Top Skills to Perfect Before a Zombie Apocalypse or Alien Invasion

posted Dec 9, 2015, 11:10 AM by robert w johnson II   [ updated Dec 29, 2015, 12:37 PM ]
So, here we are talking about what I consider the inevitable. Like me you're probably wondering when and where it's all going to go down. Either some toxic virus or chemical spill in some secret facility is going to bring the dead back to life or some meteor is going to crash into the earth bringing with it an army of bug like creatures bent on total world domination!! It could happen!! Okay, maybe not, but I'm sure if you're a fan of shows like The Walking Dead or Falling Skies and you like to work out there has been a few scenes where our heroes have gotten themselves into a pickle and the only way out is either to a muscle up over a fence, jump an incredible distance to safety or just plain kick ass! But alas our heroes are stuck because they didn't prepare for the obstacles that appear before them. That's right zombies and aliens are just obstacles. Ostacles to our very survival. I remember watching TWD and Michonne was doing single leg glute bridges on her bunk in the prison and thought "finally, someone training in the apocalypse".  I think it was Mark Rippetoe who said, and forgive me if I misquote, "strong people are harder to kill". It gives me chills, there it is in a nutshell. It is our duty to get strong so we are harder to kill, be it from alien overlords who want to dominate or zombies that just want to snack. In order to further the species we must get and stay strong. And if the day never comes at least we will know that if the human race was threatened we would Survive the First Wave! Oddly enough that is the name of my new website, hoping to drop it in the spring, that will cover ways to stay ripped during the apocalypse. Obviously any exercise program you wish to undertake should be approved by your health care provider. Since most of the skills I will identify are suggestions there is no set workout program. I will suggest possible routines or point you in the direction of individuals I consider experts who may have programs for you to follow. If you have any questions about an exercise technique or training in general, please use the contact page. So if like me you got all pumped when the President (Bill Pullman) gave his speech in Independence Day or cheered when Tyreese clobbered all those zombies with a hammer (my zombie weapon of choice) then I hope you work on the Skills to Perfect .... here are the first 5 
  1. Speed! This may sound a bit like the list in Zombieland but it deserves a repeat. Nothing beats above average speed when fleeing from the undead or to get away from an attack from above. And how would you cultivate this priceless post Apoc skill? HILL SPRINTS!!!! Forget long distance runs. If you want to be fast... If you don't have a hill handy you can drag something heavy for short distances or do simple flat track program. A sprint protocol to try
  2. Pull Ups!! Now if you're a fan of TWD you've probably wondered, like me, why don't they just climb!?!? Trees, fences, buildings, anything higher than the walkers. Now on occasion you may see one of our heroes climbing a ladder or fence but they make it look so difficult. By adding pulling exercises into your routine twice a week you should be ready for the zombie hoard! For me the best way to increase my pull ups is to start with the fundamentals and work those reps. If you are in possession of a suspension trainer start with rows. After you can successfully accomplish 2 to 3 sets of 25 to 30 rows proceed to the bar. From there I start with chin ups. Pick a number and attempt to complete that in however many sets you need. For example, I'll set my goal to 25 reps. At first it may take me 5 rounds of 5 to complete but as I get stronger I will complete my reps using less sets. After I reach my goal of 25 (it may take awhile) I'll pick a new goal and continue to add reps to each set. In my experience a max of 5 sets is usually all I need any more seems like overkill. I also only train pull ups twice a week. All the magic happens in recovery and since I'm not a fan of shoulder pain I like to give my body time to adapt.  I also like using resistance bands to help me accomplish my reps. Let's face it we can't be 100% all the time and using bands can help shore up any weaknesses in technique by, "greasing the groove", getting your body used to the movement.
  3. Pushing strength!! This can prove to be very useful when you're up against a few deadys or maybe a skitter and there is nowhere to climb. Remember, zombies are mindless meat sacks and skitters are big bugs. Being able to hold them off, even for a moment may be all you need to make your getaway! Another thing pushing strength is good for is throwing! Being able to throw around some big rocks may come in handy in a pinch. A few rounds of medicine ball chest passes or plyo Push Ups added to a thorough pressing program can give you the power you need to live another day. And if you're too the point where one arm Push Ups are something in your arsenal the then I want you in my Apocalypse Army!!. Star off with some knee push ups if you not a push up enthusiast and after completing 2 to 3 sets of 20-25 go to standard. Using the same rep goal go to a harder progression like close grip push ups, then uneven or archer push ups. A great resource is the Convict Conditioning series. If you don't already have them!!
  4. Overhead pressing strength. Here's one that's easy to justify. Lets face it when it hits the fan you want to be able to grab your stuff and get out fast. Being able to lift heavy things overhead and carry it for distance is key. Being able to assist your fellow survivors that can't pull themselves to safety or carry stuff not only makes you the hero but since there is safety in numbers, having more in your ranks can only be good. This is when I would incorporate odd object lifting and carrying too. Take a 5 gallon bucket, fill it with sand bags or water, then lift and carry. Either on your shoulder or in front of you in a bear hug and walk. If you have something to put the bucket on that's above your head, bonus! Rep it out. Another method to strengthen your shoulders is handstand holds. Don't leave out isometric holds, they can fill in the gaps and help increase stability in your shoulder girdle. Increase weight, reps, time and distance slowly(maybe 10% a week) and before you no it you'll be carrying all of your stuff!
  5. Grip Strength!! This one hardly gets talked about but in my opinion it's on of the most if not the most important. A strong grip increases the amount of weight you can handle in just about all lifts. the only things grip won't help with is speed and pushing (although if you're something  a good grip couldn't hurt) Most people I talk to don't specifically train their grips. They believe if they lift heavy or do a lot of pull ups their grip gets trained automatically. This is true to an extent but it only goes so far. I like to train grip at least twice if not three times a week. I do a series of hangs using cannon balls and vertical bars hanging from a pull up bar for time. Progress your time when holds get easy. Sledgehammer drills are a good way to get variety and can really strengthen the wrists along with the grip. holding a sledgehammer at a specific spot on the handle and then manipulating it through your wrists natural range of motion for reps is the method I've been using with much success. 
Well, there's half of the list. Hopefully you found it informative as well as thought provoking and entertaining. I originally wanted to do a top 10 list but after writing these 5 I expect to come up with a lot more than 10. Stay tuned for my next post and get ready, you never know......