T Nation

Building a Law Enforcement Body

Hey Jim / everyone first off id like to say thanks for the program Jim. I purchased your beyond 5/3/1 2nd edition and I love the philosophy and simplicity of the programming.

Alright so ill get right into it.

I am a asset protection investigator for a company in Canada, in short i investigate frauds/theft and make arrests on crackheads fairly often.

Ive been doing security for years and had various experiences knives/ needles/ golf clubs pulled on me.

I plan to get into corrections in the near future and after that law enforcement.

Im not a naturally big dude, im about 5’8" and without forcing myself to eat or lift im around 140 lbs.

right now ive been bodybuilding for about 2 years im around 180-190 pounds and my stats are as follows.

Deadlift - 375

Bench - 255

Press - 175

Squat - 315
(one rep maxes)

Ive been working off of my trainnig maxes just as you prescribe in your book and im currently on week two of my first cycle through. I am loving it.

Heres my only issue. Size is a big interest of mine as having a presence is the first step in any sort of arrest procedure. In fact in Canada where i live officer or security presence is the first step on the use of force continuem. The idea is if you are physically intimidating enough people will not fight you.

I obviously dont wanna be looking like a roid monkey as i wish to be approachable but being a naturally smaller dude packing on size especially in my arms is crucial.

I understand volume builds size, unfortunately there doesnt seem to be an assistance template that supports enough volume for me.

Over just the last week my girlfriend has commented how i look smaller?

The point im getting at is i want to be Big AND Strong. size is just as important to me as strength.

I can post my current plan if you would like to see it.

Is there anything you can think of that would help me in my journey.

I currently am eating like a mad man (i dont count calories i believe thats for women who wanna lose weight), protein like its going outta style and im lifting with intensity.

If its all in my head lemme know.


Is size most important or is the performance of keeping your life/be safe most important? You don’t get to choose both so you have to make a decision. This program, the principles and ideas, are about improving your performance. People get very upset at me because of this but they are free to change their training/programs yet would rather bitch about something they can change. It makes no sense to me.

Boring But Big and Boring But Strong and the Monolith can all be done as PART of a total program - they are not the ONLY part of a training program. These would be your best bets provided you also improve your mobility and conditioning and using any one of the hundreds of long-term plans that I have made available.

After being involved in this industry/life for almost 30 years, I can safely say, without any doubt, that no one really cares who big you look, rather it is how you carry yourself and how you handle yourself. If you have a good level of strength, can move and react and actually do something with that strength - you are 1000000 times better off then a box-shaped person who can’t fathom the idea of running/pushing sled/weight vest work six times a week for some fucked up fear of “getting weaker”.

I have no doubt that nothing I said changed your mind- another benefit of being in this industry for this long. But I don’t have the answer you want, rather the answer you need. Train smart and start taking classes in wrestling, boxing, etc.

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I appreciate the quick reply Jim, I understand what you are saying and this is exactly why I purchased your program. I understand strength and ability are the single most important thing to me.

Im not concerned with having a beach body or having body builder arms. I just wish to be solid. I would like to sit at approximately 200 pounds while agile if possible.

Basically all my life ive been undersized. I played football and was a provincial level linebacker up until grade 10 when i was undersized.

Its been an issue for me in the past.

I plan to continue on with the program.

I am running the Triumvirate right now, would the boring but big paired with some sort of wrestling or perhaps MMA be something you would recommend i transfer into once i am done my first run through? Seemed to be what you suggested.

thanks again.

military police,corrections,bar bouncer
i agree with jim,
sometimes being big will stop an issue before it starts,alot of issues you react to what happens and it is best to be physically prepared

Thanks for the input and thank you for your service.

I agree that knowing what to do when shit hits the fan is 100000000x more important than trying to simply avoid it.

Interviews with prisoners have shown that being bigger isn’t always what keeps people from fighting with you. It’s usually more to do with the way you present yourself. If you are in uniform but part of your shirt is untucked, and a shoelace undone, then you look lazy, incompetent and easier to overpower. If you stand tall and are well kept, then you look like you have your shit together and are probably better prepared to deal with an encounter. I have also known larger guys that were shit magnets and somehow everyone wanted to fight them. It’s like wanted to fight the title match.

And Officer Presence isn’t about intimidation. It’s that the presence of an officer can prevent a situation, or de-escalate a situation. For example, 2 guys are getting mad at each other at a bar and wanting to fight. They see an officer and decide they don’t want to go to jail for the night so they go separate ways.

Great post.

I know the OP is in the protective services/security field, and so size is one attribute that may be helpful. But the baddest guys I know - the hardest boxers, jiu-jitsu players, and soldiers - have never been size queens. As Jim said, how you carry yourself is infinitely more important than your bicep measurements when it comes down to persuading people not to fuck with you.

I know a guy who’s 5’8" and 160 on his best day, but can put the fear of god in you with one look. No shit, it will make you stop what you’re doing and back away from him slowly. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life … and I can tell you I’d rather fight you and your 20 inch biceps any day than go near him.

Just my opinion, of course.

Stick with triumvirate, it works. If want some extra beach muscle once a fortnight on bench day add a direct arm pumpathon like this…

Size is a decent deterrent for criminals, but it depends on the criminal and how big of a piece of shit he is - sometimes it just doesn’t matter. Looking like a professional, both in your demeanor and your uniform. For example, state troopers: they are often working by themselves. If you pay attention they will pull you over, adjust their hat before they come out of the car, and then approach. They are doing this because they know you are looking. They are trying to act like they run the show, not you.

More important than looking big as a deterrent is knowing your use of force options. This comes down to training and reinforcement of training, when to use your taser, when to shoot, when to cuff/emergency take-down, when to call for an extra car for assistance.

Just putting my two cents in as an officer in a piece of shit neighborhood - you won’t be chasing people all day, and when you do, getting on the radio with your location and his description/direction of flight is more important so your co-workers can converge on him. So when it comes to conditioning for example, it matters to a degree but is not as important as you think; foot pursuits generally last less than a minute - the offender is going to dip into an alley and try to hide under a porch or something like that. Chances are he’s ran from the police before.

Now, I think what is more important is your mentality over the long-term in dealing with pieces of shit. Plain and simple law enforcement is one of the most stressful careers in the states right now. It doesn’t help that the media stirs stories that are anti-police and are not on your side. You are going to be working 40-50 hrs per week dealing with other people’s problems. People call 911 when they are having a bad day, generally. You are going to deal with domestic situations - people with knives, people with guns, fighting their own family. You are going to see many many dead bodies, whether it is a homicide, car crash, etc. Hell, you are even going to have to deal with your co-workers on a daily basis… Stress is big and it adds up.

What I’m getting at here: stress management. Getting big and strong is fine and all but a lot of stress-relieving properties of exercise comes from having a decent aerobic and anaerobic base. Basically, don’t be a fatass. Have an appropriate amount of conditioning, eat healthy foods, get sleep, do meditation.

I’m hopped up on caffeine right now so this post is kind of all over the place, sorry about that

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