T Nation

Need Some Help and Advice

Here is the story. I work at a college and as such, we have our own police force. There is this guy who seems to be a good guy, retired PD from downstate New York. He is trying to get on with the College PD, gone through all the testing. He has one hitch, he can’t bound over a 6’ wall.

This guy is in 50’s, like I said a pretty good guy, and is experienced and smart. Maybe I am feeling for this guy because we are almost the same age (I’m younger, thank you), both Italian, both ex-New Yorkers and I was in the same shape as he is 2 years ago.

Today he was telling me that he was given notice that if he can’t pass the wall in the physical agility test, he is out. The guy is shaped like a potato. His upper arms are about as big around as my wrist and by the way he holds himself, I can tell he has no upper body strength.

That tells me he has no legs either. I asked him what he has been doing to get over the wall and he sort of looks at me with a quizzical look. Getting over a 6’ wall is about 60% technique and 40% strength, as I am sure you all know. So I give him some tips on how get get over the wall.

Then I told him to go find a six foot wall and practice. Today he told me that he tried getting over the wall at the testing center and couldn’t pull himself over. I had to ask again, what are you doing to strength your self? Well, “I have been doing some squats”. DUH!

Okay here is the upshot. He is putting in for an extension based on is age. Technically his cut off is April 3rd. If he can get a 45 day extension, I offered to meet him at the gym (we have one at work) around 6:30 AM on the days I’m off of my three day split and help him work out.

Needless to say, this guy needs to get some muscle on fast. So here is what I was thinking to help him:

Drop sets consisting of all sorts of lat work, dips, bench presses, squats and toe stands.

ALso, mix in some plyametrics (sp?) for his core and explosive leg moves like jumping in place while holding weights. Of course getting him eating clean. As a former NY cop, this may be a real issue.

Of course, all this will depend on hungry he is for the job. But I need a project every now and then.

I miss anything?

Just my 2 cents…

All my training would be task specific. I’d spend all my training time trying to haul my ass over the wall. I’d jump as high as I could, grab the top and try to scramble over. I’d keep doing the same thing over and over until I was exhausted.

In terms of strength, the only thing you can hope for is improved CNS response and lifting heavy is best for that and he’s plenty heavy for bodyweight to be just as effective as anything in the gym.

I think his only hope is to diet down to something he can lift. I’ve personally lost 10 lbs a week by eating small (1500 cals a day, mostly protein, spread out over six meals) and doing an hour of Intensity Interval Training on the exercise bike every day. If he was serious, he could lose fifty pounds in the time left and that will have more of a chance of getting him over the wall than anything else. Carb up the day before and the morning of test.

I went from 375lbs to 185lbs in 10 months. No, I didn’t lose 10 lbs a week every week, because as I got smaller, it got harder to lose. But I definitely had 10 lb weeks so I know for a fact that it can be done, especially when you’re starting out.