It’s been a little over two and a half years since I started my journey as a law enforcement officer. I find the physical needs are less than I thought however, I try to stay as strong as possible to stay ahead of everyone else.
The main issue with trying to stay fit is trying to get into a routine. Good luck getting a schedule that doesn’t change every five or six days screwing up your routine.
My schedule also shifts every three months throwing my entire routine off. For example I could go from a graveyard shift to a day shift. Normally I would work out in the morning after my graveyard shift and then go home to sleep. During the change to day shift I now have to work out in the afternoon when I would normally be sleeping.
Most people I know sleep maybe 4 or 5 hours on graveyard. Even when I have a normal schedule I sleep maybe 6 hours. I’m constantly tired but I fight through to make sure I go home every night and day. I find a lot of my physical duties come into play when I have to wrestle with a suspect or when I have to chase them.
I personally feel one of the most important things officers should be keeping up on is their stamina and cardio. The reason I feel this is the most important is because if I get in a fight, I need to be able to hold my ground. If I have low stamina, I can’t fight for long before I’m in trouble.
Same goes if I have to chase someone. What happens when I catch them and I’m too tired to hold my ground. Generally the suspect wants to fight. If I’m out of breath I am not going to be able to handle a suspect who may be bigger than I am. It’s true as a law enforcement officer I don’t have to fight fair however, I tend to try and de-escalate a situation before I have to move to more professionally violent means.
A secondary duty I am part of is my department’s SWAT team. If being a fit officer was important, it is even more important to be a fit SWAT operator. The reason for this is because every call out could be a deadly situation. It will not always be, but I want to be prepared even if it is not.
Overall, it is important to keep fit both mentally and physically when in this line of work. Stay safe.
To connect with Chris and stay up to date on his fitness journey, be sure to follow him on Instagram @decker6057!