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Old 05-01-2006, 09:13 PM   #1
Nicholas Richard Engen
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I am a male college student majoring in criminal justice hoping to be a cop in two years. My freshmen year of college I was concerned about being too small(I am 5foot 6 still but at the time was only 135 pounds) to be a cop so I started to lift weights. I am still the same height but am 145 pounds I max out on the bench at 210 and on the back squat I haven’t done a one rep max but I went to failure the other day with 12 reps of 225. Over winter break I was still concerned about being in better shape and I went to a personal trainer who told me about crossfit and set me up with a program that was less about bodybuilding and more about power lifting. I want to start doing crossfit but am worried about not putting on anymore weight or muscle mass. I was just wondering if there was anyone out there involved in law enforcement who could tell me if I should really be worried about putting on more weight and if I should use crossfit to do that and what type of diet to follow with crossfit.
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Old 05-01-2006, 10:16 PM   #2
Eugene R. Allen
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Nicholas - lots of cops on this board. I work up in Pierce County Washington and have been a cop for 22 years. I'm a SWAT guy and the number two guy in the door behind a 5'6" 135 lb guy who is my shield man. He is the only guy on the team senior to me (on many teams seniority allows movement to the back of the line up, on this team the fight is for the front of the spear) and is one of the most dynamic people I know. He was a state champion wrestler in HS and is still amazingly fit and for such a small guy has a HUGE presence.

Don't worry about putting on weight but do pursue some martial arts skills. Krav Maga, Thai boxing and some ground fighting in the form of Jiu Jitsu. You are strong, keep that up but you really will benefit from CrossFit training. Do CrossFit as your main workout and supplement it with your power liting and other training. Your overall fitness level will improve beyond your wildest dreams. Do the Zone diet...it is a performance eating program and will improve your fitness level as much as the workouts do.

As an aside the criminal justice major has zero value outside law enforcement and only a little more than that in the field. What you need to know for the agency you work for will be learned at the police academy you attend. Of course this is a Washington state perspective and there in ND it might be different. Do make sure you take some psychology and sociology courses and do things that interest you. Don't have a completely one dimentional degree in CJ that will serve you only in that field. But your call on that of course. County, city, federal...what flavor law enforcement are you after?

Now, go after the WOD, stay on the board keep us updated on your progress, get on the Zone and become a better fighter.
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Old 05-01-2006, 10:32 PM   #3
Ian Carver
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Nick,

Stick with Crossfit and don't worry about getting beefed out. Filling up your short sleeve uniform shirts is only good for your ego, not the practical aspects of Law Enforcement.

I came from an elite level endurance athletic and wrestling background prior to my Law Enforcement career. I too wanted to get bigger when I came on almost 10 years ago. I started in the 170's and after a couple years of body building, I topped out around 205. I was big, lean, and mean. But my endurance suffered and in this line of work, that is not a good thing. Prior to CF, it was exteremely hard to get size, strength, and endurance all in one workout package. You could not work one area without sacrificing the other.

A long foot pursuit that turns into an all out fight for 2-3 minutes requires that you give it everything you have, and then some, for the duration. Although I could put the hurt on someone, I had to do it quickly. I also found myself tiring out much quicker on long SWAT deployments with all my gear loaded on. I knew this was not the way to go and sooner or later I was going to get caught in a bad spot.

So after a few years of figuring out what worked best, I got into then Crossfit methodology. Crossfit will allow you to combine the physical aspects of working out that will keep you injury free and alive in this job.

I am now weighing in in the mid to low 190's with under 10% bodyfat. I am stronger than before as a whole, I feel better, my endurance is right where it used to be, and I am comfortable with my level of fitness being a key part of my officer safety program. As a K9 handler in a large, busy sheriff's dept., there is not a night that goes by where I do not thank Coach Glassman for CF as I follow my crazy dog over, under, and through Hell's half acre looking for bad guys. In those times where I have had to go hands on, there's no doubt CF was a large part of the fight and the reason I got to go home in one piece. There are a whole helluva lot of Spec.Ops. soldiers and cops around the world who are devout followers of Crossfit, what does that tell you?

Follow your trainers advice and get comfortable with Olympic lifting and the Crossfit program. Your endurance will increase, your muscle mass will increase, and your bodyfat will decrease as long as you eat right and train hard. Be patient and don't get wrapped up in size since it is not a true gauge of strength. Just like when dealing with bad guys - it's most often not the biggest, scariest, and loudest guy you have to worry about. Instead, keep your eye on the smaller, quiet, serious looking dude who's standing back and watching everything-that's where trouble lies.

Good luck with everything. Stick with Crossfit as though your life depended on it - in reality, it just might.

Take Care - Ian Carver
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Old 05-02-2006, 07:23 AM   #4
Mike Quon
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I didn't know there were so many LEO's here. I'm in the middle of my application for our city's Police Dept. and god willing, I'll make it into the fall class (academy). The physical requirements that needed to be met were difficult for me to say the least. I have mostly a strength training background and rarely ever ran or jogged during the time leading up to the submission of my application.

When I started training for the PT it consisted of mostly running 2.4-5km at a time. This helped me a lot with the 2.4Km run portion of the test (obviously). I went from not being able to complete 2.4km at all to being able to do it in 10:36 (11:59 is a pass).

However, the Police Officers Physical Abilities Test (POPAT) was extremely difficult for me as it was more anaerobically driven. I had a hell of a time but still passed. Having first hand knowledge of this test and the WOD, I would bet that a seasoned Crossfitter who focused a lot on the WOD would have a pretty darned good time with this test.

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Old 05-02-2006, 08:33 AM   #5
Per Nyberg
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Welcome to Crossfit Nicholas! Im to a police officer (in Sweden) and ín my opinion there is no better fitness program for the police. Just imagine (as Ian wrote) that you first have to run after a burglar and then, when you catch him, have to fight with him for a couple of minutes. If you don´t have enough willpower, strength and endurance he will escape. Crossfit will develop these three traits for you (and some others as well) if you train hard. Just remember to ease in to it. I didn´t and ended up with injuries that stops med from training right now.

And another thing that´s so great about Crossfit is that the intensity of the WOD´s makes the workouts very time efficient. No more long hours in the gym. You can spend your time better somewhere else.
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:02 AM   #6
Nicholas Richard Engen
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Eugene,

I was thinking about getting into some martial arts training but was worried about the quality of training I could get back home in ND. Is there anything I should look for when I am searching for a place to train at? Thanks for all the information and encouragement everyone.

Nick
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Old 05-02-2006, 10:24 AM   #7
Eugene R. Allen
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No forms or flowery foo foo movements. You must spar and roll around on the mat. You need to be trainined in the various ranges of fighting and have a response for the impact weapon, kicking, punching, trapping and grappling ranges. If you can find a Kali/JKD school that will take care of most of the stand up and stick stuff. Thai boxing is fabulous for the stand up as well. You don't want Tae Kwon Do. Krav Maga is terrific and you need Jiu Jitsu as well...Gracie, Machado...whatever you can find. Even a regular boxing club will help you a lot. Your academy and department DT program will not be sufficient I assure you.
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Old 05-02-2006, 04:57 PM   #8
Rafael Mattei
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Nick

listen very carefuly to Eugene, or he might have to shame you with his garege gym!!.

seriously, I'm, like you, 5'6", im a little more than 145, more like 30 over, and that aint muscle bro. dont worry about being too small or too big, worry about being your size and be able to handle yourself without any rproblems. a co worker who is probably 5'5" and i ussually have to argue who will be in the #1 or #2 spot. like in Eugenes case senioryty has its advantages, so i let him be #1 (i ussually have an M4 in my hand and its kinda hard to carry the shield).

I know guys who can out run me on longer runs, but once we go to the ground (jiu-jitsu) i can out last them. thats CF at work, shorter higher intensity Work outs.

in MA, im doing Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and JUDO. i find that the combination work great for me. im not about topunch anyone out in the street, but i will probably take someone down, i also have 3 or 4 more guys that will jump the guy too, but that is anothr story. find waht works for you in that sense but find something where you fight everytime to get used to it. TKD just does not cut IMO.

and do take other courses in school, a BS in Crim Justice will not get you far outside LE. mine is in agriculture and im a NARC so go figure.

jump full blast both feet into CF, you wont regret it..well maybe the first couple of days when your whole body aches....
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Old 05-02-2006, 07:30 PM   #9
Patrick O'Neil
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CrossFit is the best program out there to prepare you for both the agency physical fitness test and the reality of life on the street.

I agree strongly with the above suggestion about getting into some type of MA, especially one that will involve contact. If you don't use it when you train you will never use it on the street.

I will strongly second the above that a CJ degree ain't worth a damn. I've got one myself. If I could do it over again, I'd get a degree in another language (hint middle or far east) and watch the offers roll in. Of course, this is geared a little more toward federal, but it would never hurt with local and in many PD's, will get you more money. I wouldn't change gears if you're too far along, but I'd add a language if you can. Just my .02.

Stick with CF for your fitness needs, mabye add some MA and sports. You'll be fine for physical tests and will surprise yourself and others when it comes to defensive tactics.
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Old 05-03-2006, 03:39 AM   #10
Per Nyberg
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When it comes to martial arts, I recommend DEFENDO if it´s available to you. I have trained quite a bit of martial arts and in my opinion DEFNDO is the best. It´s only self defence oriented so if you want to compete it wouldn´t be any good. But when it comes to using it in the job it´s great. You can check it out on www.defendo.com
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