How CrossFit Benefits Law Enforcement
If you've ever talked to a police officer about the amount of training they must endure to get through the academy, then you may know a thing or two about the role fitness plays in the regimen. And if you haven't; well, simply put, it's a cornerstone of law enforcement training.
Once hired onto a department, it's imperative these men and women keep up their training in order to successfully complete their duties. Some may do this through traditional weightlifting; others through aerobic exercises. Some do a combination of both, while some others have found the perfect match: CrossFit.
That said, CrossFit and law enforcement complement each other well. As stated in the CrossFit Journal:
"Our ... work and acceptance in the law enforcement, tactical operations, and military special operations communities has been both extremely gratifying and very exciting.
"...They have come to CrossFit aware of the reality that, on average, the fitness challenges with which they are most likely to be faced will not be best met by a specialized, narrowly focused fitness. That is the sole domain of the sport athlete. "
Police officers are not "sport athletes" who can choose to focus on only one type of movement. Rather, the CrossFit mentality is that these men and women need to be prepared for whatever may come their way, at any time, and must be well-conditioned in a variety of functional movements.
"It is CrossFit’s contention that cops and soldiers are professional athletes. In fact, we argue that the physical preparedness required of military combat - and by extension law enforcement - matches and regularly surpasses that required of Olympic athletes."
And that's precisely why the 10 general physical skills that are at the core of CrossFit —cardiorespiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy — make for the perfect training regimen for law enforcement.
As CrossFit Awaken member Jason Drake, who is a police officer in Southern California, learned in one unfortunate case — his consistent CFA training helped him avoid a potentially serious injury.
"I survived a 60 mph on-duty collision chasing a wanted suspect with only scrapes and bruises," Drake recalls. "My doctors stated I fared so well due to the increased muscle mass and flexibility gained by regular CrossFit training."
Drake believes that CrossFit has helped him build and maintain a high level of strength and endurance which aid him daily.
"CrossFit training has ensured that I had the needed strength and stamina to outlast suspects in physical altercations on duty," he says. "It saves lives."
We also believe that CrossFit's community-centric philosophy is great for team-building as athletes work together to strategize on workouts.
SWAT Officer Scott McGee of the Santa Monica Police Department reported of the success of incorporating CrossFit into their training back in 2011.
"We snuck in a CrossFit workout without them knowing. So it helped us break the monotony of our long, slow duration," he said in the CrossFit Journal of the department’s first workout.
It didn't take long for the ranking officers to get into the new program and the agency even changed their SWAT qualifier course to a famous CrossFit "Hero WOD." "Murph" involves a 1 mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats and then yet another 1 mile run... all while wearing a weighted vest.
"We saw that our team camaraderie went up," McGee said. "The enthusiasm to actually do some physical training went up."
Simply put, police officers who are well-versed in CrossFit can reap only benefits. The scalable nature of workouts, which any coach will walk athletes through, helps prevent injury and keep these men and women in their best overall shape so they can focus on what matters most; protecting the communities they serve.