8 Benefits Of Tactical Fitness

7 August 2018

Everybody has heard of Functional fitness. It is the modern fitness fad that actually has a basis on science and can have a real impact on our well-being. However what most people do not know is that the term “functional” is very broad and does not apply to everybody equally. Consider the exercise program practised in a retirement community. The movements, intensity, duration and frequency all reflect the need and abilities of the participants. Now consider the workouts done by the Toronto Maple Leafs. The movements, intensity, duration and frequency all reflect the needs of a professional hockey team. While the application is different, both of these approaches would be considered functional fitness. That said we can see that to be functional a fitness regimen must reflect the needs or goals of those practising it.

Tactical fitness is a category of functional fitness that applies to the needs of a tactical profession, specifically military, law enforcement and fire/rescue. Tactical includes a broad range of training modalities because it was developed for those who must expect the unexpected and be ready for it all. Simply being able to lift, or move a great distance is not enough. But while many people may not have an interest in pursuing any of the above mentioned as a career, there are still a great many benefits to it.

1) Effective
Considering that this is a training model for military personnel and first responders, their workouts need to produce results. The workouts reflect a list of considerations that are fine tuned to produce results and not excuses. Tactical fitness tends to reflect the official, and sometimes unofficial, professional standards of a particular unit or organization. The result is a strong, lean, focused and capable individual prepared to meet all life’s challenges.

2) Well rounded
Olympic level athletes are able to do some truly incredible things. However they tend to be limited to their individual sport or event. First responders need to be able to do many things and their training reflects that. Strength training is a common element, but also stamina, durability, cardio, work capacity, chassis integration, durability to just name a few. For this reason tactical fitness explores the vast range of human capabilities unlike any other fitness model.

3) Intensity
When lives are on the line the margin for error is virtually non-existent. So for the training to be effective, it MUST be intense. It pushes the participants to be constantly pushing themselves, rewarding improvement not perfection.

4) Community
A sense of belonging is already a huge benefit to any fitness regimen that one practises with others but tactical is different. The demands of this fitness approach seem to attract a certain type of individual. The sharing of the hardship that the intensity brings creates a bond that is unique in that the training often focuses on a group, goal oriented dynamic. People learn and practise to “take their eyes off themselves” and incorporate the execution of a collective objective in with their own individual objectives.

5) Injury prevention
Military and first responders can’t afford to risk getting injured from controllable factors like their workouts. They need to be strong, fast and have intense workouts but when working they need to be able to move. For that reason injury prevention is a fundamental principle to the training and is incorporated at each and every level.

6) Mental benefit
The high intensity, sense of community and the low margin for error all act as ingredients for mental toughness and assist in creating a razor sharp focus. Stress management and regular practise of pushing through your limits further factor in to create a sense of empowerment that cannot be duplicated.

7) Flexibility
Remaining too attached to a particular fitness approach can make people complacent, causing physical development to plateau and mental focus to become splintered. Tactical fitness is inherently flexible to incorporate a broad range of approaches that each contribute at an individual and team level. Elements can be added, adjusted or discarded as needed to ensure performance is kept at its highest.

8) General preparedness
It is a sad but unfortunately true reality that we are living in a world that is not all that stable. People who are not employed in a tactical profession may at some point in their life find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time and this practise can make all the difference. The wide range of skills, coupled with the intensity can ensure that people can move themselves or loved ones out of harm’s way should the need arise. Sometimes the difference between life and death can simply be maintaining one’s composure in the face of a disaster. Keeping calm when those around you are panicking will allow you to make competent decisions on how, where and when to move out of danger.

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6:00 pm | Functional Fitness
7:00 pm | Strength & Conditioning
8:00 pm | Obstacle Course

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