Staying Alive II

In part 1 we defined what is to be accomplished, to become physically more able to handle a crisis, whether it is a zombie apocalypse, a hurricane, getting stranded in an uninhabited place when your car breaks down, moving a piano upstairs or any other disaster, or in the last case disaster just waiting to happen. Or, in case none of those things happen for a while, just being physically more able to handle, and enjoy normal life.

We have also established that not getting hurt is priority number one, and that you are not gonna go from a fat, weak couch potato to an ass-kicking zombie killer in a week, and trying to do so will usually get you hurt.

The first month of training will focus on strength, with just a tiny bit of conditioning. Why? Because strength is the most basic physical quality, assists in the expression of all other physical qualities, and an improvement in the strength levels of an untrained person, will by itself improve most other physical qualities. On top of that, strength can be gained rather quickly if it is focused on, but not quickly at all if you are doing too many other activities. So, if we want to be as physically capable as possible, say, 6 months from now, you are gonna get the most bang for your training buck by devoting efforts primarily to strength alone at the start.

How to go about this? My preference is a 3 day a week, full body workout, 3-4 exercises per workout linear progression program. A good example of this would be doing squats, BB rows, and bench press on Monday, front squats, pullups, and military press on Wednesday, then Squats, bench press, and deadlift on Friday. Use medium reps (I like 5 best), start conservatively, and progress linearly for as long as you can. More specific advice is easily available on the internet, as there are many specific programs that follow these guidelines which have have been written about ad nauseam. With a little common sense, any beginner can become quite a bit stronger in a month or two with a program like.

But I did say a little conditioning didn’t I? Well we need to start with an activity that won’t interfere with Strength training, and is as broadly useful as possible over a variety of situations. And the winner is… WALKING! If you are really really out of shape, start with an easy 30 minute stroll a couple of times a week. Saturday is a great day to stretch it out a little longer. If you are a bit more motivated than most, get out in nature and go for a hike on your Saturdays when possible. Think about buying some nice hiking boots, you’ll be glad you have them when the zombies come! When you get to the point where it’s possible to go for a Saturday hike that takes you out a few miles from civilization, wouldn’t it be nice to stop for a snack? Maybe a cup of coffee? Plenty of stores like REI, Gander Mountain, or Bass Pro Shop where the average person can buy camping equipment that is reasonably priced and makes fixing a quick pick-me-up on the trail more convenient. It should be an organic process… don’t go out and spend 2k on camping equipment your first week, but, when you are out there walking, think about what you might need out there by yourself, think about what might make you more comfortable if you stop for a rest. And about how much it sucks carrying stuff that you don’t really need.

And that is pretty much all for the first month. A conservative strength training program, and a bit of walking. And for the extra motivated, a bit of practice and thinking about what it means to be out in the woods by yourself and what you might need. It is not glamorous but it is the best way to begin to get in shape for almost any de-conditioned person.

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