First Line of Defense: Family
By Jonathan Bachant, O2X HUMAN PERFORMANCE SPECIALIST
The “first line of defense” is a common phrase in the tactical community when assessing and managing risk. It’s often used in regards to forces protecting an individual, community, or target, but let’s flip the script and apply that very definition to ourselves.
The tactical athlete faces a constant attack on his or her well-being. O2X combats these attacks with our EAT, SWEAT, THRIVE philosophy. The focus could be on a sleep routine, daily mobility or flexibility training, positive eating habits, the list goes on. But just like when our tactical athletes are out on an operation, the ability for the TEAM to work as ONE is the most important contributing factor for success.
Tactical athletes need team support, but when they also have family support behind them, their family acts as their first line of defense and contributes in major ways to the well-being of the athlete.
The Importance of Family Support
Being the On-site Specialist at one of our countries DOJ Training academies, I get to interact with Deputies from all walks of life. And one thing is undeniably consistent among all of them. They do what they do for country and for family!
I want the family members of tactical athletes to understand how important their support is for their loved ones. Support could look different in different situations, and includes giving space when space is needed, or holding them tight when a hug feels like it solves all problems. Being part of your tactical athlete’s life when the boots are taken off and the uniform stowed away is what keeps them grounded and gives them the ability to do what they do the very next day.
Back to Basics
Now, with a background in strength and conditioning, I am compelled to tie this into physical training some way, somehow. Often in the tactical community, physical training is thought to be solely running in Kit, hitting a tire with a sledgehammer, or doing push-ups until it’s hard to lift your arms.
While these exercises do have a time and place, proper training is about developing a program that allows for adaptation without causing unnecessary pain. When in doubt, the basics are tried and true.
Learn how to squat; learn how to pick something off the floor; and be strong on one leg. Develop the system that works for you to accomplish these tasks. That’s not to say you have to be constantly loading a barbell and performing heavy reps, or doing as many reps as you can until you feel you are going to collapse.
Sometimes, it can look completely different, and you can even involve your family in your fitness routine. Activities as simple as jump rope or hopscotch with your children, playing wiffle ball in the backyard with your family, or doing a body weight circuit in your garage or living room can help you accomplish your SWEAT goals.
These may seem like simple ideas, but the fact they can be accomplished TOGETHER is what makes them impactful.
For the Families of Tactical Athletes
Being the first line of defense… being YOUR tactical athlete’s first line of defense, asks for your contribution to help them stay active, stay healthy, de-load stress (both mental and physical), in whatever way you can. Promoting family exercise and activities in my DOJ population has been met with nothing but positive feedback, and in my opinion, a more overall healthy work environment.
It is my hope that after reading this the entire family is motivated to make healthy choices, prioritize sleep, and get active together. It is fun, and I promise, will mean a lot to YOUR tactical athlete!
With that in mind, here are a couple family fit exercise circuits that can be tailored to all ages and fitness levels. Please try it and let us know what you think!
Circuit Training for the Whole Family
Remember, these are simply suggestions. All movements can be regressed to work for any training age or fitness level. Ultimately remember this is intended to be FUN. When in doubt, get outside, get moving, and have a good time together!
- 60-minute Walk/Run
- Every 10 minutes stop and complete 10 Pushups and 10 Body Weight Squats
20 Minute AMRAP (as many Rounds as Possible)
- 20 Body Weight Squats
- 20 Pushups
- 20 Body-Weight Reverse Lunges (10 reps each side)
- 20 Flutter Kicks