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Why a Fitness Test? Why now?

I really dislike new year’s resolutions. Frankly, I think they are usually a big waste of time because the kinds of people who make them every year usually fail to have anything resembling a plan. And a goal without a plan is nothing more than a wish.

And, if life hasn’t taught you this yet, wishing doesn’t usually work out.

But in this episode, the first one of I’m touching on a topic that seems to perennially be the topic of resolutions: fitness. If you haven’t been reading the site, this week I put up the first of three Everyday Marksman fitness assessments. I wanted to take a moment to talk about why I did this now, and what it means.

Episode Summary

This is a fairly short and to the point episode with minimal editing. The bottom line is this: as a community, the shooting world kind of sucks at fitness. There’s an awful lot of bravado going on with flashing high-dollar equipment and attending high-speed training classes done at short range, but nowhere near enough emphasis on being fit and physically capable.

The fact that I think that shouldn’t be a surprise, I’ve said it many times before.

But the reason that it’s been on my mind lately is because 2020 sucked for my personal fitness. Between gym closures, required appointments at odd hours, and mask mandates I just gave up on the gym. Furthermore, I lacked the personal discipline to maintain it on my own at home, thinking that I’ll get back on it once the gym is open.

Well, it’s been seven months and little has changed.

Why a Fitness Test?

This is not just about shooting and survival for me. I want to make sure I live a healthy life so I can set the right example for my son and participate in many years of adventures with him and my family. Physical health and strength is only an asset, and one of the few aspects of life that I have direct control over.

Part of this was inspired by work being done over at the American Pioneer Corps. I like their approach to levels of capability, much like the Modern Minuteman standards of AMTAC shooting. One of the things the American Pioneer Corps requires is passing a military fitness test, and that got me thinking about the years I spent taking those tests and my complaints about them.

So, I thought, why not work on a better one?

I detailed the rest of my thoughts in the opening to the Level 1 fitness assessment.

Why Now?

Aside from my own admission of 2020 shortcomings, I couldn’t help but notice a lot of buzz around corners of the web telling people to “get ready.” It’s as if many of us have this tingling sensation on the backs of our necks and an uneasy feeling that something isn’t right.

With ammunition shortages unlikely to improve any time soon, now is as good a time as any to work on all of the other areas of our personal preparedness. The core capability in that equation is you and your physical abilities. This series of tests is but a small way that members of our tribe can hold ourselves, and each other, accountable.

Just something to think about.

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Matt is the primary author and owner of The Everyday Marksman. He's a former military officer turned professional tech sector trainer. He's a lifelong learner, passionate outdoorsman, and steadfast supporter of firearms culture.

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If one wants to be more physically capable he should determine what he wants to accomplish. Myself, I have never understood the Army requirement to run, almost naked, in running shoes two miles, to an age defined, time standard. Running two miles has never had a correlation to humping in combat boots at 10,000 ft AGL, a 60# ruck, weapon(s), grenades, body armor, helmet, water, MREs and other items too numerous to list. My suggestion is to start ruck walking wearing boots. Not running shoes. Two miles in 30 minutes with a rucksack loaded with 10#. Too easy you say… Read more »

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