I heard about your blog last week on Coast To Coast AM here in the United States. I'm always interested in survival techniques so when I heard about your blog, I started reading it for a few hours each day.
I just wanted to give you one suggestion pertaining to your physical fitness blog that you posted back in 2008 (I think it was in December). While I agree 100% that cardio-training and weight training is essential to prepare for worst-case scenarios, one thing I hope you could mention is the *type* of weight training that should be done.
In a survival situation where a person might have to work/walk/run for hours a day, normal body building is actually a bad idea. In "normal" body building, a person generally performs two exercises comprised of three or four sets of 10 repetitions per muscle group. Obviously, if done correctly and religiously, this increases strength and muscle mass. And that's fine for normal circumstances.
However, in a survival situation, bulky muscle mass can be more of a hindrance rather than a benefit. Large muscles consume more precious calories--calories that would be better used hiking, running, hunting, etc. If a person is weight training for a survival situation, he should concentrate on building *lean* muscle. Lean muscle uses less calories, and are also more useful for situations where endurance is critical.
To train for building lean muscle, do three or four exercises per muscle group, and instead of doing three sets of 10, do four sets of 16-20 at a lesser weight; focusing most of the training in the legs and shoulders rather than the chest and biceps. By doing this, you train your muscles for endurance rather than strength.
Keep up the great work on your blog, and good luck.
Hi Jeremy, thanks for your email.
I agree partially with what you say.
You are right regarding cardio for work/walk/run, and that more repetitions with less weight is better to build up lean muscle for this kind of activity.
Having said that, you're pulling a Rawles: you're mistakenly assuming survival will be what you want it to be: hiking, running, farming like Charles Ingalls and hunting.
And while you read about all that cool stuff that for some reason never happens your in your little apartment or house,you are dealing with other problems much less charming: Finding a job, fighting inflation,trying to make ends meet, and dealing with increasingly worse crime on the streets.
Running away from danger of any type, walking away from disaster areas, that could happen.
Most often running away from shootings and thugs, that will be a typical use of good cardio during high crime, post economic crisis scenarios.
Also remember that for manual labor such as construction jobs you also need good muscles, strong back, neck, arms and upper body strength in general.
Now, for when you CANT run, you need strong muscles. Not to mention the training as well of course.
I'm preparing for the class I mentioned in the previous post. These types of classes get pretty physical and if you don't have good upper body strength you get your butt kicked.
If you're all lean and thin you may win the marathon at the next Olympics but you'll get your head torn off by these guys in force on force.
For hand to hand fighting you need good upper body strength, strong big muscles.
For combative sports cardio also is important since the fights last longer than they would in a real street fight, but to win a street fight good strength is paramount and even more important than good cardio.
Its not that hard to go for both.You can be wickedly strong and fast.
Don't be fooled. Those guys that look like frogs, its not just that they are building up muscle doing fewer repetitions with more weight, those guys are taking all kinds of drugs, steroids and supplements. You dont end up looking that way just by lifting weights so don't worry.
I know people that lift a lot of weight, have tried very hard to get buffer naturally and its just not happening for them. It defends a lot on your particular body as well. I build up muscle fast so I try to not overdo it. Last year I was doing too much weight and it showed, the t-shirts feel tighter and the arms get ticker, so I took it a bit easier and starting doing more cardio and more repetitions with less weight as you say.
Summarizing, I agree with most of what you say but you do need good upper body muscles for self defense and bad guys notice it too. They'll go after the jogger instead... not the guy with the thick neck and broad back. :-)