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Fitting Fitness Into Your Work Schedule

Fitting Fitness Into Your Work Schedule

Stew Smith, CSCS

I love to get email from people like this American. Both military and law enforcement seeking to improve his fitness level in a way that will not affect previous injuries. He writes:

“My training issues are I am age 35, 15 year history of wear and tear from military, police, and other high impact jobs (i.e. car accidents and bad jumps). I am currently trying to rehab and finish the Army SF- Q Course as a National Guard soldier. Currently I am in law enforcement as daily occupation. I need to make sure I keep my fitness levels up for safety and also to keep my job. I expect you to say that I need to consult a doctor first but I would like your opinion on this since you know the requirements for this line of work.”

“My main issue right now is that I work 10-14 hour days with my civilian job, so I need to maximize my training time. I have a training program from an experienced trainer and some programs from experienced guys from my SF unit, but I’m having issues tying it all together with my schedule.”

You sound like me. At 38 I too am feeling the pains of hard landings from jumping / sports injuries in High school and college. Fitting fitness into your schedule is the dilemma I see. It is tough after long hours to find a gym and workout. If possible, you should do something prior to going to work as I think will be the best time to fit workouts into your day (even if it means 45-60 minutes of less sleep).

I usually do this on long days:

1 – get my cardio done first thing in the AM – for you – depending on your rehab timing, you should build up to running by adding in non-impact aerobics first like biking, rowing, swimming, and when you can run a bit and walk a bit. Finally building up to full running for 1,2,3,4,5 miles respectively. Then when healthy and able to run, build up to ruck marches of various weight…

2 – in the PM (after work depending on your shift) get your PT or weights done…

This does not have to be daily event of 2 a days, but 2-3 times a week can be done like this and the other days or days off can be longer workouts of either or both forms of exercise. Any of the ebooks found at can be broken up and used in this manner, but you will find many ideas in previously written articles at the Training Center at PoliceLink too.

Sometime with crazy work schedules, you just have to be creative and arrange both cardio and resistance components into your schedule where you can.

NOW – stretching should be daily and it takes only 5-10 minutes…this is your rest day and minimum recommended amount of activity DAILY

Good luck with your training programs. For more information on specific training workout plans, check out the workouts at PoliceLink’s Fitness eBook Store. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at

Stew Smith CSCS is a former Navy SEAL officer and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a strength and conditioning specialist.

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