Prepper fitness training: Considerations for your workout

When SHTF, do you have what it takes to run as fast as you can? Or will you be huffing and puffing even before you’ve finished a single mile?

Aside from learning the ins and outs of homesteading and how to survive outdoors, preppers need to also prioritize their fitness, especially strength and endurance. Here are some tips on how to create your own boot camp based on the drills military experts use to improve their flexibility and strength. (h/t to

Training basics

Don’t let complicated weight machines and free weights deter you from trying to get in shape. During a survival scenario, they can’t help you improve your flexibility and strength, and some of the leading fitness standards don’t even require pricey equipment. For example, the Army’s Physical Fitness Test (PFT) has simple minimum requirements. If you’re 17 to 21 years old:

  • Both men and women must do at least 53 sit-ups.
  • Men must do 42 push-ups, women must do 19.
  • Men must finish a two-mile run in under 15 minutes and 54 seconds; women must finish in under 18 minutes and 54 seconds.

As your age goes up, the minimum requirements for the PFT decrease. (Related: MAKE TIME to exercise and commit to be fit, especially if you’re a prepper.)

For something more rigorous, try the High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT is a technique that “builds endurance, strength, and recovery time.”

Keep in mind that HIIT is not for the faint of heart. It involves brutal 100 percent bursts of activities for a short time. These bursts are followed by quick and, often, active recovery sessions.

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A lot of individuals prefer HIIT techniques because it boosts their metabolism. The boost from a HIIT workout can increase your metabolism for at least 48 hours.

If you’re busy, you should also consider HIIT routines because they’re quick. When you use all of your energy, even for a quick workout, you’re immediately worn out. This is why a lot of HIIT workouts are only 30 minutes long, if not shorter.

Like the Army PFT, you don’t need equipment for a HIIT workout. HIIT promotes workouts that require weight, and this is good for “optimal muscle gain and fat loss.” If you don’t know where to start with a HIIT workout, try this template:

  1. Start off slow. Go with a routine that is easy enough that you won’t injure yourself, like a 10-minute routine followed by 20 seconds of exercise and 10 seconds of recovery.
  2. Begin with 20 seconds of cross-punch jabs. Stay on the balls of your feet and pivot with each jab. This will turn your body and help develop your abs.
  3. Take a 10-second breather.
  4. Do jumping jacks for 20 seconds.
  5. For your last set, do 20 seconds of sumo squats. Sumo squats help build leg strength. To do one, stand with your feet at least 24 to 36 inches apart. Position your feet, so they’re further apart than your hips, with your toes and knees facing forward. Keep your head up and your spine straight so there is no curve in your back. Put your arms at your sides, or put your hands in front of your chest so you can keep your balance. Inhale, bend your knees, and lower your hips behind you to a comfortable depth or until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Don’t let your knees move forward beyond your toes. Exhale, press your heels onto the floor and straighten your legs to the starting position.
  6. Once you’re done with each exercise, repeat the whole routine for ten minutes.

Since this is just a sample workout, you can experiment with other exercise combinations when you’re in better shape, especially when SHTF.

You can read more articles about how you can stay safe when SHTF at

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