Survival Fitness. Does Fatty die first?


New member
Ever go to a gun show and notice how many obese middle-aged guys are loading up on survival gear? Can a couch potato expect to survive in a grid-down world.

Before anyone things I'm being preachy, let me say that I had to face this question myself a couple of months ago. When I hit forty, I was way overweight and so sedentary that I got winded walking up a few flights of stairs. That was pretty humiliating for a guy who used to ace his p.t. test in the military.

So I tried to do something about it.


I started exercising military-style everyday , and set these goals for myself:

Go from 260lbs to 225. (Now 240.)

Be able to do fifty non-stop pushups. (I'm up to 35.)

Be able to do ten non-stop chinups. (Started with 0, now I can do 5).

Be able to jog two miles without stopping. (Accomplished)

Be able to hike 25 miles a day with a pack. (Accomplished)

BTW, I have the frame of a running back, so 225 will be a pretty lean weight for me.


To me, being fit means being able to cover distances on foot, clear obstacles, and exert force at any given time. I still have a ways to go, and it's really tough getting there. But I'm determined to meet and maintain those standards.

My main question is, has anyone else set similar standards? What is your definition of being fit for a survival situation? What sort of workout plan do you follow? What standards do you think are appropriate for your age and circumstances? Should I delete this thread and order a pizza?


New member
Fatties go first? Hell, no, that's part of my food reserves!

Seriously though, congrats on your weight and fitness goals and progress.

Fitness is one part of preparedness. Another is gear and training. As important, at least what I've read, is mental and psychological readiness.

As difficult as the economy is, and it may get much worse with no relief in sight prior to next year's elections, if we even have elections, it pays to get prepared and be vigilant.

Operational security is something that comes up over and over, considering in most scenarios, you will be sheltering in. Your neighbor may not have prepared at all, and I have tended to be evangelical in urging neighbors and friends to at least have several weeks worth of food in the house, and even better to have several months.

Not to hijack the thread, however, you have a good point about being in shape. I think most shooters will agree.

It's like Charles Barkley said one time, "I have a shape, it's round" :laugh: BTW, I've observed the same thing at gun shows. I'm one of those guys, except I started a couple of years ago. I've got most of what I need and in the being vigilant, not vigilante, phase. So, I do what I can to stay in shape, just able to do less at 50. Cheers!

Bighouse Doc

New member
Roman Legionaries knew that starting the campaign season fat always worked out better than starting thin.

Gladiators found some belly fat often was the difference between living or dying in the ring.

Of course, staying centrally obese can increase your risk of diabetes.

Playing army boot camp? Have fun. The experience is over-rated.



New member
Not gunshow fatty

While not being a gun-show fatty I found that at 50 and carrying a 13 inch radial decided to start working out with my teen son ( think he IS engizer bunny ) walking,running,jumping this that and the other
Oh yea personals 225 5ft 10 and 50 years old


New member
To each his own.

Oh, I'm 6'3", 195 1bs, sandy hair, dreamy blue eyes and square chin. I can do 175 push ups, 125 chin ups, 85 sit ups in a minute and can run a 10k in under 40 minutes. I can carry a volkswagon on level ground 1 mile in 18 minutes. I have fought two grizzlies to the death simultaneously, and I lived to tell the tale and have two bear rugs in my self made log cabin. I have a six pack that would make a 12 pack cry. ...Stay thirsty my friends. :sarcastic:


New member
The first do die will be the unprepared and where ever the police state hits the hardest. From what I study, which I'm no pro by any means, seems the ones that live and breath the grid, tv, and have No idea how to do anything from themselves. Having said that, a fat person can die before a thin person. How? Simple as the "I got winded walking a flight of stairs." How can u defend yourself/family/house from rioters or thieves if u cant get around. Same goes with a thin person, how can they defend if they have no clue either. Sorry to say but everything comes to Common Sence and "planning for your area" I live in the suburbs and already have a get the F out of dodge plan. If I can't, I have plan B. Of course its all useless if National Guard comes in Katrina style........or is it


New member
Well I went to a gun show in Richmond Va, just this past weekend and have to agree with the post about overweight people. Just being prep. with food , water and weapons and survivale knowledge won't cut it. I watched overweight cop's for years have a hell of a time with job performance because of their weight.

For myself I have had 2 heart attacks and some othe major medical problems but I am a survivor and will stand up to anything that comes down the pike.

I am 65 years old at 6'0" and 195 lbs. and work around my 101 acers of property everyday for my exercise.


Was 5'9" 350# at 50 years, 202 avator photo and still have survival fat reserve but can climb stairs and ride/walk everyday, a little harder to hide my cc.
Biggest 'survivalist' I know...

Well, the person that I consider the biggest "survivalist" type I know happens to also be the "biggest" person I know. :biggrin:

Although in his case, it truly is a "can't lose weight for anything" level. He isn't fast per se, but he can run or jog for a lot further than I can! (He's 6 foot, 400+ pounds, I'm 6 foot, 200 pounds.) And I bicycle commute most days, so I'm not exactly in bad shape myself. (Who the f&@! decided that 185 pounds was "overweight" at 6 foot? really? I feel like a beanpole when I'm at 185!)


New member
survival fitness

During the Falkland war in 1982, low body fat British commandoes needed more calories to maintain their energy than their "fatter" fellow soldiers. Commandoes who ran out of food also ran out of energy, whereas the regular soldiers who had a higher body fat percentage were able to maintain a higher operational ability. This info came from after action reports I read during my active duty time while serving with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment at Ft Bliss Tx. The point being that the extra weight on a somewhat in shape person helps keep him/her going when food intake is diminished. Couch commandoes probably will not qualify as somewhat in shape. And the stress of being overweight coupled with the situation might put him down early. I frequent gun shows and have noticed the same thing. At 62 I am very much aware of the extra wt I am carrying. It just doesn't seem to come off as easy as it did at 40 or even 50.


New member
I couldn't agree with you (and others) more about the need to maintain a fat reserve. I remember from long marches in the military that the guys with the washboard abs were among the first to begin stumbling. That's why I'm going for 225. At that weight I'll still have enough fat to pinch between my fingers, but not so much that it hangs down and polishes my belt buckle when I run.

Oh, and I didn't join one of those so-called boot camp plans that have become so trendy. I'm simply doing the types of exercises we did in the military. A lot of stretching, pushups, chinups, situps, dips, lunges, etc. I follow that up with either a twenty minunte jog or a one-hour walk.

I'd join a gym and hire a trainer, but I'd rather spend the money on bullets.


New member
There's one major difference between my exercise now as opposed to when I was a young guy in the military. Then, I would look forward to a cold beer and a night of carousing after my run. Now, my mind can only focus on the iced tea and aspirin that's waiting back home.


New member
Get in shape, stay in shape

I'm 59 yrs old, 6'2", 210 lbs. I hold black belts in two styles. I work out 40 minutes daily, and go to the gym once a week for a one hour workout. Every day I do 50 pushups (nonstop), 150 crunches/situps in 3 sets, 50 squats, and some other stuff. I hope to keep doing this (or more) daily as long as I live and am able. The older you get, the harder it is to keep the weight off. I should weigh 195-200, for example, but life intervenes. I just can't squeeze out the time to do the 12 hours weekly I used to do.
The most important thing is consistency. Don't work out hard once every two weeks. Do what you can, but do it every day. When it gets easy to do 15reps, start doing 20, etc. The number isn't as important as the consistency. I find that doing my routine when I first get up is the only way to be sure I will get it done every day. If I wait until after breakfast, it won't happen. Congratulations on your decision to get in shape. Stick with it! You'll be glad you did, and so will your wife.


New member
To me, being fit means being able to cover distances on foot, clear obstacles, and exert force at any given time.

You mean running? I never could run. Not even as a child. The boys said I ran like a girl and that made the girls mad.

(Who the f&@! decided that 185 pounds was "overweight" at 6 foot? really? I feel like a beanpole when I'm at 185!)

Good question. I'm 6' 2" and have seen charts that said I should be under 185. No way. I've been as high as 250 a decade or so ago. Except for going to a gym for about two years (last time was over two years ago), the only exercise I get is walking. Sometimes not much but today I walked 7 miles rather than drive to see my insurance agent. Four years ago (at age 66) I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and, the next day hiked out again.


PEW Professional
I try to stay in good shape. Being AD helps b/c I still have to pass the PT test. I've been an Amateur bodybuilder for the past few years but had to give up some of the lifting due to a herniated disc... I still do cardio 4-5 days a week in the morning for 30 minutes and lift weights 3-4 days a week after work. On the weekends I will go shooting up in the mts, which the way I do it it's a workout... or we'll go hiking as a family, throw in some camping, or we'll take our duaghter to the zoo which ends up being a 2 mile walk.

I can jog 3 miles without stopping with no gear on, about 2 miles with a vest on(simulated gear)... I can do about 50 sit-ups without stopping, about 60 push-ups, and around 25 pull-ups. I weigh about 212 but would lke to be an even 200... I'd like to see ALL my abs again, lol.

I think fitness will be very important... but that doesn't mean you have to be ripped. You'd actually want some body fat in case you can't eat for a week but survive.


New member
Thanks. Lots of great ideas from so many people. The medicine ball is something I need to check out.

And I hope no one thinks I'm trying to tell them how to exercise. I'm merely talking about what has worked for me.

For example; running. I was never a great runner. But I like to be able to do at least a couple of miles. To me it's more important that I can walk a long ways. Because if it hits the fan, we'll probably all be wearing out a lot more shoe leather.


New member
There's one major difference between my exercise now as opposed to when I was a young guy in the military. Then, I would look forward to a cold beer and a night of carousing after my run. Now, my mind can only focus on the iced tea and aspirin that's waiting back home.

ha, well said!

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