T Nation

LEO Career - Training Support


I start police academy this week, and understand it will be lots of running, and my meal intake will be reduced.

I weigh about 200 lbs now and want to maintain as much of my muscle mass as possible. I still plan on strength training after my days at the academy, and will be following 5/3/1 (I have been doing 5/3/1 since I started training last year)

Any advice would be appreciated. Last time I did something similar I lost a lot of weight including muscle tissue and also lost a lot of strength. Granted I was younger and didn't really know what I was doing. If you have a similar experience please share.

6 feet tall
200 lbs
15% BF
Squat 275 x 3
Bench 215 x 3
Dead 330 x 9
Press 155 x 5

Thank you TNation


You have to consider how bad you are in running and metabolic conditioning. If you are very bad, then you should cut weight training to a minimum, likely two days per week (full body 5/3/1 template) so you can get your other qualities up to snuff. If you are "OK" at running and other activities then you might not have to cut down on weight training as much.

Realize this though: you can't have your cake and eat it too when trying to bring up a quality that is not stellar and another quality, say strength for example, might take a back seat or depreciate for awhile and if you keep trying to hammer or maintain other qualities at a certain level, then another quality will progress but not as fast or greatly had you focused on it mostly or alone.


I've maintained cardio but the 40 minutes/3 times a week is seemingly nothing compared to the 2+ hours/5 days they have you do in the academy. On top of that keep in mind I've been able to eat every 2 hours at my current job but won't be afforded the same luxury now. Even if I can't build strength/muscle I'd at least like to maintain it. Is there something I can do supplemental wise?


Eat the appropriate amount of calories and protein. If you can't eat every two hours--which isn't even necessary--then eat the appropriate protein and caloric amount in three meals. If that takes supplementation, then fine.


Our academy now implements a lot of crossfit type training, and guys aren't running themselves in the ground like we did 14 years ago. We worked our way up to running a half marathon after 19 weeks of the academy, and I couldn't have cared less about lifting a weight with all of the running we had to do. If you know ahead of time that's the amount of running / cardio you're in for, I'd suggest listening to advice about the two day a week full body 531. Anything more and your lifting and running will probably both suffer. Otherwise, good luck! You've chosen a great career! I love it more days than not lol.


I am a LEO trainer. The previous posters are more knowledgeable than me about routines, diet, frequency of training, etc...But, let me respectfully suggest: You need to get your "mental mindset" right. I would be focusing on whatever it took to pass the academy standards, not worrying about losing a current PR. This is your chosen job now, and, it requires different standards to achieve your goals. You goal now is to pass..period. Worry about your "gains" after you have the badge. Good Luck.


If budget is not an issue just take a good amount of Plazma and MAG-10 and you will be pretty much able to train yourself into the ground and still come back stronger the next day......


as mentioned in that thread also look into Finibars.

If on a budget just take 1 scoop of MAG-10 a day postworkout and you will still preserve a substantial amount of muscle and strength as well as much improved recovery.

having said all that I would still start off with 2 just days a week of weights as already suggested.


LEO here also.

Your ability to deal with the mental stress is more important than the PT aspect in the academy. It's rare that cadets fail due to PT standards. Keep your diet in check with quality protein sources and fruits and veggies. Do your running, and instead of weight training, I would focus on circuit training or cross-fit type of training. Of course push-ups/pull-ups/sit-ups are a given.

If you have the time and the extra energy, 5/3/1 is GREAT. Do strength exercises that increases your total body strength.

Also, pick a self-defense/martial art of your choice and start sooner rather than later. I picked Boxing. I boxed growing up, and re-joined a gym and learned some grappling. BBJ is popular, and I have seen some guys use judo very, very well. The key point is developing strength and techniques to control a combative person.

And develop your grip strength. Every officer have to "cuff" suspects who resist. Sometimes frequently, depending where you work. A good grip not only keeps them from getting away, possibly assaulting you... but lets them know a subtle way who's in charge and can quickly defuse the situation.


This is your opposition. If you decide to continue as an LEO, then your workouts become mandatory for your survival. You will not have the luxury of not feeling "motivated" to workout, too many people: your family, your brother and sister officers, and the public you have taken a oath to protect are counting on you.


Good advice .... You will have various bathroom breaks, etc. between classes .... Pack some bars or shakes and slam them when you get the opportunity

I've been thru 3 full academies plus military .. If need be I've trained late at night just to get it in, as I wasn't gonna let them "keep me down" with their cardio/ calisthenic bullshit .... Lol

You can do anything you set your mind to ... I agree that doing well and graduating is priority #1 (your reputation starts here), but if lifting is important to you, you can find a way. The last course I went to was a grueling 8 week tactical deal - 10-12 hours a day in full gear (40+ pounds), lots of PT, and I was 38 friggin' years old. Still trained almost every night, and if I missed a session here or there from fatigue, I made it up on the weekend.

The body is way more capable than most people realize. I tried to look at it as getting paid to do cardio (in training), then got my "real" workout later.

Best of luck man!!! It's an adventure .....


I start a police academy on Monday actually. I can maybe give you some updates on what we are doing there physically and how I am balancing that with lifting, if I have enough time (which I assume I won't, at least for the first few weeks). I have been through Army basic training so it won't be as much of a culture shock to me as it will to others, so there's that. I do know that we will do a lot of Crossfit, and that a former Navy Seal went through this particular police academy a couple years ago and said it was hard as shit, physically.



When did I say anything about not feeling motivated to work out? I said I still planned on doing my regular workouts IN ADDITION TO the academy workouts. I know what oath I took.

It seems I'm over-motivated, according to some other posters here actually.

Thanks for your responses, Stig and Brett also good luck PBAndy!

I will start a new topic in the Biotest supplement section.