POLICE Magazine

SEP 2017

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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GEORGE RYAN 48 POLICE SEPTEMBER 2017 Y ou are a professional athlete. You may not wear the col- ors of an NFL team like the New England Patriots, but you wear a more important uniform—and you have a great- er purpose. You protect your community and you protect your country. High-intensity physical training can help you with your mission. FUNCTIONAL FITNESS IN 20 MINUTES OR LESS Although your job is more important than any athlete's, no one is helping you on a daily basis to be as mentally and physically prepared as possible for your duties. is is de- spite the fact that it has been 14 years since Greg Glassman, CrossFit's Founder and CEO, wrote in the CrossFit Journal, "Cops and soldiers are professional athletes. In fact, we ar- gue that the physical preparedness required of military combat—and by extension law enforcement—matches and regularly surpasses that required of Olympic athletes." Certainly, though, CrossFit was not as well known in 2003 and social media was still in its in- fancy so this kind of message was not shared and passed along like it would be today. In fact, I learned about CrossFit the old-fashioned way—through word-of-mouth. In one of those life-changing interac- tions, I was teaching a Hostage Res- cue Course in Florida in 2005 and started talking to a SWAT opera- tor named TJ Cooper. TJ and I were sharing training philosophies when he told me about a workout program he was using called "CrossFit." He advised me that CrossFit taught him that if you are working out for more than 20 minutes, then you are doing something wrong. When I thought about TJ's state- ment, I knew that he was right. As a boy and as a teen, I played many kinds of sports. But baseball, martial arts, and a short stint in boxing resonated with me the most. As an adult with the demanding hours of a police officer, I was creating my own workouts based on my own prior sports interests so I was doing heav y bag workouts, hill sprints, striking workouts, calisthenics, situational sparring, weight training interval workouts, etc., all for 20 minutes or less and all at a very high intensity. So, for me, TJ's statement made all the sense in the world, and I immediately started researching CrossFit's training philosophies and methodologies. WHY GO HARD? But I knew then, as I know now, that CrossFit does not reso- nate with everyone in the same way. Instead, I believe whole- heartedly that the essence of CrossFit's philosophies can be of enormous help to all law enforcement officers. CrossFit's idea that a great workout is high in intensity and short on time meshes very well with a sleep-deprived, atypical-schedule profession. Likewise, CrossFit's other training philosophies include ex- ercising in a way that is constantly varied, focusing on functional move- ments and keeping the workouts unknown until the last minute. All of these qualities perfectly mirror the reality of a profession that is con- stantly varied, requires functional movement patterns to complete nu- merous tasks, and is full of high-in- tensity situations. Setting the name "CrossFit" aside, what does all this mean for you and me? Well, elite military units and domestic law enforcement SWAT teams are known to emphasize do- ing prime physical conditioning through high-intensity workouts. is is because tactical operators understand that consistently chal- High-intensity functional movement training helps you effectively do your job. PHOTO: HANS HALBERSTADT GET COMFORTABLE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE The philosophy of high-intensity physical training meshes well with officers' schedules and performance needs, and it is a gateway to peak performance and resilience. Officer Fitness

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