Training for the zombie apocalypse

As a coach, I always ask the individual before they start training why they are training or what they are training for. In order for anybody to stick to something, you must have a definite reason. This is the most important thing you must consider because if you do not, you will not see it through.

Training must be performance based and must be transferable. Functional training is such a buzzword that the majority of trainers themselves completely miss the point. Your training must reflect and strive towards your objective, your goal.

Everybody wants to look good naked

Aesthetics is simply a by-product of the correct form of training. If you train the way your body is actually designed to train, to move and to function, looking good naked will happen as by-product, not as the main.

As a hunter-gatherer you moved, stalked, hunted, crawled, climbed, lifted, dragged and carried. The hunter-gatherer was efficient in many ways, not just one. The same principles apply to training. Do not just lift a heavy weight. Move with it, lift it, drop it, run with it, crawl and climb with it. I do not care how much you can lift if that is the only thing you can do or train for.

DSC 9036a

Let us get rid of the notion that being stronger makes you harder to kill. No, it does not. A person with a 100kg deadlift and another person with a 300kg deadlift both encounter the same mortality when a round from a high-velocity rifle goes through their head. Your body was designed and built in a particular way. You were built for survival, for endurance. Your training and your fitness must be functional and transferable – which leads me to this blog.

You are going to become hard to kill. You are going to train for a zombie apocalypse, because let’s face it, it’s coming... 

Why the zombie apocalypse?

I really don’t like zombies. I hate them actually and the last thing you want to do is be bitten or eaten by one or a group of them. So, how do you prevent it? You are going to train for survival, train the way your body was designed to be trained.

How do you train for the zombie apocalypse?

It may come as a complete shock to you to find out that after all the years and hours you’ve spent trying to attain the perfect physique through someone’s Instagram feed and your as-seen-on-TV vibration machine that you are no more fit for survival than you were when you started. 

Big numbers and being strong will not save you

If strength truly made you harder to kill, our armed forces and military would train exclusively as powerlifters and bodybuilders. I can assure you they do not.

If you were caught in a battle with a zombie trying to eat your face, I am pretty sure you would appreciate assistance from a bad-ass SAS or Navy Seal. Having these guys on your side would greatly increase your chances of survival.

It comes down to endurance and efficiency

Special Ops recognise the importance of strength and power training as a base. Their training is efficient because if they are not efficient, they die and reduce the survival rate of the rest of their team. They are made accountable and it all starts with their training.

It is far more important to have the physical and mental ability to load and carry a 20-35kg pack, hike, climb, crawl and trek for 12 hours with it while knowing that at any moment they will come into contact with an enemy. The ability to do that and not succumb to exhaustion is down to efficiency.

A large majority of training with the armed forces is spent making the soldier efficient and getting them to adapt to the environment, so they are ready when ‘being harder to kill’ really matters.

Efficiency is key to perform and transferable training

Your training should be more efficient than just powerlifting or bodybuilding. Be smart and make it count. Make sure your designated hour of training is spent on the training session, not checking your phone every five minutes or checking out somebody else. Be smart. Be efficient. Be accountable.

Now, I am not trying to bash strength and power training (I love it). Being stronger and more powerful is required for most endurance activities. Look to incorporate sprinting, lunging, jumping, farmer walks and sled pushes into your strength routine. These develop fundamental movement patterns for survival. 

DSC 9177a

The slowest will most definitely get eaten 

When you consider the functional aspects of training that are also major component to survival, it becomes obvious that running, jumping and climbing are essential. Increased conditioning and ability of cardio respiratory capacity enables you to escape the terrifying attacks of deranged zombies. 

So next time your friend or client complains that running hurts their knees, rowing sucks or the Ski-Erg is too difficult and they are opting for the cross-trainer or a beach muscle workout, you can smile and know there will be one more piece of human fodder that can be put between you and the approaching zombie horde. You don’t have to be the fastest, but you sure as shit can’t be the slowest.

What to take from this

  • Train for performance, for a goal, an objective
  • Don’t just lift – lift, move, combine
  • Strength is important but strength endurance is essential
  • Train efficiently
  • Train smarter
  • Train to become ‘hard to kill’ for any situation 

In my next article I will share some workouts to help you prepare.