a certain body type
As self-improvement blog The Art of Manliness points out, one of the best reasons to improve your physical fitness is to make sure you’re capable of handling yourself in an emergency. Bench pressing 250kg won’t help you quite as much if you can’t run far or jump very high. While these guidelines apply to some fairly unlikely scenarios (which all emergencies are), they also provide a fairly balanced view of fitness. As old-time strongman Earle Liederman details, here are the five fitness benchmarks you should ideally be able to reach to save your own life:
- Swim at least half a mile or more.
- Run at top speed two hundred yards or more.
- Jump over obstacles higher than your waist.
- Pull your body upward by the strength of your arms, until your chin touches your hands, at least fifteen to twenty times.
- Dip between parallel bars or between two chairs at least twenty-five times or more.
While these goals aren’t an easy feat without any training at all, they’re also not impossible for the layperson. They don’t require a specific diet or body type, and they don’t focus on strength training for its own sake.
While exercising won’t magically make you invincible or prevent emergencies, having a goal in mind during your workouts that’s designed to make you prepared for emergencies can be more practical, and thus more encouraging.
Are You Strong Enough to Save Your Own Life? [The Art of Manliness]