Physical Fitness To Fight An Active Shooter

Physical Fitness to Fight an Active ShooterActive shooting situations are on the rise, a report from the government shows a massive increase since early 2000, happening in over 40 states. One of the scariest parts of these attacks is that there is no warning before they happen, so the only safety measure is preparation, both physically and mentally.

It is especially important to be aware of the possibility of being involved in such an attack if you work in a public institution. Schools, theaters, churches, and hospitals are preferred targets as they are publically accessible and populated.

The Value of Defensive Training

Learning how to react in these kinds of situations comes down to simple biology. Let me explain how it works.

When our brains’ interpret an event as stressful they jump into fight-or-flight response. Now, this is something that we all know. However, the biology behind this is what we need to understand.

It takes a lot of energy and nutrients to keep our brains functioning and the most costly part of that consumption is via the frontal lobe where we think.  Rational examination of events and careful analysis of what to do in those situations is needed to pick the best reaction or course of action.

The problem is when we experience an event that is terrifying or dangerous, the front part of our brains immediately shuts off and we are left with only our instincts. There is no time to reflect or think about the best course of action and we often end up choosing badly.

The process of tactical conditioning is about learning how to stop this response and keep our minds alert and within the functional “thinking” zone. We want to stay calm, collected and most importantly – thinking.

The best way to do that is through systematic conditioning. Gradually conditioning one’s mind and body to the stresses both physically and mentally of combat training can help pick the best course of action within an emergency situation.

Let’s take a look at a few of these.

How to Train for Emergency Situations

Strength Training

Strength training builds two important things. First, explosive strength that is vital if you need to exit an area quickly, pick up an injured companion or fight to save your life. Second, mental strength is a byproduct of years in the gym pushing past your physical boundaries and comfort level.

Muscular endurance is another area where you should focus more of your attention. Being able to push or lift heavy weights is great for explosive development but without proper training of your muscular endurance you’re going to end up tired pretty soon. I recommend a 50/50 split between the two. Working on building strength that you can use and that can also last.

Couple of Exercises that Help With These:

  1. Burpees
  2. Sprints
  3. Deadlifts
  4. Squats
  5. Turkish Getups
  6. Rope Training


Most active shooter scenarios start without notice and end even more abruptly. It’s a too fast too soon kind of situation and the majority of people don’t have time to react. Don’t be one of those people.

Learning how to move quickly and effectively can be a life saving skill to have. This requires movement training as well as endurance training so that you’re able to move at high speed for at least fifteen minutes.

Couple of Exercises to Help With This

  1. Sprints
  2. Weighted Sprints
  3. Skipping

Martial Arts

Even basic training in martial arts can give you a huge advantage. It sure helped the brave men who stopped the train attacker in the Amsterdam-Paris train. Their knowledge of jiu-jitsu helped immobilize and disarm the terrorist. If your workplace prevents you from having a gun, this is the most realistic way you can be ready to face danger.

As an added benefit, training in martial arts requires excellent overall physical conditioning.

Related reading: Self Defense In A Gun-free Zone


Perhaps the most important item in saving your life is knowing your options at each moment. You should be aware of your surrounding environment and how to escape as quickly as possible. When you are in a new place, spend a few moments to identify possible escape routes.

Avoid losing yourself in your cell phone and spending too much time on social media. Keep aware of what is going on around you.

Should you carry a gun?

Eye for an eye. The best way to fight fire is with fire. If you work in a potentially vulnerable public institution it helps to have a gun and be prepared for an active shooting situation. Even if it never occurs, you can have peace of mind. However, carrying a gun is not easy, you need proper concealment.

For institutions where you can CCW, one of the best options is an inside the waistband (IWB) holster made from Kydex, molded perfectly for your pistol of choice.

Final Thoughts

The most important lesson to take away from all of this is preparation. This means being prepared both mentally and physically for any and all possible situations. It’s not enough to just head to the range and practice shooting. You need to be physically fit, know your location and constantly stay aware of any situations that might arise.

Article written by Sam Bocetta for Prepper’s Will.

Other Useful Resources:

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

A Green Beret’s guide to combat and shooting

Learn how to Safeguard your Home against Looters

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us



4 thoughts on “Physical Fitness To Fight An Active Shooter”

  1. Good information so thank you for it.
    As it happens to ALL of us, but isn’t in the least bit romantic or Tacticool, would be some articles that address how the elderly and/or disabled can also participate in their own safety and security by most of the same means as the young and studly hard chargers out there in the prime of their lives.
    I said it: you ARE gonna get OLD. That is IF you survive all the crazy crap you did during your youth.
    I bring this up because it is precisely the situation I find myself in. I was an adrenaline junky, did all the crazy fun stuff I could when I was physically able, took some serious tumbles as a result of the lifestyle and now have spare parts built in, not all of which function as anticipated, expected or promised.
    With lack of mobility comes lethargy and stagnation of muscle tissues even if you continue to work out at a reduced rate.
    I know. My Six Pack devolved into a Pony Keg and my 6-minute mile runs are now dependant on if a stone trips up me and my walker. (Not really…I use a cane if traveling any distance, but you get my drift.)
    My 350# bench press and 450# squats now consists of 8 ounce Curls of Ensure and plopping my ass up and down into my leather easy chair.
    Again I jest but you get my point.
    I am still wicked fast from the concealed draw and, yeah, I can put the pain pills into the zones needed to stop an aggressor. That is as long as I don’t have to fistfight the Sumbitch or get into a grappling match first.
    My point is as we age, and depending on just HOW BADLY you treated your body back in The Day, NONE of us (you) will remain the Johnny BadAss door kickers you once were all those years ago.
    Truthfully, it’s been a humbling experience for me and I’m not aging gracefully, either.
    I STILL want to kick in doors and stomp the Bad Guys who do wrong to others but nowadays I’ll likely trip over the entryway threshold. (I Keed, I Keed! as Achmed would say.)
    As the saying goes:
    “If I would have known I would live this long, I would have taken better care of my carcass.”
    “Growing old ain’t for Sissies!”
    So how about it? You have any tricks of the trade to spare and inspire us Old Farts?
    I’m NOT ready to cash in my chips but as I still carry CCW and I can STILL hit my intended target at distance, I cannot ignore the fact that I can no longer go nose to nose and toes to toes with the average Millenial Terrorist intent on scalping my bucket. Have him back off an appropriate distance, say 30 feet or so, and assuming (?!?) I see it coming, I’ll gladly ventilate the Rat Fuck and toast my good fortune with a chug of Pepto Bizmal when I get home.
    Guys, I’ve punctuated my comments with a lot of humor and self incriminating anecdotes but take the pertinent stuff to heart.
    Time advances on ALL of us so enjoy what you can now and think about the “What If’s” you WILL eventually be forced to deal with.
    Now excuse me while I go take my nap. I think I’ve been awake almost 2 hours now. LMFAO

  2. Appropriate comments! I allowed my body to write a great many checks when I was younger, that are now “past due”, or have bounced like bodies falling off the Clinton Cartel Truck.
    A wise mentor once told me, ” …there WILL come a time, when young men, no longer will be afraid to challenge you…”.
    Thought he was nuts, until I started to recognize myself being “sized up”, as a potential victim.
    We do get older, and with that age, hopefully we retain our learned wisdom and treachery. I’m not going out “easy”.

    • Pardner, you said a mouthful there!
      I’ve found that regardless of your infirmities, if you carry yourself with am aire of self confidence, most times those who are “sizing you up” will recognize that you are aware of your surroundings and because they know that means you can anticipate potential aggressors, you likely possess the motivation AND the means to meet them on almost-equal ground.
      And when they see you sizing THEM up, chances are they will pick an easier target.
      Let’s face it. Those cowards don’t want to go nose to nose and toes to toes with ANY potential victim.
      They want to crash and grab and GTFO Dodge before anyone realizes what has happened.
      All that aside you bring up some VERY valuable points.

  3. I am one of the old farts also. Now I also size people up when I am out in a strange place and in places that I know well. I look and listen I watch people to spot their infirmities and weaknesses. I listen for clues as to what medical problems or surgeries they have had so I can use them against them if I have to. I don’t workout per say but I do walk regularly and I volunteer in a job that that I have to move, lift, stretch and pull a lot ant that keeps me pretty fit. I like what you have wrote here but you should write something geared toward us old fellers. Thank you.


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