, flexibility, maintaining a healthy body weight/body composition through healthy eating are extremely important for a Police Officer to maintain physical readiness to be fit for duty.
This physical training program will cover strength and aerobic conditioning. If any part of this training program is unclear, please download our 26 weeks law enforcement focused workout plan, or consult an experienced health and fitness professional in your area.
Weight training and aerobic conditioning are the foundation for all fitness programs. Weight training increases the strength and power of the musculo-skeletal system, as well as increase the strength of the tendons. When done correctly, weight training can even increase the flexibility in the joints. All weight training exercises should be completed in a slow and controlled manner; “bouncing or throwing” the weights around can cause injury.
The following weight training program is presented in three distinct phases. Each phase will build upon the next, allowing you to increase the amount and intensity of each exercise. The first phase is the preparatory phase which allows you to ease into a training program. If you have never lifted weights before, it is imperative that you seek the help of a qualified fitness professional, and then begin your training program slowly.
Each training routine has been specifically designed to exercise the largest muscle groups first, then progressing to the smaller groups. Each week has three workout sessions. The first workout session of the week should be the hardest, approximately 85-95% effort for the repetition scheme listed. The second workout day is considered “a light” training day, approximately 50-60% effort.
The third workout day is considered “light to moderate” in intensity. Train at approximately 65-80% effort for this day and perform all the listed exercises in circuit training. This schedule basically follows a heavy, light, medium or moderate workout pattern. The “light” days are built-in days for recovery. Even if you feel like you can lift more, don’t, your body needs the rest. As stated earlier, if you have t been working out very much, start slow and work the heavier training.
PHASE ONE–4 TO 6 WEEKS
For each exercise, perform 3-4 sets for 10 repetitions.
1. Seated DB overhead press
2. Lat pulldowns–to the chin
3. Bench press
4. Leg press
5. Abdominal crunches
6. Back extensions
7. Upright row
8. Bent over DB rows
9. Arm curls
10. Triceps pushdowns
PHASE TWO–4 TO 6 WEEKS
All exercises except abdominal crunches and back extensions, complete 5 sets for 10, 10, 8, 8, 6 repetitions. Abdominal crunches complete 4 sets of 20-30 reps, and back extensions, complete 4 sets of 12-15 repetitions.
1. Bench press
2. 3/4 squats or leg press
3. Pullups or lat pulldowns
4. Abdominal crunches
5. Back extensions
6. Standing shoulder press with BB
7. Leg curls
8. Seated low row
9. Seated DB arm curls
10. Supine triceps extensions
PHASE THREE–4 TO 6 WEEKS
All exercises except abdominal crunches and back extensions, complete 5 sets at a repetition scheme of 10, 8, 6, 8, 10. Abdominal crunches complete 4 sets of 30-50 reps, and back extensions, complete 4 sets of 15-20 reps.
1. Incline chest press
2. 3/4 squats
3. Lat pulldowns–to chin
4. Seated DB alternating overhead press
5. Uptight row
6. Leg curls
7. Seated low row
8. Standing BB arm curl
9. Supine DB triceps extension
After this 3-4 month period you will have developed a good base level of strength. It is important to introduce variety into your workout plan whenever you become bored with your program.
Aerobic Conditioning For Police Officer Applicants
Being aerobically fit is vital to a successful police officer career. Cardiovascular conditioning will strengthen the heart and circulatory system, increasing the efficiency that oxygen is delivered to the working muscles. Aerobic conditioning can be completed on the same days as weight training, or on alternate days. Running, cycling, swimming, stair climbing are excellent methods for training the cardiovascular system. Like weight training, aerobic conditioning completed three days per week will do a good job in increasing your aerobic fitness. Also, just as in weight training, you will need to introduce variety into your aerobic workouts. Variety can come in the form of varying your training intensity (how hard you train), the duration of training (how long), or the mode of training (cross-training).
If you haven’t been exercising aerobically, start slowly as in weight training. The first two weeks, begin with 10 to 15 minutes of aerobic conditioning, and then slowly add time each week until your total aerobic conditioning time is approximately 40 to 45 minutes per workout session.
Police Recruitment Flexibility Training
Another important aspect of conditioning is flexibility. Prior to, and at the conclusion of each exercise session, a short time devoted to increasing/ maintaining your flexibility is important. Areas of emphasis are the shoulders, lower back, hamstring (back of thigh), and Achilles tendon areas. The importance of flexibility is twofold. First, flexibility exercises done correctly can help in the prevention of injuries. And second, flexibility exercises are an effective means for warming up and cooling down after exercise.
What you eat each day will greatly enhance or inhibit your exercise progress. For an exercise program to be really successful, a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats are critical. Approximately 55-65% of daily calories should come from complex carbohydrates, 12-15% from good sources of protein, and 20-25% from fats. This is a guideline, if you have special needs, you should consult your physician or a registered dietitian.
These guidelines and principles are to be used as such, guidelines. If you have concerns about your present health, you need to contact your health care professional before beginning any exercise program.
For a step-by-step police specific workout program download our 26 weeks Fit For Duty Workout Guide.