So I am very nearly back in active duty shape right now and i been out 3 yrs.... so far so good... but I was thinking about something. I did some training with some friends nearly 2 years ago.... I considered myself at the time out of shape not having exercised for 3 months but that was by my standards which I suspect are higher than most. So we move out on a Patrol all ten of us. Basic Load is 210 rds of 5.56mm, 3L of Water (amount was personal choice), First aid kit anything extra is optional, no Rucks or assault packs (unless personal choice desired) We leave the one location and road march just a little practice going from wedge to file and vice versa.. All why moving at a normal pace. A buddy of mine (70 at the time) was playing our OPFOR and trying to observe us from the target location.. This exercise was for us practicing a Reconnaissance in Force. So we go around a small woods on this (large) property and up a steep hill thats only maybe 30 yards tall. Then we switch to bounding overwatch. We did not conduct bounding over watch at full speed... maybe at 50-60% speed. As we sneak around the corner of the woods we highcrawl to a point for about 50 yards were we can observe the house my buddy is manning w/o being seen and staying low and in concealment. The scary thing was that at this point I was totally gassed! We had only walked about 2 miles thru easy terrain and high crawled maybe 50 yards. And i was TOTALLY gassed.. If we had suddenly found ourselves in a fight for our life I would have been mostly ineffective and let my friends and family down! Yes, I was out of shape at the time and I knew it.. but I was out of shape by my standards.. I was probably still stronger than most and could do a little slow jog on a rog in running gear probably with a more ease than most guys at my civilian work who just as me were approaching middle age and being desk workers.. Now we are getting to why I am making this post. I bet many guys on this board (whom I respect!!!) would have been even way more gassed than I was.. but since they dont train this they will never realize it until they have to do something even this basic and then operate a firearm competently.. .. We all practice with our fire arms. Some do it mostly for hunting.. some do it fun... but I think most of us ultimately do it with defense in mind. Self defense situations cannot be predicted... you may have to go after a guy thru the woods who just kidnapped your granddaughter! or wife! Some degree Physical fitness is part of self defense! If you dont have any you are not serious about self defense. Give me a guy who is a monster shot but totally out of shape and I show you a guy who will lose a self defense situation that devolves into an actual firefight. Now (and I am dating myself here) we dont all need to look like Rocky or Jean Claude VanDamme. Thats not realistic... we have lives ...its not even needed.....BUT if you are not doing some reasonable effort to be in reasonable shape for your age and occupation you are setting yourself up to fail your friends and family when they need you most. Everything else is easier when you have some kind of shape too!.. Getting our of bed quickly in middle of nite.. getting up or down the stairs to confront a home invader.. If getting up or down the stairs gets you shuffing and puffing.. you may have lost the ability to properly control your firearm and operate it in a competent manner! Based on my experience being a former Company commander for a reserve Army unit here is a nice easy method that WILL work. Because sometimes we would get very oput of shapoe overweight guys that could do the job.. and being reservists they had not properly taken care of themsleves. This is an easy program how you recover from that even if you are in very poor shape: Week 1: Walk 3 miles 3 times Week 2: Walk 4 miles 3 times or 3 miles 4 times Week 3: Ditto Week 4: Walk 4 miles 3 times while wearing a Rucksack with 20 lbs in it Week 5: Walk 4 miles 3 times or 3 miles 4 times with a rucksack w/ 30 lbs in it. Week 6: Ditto Week 7: By now you have strengthened your joints and tendons enough you can run with minimal risk of injury. Run 3 times a week for 30 minutes or 3 miles ( whichever comes first) Week 8: Ditto Week 9 Run 3 times a week for 40 minutes or 4 miles whichever comes first ( which for most will still be the time) Week 10: Ditto Week 11: Run twice aweek for 40 minutes or 4 miles ( whichever comes first) and find a Gym and do 2 top to bottom iron pumps with light weights. Include as a minimum Squats, situps, back extensions (if the gym has a Roman chair), bent over rows, Dumbbell angled bench press (works both shoulders and pecs). Bonus: Maybe throw in 2 sets each of lateral raises and 2 sets of frontal raises for weapons handling....This is doable no matter what your age!!!! Week 12 Ditto. I suspect some of you are in poor shape right now.... Age.. Joint pain... or just being overweight from sedentary lifestyle. But this program up there ANYONE can do who isnt outright disabled. Those of you in poor shape right now will feel like new men..!