Physical fitness is crucial for law enforcement officers. Unlike other careers, physical fitness can be the difference between life and death.
Not only should law enforcement officers be physically fit, but they need to be mentally fit as well. Clearly, a police officer or other LEO needs a different training strategy than your average gym-goer.
Furthermore, being physically fit as a law enforcement officer has been proven to keep you active and on the job more! According to a study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion,
“These observational data strengthen the hypothesis that absenteeism levels of physically active officers are lower than those of sedentary officers.”
Regardless, even police officers often want to build an awesome aesthetic body!
Whether you are looking for weight loss solutions or how to improve your physical endurance, this article will help you out!
Keep reading below to find out several fitness tips to use for physical fitness as a law enforcement officer.
Weight Training for Law Enforcement Officers
Police officers need to be physically strong enough to handle any dangerous situation, while also needing speed and endurance. The image of the fat police officer eating donuts from movies would never cut it in the real world!
I’m sure there are plenty of law enforcement officers out there who do not take their physical fitness seriously, but it isn’t necessarily wise.
Honestly, I would train any LEO similar to most athletes.
The reason that these two specific programs are excellent for police officers is that they improve muscle strength and work capacity at the same time.
“Work capacity” is an excellent form of fitness for any LEO to train because it can save them in situations of hand to hand combat.
Similar to how an MMA fighter or boxer trains, and LEO needs similar stamina and endurance.
Regardless, you should be focusing on compound, functional exercises. Machine exercises might build more muscle in the short-term, but overall they have far fewer benefits than functional exercises with dumbbells or kettlebells.
One piece of training equipment any police officer or LEO should master is the Jacob’s Ladder machine. The Jacob’s Ladder is the ideal “cardio” machine for a law enforcement officer attempting to improve their physical conditioning!
Fitness Diet for Police Officers and LEOs
Especially for officers who workout and report for duty on the same day, diet is vitally important! Protein is the main requirement, but a lot of healthy food is necessary.
Not only should the training of a law enforcement officer have them prepared for any situation, but their diet should also have their bodies healthy and able.
Avoid sugary and refined foods such as bagels, donuts, muffins, sweets, soda, etc.
Although a beer at the end of the day is perfectly fine, alcohol should be refrained from if you want your body working at peak capacity, you need to treat it properly!
One of the main differences that an LEO will need in their diet is that they need much more calories overall. However, these cannot be useless calories.
If you want to have the energy to do your job all day, and come home happy at night, your diet is going to need to be locked in at all times!
Fruits and vegetables should be plentiful, as well as high-quality protein sources.
Seeds and nuts are excellent snacks to eat throughout the day since they are high in healthy dietary fats.
If you are looking to build muscle mass through your training routine, try to eat even more protein than normal. 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight is a good rule to follow!
Personally, I suggest you check out vegan protein sources as much as animal protein. In high amounts, animal protein sources can slow your body down and cause you to feel lethargic. Vegan or vegetarian protein sources will provide you much more sustained energy!
Supplements for Law Enforcement Officers
There is a long history of steroid use with law enforcement officers, but thankfully this has been changing. The perception is that police officer, and law enforcement officers may need to use steroids to be physically stronger than criminals.
Although this is true, the side effects of steroids are not nearly worth their benefits.
Instead, LEOs should focus on using supplements that will improve their daily energy, and help them train hard in the gym each day.
A few suggestions for dietary supplements are:
There are tons of supplements that I could suggest, but these are just a few I always believe.
Citrulline malate is excellent for use before training, or before bed. Citrulline will help to increase your “work” capacity, and decrease muscle soreness!
Hemp protein powder is my preferred type of protein powder; it has many benefits even compared with whey protein.
Although a healthy diet will supply you with most of your dietary needs, a multivitamin is still useful for many people. Don’t rely on your multivitamin as your only source for micronutrients though!
Fish oil and shark cartilage are excellent for people who have joint issues. Many police officers will deal with joint issues over their careers, which is why these supplements are important.
BCAAs are quick-absorbing amino acids, which are perfect for after training or between meals. Not only will these amino acids give you a quick burst of natural energy, but they help you build muscle mass quicker if you are weight training consistently.
For those who are training early in the morning or at night after a day on the job, a pre-workout product can be exceptionally useful. Personally, I prefer Bulletproof Coffee over any pre-workout though. It is a natural form of a pre-workout product in my opinion!
Don’t waste your money on extra supplements; these should be all you need!
Related Reading: The Best Supplements for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain
Concluding Thoughts – Physical Fitness for Law Enforcement Officers
Law enforcement fitness training should be very similar to an MMA fighter or boxer and can be similar to many other athletes training styles as well.
Similar to high-level athletes, police officers need to be in top physical condition each day.
Weight training is part of the equation, but diet is even more important most of the time! Find a consistent diet routine which avoids foods that will slow you down!
Physical fitness is clearly important for law enforcement officers, which is why any LEO needs to take this part of their life seriously!