Today I am going to talk about two very foolish things that a lot of otherwise well prepared people do. The first is not implementing a vigorous exercise program that involves some form of heavy resistance/ weight training as well as jogging/ running/ ruck marching. The second is failing to carry a decent fighting handgun with a reload.
There are a lot of reasons people fail to implement a quality exercise program. Laziness is the first reason that comes to mind. Either they don’t do anything or they do 20 minutes at a lethargic pace on a cardio machine. In both cases the results are pretty bad. Due to having an exercise program that pretty average elderly people can follow these folks are either fat bodies or they are “skinny fat” which is a curious blend most often found in women and metro sexual men where they are of a reasonable body weight but lack any semblance of strength, speed or endurance.
There are a lot of ways to skin the exercise cat so to speak and I am trying to be more tolerant of different methods and techniques. However if your goal is functional fitness you need to include jogging/ running/ ruck marching and lifting heavy things.
Why do you need to include these components? If you can’t figure out how running or walking fast carrying a load could be useful I don’t know how much more I can help you. As for strength it is a more complex but equally fundamental answer. All things being equal a stronger person will fair better in everything. I sort of hate that saying because all things being equal the prettier person will fair better but it is really the only way to isolate individual traits or characteristics. Strength helps in a lot of ways. It builds and hardens your bones and ligaments. Also muscles truly make the best pads. Furthermore it helps in so called endurance activities of a muscular nature. Let us say we have two weight lifters. Both can bench (or squat or whatever) 135 pounds. Jimmy Powerlifter progressively builds up so he can lift 200 pounds. Bobby keeps lifting 135 and trying to do more reps. Jimmy will be able to lift 135 as many or likely many more times than Bobby because it is a far lower percentage of his total capability. Also Jimmy can lift 185 pounds or 200 pounds and Bobby can’t.
Now don’t get me wrong I love body weight exercises but they do not replace weights any more than weights can replace them. (Yes I have heard of and read convict conditioning. I have a post on it in the que) This is particularly true for the lower body. All the air squats in the world won’t build the muscles in your legs like getting under the bar and squatting.
The second reason is that folks mistakenly think that because they do something or another slightly physical they don’t need to actually exercise. I walk around at work or I do work on the “farm”. There is a big difference between moving around a few hay bales a day and doing the kind of brutal work that occurred in an 19th century working farm. With the exception of people like park rangers who walk 10+ miles a day carrying a load or carpenters, blacksmiths, masons, etc who do heavy physical labor on a regular basis (multiple times a week) you won’t get the kind of exercise you need incidentally. Even then the ranger needs to hit the weights and the carpenter needs to do some cardio.
Look at it this way. If you had a to choose a partner for a physical challenge would you want one that ran and lifted weights or one who walked or used an elliptical and the ab roller? What about if you had to fight a random person? I would fight the weakling who malingers on cardio machines or whatever other pseudo workout junk because there is a decent chance I could break him in half because I regularly lift heavy things.
Now we will transition to the topic of carrying a handgun. (Yes there are places where you can not legally carry a handgun. Most of the regions of the US where you can’t carry a gun suck and I would not recommend living there. However if you work or frequent places where a handgun is not legal then there are some decisions to make. In particular if we are talking about a place with actively enforced (searches, metal detectors) laws like government buildings versus a place with passive laws or regulations, like a parking lot, there are not great options. Other times it is just not practical to carry a gun like for example if you are swimming. However it is prudent to carry whenever it is legal and practical.) I wonder a lot about people who are really into preparedness and tactical stuff but don’t carry. Odds are high that violence will come when you least expect it and are not at home. All the sweet rifles and custom 1911’s in the world won’t help you if they are locked in a gun safe at home. However I guess they just aren’t worried. Folks living quiet lives in sleepy little towns might just not feel the need. I have heard “I carry when I go into the city” before. I won’t say I agree with that idea but I can kind of see where they are coming from.
An animal that interests me more is the person who carries but chooses a totally impractical weapon. These folks carry guns that are very difficult to shoot well and hold a small number of weak bullets. Yes technically a 5 shot .22 caliber revolver the size of a zippo lighter is a gun. However if you can shoot a gun with a ¼ inch barrel and no sights well you are a better person than I am. If you are confident that a .22 round out of a ¼ inch barrel will stop an attacker from harming you then I would call you an optimist.
To complicate matters these folks often carry their undersized, difficult to shoot pistol in places that are not easy to get at in a hurry. Pistols are on ankles, in pockets and purses or otherwise buried under clothing that can’t readily be moved. One system for women basically requires ripping ones shirt off to access their handgun. It is important to consider that you will need to access your concealed weapon in a hurry, quite possibly while fending off an attacker.
I once heard “every time somebody says they carry a full sized 1911 I ask them to show it to me, right now and inevitably get some excuse that boils down to the gun being in their truck or nightstand or safe” and that saying bears a lot of truth. I am a practical person and have observed that most people will not carry a full sized handgun. However fortunately these days we have a lot of good options.
There have been huge strides in the last few years in compact pistols that not much bigger in size than snubby .38’s or Walther PPK’s. Pretty much every full sized modern handgun has a compact sized equivalent. These guns hold 10+ rounds and shoot like their full sized big brothers. You can get a compact Glock, a Sig, HK, XD or Beretta and more 1911’s that you can shake a stick at. Pick one and carry it with you.
Since you asked personally I carry a compact Glock 19 because I can conceal it with minimal changes to my wardrobe.
Also bring a reload. You might run out of bullets or the stupid thing might jam. A spare mag or speed loader (though you would need 5 of them to equal the round count of 2 mags for most double stack pistols) isn’t that inconvenient.
So in conclusion do the right thing. Run and lift weights. Carry a decent fighting handgun and a reload. In short be awesome and hard to kill.
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