Sam Simpson, operating owner of B-Fit Miami, has been training SWAT officers for three years. By modifying simple exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups and pull-ups, Simpson gives officers the added challenge they need to push their bodies to the next level. See if you have what it takes to train like those who serve and protect the 305. Try some of these modifications in your own workout.
- Pull Ups: Simpson’s favorite pull-up modification is what he calls ladder pull-ups. In this ballistic adaptation, find two bars spaced roughly 6 inches apart from one another. Start at the lower bar and pull yourself up to higher pull-up bar. Lower back down to the starting bar to perform the exercise again.
- Walking Lunges: SWAT officers often times find themselves walking in a crouched position to maintain low profiles. Modify your walking lunges by staying as low to the ground as you can for the entire set. Instead of returning to a standing positioning in between walking lunges, stay in a low crouch. Make this modification even harder by holding a set of dumbbells.
- Squats: Simpson likes to use contrasting movements instead of rest in between sets of squats for his SWAT clients. “Contrasting sets are great for building explosive power and developing quick movements needed in tactical situations,” says Simpson. Trade in your rest time after a set of front squats for a set of box jumps.
- Push-ups: Increase the demand of traditional push-ups by using sliders. Alternate sliding your hands up and away from the body while doing push-ups. This modification will make you feel as if you are doing one-handed push-ups. Simpson also likes plyometric push-ups as a way to increase demand in this simple exercise. Instead of pushing up like you normally would to return to the start of the exercise, explode up and try to gain as much height as you possibly can before returning to the starting push-up position. Build your plyometric push-up strength by starting with one hand on a medicine ball and the other on the ground.
- Rope Climbs: What is Simpson’s favorite exercise for his clients? “Superset rope climbs. Rope climbs are part of the SWAT fitness test. I try to incorporate rope climbs to prepare SWAT clients,” says Simpson. The modification is simple – try climbing a 15-foot rope twice without letting your feet touch the ground in between climbing reps. Increase the number of times you can climb up the rope before letting your feet touch the ground.