Survival Fitness And Prepper Training: Beyond The Gear


Survival fitness means being able to withstand severe conditions. Here’s a list of ideas to increase your strength, stamina, and overall condition.

Surviving an emergency is about a whole lot more than buying gear and supplies. You could have the most reliable and expensive emergency tools on the market, but what good will they do if you can’t carry your 50+ pounds backpack for more than a couple of feet?

In today’s world where most people’s days revolve around sitting and staring at a screen, be it at work or home, it’s easier than ever to lose track of your body’s shape. Luckily, survival fitness and prepper training don’t require you to starve yourself or become a gym rat.

In this article, we’re sharing approachable ways to improve your strength, stamina, and endurance to prepare your body for the physical and mental stress of surviving an emergency

person running on a treadmill



1. Survival Fitness – Set Your Physical Fitness Goals

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Although everyone wants to be in shape, the reality of the matter is that most of us aren’t where we’d like to be fitness-wise. This is just not ideal for everyday life, but when it comes to survival, it can be the difference between life and death.

Before getting all sweaty, start your prepper training by setting survival fitness goals and acknowledging them. Generally, you’re looking to improve your overall health, strength, stamina, endurance, and mobility.

Here’s a list of things you should be able to do by the time your training is complete to consider yourself ready:

  • Run or jog 1 mile on unpaved ground
  • Climb over large obstacles such as a car. 
  • Survive on consuming 1,500 calories daily accompanied by higher levels of physical activity.
  • Swim across (from one side to the other) an average river.
  • Lift a 30-pound backpack and walk for 10 hours.
  • Escape an opponent or defend yourself against them.
  • Carry a 55-pound (7 gallons) water container for 100 feet.
  • Carry a 150-pound person for 100 feet (or drag them).
  • Hike 5 miles in a forest, hunt/kill game, and carry it back out.


2. Exercise Your Heart

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A healthy heart is the first step to a fit body. Since your heart is the engine pumping your body with fuel to perform and survive, it should be your top priority to make it as strong as possible.

This is achievable by doing cardio workouts to increase your heart rate. Running is one form of exercise that can get your heart going, but it’s not the only way.

empty training area

You can exercise your heart by walking a longer distance than you normally do. You can then substitute your elevator or escalator ride with taking the stairs.

With time, you’ll know when you’re ready to up the intensity of your cardio workout. Every time this happens, your heart will become a bit stronger.

Eventually, you’ll find yourself working out your heart by hiking, swimming, and biking — not just jogging.

As a bonus, all these exercises help burn off excess fat in your body. So not only will your cardiac health and performance get better, but you’ll also notice you’re becoming thinner and leaner.


3. Survival Fitness – Weight Training

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When people hear (or read) the words “weight training”, most of them immediately think of going to the gym and getting all sweaty. Well, the sweat part is true, but that’s about it.

Yes, there’s no law or rule that states you must weight train at a gym. You can easily do it at home or outdoors, and you don’t even need traditional weights to get the job done.

You can simply use the weight of your body to train. This is a type of weight training called resistance training and it doesn’t require a gym membership or fancy equipment to perform.

All it needs is for you to learn some basic techniques and moves that’ll push your body to engage various muscles, contracting and expanding under your body’s weight to provide the necessary resistance.


Physical Exercise


This brings us to the key question: what type of moves or maneuvers can you do to achieve this resistance training? Well, here’s your answer in the form of a handy list:

  • Lunges — target the glutes, calves, quads, and hamstrings.
  • Push-ups — exercise your shoulders, chest, and triceps.
  • Pull-ups — work out your lats, biceps, and back.
  • Air Squats — exercise the glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
  • Dips — target the chest, triceps, and shoulders.
  • Side Leg Raises — work out your adductors and hips.



4. Turn Up the Intensity


After some time of doing the exercises we talked about above, you’re going to reach a point where you don’t feel the “burn” of the challenge as much as before. This is a good thing because it means that your body is getting in shape and is ready for more intense workouts.

When you hit such milestones, start incorporating a few of the following exercises into your workout routine to up the heat little by little:

  • Tire flips if you have a couple of tires sitting out in your yard, you can break some extra sweat by flipping them around.
  • Rope climbs — this is a classic and quite effective training technique for strengthening your upper arms and upper body. It also builds the force of your grip.
  • Bucket carries — in a survival situation, there’s a big chance that water won’t be available readily from a tap. This means you’ll need to carry buckets of water from hard-to-reach sources, and what better way to prepare for that sort of activity than by literally carrying buckets?
  • Sledgehammer swings — that’s right, you’ll grab a sledgehammer and start pounding away at anything appropriate.


5. Survival Fitness – Pay Attention to Mental Fitness

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An integral part of survival is mental fitness. Your body is driven by your mind, which means that you need to be as strong up there as your body is tough — if not more.

A sharp mind that’s able to focus and come up with solutions in emergencies is a priceless tool for survival. Luckily, it’s easier to exercise your noggin than the rest of the body because there are tons of different ways you can stimulate the mind.


Mental Health Exercise


Here are a few methods to work out your mental powers while having fun:

  • Puzzles — this type of game will have you use your logic skills to solve its fitting issues, giving your brain a nice workout. It’ll also train you to think in advance as a way of developing strategies.
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  • Memory games — testing your memory is one of the easiest ways of exercising your brain. There are multiple ways you go about this, from online games to real-life activity books.
  • Card games —  any type of card game where you count and score offers a great workout for the brain.
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Survival Fitness – Wrap Up


There you have it, a complete guide on survival fitness and prepper training. Remember, this process doesn’t happen overnight, it needs patience, persistence, and consistency.

You don’t have to be a master survivalist right away, all that matters is that you take the first step and start moving! From there, keep pushing through and you’ll be ready to face emergencies in no time!