Unfortunately, there is no life coach at the gas station at 3 AM. You do not know who is waiting for you and what the rules will be when you meet him. In the words of the political philosopher Thomas Hobbes, the encounter will be “nasty, brutish, and short.”
Your training should be in preparation for this reality. One of the best ways to develop this specific conditioning is strongman training. Not only does strongman training build explosive strength, but it is very functional.
Functional training can have a negative connotation because many exercises that are falsely proclaimed as functional look more like a Coney Island sideshow than they do exercises that benefit the tactical athlete. Bob Jodoin, ISSA master trainer, says, “With stone lifting, you start with your knuckles on the ground and finish at triple extension. The loads and leverages are different, however, and this plays well into the concept of dynamic, real world training.” Adding on this movement has functional carryover to the actions involved in a double-leg takedown, of benefit to any tactical athlete in an unarmed combat altercation. Bottom line is, strongman is irregular lifting; it makes the body perform when it’s not in a perfect line, similarly to the occupational demands of a tactical athlete.
With strongman training, there’s no one way to perform the exercises. Usually you have to improvise to complete an event. The tire doesn’t always flip the same way. The sled doesn’t always slide well over the surface. It’s awkward as hell and builds functional strength through your whole body. Strongman training hits muscles that are neglected with traditional strength training, it builds real stability, not the kind from a pink dumbbell on a Bosu ball.
What about speed training? You bet your ass a tactical athlete better be fast!!!!! But, did you know, true all-out sprints on flat ground can be risky for a tactical athlete—to make it safe, simply add proper resistance.
The objective: have the strength of someone 50 pounds heavier with the endurance and speed of someone 50 pounds lighter