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Getting Back to Fighting Shape

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I am a cop/former U.S. Marine who is trying to keep his weight steady and get the cardio/strength to acceptable levels. Acceptable to me would be to be able to pass the current U.S.M.C. physical fitness test for my age group (I'm 36 years old). I know I can't run like a 19 year old devil dog any more, but to be able to max out the test for my age would make me happy. And, if that would transfer over to the police physical agility test, so much the better.

Current U.S.M.C. standards are as follows:

3 dead hang pull ups (I'd prefer 10)

45 crunches in 2 minutes (I'd prefer 50, the max)

3 mile run in 29:00 (I'd prefer somewhere around 20:00)

The police test standards are:

15" Sit and Reach

34 Sit-ups in 1 minute

Bench Press 87% of my body weight

1.5 Mile Run in 14:31 or less

I'll do my part to hit the gym, I just need help with motivation. Don't let me wuss out and go home on a gym day! See you here and on the streets!

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Hey Bill - welcome to the Rebellion.

First of all, thank you for your service. Second of all, just let us know how we can help. If you have a typical gym schedule, let us know what it is, and when we can expect to see your posts about how the exercise went.

That way, you KNOW you need to exercise or you'll be ridiculed by a bunch of nerds over the internet; I can't think of a worse fate than that.


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I agree that if you're just looking to be a sit up or pull up champ, doing them straight is the best way. If you're looking for a slightly more indirect but engaging approach..

To pitch in my $0.02, I've always found that making my exercises fun challenges, or just fun, really helped the reps go by. A warning: you may need to set aside a lot of social hang-ups about looking goofy, especially when you're still building up strength.

So for push ups, I do low quadrupedal crawls. For parkour purposes, I set goals like doing a 20-foot zigzag across a paved area, or crawling low over a series of benches, slaloming between a line of trees, etc.

Pull ups, I like to vary up the angles. Hands over / under, shift grips from wide to narrow back to wide every 2 reps, lift the knees across to opposite elbows, etc. The brain gets so busy trying to keep a 2-5 action set straight that you don't have time to get bored with it.

Look up Traceur Zeno and Demon Drills on YouTube. THey're my inspirations for combo functional strength / creative drills.

Or look up King David for some completely unrelated body movement and flow ideas that once you get some basic chops you can really learn to jam and freestyle with your body. Still works the basic muscles you're looking for, but you also train nimbleness to e.g. scramble over a fence, hop through a trash-ridden yard at night, etc.

In your case, this would be to pursue a perp, rather than to elude the fuzz. :D

Sure, we'll have to tone it down a bit to allow for time and aversion to injury. I know I'm still a fairly fit 32, but I won't do any flips or drops/jumps from higher than 4-6 feet. There's a 45-year old guy who put up a training video of his morning workouts. 39's not too old for getting a little creative. :D David Belle (parkour founder) is in his mid/late 30s now, after all.

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