When it comes to preparedness, there is a long list of gear and skills that need to be learned and implemented. The more skills that we become proficient in, the less gear that we need to hump around with us. Getting prepared can be overwhelming at times so a few things tend to slip by the wayside. However, one facet of preparedness that can not be substituted for is our physical preparedness. Unfortunately, in my opinion, it remains the most overlooked aspect of emergency preparedness.
I can completely understand the dilemma that most survivalists face when it comes to their physical fitness. Most think that they need to give up a couple of hours of their day to head to the gym and… that doesn’t even include the commute! With full time jobs, children, other responsibilities and even budget concerns… Who the hell really has time for PT? Let’s not forget the daily due-diligence of working on our other preparedness needs.
But let’s get real for a minute here… We both realize that we may need to move out on foot when a crisis arises. After all, that is why we spend so much of our time putting tweaking our go-bags. We want to be prepared and have a great chance of surviving through any SHTF scenario. But if we do not have the physical ability to get to our destination… How can we possibly hope to accomplish our mission?
Even if the situation dictates that we hunker in or move out via our vehicles, our health will play a big role in our chances of boding well through the crisis. The more that our physical shape lacks, the more of a liability that we become to ourselves as well as our loved ones. The more physically fit that we are, the greater the amount of work that we can perform regardless of the situation. Our fitness readiness even has a direct correlation to our motivation level. If your body is not at it’s peak, your mind will also be misfiring when you need it the most.
So you realize that your physical fitness level is not just a luxury… It’s a must in any emergency situation. But you still have time constraints from your busy life to deal with. It is nearly impossible for most to devote an hour to PT… Even a few times per week. I realize that you cannot fit any more hours into a single day, But…
What if there was a way to train smarter, not harder?
About a decade ago, I finally decided to get off my ass and get back into proper shape. I was one of those guilty of being a gear collector. Basically, I would forego anything that had to do with my physical fitness and just throw money at new, shiny gear as a form of compensation. As a former active-duty infantry Marine, I knew better… But after experiencing a serious injury in the Corps, let’s just say that I was a bit hesitant to reveal my physical limitations after being part of the elite.
One day I was searching the Internet and came across a couple of fellow disabled veterans that were performing impressive physical feats. It was a reality check because even as an active duty U.S. Marine in my 20’s, I couldn’t move the way that they were moving in these videos. The injuries that they had suffered were also much worse than mine.
At this point, I had no excuse but to delve further and figure out what their secret was. It wasn’t long before I came across this strange looking tool that they were using. It basically looked like a cannonball with a handle on it. This awkward looking tool was called a kettlebell.
As I delved further, I learned that the kettlebell was not only a great corrective exercise tool that can restore the body, but it also considerably shortened the time needed for an effective workout. There was plenty of science to back up these claims but watching these fellow vets move the way that they were… That’s what really sold me. I bought dvd’s, books, digital downloads and invested in a good kettlebell coach. In virtually no time, my body began to change.
I Was Once Again Feeling Like One Of The Elite!
Unlike olympic free weights, the kettlebell has a displaced center of gravity. In order to properly move with the kettlebell, various muscle groups need to be utilized. Your core has to be continually activated while the kettlebell is in play. So even shorter workouts have better results than longer bouts of conventional training. The efficiency that this brings to our PT makes it ideal for those that focus on preparedness.
There are various ways and even styles of training when it comes to the kettlebell. There are countless protocols to plug into your workouts depending on what your goal is. Some utilize the kettlebell for strength training while others use it to maximize their “cardio & V02” levels. You basically have a whole gym worth of options, just by having access to 1 kettlebell.
One of my favorite and go-to exercises for conditioning is the kettlebell swing. When put into a proper protocol, it has helped my NTC Members lose weight, tone muscle and reach peak health levels. One of the more practical benefits of swinging a kettlebell is that is builds endurance. I have seen members go from falling out of a hike on mile 1, to completing 30 mile treks over a weekend! I personally have used the kettlebell swing as my main conditioning tool when training for marathons.
It saved me precious time, saved my feet and legs from extra countless miles… And enabled me to achieve my goal!
Hopefully you are starting to see why I feel that the kettlebell is the ultimate physical preparedness tool. It is basically catered to those focused on preparedness.
Another benefit is that training with a kettlebell requires very little space. You can find a small corner in any room or even bring your kettlebell outdoors which works perfectly with our lifestyles. There is no need to spend money on a expensive gym membership. Why be confined to a box and restrained by the hours that the gym is open?
Invest in a kettlebell of 2 and when it comes to your PT… You are set for life!
Just like any tool that I choose to add to my preparedness plan, I prefer that it has more than one purpose. Kettlebells come in various shapes, sizes and even construction. I have never met a kettlebell that I didn’t like but I am partial to the ones made of solid cast iron. Not only will they last a lifetime but also offer me diversified purposes when it comes to my emergency preparedness.
I would like to go ahead and share my top 5 reasons that makes the kettlebell an ideal conditioning tool for the preparedness community.
Endurance & Strength:
I mentioned that time is a big factor when it comes to people forgoing their physical preparedness. When you implement proper protocols “workouts” with the kettlebell, you can work on your strength and endurance at the same time. This directly correlates to being able to move out of foot for great distances with heavy rucks. The kettlebell is not a replacement for getting your “legs” by hiking for distance. But you can cut down the time devoted to long hikes by adding kettlebell workouts into your PT.
Since most of my kettlebells are 100% solid cast iron, I can use them to accomplish various tasks. We have already mentioned the PT aspect but you can also use it as an anchor, hammer, tie down, trap & snare tool, counterbalance, nutcracker, a weapon and whatever else your mind can conjure up in a SHTF situation.
You Can Cook On it:
Yes, since some of our kettlebells are made of 100% solid cast iron with no coating, this makes the kettlebell a perfect platform to cook on in a pinch. If you like dutch oven cooking, or cooking on hot stones… then give the kettlebell a try.
Durable & Portable:
The kettlebell will most likely outlast us due to it’s solid construction. You can drop it, throw it, burn it and even yell at it with very little damage being done. 😉 For someone preparedness-minded, knowing that your tool is always at the ready makes it a keeper!
Whether you are moving out via your vehicle or hunkering in… The kettlebell can remain a part of your plan since it takes up little space. You will have the ideal PT tool at your side ensuring that you maintain your health and fitness levels.
Develop Combative Attributes:
My initial kettlebell teachers would always remind me that certain kettlebell exercises are the closest that we will ever get to a Combative situation without throwing a strike. Well, years later… I still agree with that statement.
This idea rings true for survivalists because self-defense is a critical part of being prepared. I even named my kettlebell training method… Kettlebell Combatives. The kettlebell can mimic movements that a training partner would deploy. The good thing about the kettlebell is that it becomes your ideal training partner.
- It always wins… you can only hope to move with it, as opposed to defeating it.
- It never gets sick; It always shows up for training.
- It doesn’t lose motivation.
- Doesn’t give you a false sense of security while training.
There are many great training methods that will get your physical preparedness where it needs to be. Your job is to find one, implement it and stick to it!
The kettlebell has worked wonders on my preparedness as well as countless members that I have personally coached. In 10 years I have seen people’s physical and even mental lives change… All because of the kettlebell.
Just like any skill, you need to remain safe when first learning the various exercises and drills. The kettlebell can be your best friend but it can also hurt you. Be smart and be sure to get proper instruction before attempting any form of PT, let alone kettlebell training.
If you are serious about taking your physical preparedness to the next level, take a very close look at kettlebell training… You too may consider it the ultimate conditioning tool.