Fitness as it pertains to Training

We attended a funeral in the past few days where I was one of six pallbearer’s.
Virtually everyone in attendance at the church at the graveside and later for dinner were between overweight and obese, my fellow pallbearers included. The distance of travel with the casket was not more than about 20 feet and there were wobbly legs, and strained looks on all of their faces.

It also brought back a few memories of when I’ve gone to week long tactical training courses and there has been a handful of fellow classmates who meet the same description. The “Larger” (gravity challenged) classmates struggle to go to a knee, or especially pron, it was a challenge to move to cover or concealment, and particularly difficult to recover from a knee or in a pron position.

It made me think, how would these people physically perform under a life threatening or violent encounter?

Think about this yourself on a personal level.
I thought I was in great condition before, a non-smoker non-drinker, relatively active, not sedentary with work or home but as I would self describe myself as “Slightly Puffed” 240lbs 6’0".

It was this week, Valentine’s day 2019, I started the Keto Diet. The first week was a brutal shock to my system, going from about 600-800 carbs a day to 30! Back in November '19 I achieved the weight I wanted to attain 195 and it has been easy to maintain.

Before I started this diet, I thought I was fine, I could do and move anyway I wanted. Now I look back and realize how naive and wrong I was. I have no doubt I could have performed well back then to a violent encounter but no way could I have performed to level I could now. (I still can’t roll around like Capt. Kirk but…)

Only you know where you’re at now, think about just losing maybe 20 or 30 pounds and what it would do for your abilities.

Has anyone else here had success stories with Keto or dieting?
Feel free to PM me if you a question or two. :slight_smile:
(No, I’m not selling supplements or herbs or anything like that)


I’ve been sedentary for a few years as I have had some serious health issues. I was allowed to restart physical activity so I do pool therapy 3 times a week and swim a mile each day.

I’ve lost an incredible amount of weight, but it has me concerned over the why. I’ve lost 55 pounds in the last 2 months, but my activity level did not change until 2/04/2020


Congrats on starting to get more active, @Zavier_D!


I recently started working out again, as well as monitoring my soda intake as well as other sugary foods. I have lost around 10# in the last 2 weeks. My stamina and mood have improved drastically so far and I cannot wait to see what the changes will be in the next few months.

I definitely agree with you, @Fizbin, fitness is an important part of training and self-defense. I do not believe that you have to look like a sculpture of a Greek god or goddess, but having even a little cardio training will help.


Zavier, I don’t know your starting weight but 55lbs in 8 weeks maybe too much.
Consult your doctor.

I shot a quick text to my doctor every time I hit another 10lb mark.

I’m glad to hear you restarted physical activity. Swimming! I am not a fan of swimming but everyone has their own thing, cool. A MILE! Wow! I can’t even comprehend that!


Great start on the pop and sugary foods.
I swapped drinking beer for diet pop back in 1997.

Sugar, that’s another story! A year ago at this time (Prior to Valentine’s Day still) I would eat 2 giant bowls of captain crunch for breakfast, double cheese burger, fries, milkshake for lunch, eat dinner at 4pm maybe half a pizza, a 1/2 box of cookies, at 7pm I may have second dinner, more pizza, more cookies, and then of course a snack before bed, cookies, or ice cream, or a peanut butter stick (a cup of chocolate chips, stick a knife in the peanut butter jar, then roll it in the chocolate chips and stick that whole thing in your mouth, repeat).

Carbs are the key. I eat a high fat, low carb diet. Lots of meat, steak, BBQ, chicken, pork, baby back ribs, salads, cheese, Two Good Yogurt (3 carbs per container). blueberries/strawberries with whip cream on top. much more.


:grimacing: :grimacing: :grimacing: :grimacing: :grimacing: :grimacing: :grimacing:

Too hard if it were me but my metabolism is too fast that if anything could use a couple of pounds. My grandmother who was an R.N. for 46 years tells me it could be the hyperthyroidism coming back my pediatrician treated as a child that makes me so hungry and heart rate increase—Chest pains some time.

No medical insurance to find out until 70+ days from now. :roll_eyes:

1 Like

@Fizbin sometimes it’s not a matter of discipline but underlying health issues. I’m a lot heavier that I’d like to be, but for the first time in a very long time I’m pretty healthy. My brain works, my energy is pretty good, I can bend enough to tie my shoes, I can walk up a flight of stairs.

I used to be a pro-athlete, so from that perspective, I’m in abysmal condition. On the other hand, my younger sister, who had all the same issues and health challenges that I do, died 8 years ago from pretty much everything I have.

When I see a lot of these folks, I used to think they weren’t taking care of themselves, or just didn’t want to put in the effort. My perspective has changed. That’s no doubt true for some of them, but others have health issues they don’t even know they have… food allergies, rampant inflammation, histamine intolerance, auto-immune disease, gut dysbiosis… all those things produce symptoms that look like “that’s just what happens when you get older” to an alarming number of doctors. When the underlying REAL issue doesn’t get addressed, the system just fails a little at a time until it reaches a catastrophic failure that then gets treated as “a disease”.

When I go to a class, I’m gonna be one of those that struggles to get on the ground, or up again.

The good news is now I actually can do that… before I couldn’t … but a lot of damage has been done and I don’t yet know how much of it I get back. I work on it, and I make progress, but it’s a veeeery long way to go.

One of the things this process has made me realize is that we, as teachers, have to meet our students where they are. They may, or may not, be able to change their physical condition much. They may, or may not be choosing to do all they can. They may, or may not, be getting the proper kind of help to find out what is really wrong and get their health back. Regardless, they have a right to protect themselves, and it’s our job to help them do that the best they can, right now.

Maybe it’s being 60 instead of 26 that makes me think about these things, but there’s much MUCH more we can do to make sure we’re teaching those who do have a deficit, or an illness, or honest-to-goodness-old-age effective techniques and skills.

BTW, Paleo AIP diet and an Integrative Medicine doctor is what saved my life (well ok, there’s a little bit more to it than that, but that’s about 70% of it). Started Keto about 10 days ago (trying to get some weight off and reset my immune system and metabolism). I, apparently, have to be under 20g of carbs a day to get ketosis. :confused: Oh Well.


True some people do want to change and even go miles but still have problems.

I would be preaching to myself when I say go to a doctor and talk with them but that’s is exactly what we should all do. I’m putting it at top of the list when probationary ends!

1 Like

Hey Zee,
I’m glad to hear you joined what I call the Keto Club last week. If you can get past the first week you’ll be in great shape to make it through the long hall. I NEVER thought I could do it. 53 weeks ago I would have wagered a years pay that I would never diet and never lose the weight I did.

I had a bad A1C in addition I wondered why my head always felt like it was, as I explained it to the wife at the the time, “Expanding”. It turned out my blood pressure was 150 over 130, thus the “expanding” feel. That was my wake up call.

Maybe I’m misunderstanding the two paragraphs in the middle of your post, so I went back and re-read my posts to make sure I didn’t give the impression that I either wasn’t going to instruct folks with their personal defense needs or preach to them about a weight or physical disability.

Basically to clarify, in simple terms, the better physical shape you’re in the better you will be able to perform in a life threatening or great bodily harm encounter. There are many ways to accomplish this and everyone is different. With this OP I’m just trying to relate what was successful for me.
I was recommended by my physician to start this diet, to lose weight and get my BP under control. The diet for ME accomplished this.

Everyone should see a Doctor first, as I recommended to Zavier.

Cheers and once again sorry if I misunderstood your post, as the wife tells me a lot, “Did you actually read that” … what ever it was, article, email, story, etc… I tell her I “read like a guy” as I watch the squirrel out the window. :slight_smile:


@Fizbin we’re good :slight_smile:
Just bringing the other side of the coin. Should we push for better fitness in order to better protect our own lives and that of others? Yes. Should we encourage our students to do so? Yes. And… very often that’s not where students can or will put their effort, so its on us to close the gap for them as best we can.

Plus for some of us the “Serious Operator” kind of teacher persona is just plain out of reach. I’m going with “Somebody’s Quirky Great Grandmother” as my style… after all, if I can do it, certainly any of my students can too. :wink:

1 Like

My meat intake pretty much consists of venison and I have been cutting down on carbs as well. Dont want to do too much too soon and go into shock.


At 6’2" I weighed 260 until I realized how serious a heart attack or a stroke could be. The part that got to me wasn’t my death, but my being a serious burden to my wife, for maybe a very long time. I joined WW and lost 65 pounds, down to 195. I’ve kept it off for two years now. There was a recent international study regarding the various weight loss programs (possibly before Keto came out?). People in WW and Jenny Craig were the most successful and kept the weight off the longest. I have no affiliation with WW but I still attend several meetings a month. I always seem to learn something new there.


Personally, I think that it is important to maintain at least a certain level of fitness. If one finds themselves huffing and puffing going up and down the house stairs, that’s probably a sign that some type of physical activity and/or weight loss should be incorporated into one’s lifestyle.

Similarly, what level of physical fitness would be necessary to carry a loved one, neighbor, etc. to safety or to emergency services?


James, Venison sure is lean, we have a bunch of venison in the freezer from this past season. My favorites are the slim jim sticks and jerky we have made from it. We also have breakfast sausage and a bunch of it ground for chili and such. Fat is a natural appetite suppressant, so unlike bacon, a beef ribeye, some juicy brisket, we still feel hungry after eating it. If I took the time, and added a meat grinder and such to my list of hobbies, it would be hard to beat the price of anything venison.

Alex, roger that on leaving loved ones behind or the burden of extended care taking. Your testimonial of WW and JC is awesome. Are those low carb meals, I’ve never looked into them? The support system with meetings and mentors has to play a significant role as well. I really had no one to tell or encourage me other than myself. Sure the wife noticed and was more than supportive and that made a huge difference but no one outside the family. Now, through social media similar to this forum, some folks have reached out to me via PM and I’m a mentor to them. It gives you a good feeling when you can help people.

Scotty, no doubt you’re thinking the right way. It’s kind of interesting, when I’m out and about I see so many people that look as if they are over exerting themselves just grocery shopping or getting gas, or sitting in a restaurant eating. We were on vacation this past August where the society health wise is completely the opposite of the US. We saw NO overweight people at all unless they were tourists. Here in the US the food manufactures job it is to sell as much food as they can. I don’t have a problem with this, it’s the American way, Free Market System, to sell as much of your product as you can. With this said, the manufactures best way to sell their product is to make it taste SO GOOD you’ve got to buy it, over and over. Let me tell you they do a GREAT job of this! I love every kind of cookie there is, breakfast cereal, fluffy bread, any processed food with potatoes, mac and cheese, ramen noodles, ohh my gosh, all the different kinds of ice cream… …

There was a push to have McDonalds, breakfast cereal, snack ads pulled from children’s television slots. My wife and I said that was stupid, little 5 and 7 year olds don’t get in the car and drive up to the grocery store and buy this stuff. Their parents buy it. Be a good parent, it’s simple.

1 Like

@Fiuzbin in answer to your question: WW (more recently Weight Watchers) has a couple of different programs, each of which is described on their website. I joined for about $53 per month, which allowed me to attend weekly meetings, weighing in each time. I also got access to their eTools, an app for my iPhone, iPad and also through a web browser, where I can track my weight and what I eat.

WW uses “smart points” or SPs, which are based on calories, but weighted to help you avoid sweets and eat more protein. (I am simplifying here.) I get 34 SPs each day. My breakfast cereal is 6 points, for example, a sandwich I like is 5 points and a small bag of chips is 5 points. The eTools app includes a scanner window that will read the bar code on a wrapper, telling you what the point value is for that item. For supper, for example, I might have a frozen dinner. I scan the box and see that it is 6 points, and “track” that value under “dinner.” I add a 2-point slice of bread and a 2-point Greek yogurt. I might have 4 cookies (6 points) as a dessert. So dinner costs me 14 of my daily 34 point allowance. It’s a bit more complicated than I can describe here. All these details are on their website, and will be explained in detail by the person who runs your meeting. (There are plenty of them - plug in your zip code to see a list of those near you.)

I got a doctor’s note saying a healthy weight for me was 205, while the BMI (body-mass-index) showed the top end of my “normal” weight range for my height to be 195. When I got down to 205 and kept it there for two weeks I got “lifetime” status, I kept going down to 195 to maintain a 10 pound safety margin.

Lifetime means I attend meetings and access the eTools app for free! I have to weigh in at least once each month. If my weight goes over my goal weight I can lose my lifetime status and have to start paying again. (I don’t remember the exact rules here, but you get the idea.) If you track honestly each day and stay within your allowance, you will very likely lose weight. I lost five pounds the first week or two, then from 1 to 3 pounds a week for what followed. I’ve been maintaining my weight ever since.

In my case, the 30-minute meetings are attended by about 15 to 20 people each week, and we’re all there for the same reason - there is no judgement, only helpful tips and support if you ask for it. I think it’s the best thing for me - you might like another program better. The road to long-term success (for me) is long-term support, and I get that from WW. I highly recommend it.


There are a lot of factors that affect fitness and mobility for self-defense. Some we can’t control (paralysis or certain diseases), while others factors we can.

I think the huge point here is to work on the things we can work on and find adaptations to the things we cannot change.

I too have started Keto as a lifestyle change as of Jan 1 this year. Soda - Diet Coke especially - is a weakness. And it’s terrible for you. When I stop drinking diet soda I lose 5 lbs just from that.

Weight loss isn’t the only thing we can do to improve our fitness. Working out, getting enough sleep, seeing a chiropractor and doctor are all ways we can ensure we’re in good health.


The goal setting you’re talking about is awesome and the support group sounds amazing. No wonder you’re having great success.

1 Like

For sure there are other aspects to fitness other than weight loss.

Working out: once again see a doctor to be helped recognizing your own limits.

I have gone to the gym for years. There are only two main exercises that I have ever done. They have an ab machine that basically you’re doing situps but not laying on your back on the ground. This has helped my core. I used to always have back pain, sometimes severe. No longer. Now if you’re like my brother who has a disc problem this may not work for you. My problem was a weak core, not enough strength in my abs to bend over and pick up the lightest thing without the risk of pulling my back.

The other exercise was arobices. 30 minutes on the stationary bike. To pass this time I watch USCCA videos.

I am not the strong man over in front of the mirror grunting and looking at myself while jerking 300lbs.

In between reps on the ab machine to cool down, I get a 25lb dumbbell, stand in front of the mirror and hold and aim it like a handgun, extended out in front of me. 3 reps at 18 seconds each.

Everyone’s different… what do you do at the gym or for exercise?

Typed on phone, sorry if Grammer it spelling errors.


I love that! And hopefully that is what people are finding here in the USCCA Community as well!

1 Like