The 5 Elements of Survival Fitness
5 Elements, all equally important in creating well rounded fitness that prepares you for anything!
There are 5 Elements of Survival Fitness. The Elements of Survival Fitness are Strength, Endurance & Stamina, Flexibility, Body Composition, and Agility. These elements are the consistent base of how and why we train. They are common themes from my training as an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, and many schools of fitness thought. The 5 Elements of Survival Fitness lay the foundation for what the Wild West Survival Fitness Academy holds to be true, well rounded fitness is the key to being prepared.
I know from experience that getting too strong, and putting on too much weight, even if it is almost all muscle will slow you down and affect your endurance, flexibility, and agility negatively. I also know that too much concentration on endurance training will make negative changes to your strength and body composition. I know this because I went from a 175lb soccer player and long distance runner, to a 265lb powerlifter and strength trainer.
A learned the hard way that Well-Rounded fitness is key, and used this information to design the Survival Fitness ideology and programming.
In Survival Fitness we need to be prepared for anything, so no one element is more important than the others.
Lets take a look at some important points about each Element of Survival Fitness, and why they are all so important.
Survival Fitness Exercises
Let’s first take a look at some of the main base practices and exercise routines involved in Survival Fitness, and the elements that they help to develop. You will quickly notice that all of them improve more than one Element of Survival Fitness at a time.
All of the exercises involved in Survival Fitness will improve Body Composition by nature. Body Composition is the ratio of lean body mass as compared to adipose tissue also known as FAT. Keeping a healthy weight and ratio of lean mass to fat is extremely important for health and all of the Elements of Survival Fitness.
Hiking: Hiking long distances and varying terrain will help to develop lower body, hip, back, and shoulder strength. It also improves Muscular Endurance, another important piece of the Strength Element. However, hiking’s main advantage is it’s incredible ability to improve Endurance. Hiking will also improve agility, especially when hiking steep uneven trails.
Power Lifting: The Survival Fitness school of thought for strength involves heavy full body load bearing movements. Exercises such as Squats, Rows, Deadlifts, and Shoulder Press will dramatically improve power and speed. The growth of fast twitch muscles and strong foundational muscle will also improve agility, and if done correctly flexibility.
Primal Movement: Primal Movement is part of the training Survival Fitness provides. Primal Movement and Animal Flows will improve EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE ELEMENTS of Survival Fitness. These movements, stretches, and exercises will improve flexibility, agility, strength, body composition, and to a lesser degree endurance.
Yoga: Yoga will improve your holding Strength, your Flexibility & Endurance, and you Mind Body connection. Few things have helped me to stay as Mentally and Physically healthy and prepared as Yoga. Don’t underestimate the difficulty and physical strength and flexibility required to perform yoga. Yoga is the Number 1 way we prevent injury, and help our bodies heal in Survival Fitness. Yoga is not only for women in tight pants and headbands. The type of Yoga we utilize is an amazing survival tool, and also a perfect way to workout when you are out in nature and far from a gym or equipment.
Survival Drills: Survival Drills are circuit style workouts aimed at testing your reserves and pushing you to the limit. They will dramatically improve Endurance & Stamina. They will also sky rocket your Power and Agility. Survival Drills train you to move your body quickly and efficiently when you need to. Some of them are designed for quick workouts in your living room without equipment, and others are the exact same workouts used by Military and Law Enforcement Elite Units.
These are just a couple of the exercises and routines you will perform when you are ready to take on Survival Fitness. You can see that no one activity or exercise improves only a single element. All of the movements and exercises are carefully chosen, with a goal in mind; Well Rounded Fitness that Prepares You For Anything.
The Power Elements of Survival Fitness.
Let’s start talking about strength by answering a scenario question.
A person can Squat 800lbs, Deadlift 1,000lbs, and Bench Press 500lbs. Is this person ready to survive anything? Is this person strong?
Here is the answer. This person is not ready to survive anything, but they are VERY strong. Many strong man competitors and power lifters can lift incredible amounts of weight and showcase super human muscular endurance under heavy loads. However, they often carry around ridiculously heavy frames that are nearly impossible to carry for long distances.
We want to mix the god like power and muscular endurance of these athletes with equally even elements of endurance, flexibility, body composition, and agility. Strength gives us Power and Explosiveness. So let’s take a look at strength. Here is the Survival Fitness definition of strength.
The ability to carry out work against a resistance. Strength is the maximal force you can apply against a load.
- Strength is not just about big muscles, it is about power. Can you think of any Survival situations where you would need to move debris, carry injured individuals, or carry gear? Strength will help you in all these cases.
- Strength can prevent injury by realigning your skeleton and reinforcing stabilizing structures in your body.
- Strength will naturally build muscle. Muscle requires you metabolism to speed up. So strength not only protects you, it helps you to keep an optimal Body Composition and Weight.
- Some Strength building exercises you will utilize in Survival Fitness include Power Lifting, Strong Man Training, and Highland Games Training.
Endurance & Stamina
The Time and Distance Elements of Survival Fitness.
Let’s take a brief moment to talk about difference between Endurance & Stamina, and therefore getting a better understanding of the goal for training to improve each.
Endurance: How long a given activity can be endured. Endurance can also be related to Cardiorespitory and Cardiovascular endurance. This is how long the body can sustain an activity and still pump enough blood and oxygen to keep systems working properly. This is what you think of when doing Steady State exercise like jogging for an hour, or riding a bicycle for 18 miles.
Stamina: How long an activity can be continued near maximal effort. Stamina can be related to many anaerobic exercises, and some aerobic exercises. This is how long someone can sprint at full power before breaking down. Think HIIT exercises and sprints.
- Endurance and Stamina are important in survival situations where people often need to travel long distances, by foot, with little rest.
- Endurance and Stamina are amazing tools for improving long lasting strength and body composition. If you don’t quite understand what body composition means, don’t worry you will read about that coming up.
- Some Survival Fitness activities you will get to try that improve Endurance are hiking, trail running, and riding bike riding.
- Some Survival Fitness activities you will get to try that improve Stamina are Hill Sprints, Survival Drills, and Fight Training.
The Motion Elements of Survival Fitness.
Flexibility, in the Survival Fitness ideology is all about ROM.
ROM: Range of Motion.
Flexibility is not about sitting around on your butt touching your toes. We use movement, motion, static stretching, and dynamic stretching to improve Range of Motion.
Flexibility: The ability to move the body and all of it’s attached elements as close to the maximum Range of Motion as possible.
- Flexibility will help prepare you for unseen circumstances where you need to move quick and efficiently.
- Flexibility can help repair and avoid injury. Yoga helped me rehab a shoulder doctors said was too gone to fix without surgery.
- Flexibility can prevent some of the deteriorating affects of aging and sickness.
- Some Survival Fitness activities you will get to try that improve Flexibility are Yoga, Primal Movement, Survival Drills, and Self Defense Martial Arts.
The Health and Nutrition Elements of Survival Fitness.
Survival Fitness is all about being prepared for anything that comes your way. Whether it is a natural disaster, an accident, a mugger, or just quickly scooping up you kids or grand kids before they take a spill. However, in Survival Fitness it is key to understand that you can never prepare to survive tomorrow without being prepared to survive today.
Body Composition: The ratio of lean body mass to adipose tissue or fat. Easily described as a Healthy Body Weight.
To be successful in Survival Fitness you have to understand what constitutes a healthy weight for you, and how to maintain it. This means avoiding extremes of too heavy and too skinny. Too much fat will negatively affect your ability to maximize your performance and preparation in all of the Elements of Survival Fitness. Too little will negatively affect all of the Elements of Survival Fitness as well.
It is important to understand that everyone has a different build, genetics, and healthy weight. I myself often perform best, and feel healthiest and strongest at a weight considered to be over weight/obese for my height. However, I have broad shoulders and chest, and carry a large amount of my body weight in my legs.
We will teach you to base your healthy Body Composition on a list of factors including BMI, Blood Pressure, Weight to Hip ratio, Heart Rate, and most importantly how you feel. It is common for people who participate in Survival Fitness to fluctuate between higher and lower Body Weights and Body Compositions before they find their Comfort Zone.
- Body Composition is important to maintain and understand. Not maintaining or understanding what constitutes a healthy Body Composition can not only be detrimental to your training, but also Deadly!
- If you want to lose weight, Survival Fitness will help.
- If you are trying to gain weight and muscle, Survival Fitness will help.
- If you want to lose or gain weight RIGHT NOW! please contact Bear directly by clicking here so he can build a custom Fitness Program just for your needs.
- All Survival Fitness activities and exercises will improve your Body Composition. However, Survival Fitness is an open workout philosophy, meaning you may need to focus more on some of the Elements of Survival Fitness than others at first to achieve your personal goals. For a custom plan Contact Me now.
The Movement Elements of Survival Fitness.
Agility is all about Movement. Jumping, Rolling, Lifting, and Twisting your body quickly and efficiently. Think gymnastics and parkour.
Agility: The ability to efficiently, quickly, and gracefully move your body in the most functional way possible through a proposed movement while avoiding injury.
Agility is extremely important in many Survival Situations. Moving quickly through uneven and changing terrain, and unpredictable situations while avoiding injury.
- I based many of the Survival Drill exercises and trainings on Agility work I learned while Playing International Soccer and training Mixed Martial Arts.
- Agility work by nature will drastically improve your Stamina and Flexibility.
- Survival Fitness uses a list of different exercises specifically aimed at improving Agility.
- Some Survival Fitness activities you will get to try that improve Agility are Trail Running, Survival Drills, Bouldering, and Self Defense Martial Arts.
All 5 Elements of Survival Fitness are equally important and necessary to become physically prepared. The goal of Survival Fitness is to get you ready mentally and physically when SHTF. Most Survival Training programs only focus on supplies and skills, Survival Fitness uses a well rounded approach to Physical Survival that will make you feel healthy, confident, and prepared for whatever comes your way. Weight Lifting will improve your bench press, Running will improve your Endurance, but Survival Fitness will get you prepared and improve your Quality of Life.