The Thin Blue Line Must Be Strong: How To Train For A Tough Job
By Steve Yates
I have been doing this job for over twenty years now, and I am not sure why it took me so long to write this book. I guess it was because when I first started out there were no books like them.
There are many books about how to train for a tough job, but they all focus on one thing or another. They tend to be either too technical or too general. Most of these books are geared towards bodybuilders who want to get big and strong, which is fine if that’s what you’re after, but most people don’t need to do that. What they really need is a book that will teach them how to train intelligently for their job.
Training for a tough job isn’t just about getting bigger and stronger; it’s also about being smart with your training program. You need to know how to use the right types of exercises, sets and reps, rest periods between exercises, etc.
If you aren’t careful you could end up wasting time and energy trying to achieve things that won’t make any difference in your ability to perform your job effectively.
You might think that this would be pretty easy since everyone is trained at some level. However, it isn’t always so simple.
I have a friend who has a friend who is an instructor in SWAT at a large state university. He says that every year he sees new officers who have no earthly idea what they are doing in the weight room. They have no idea of what to do and even less idea of what not to do.
His advice is pretty simple: train for your job. I think this is excellent advice.
Most of his students have no background in working out, so he starts them all off with a basic strength training program to increase their strength and muscular endurance. He then uses this as a base to add to with specialized training for their role. For example, he teaches pistol techniques after the students have had a few months to get used to the weight room. He has them cycle off the heavy lifting and focus on sport specific training (handgun).
When it comes to strength training for a tough job, there are several things you need to keep in mind. Here are some tips:
You need to learn how to train before you can train for your job. You also need to learn about the physiology of exercise and the human body.
The only way you are going to do that is buy reading books or taking classes (or both). There is no way around this.
You also need to learn about your job. This may sound silly, but you need to know what skills and abilities you need for the job so that you can train for them specifically.
If you are a police officer, then you will need to train for handgun skills and sprinting – lots of sprinting! If you are a soldier, then your main concerns are obvious. You need to be prepared for operating in a combat environment as well as being physically prepared to march long distances while carrying a heavy pack.
Whatever your job, there is always some sort of physical demand that needs to be met to do the job effectively. Find out what these demands are and train for them.
One of the biggest mistakes I commonly see people make is they want to get big and strong in a hurry. They want to put on 20 or 30 pounds of muscle in a matter of weeks.
Well, this usually doesn’t happen without the aid of performance enhancing drugs (steroids). Even if you do use drugs, you can’t just expect to suddenly jump from 100 pounds to 120 with no prior training or weightlifting experience. You are far more likely to get hurt along the way or just end up with an over-trained, slightly stronger body that is completely burned out.
The key to getting started is patience and consistency. You need to set goals for yourself, but you also need to have a plan on how to achieve those goals in a manner that is safe and (more importantly) enjoyable.
Trying to rush into things and ignoring the importance of proper technique and “learning the basics” will just lead to burnout and injury.
If you are new to strength training, don’t worry. I’m going to lay it all out for you in a slow and easy manner.
I’ve created this guide so you can improve your lifts and enjoy yourself as well. We aren’t going to get caught up in fancy jargon or trying to sell you anything. This guide is free and the only thing I ask in return is that you pass it on to someone else if you find it helpful.
The guide is separated into different sections based on your current goals and experience. If you are a beginner, then I highly recommend that you go from start to finish.
If you are an experienced lifter, then you can probably skip things that don’t interest you as much and just focus on the sections that pertain to your specific needs.
If at any point you find a exercises, methods, or techniques stated in this guide to be unsafe or uncomfortable, then stop doing them. I am merely writing about what has worked for ME or that which I have researched and believe to be safe and effective.
Please enjoy the guide and don’t kill yourself.
Section 1: Before We Begin
Before we start, there are a few very important things you should know about this guide and how to get the most out of it.
Tip 1: Have Realistic Expectations
This is key. I cannot stress this enough.
You need to be in this for the long haul and anything less than that is just setting yourself up for disappointment and even failure.
If you want to get bigger muscles, lose weight, get stronger or gain fitness you are going to have to be patient. You won’t see massive changes in your physique after a couple weeks.
It takes time and dedication. Really pay attention to your forms, take your time and go at your own pace.
Tip 2: Think Long-Term
This goes hand in hand with Tip 1. You are going to see some minor changes fairly quickly, but if you really want to see big changes then you need to be thinking long-term.
No short cuts!
Don’t fall into the trap of wanting results and to be where others are in a month or two. This is especially true on the internet.
There are so many websites out there selling eBooks and information that seem to promise the world, but the only people that succeed with that stuff are the people selling it.
Tip 3: Have Patience
As I said in Tip 1, you are going to have to be patient. This should come as no surprise since I just said it, but with this tip I am speaking more about your body and how it adapts to stress.
There are many misinformation and scams out there that can lead you down the wrong path if you aren’t careful and know how to tell the difference.
There is no such think as a quick fix to get what you really want. You need to be patient, dedicated and learn as you go.
Tip 3: Listen To Your Body
While I highly recommend reading this guide from start to finish, you also shouldn’t just blindly follow what you read.
Any sort of physical exercise, but especially weight lifting is taxing on your body. It is a complex organism and there are many systems that have to work in concert in order for it to adapt positively to a repeated stress (like lifting weights).
If you constantly change things, your body never gets a chance to adapt because it is always being placed under a new stress. You need to listen to your body.
If an exercise is hurting you in a way it shouldn’t then you need to stop doing it. While I have trained a lot of people, you and your body are unique individuals and you need to learn what works best for you.
That is why we are working together in building your own personalized workouts (this also falls into the long-term plan).
While changing your routine every once in awhile isn’t going to hurt anything, if you are constantly changing things you won’t see the progress you could have. Find a routine (and nutrition plan) that works for you and that you enjoy (as much as one can enjoy lifting heavy objects), stick with it for at least a month and then reassess.
Tip 4: Join a Support Group (or at least this website!)
Finally, I highly recommend that you find some sort of support group while you are going through this program (it doesn’t have to be this website, it can be anything as long as it encourages you).
Why do you need this?
Well, because let’s face it…doing these workouts and eating right is going to be really, really hard for most people. Make changes if needed, but only after at least a month.
Tip 4: Have Fun!
One of the reasons I really like lifting weights is that it is fun for me. I enjoy the challenge and getting stronger.
There are many different facets of fitness that can be fun for different people. Some enjoy long distance running, others really enjoy martial arts or playing a sport. Find what you enjoy and incorporate it into your plan.
Everyone starts somewhere, don’t be discouraged if you can’t do a single pull-up or squat your body weight the first time you try. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your body was not going to change overnight.
Make this fun for yourself and you will succeed.
“Long-term success is all about consistency”
In fact, find several things that you enjoy. If you only focus on one thing and it stops being fun you won’t stick with it.
Part 2: Nutrition
This section is going to be a little bit different than what you are used to in that I am not going to give you any real detailed plan. While I am going to give general guidelines, I want you to fit this plan to you and your lifestyle as much as possible.
While I have covered a lot of information in this guide, all of it is really just to prepare you for the rest of your life. You will be able to customize things and continue learning as you go, but there are certain fundamentals that you need to know in order to succeed.
The following chapters will cover these tips in much greater detail and will be the most important information you can learn.
Because nutrition is very, very personalized. What works for one person might not work at all for someone else. It also is going to change as you change. What worked for you a year ago might not work for you anymore.
This section isn’t going to be as in depth as the exercise section for just these reasons.
If you are looking for actual meal plans and exact foods to eat, look elsewhere. I suggest you read all of these chapters carefully.
Tip 1: You Are What You Eat (Facts About Food And Your Body)
This first fact about nutrition is that despite what the food industry will tell you, there is no such thing as “energy” food. All foods are either proteins, carbohydrates or fats.
While some foods have a larger amount of one of these components than another, they all contain all of them.
Your body breaks all of these components down into their simplest form and uses them as it needs. It does not matter if you eat a sugary cereal or broiled steak, your body is going to break them both down into the same things.
The second fact is that your body requires a certain level of each of these components to survive and to be healthy. Any excess will be stored as fat for later use (this is why you should never restrict calories severely).
The third important fact is that there is no magical food that will make you lose weight if you eat it. If you think a cereal is going to burn fat while you sit on the couch and watch TV, you are sadly mistaken.
There are two different components of calories: the amount of energy your body gets from it (called the thermic effect) and the amount of energy you actually put into your body (called the caloric effect).
Any food you eat has both of these, but the thermic effect is much lower for foods like candy, sugars and other simple carbohydrates. This is why you can eat a lot more of that candy bar and not put on as many calories.
However, you body is not stupid and realizes when you feed it simple carbs instead of the complex ones and it reacts by storing more of that fat for later because it thinks a famine is coming!
Why does all this matter?
It matters because although you can eat a lot more of the “junk” food, it is actually HARDER for you to lose weight when you eat it. It takes a LOT more exercise to burn off those calories due to the way your body reacts to them.
The last important fact is that most people have no idea how many calories their bodies actually need in a day. There are charts online that will tell you what your body needs depending on your size, weight and height.
The most common equation is:
Your basal metabolic rate = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
Another equation is:
Your total daily energy expenditure = Basal metabolic rate + Physical activity factor (moderate) + Physical activity factor (vigorous)
Tip 2: How To Eat To Lose Weight (aka Think Before You Bite)
This is going to be the hardest part of losing weight: eating less. It’s simple in concept, but it’s extremely hard to put into practice.
The first thing you should do is to track your calories for a single day. You can use an online tool to do this, or you can just keep a notepad beside your bed and write down what you eat during the day.
After a week, take the total number of calories you ate and use one of those formulas above to find out how many calories you should be eating each day.
One trick that might help is to eat all the food on your plate. I know, I know…
your mother told you that you were supposed to take a bite of everything and then decide if you still wanted more. The problem is that when people are eating, they often lose track of how hungry they are and just keep eating. Even if you took a single bite of everything on your plate before, you probably would have stopped after a while because you were already full.
After you know how many calories you should be eating, you need to go back and find out how many calories are in the food you typically eat. You can go through the package at the grocery store (or online) and try to do the math yourself, or you can just look up the nutrition facts for most foods.
There are also websites that will do this for you.
This sounds like a lot of trouble, but it only takes a few minutes each day.
By clearing your plate at every meal, you will trick your body into thinking it has already eaten and it won’t beg you for more food.
Tip 3: How To Burn Off More Calories (aka Exercise)
The best way to lose weight is to combine a reduced calorie intake with an increased calorie burn. You can do this a few different ways…
1) The most obvious way is to start exercising.
Also, you only have to do this once and then you can start losing weight.
The next step is to actually eat less than the amount that the formula told you. This sugarcoats the pill a little bit.
You should drop your calories by 20% each week until you’re at the amount that your formula told you was right for you.
After a few weeks of eating less, you should start to see some weight loss. Run, jog, ride a bike, go swimming, play sports with others…
just move your body more.
2) The second best way is to move your body more, but not actually exercise.
Consider replacing items that you typically use (chairs, remote, clothes, etc.) with a lightweight version that requires you to stand up and move around more.
For example, use a standing desk instead of a sitting desk. If you’re doing the exercise I mentioned above, then you will start to see even more weight loss.
Make sure that you exercise until you have burned off the amount of calories that you ate. So, if you’ve eaten 2000 calories today, then you should try to exercise until you have burned 2000 calories.
Do not eat anything during your exercise and wait at least an hour after you finish before you eat anything else.
Tip 4: How To Suppress Your Appetite (aka Eat Healthy)
You should be eating a diet high in protein and vegetables. Cut down on the amount of carbs that you eat, especially foods that are white or processed.
If you’re eating healthy foods, then you probably won’t be eating too much of it, which will cut down on your calorie intake. Also, your body will more readily burn the foods you eat instead of storing them as fat.
This is important because it will ensure that you don’t eat more than you just burned off and it will also boost your metabolism.
Use any one of the three methods above and you’ll start losing weight. If you’re lazy like I am and prefer not to exercise, then replace a few things in your life with lightweight, stand up versions and move your body more during the day.
Eat at regular intervals (every few hours) to keep your metabolism up. Do not eat pure fat or pure carbohydrates (like sugar).
Eating a banana is fine. Eating a bag of candy is not fine. You have to eat the right kinds of food in the right quantity in order for this to work.
Drink water instead of soda or any other beverage. The more water you drink, the more your body has to work to process it, which burns more calories.
Beverages other than water contain calories that your body doesn’t need and just end up getting stored as fat.
Watch the amount of alcohol that you drink, because it contains a lot of calories. You might not be eating tons of food, but if you’re drinking a lot then you could be taking in more calories than you think.
After a few weeks of doing this, you’ll start to notice changes.
After a few more weeks of doing this, you’ll start to see changes and you might feel a little (or a lot) better about yourself.
You might not get all the way to your goal weight, but if you follow this advice then you will definitely be on your way to a thinner, healthier you!
Make sure that the meals you are eating are healthy. If you eat a bag of chips, a doughnut and a coke, you’re not going to lose any weight.
You still need to watch what you eat.
Tip 5: How To Suppress Your Appetite (Easily)
Buy some drops to put in your water or other beverage at the grocery store. It’s basically just a herb mixture that suppresses your appetite slightly.
Just remember, this is a lifestyle change. You don’t need to continue doing all of these things once you reach your goal weight. Just do what you need to in order to maintain your weight.
This answer is based off of the popular weight loss book called: “The 4-Hour Body” by Timothy Ferriss. I have not read this book, but it has over 1,000 reviews on Amazon with over 90% rating it 4 stars or higher.
It will make you feel less hungry and when you do eat, you won’t eat as much. You’ll still be eating healthily, though!
These drops will help you cut down your calorie intake without having to change your life around too much or exercise. It takes a few days for it to kick in, though, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work immediately.
You should notice a decrease in your appetite after about 2 to 3 days of use.
You can read more about this book and see it on Amazon.
You can get these online or at any health food store (or at a drug store with a pharmacy).
You can also try chewing on some mint leaves. This helps me curb my appetite as well.
Just make sure you don’t eat (or drink) anything for at least an hour after you’ve chewed the leaves as it can have the opposite effect and actually increase your appetite.
Try eating less carbs or sugars. Try to eat more proteins and vegetables.
Exercise often (cardio and strength training).
Get enough sleep (6-8 hours).
How To Stop Overeating At Night
It’s hard to do this without joining a monastery. However, I have found that eating a large meal before I go to bed seems to help me from getting hungry and then having dreams of delicious foods.
I eat a banana and some peanut butter around 7 or 8 pm. This keeps me full until I go to sleep at night.
Another thing that has helped me is getting into the habit of brushing my teeth before going to bed. This seems to help remind me that I need to get ready for bed and start my “sleep mode”.
I hope this helps you, because man do I hate being hungry!
How To Stop Overeating In The Morning
When I wake up in the morning, I don’t really feel hungry. I usually just want to drink some water and go pee.
I have a hard time eating breakfast because I just don’t feel hungry in the morning. The only thing that gets me to eat something is if I know I have plans to do an intense workout that day (which is usually the case on weekends).
The only thing that seems to keep me full until lunch is eggs. So that is what I usually do.
Having an egg or two mixed with some veggies (particularly potatoes) and maybe a slice of ham seems to do the trick for me.
I usually end up throwing out the left over breakfast, but I figure that it’s better than eating it and then throw it up later because I’m still full afterwords (which seems to happen to me when I eat stuff like Cheerios).
It could also be that you’re just used to eating at night. A lot of people are like that.
I used to be like that until I forced myself to change my schedule.
I read on this blog somewhere that it took them a month to start feeling hungry in the mornings. So if you really want to change your eating schedule, it will take some time, but it will probably be worth it in the long run.
How To Stop Overeating Junk Food
I was in the same situation as you a few months ago. I was eating a lot of junk food (pop tarts, candy, etc) because they were the only things I really wanted to eat.
I didn’t like vegetables or healthy foods at all.
In order to solve this problem, I tried to slowly introduce healthier foods into my diet. I made smoothies using fruit and yogurt.
Within a month, I was eating a much healthier diet and I didn’t even realize it. Now I don’t have the same cravings for junk food that I used to have.
I hope this helps you out bro!
You are great and powerful!
Why are people so insecure about themselves that they have to ridicule others?
It’s sad. Don’t let the haters get to you. You are fine just the way you are.
Why do people bully? What’s the point?
When I was in school, I was called “geek”, “nerd” and “gay” (Which I’m not) on a regular basis. But I didn’t let it get to me. I knew it was just because I was smarter than most of the kids and I acted different. It didn’t hurt me. In fact, it motivated me to work harder and prove all the skeptics wrong. I graduated top of my class and got a job at the biggest software company in the world. I program error-free, perfect programs and make six figures just by being smarter than most people. I would never even think about saying anything bad about the people that teased me. They are all just pathetic, worthless nobodies that live meaningless lives and eventually drown in their own failure. I’m a success. You’re a success. Don’t let the haters get you down.
How to Stop Eating Junk Food (Because It’s Not Good For You)
I know how you feel. I also have a huge sweet tooth and I’m always craving junk food.
Unfortunately, I’m kind of overweight and I get winded by just walking up a hill.
I wish there was an easy way to stop eating junk food, but I don’t think there is. At least not for me.
I’ve tried replacing them with fruit, but it didn’t work because fruit never satisfied my sweet tooth the way junk food does.
The only thing that has ever worked for me is will power. I just force myself to ignore the junk food and don’t eat it.
It’s not easy, but I just make sure I never enter a grocery store because I’ll probably end up buying junk food. It’s hard to live a healthy life when most of the foods are loaded with sugar, fat and preservatives.
The world is unfair and we just have to accept it and work around it.
Good luck. You can do it!
How to Deal With Obesity (Because It’s Not Fun)
I’ve been trying to lose weight for as long as I can remember. There are so many diets out there and most of them work to some degree.
Some of them even get great results; then there are the ones that just don’t work at all. Although I’ve tried many different diets, most of them had the same outcome. I lost a little weight at first, then I ended up gaining it all back and then some.
Here’s what you need to do if you want to lose weight: exercise regularly and eat right. That’s it.
Unfortunately, that’s not as easy as it sounds.
It takes a lot of will power to break yourself of eating bad foods. It also takes time and money to buy healthy foods and exercise equipment.
I don’t have either one of those things. I can’t exercise because of my back problems and I can’t afford to buy healthy food and equipment. I get angry sometimes when I see people buying expensive new running shoes or eating organic food while I barely have enough money to pay my bills.
Once again, life isn’t fair.
Don’t worry about me though. I’ll probably live a long life and die peacefully in my sleep.
I honestly hope you do too. You’re a nice person and the world could use more people like you.
Good luck on your weight loss journey, whatever you decide to do.
How to Get Revenge (Because It’s Fun)
So, you want to get revenge?
I think we’ve all been angry and bitter enough to desire revenge at one time or another, but very few people actually ever do it. Most people are too scared of going to jail or getting hurt to even attempt it.
I’m not going to tell you how to get your revenge or where to do it; you can figure that part out yourself. I will tell you though about the best way to get revenge and that is to have your enemies actually deserve it.
What good is revenge if you’re just randomly getting even with someone who didn’t do anything to you?
Getting revenge on people who hurt you is a perfectly natural feeling; however, there is a right and wrong way of going about it. It isn’t good if you’re the one who comes out looking bad in the situation. If you can make your revenge look like it’s their fault, then you’ve accomplished your goal.
It’s all about making sure that people know who the bad guy is.
When I was a teenager, I was in a music club at my high school and there was this one guy named Roger who was the worst one in the group. He whined constantly, he was a poor musician and he was just an all around annoying prick.
Sources & references used in this article:
Across the thin blue line: police officers and racial bias in the decision to shoot. by J Correll, B Park, CM Judd, B Wittenbrink… – Journal of personality …, 2007 – psycnet.apa.org
Walking a thin blue line: Balancing the citizen’s right to record police officers against officer privacy by RG Van Tassell – BYU L. Rev., 2013 – HeinOnline
The police invention of humanity: Notes on the “thin blue line” by T Wall – Crime, Media, Culture, 2020 – journals.sagepub.com
Walking the thin blue line: Policewomen and tokenism today by TL Wertsch – Women & Criminal Justice, 1998 – Taylor & Francis
Tension on the thin blue line: Police officer resistance to community-oriented policing by TJ Dicker – American Journal of Criminal Justice, 1998 – Springer
Five generations of peace operations: from the” thin blue line” to” painting a country blue” by KM Kenkel – Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional, 2013 – SciELO Brasil
Retaining the thin blue line by M Gächter, DA Savage, B Torgler – International Journal of Social …, 2013 – emerald.com