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Why Preppers Should Get In Shape Before SHTF

Why Preppers Should Get In Shape Before SHTF

The unimaginable comes in many forms, and although your supplies will be more essential than ever, they can run out – meaning all you have left is your body. It’s essential to get in shape before SHTF for a huge number of reasons, including escaping, self-defence, going without food, walking long distances and reaching a

The unimaginable comes in many forms, and although your supplies will be more essential than ever, they can run out – meaning all you have left is your body. It’s essential to get in shape before SHTF for a huge number of reasons, including escaping, self-defence, going without food, walking long distances and reaching a finite resource first.

Whether it’s panicking crowds, zombies, AI robots or another more human enemy, your chances of survival skyrocket when you can keep your distance – and stay protected if they do make contact.

We’re going to look at why you need to be fit, and how you can get your body ready for anything.

What Level Of Fitness Should I Aim For?

Skinny guys aren’t as strong as those who hit the weights, but ripped men aren’t as agile as their leaner competition.

We recommend striking a balance between cardio and muscle, where you can lift, pull and push more than the essentials while remaining small enough to slip away from those looking to cause harm.

You never know when you may need to crawl through a small space, or what’s waiting for you at the end. So prepare for both by getting lean, and increase your chances of seeing another sunrise.

When SHTF, medical professionals won’t be around to help – meaning your health is in your own hands. It’s easier than ever to give your body the support it deserves and get in shape before SHTF events overtake you when you won’t have the time or mental ability to get fit. 

running for fitness regime get fit

If you smoke cigarettes, stop. Not only will you increase your respiratory ability, but you’ll also save thousands of pounds which can be spent on supplies.

What’s more, in the post-apocalyptic UK, imported substances like tobacco will be the hardest to come across, this is added stress you can simply do without.

Circuit training is generally regarded as the best form of exercise for cardiovascular health, as it offers comprehensive benefits that aid in every aspect of your health.

What Sort Of Diet Should I Eat?

Getting into the rhythm of a proper diet will also massively help your chances to get in shape before SHTF, and survive whatever comes your way. Throw away the frozen pizzas, bin the takeaway menus, and eat a simple diet of proteins, homegrown organic vegetables and nutrients. It’s always good to cut out alcohol, too – this is simply empty calories that hinder your true ability.

But food isn’t just about its capacity for sustenance, and you should also consider availability. Organic meat isn’t going to be on offer in a time of crisis, so get used to eating more attainable cuts of meat as you may end up trapping squirrels to survive or raising chickens

Expect to eat lots of root vegetables like potatoes, whose growing process ensures they’re out of sight from your competition. Get to know local environments where certain foods can be foraged, and put yourself ahead of any less-informed competition who haven’t prepared. 

What’s A Good Fitness Foundation?

The UK’s armed forces are some of the toughest men on the planet, especially the Royal Marines – and they reach their status by passing strict fitness tests.

Other bodies like the police and Air Force also have to pass similar tests, and we recommend familiarising yourself with the standards they have to meet. Every group has a weak link – so keep your fitness up in disaster and decrease the chances of it being you. Here’s a few good targets to aim for to get in shape before SHTF:

  • Run: 3 miles in 27 minutes
  • Swim: 500 yards in 12 minutes
  • Jump: 1.25 x your height

How Do I Start To Get In Shape Before SHTF?

man getting in shape doing sit ups in house

Like everything in life, the earlier you start training, the sooner you’ll be prepared. And for those more vulnerable, like over 60s and the obese, it’s more important than ever to get your fitness up… even if disaster doesn’t strike.

Start with the basics: strength, endurance and mobility. These build a solid foundation for fitness, which you can build upon to create a physical presence that can overpower, outrun, and evade others.

Anyone who’s beaten a PB in the gym, or simply gone when they’re hungover, knows that physical strength develops mental strength. Get yourself into the right headspace by simply lifting weights, running or swimming.

You don’t need a full gym, just start with the essentials of getting fit first, and after this you can head to the local gym or buy your own brand-new or second-hand treadmill or cross-trainer to use in the privacy of your own home until you lose those wobbly bits. 

These exercises release endorphins that’ll lift your mood, and build an attachment to your sport. And when you feel this relationship building, we guarantee you’ll want to increase your fitness, rather than feeling like you have to.

The importance of mental strength cannot be understated when coming up against the unknown in a survival situation – and you can prepare by reading accounts of those who’ve experienced it themselves, from war heroes like Jocko Willink and Tim Kennedy.

How Do I Prepare For Long Journeys?

Maybe you heard rumours of a camp you can stay at up in Glasgow, or are simply struggling to find a water source in the nearby area. Your destination could be any number of miles away, and you should always prepare for the longest distance – which you might have to reach by foot.

Travelling far is enough of a struggle, and we assume you’ll be carrying your essentials. To give your body its best chance at reaching the destination, work on the three things that will most benefit your body – back muscles, leg muscles, and cardio. 

Simply by walking long distances each week you will build up your body’s tolerance to it and when the time comes you’ll be able to tackle it head on. 

How Do I Track Improvements?

So, you’ve hit the gym but can’t lift the number you had in your head. Don’t give up – simply adapt. Knowing your body’s ability is the best way to improve, as you can track your progress and analyse areas that need work.

You can also see how you’re doing in relation to the competition by researching the figures – for example, find out what the average man can bench press, and strive to beat it. Start small, your body will adapt, and over the course of a few months you’ll be well on your way to being in tune with your body, an essential skill needed for survival. 



There are countless ways a prepper can improve their fitness and get in shape before SHTF – and even more reasons why you should. There’s no target ability to aim for, as survival chances increase as you improve strength, fitness and agility.

Look into the tactics of men who’ve faced adversity and come out the other end. Not only will you receive great advice, but you’ll also get inspired.

Always be prepared for anything, whether it’s a civil war that turns friends against you, or even the rise of supercomputers. It doesn’t have to be complicated, as the foundation of your progress sets the tone for the rest of your adventure.

Discipline is doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t want to do it. This has never been truer than when SHTF – so grab your water bottle, lace up your exercise shoes, and be a more prepared man than you were yesterday. Your survival will depend on it.


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