T Nation

Law Enforcement Training


I have just completed 6 weeks of built for bad, I am a police officer and looking for some direction on programs that would fit me for my duties, running, jumping, strength, size. Just curious on thoughts or if there are LEO's on here and their approach. I am super presses with time and workouts need to be quick. Thoughts?


If I give bad advise, pm me a bullet to my dome. Lol
When I was on my first tour back in early 04, I trained with a weighted vest equivalent to that of my full body armor. Sprints, box jumps, chip ups and occasionally pull ups and those fun clapping pushups. I figured that training with a weight similar to what I wore day in and day out would keep me conditioned for duty. But I was 18 then and loved what I seen in fl and iron mag, but only applied basic lifts like a powerlifting or did all the finishing moves I seen them doing in the magazines thinking that Was the way to get that big and lean… 11yrs later I realized how wrong I was then and still once a week smoke the hell outta myself with a vest. Now it wasn’t a combat load equivalent, just a 65lb vest we made up.

Again, pm me with my miranda rights and I’ll never shoot blindly again.


I’m assuming your looking for basic operational fitness not trying to work on a specific weakness or pass a PFT. “5/3/1” is a very workable lifting program. The “Triumvirate” variation has a main lift plus 2 assistance lifts 3 days/week. Pretty simple to do in 30-45 minutes. You can add in a little running for CV fitness on off days or goal specific training if wanted.

We got guys that Crossfit a few days/week, follow various lifting programs, do videos (P90X, Insanity), play rec league sports, train in martial arts, running/yoga…basically whatever floats their boat and keeps them active.



I used to go through this (never an LEO, but Army) and thought I had a lot of special needs that regular programs couldn’t address - and this was after a relatively long athletic background so I should have had some insights! I actually ended up doing a lot better by picking any basic strength program and following these rules (rather than trying to make up my own training covering everything):

  1. Don’t get hurt. Seems obvious, but you can’t afford injuries - you gotta work.

  2. Don’t get insanely sore. Again, you gotta work. For me this meant more frequent training and slowly increasing volume.

  3. Focus on gaining strength. Again, obvious. However! You have to follow the first rules. Being strong is good, but you have to be able to use your strength frequently.

  4. Keep conditioning in. It’s super easy to maintain some basic condition once you’re there, but it’s a real liability to lose it. Don’t be a fat mess because you want to add a few pounds to the bar.

So, again, the same basic rules of strength and conditioning that apply to everyone. You just have to determine what strong and “in shape” are for you (I’d argue 2x BW deadlift, the ability to run repeated 50-100m sprints with your basic gear and do sets of 10+ pullups with your gear, but you know your job better than me), and then focus on that without using up your body (for instance, I’d get all my kit in and run miles. I was able to complete that task, but was it worth the trade-off for my knees and lower back - especially as I was also jumping and other traumatic tasks? Be smart with risk/reward).

To more specifically answer your question, CT recently published and article on this site about “Workman Strength”. Something like that may be a good starting point. You mentioned your pressed on time, he also had a “20 Minute Muscle Builder” or some similar title that may fit your bill.


Great question,

I would like CT’s advice for military personnel and law enforcement as well. I have looked at and performed both 6 Wks to Superhero and 20 Min Muscle Building to great success but want some advice on how to include other aspects of military specific training like rucks, runs, CFTs, and swimming which are not incorporated. Any recommended articles or workouts would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!