The best pre-police academy workout program for weight loss is simple. First, you actually need to do LESS steady paced cardio and do more interval training. After all, research studies prove that slow and boring cardio is the LEAST effective way to lose weight.
Second, you need to do resistance training to strengthen your body for the challenges that await at the academy. One research study found that men and women (average age of 62!) were able to burn 4 pounds of fat in just 12 weeks with resistance training.
Third, you need to do high intensity interval training. This is alternating periods of short burst exercise and I explain it more in my 26 week Fit For Duty Workout Program.
All in all, you only need to workout three times per week for fat loss and then stay active on your off days.
The main goal of off-day activity is to keep you moving for at least 30 minutes and you should have fun doing it. The key is to do something you enjoy. Your off-day exercise should not be thought of as a workout, but rather as a leisure and health pursuit. You should look forward to doing whatever activity you have chosen for this day.
On the other hand, there are two things you must avoid with off day activities. First, you don’t want to workout too hard and get sore so you end up ruining the next real workout.
Be conservative. When in doubt, do less. For beginners and intermediates, you could do 30 minutes of cardio, walking, domestic work, or a combination of bodyweight exercises (easy ones) and cardio. Yoga, Pilates, dancing, and stretching are also acceptable off-day forms of exercise. Plus, they are highly beneficial for stress reduction, which should be one of the main benefits you get from your off- day form of exercise.
NOTE: Just like any other activity, you can over-do and over-use your body in Yoga, Pilates, and Mobility exercises. Please be very careful and only work with qualified instructors who are experienced in working with beginners.
If you want to do “traditional cardio”, do what is called “cross-training”. That means using a different form of cardio each workout or doing 10 minutes of three different cardio methods within the same workout. This will help avoid overuse injuries, which is one of the main downfalls of cardio (along with inefficiency).
When training for the police academy or the police physical fitness test, the heavier you are, the more you should focus on non-weight bearing activities at this time until you lose a significant amount of weight.
So swimming, the elliptical trainer, and the stationary bike might be most appropriate at this time. If you choose to do walking or dancing, please make sure you have the appropriate footwear and if you feel any onset of overuse injury, switch to another activity.
Finally, for those that are fit and looking for that little extra to remove the last bit of body fat, you can use additional bodyweight circuit training like the ones in my Fitness For Duty Ebook. But again, make sure it does not impair tomorrow’s performance or recovery from yesterday’s workout.
The best pre-police academy workout program is only three days per week of resistance training and interval training and then four days per week of staying active through activities of your choice. Let your weight loss program be fun for once and that way you’ll stick to it.