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Hendon Publishing

The Tactical Fitness Challenge

Who has the best fitness standards for their tactical operators?

The StreetFit Challenge, which started March 2, is geared more to the patrol officer—the one who needs to lose a bit of weight and to get in better shape. However, with the single measurable of weight loss, StreetFit leaves out many Tactical Response readers, who are arguably the most fit officers on the department.

You weigh 210 pounds and have 6% body fat. You lift weights on the days you don’t run. Maybe your nutrition is not perfect, after all, pizza is nature’s perfect food. But you are not going to lose any weight, even if you wanted to, and still stay healthy. With this in mind, and keeping the emphasis on fitness, we have a different kind of challenge for tactical operators. We are looking for the team with the “best” SWAT fitness standards.

The term “best” means most task-specific, job-specific standards for tactical operator fitness. The standards we are looking for are the ones that everyone on the team must pass on a recurring basis, not just the exit exam from the basic SWAT school, and not the brutal pre-qualifier most of us go through to be considered for the team. It is the one that all members have to pass on some recurring basis, monthly, yearly, whatever.

It is common for teams to have additional aerobic standards for counter-snipers and to have additional anaerobic standards for the hasty assault team, especially breachers. But we are looking for the best overall fitness standard that applies to everyone on the team.

The nation’s tactical operators are divided into full-time teams (about 10%) and part-time teams (about 90%). With that in mind, the Tactical Fitness Challenge is also divided into those two different categories. We will have one winner among full-time teams and one winner among part-time teams.

I understand that to pass these standards, officers on some part-time teams are provided fitness equipment and are paid for the time they are in the workout area, like full-time teams. Yes, that gives them an advantage in meeting standards that other part-time teams cannot meet. Even still, the cleanest break is between full-time and part-time teams.

The judges will be specialists in police fitness and in SWAT fitness, which are much different perspectives than the average personal trainer at the local gym. Don’t worry, unlike the judicial system, in this court you will be judged by your peers. Simply e-mail us the standards, and a panel of judges will evaluate them.

Two parts of submitting your fitness standards are very important! If any of your fitness standards involve specialized equipment, you must fully and in great detail explain that equipment. If in doubt, explain it. Second, some standards involve completing an agility or hands-on course. Everything on the course has to be fully explained…distances to run, weight of ram to carry, weight in the LBV, height of the wall to scale, diameter of the rope to climb, weight of the dummy to drag or carry. You get the idea.

The two winning teams will have their tactical team profiled in Tactical Response, and the winning and some runner-up fitness standards will be run in the magazine, properly credited to the department.

To enter, just e-mail your fitness standards and complete contact information to the editorial staff at You MUST indicate if this is a FULL-time team or a PART-time team. If the document is just too big to e-mail, send it via postal mail to TacFit, Hendon Publishing Company, 130 North Waukegan Road, Deerfield, IL 60015. Good luck!

Published in Tactical Response, May/Jun 2009

Rating : 10.0

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