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Are you ready for ‘Tactical Tober?’

By dedicating a month to this tactical athlete training program, officers will experience a different training style that may serve as a refreshing start to a new routine for the upcoming winter months


Photo/Jerry Holt of Minneapolis Star Tribune via TNS

By Daniel Borowick

Are you ready for a new and exciting exercise program that will challenge you both physically and mentally as a law enforcement officer? Have you been contemplating a new routine that will not only offer a fresh experience but might also guide you toward a new fitness regimen? If so, are you ready for Tactical Tober?

As summer transitions to fall, and then to winter, the descending cold temperatures often serve as an excuse for us to slack off a bit. We reassure ourselves that gaining a few extra pounds is acceptable as we’ll be donning additional layers of clothing. However, this program aims to shift that mindset. It’s designed to train you differently, encouraging you to maintain a tactical training approach throughout the winter months, ensuring you remain in prime condition all year round.

It’s time to step out of our comfort zones and dive into this transformative routine. Let’s get to it!

Tactical Tober is meticulously crafted for law enforcement officers, aiming to hone their tactical movement across all three planes of human motion. It’s imperative for all tactical athletes to efficiently navigate through the sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes of motion. Training in this manner not only better equips tactical operators to triumph over physically demanding tasks but also plays a crucial role in aiding them to prevent Musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries.

Here’s a brief overview of the three anatomical planes of human movement:

  1. Sagittal Plane (A): This plane bisects the body into left and right halves, facilitating movements like flexion and extension.
  2. Frontal Plane (B): Separating the anterior and posterior portions of the body, the frontal plane enables movements such as abduction and adduction.
  3. Transverse Plane (C): Dividing the body into superior (upper) and inferior (lower) halves, this plane allows rotational movements.

By engaging in Tactical Tober, you’re not merely embarking on a new fitness regimen, but embracing a comprehensive training approach that aligns with the physical demands and injury prevention necessary for law enforcement officers. By mastering movement in these planes, you’re laying down a solid foundation for enhanced operational readiness and long-term musculoskeletal health.
The Tactical Tober program is designed to provide a balanced training regimen that targets both aerobic and anaerobic fitness. Participants can choose between two distinct monthly programs, both of which follow a daily undulating periodization model. This model features a consistent 4-day split of resistance training across both programs. The training schedule is as follows:

  • Day 1: Strength training
  • Day 2: Hypertrophy (muscle building)
  • Day 3: Muscular endurance
  • Day 4: Power training

(Science suggests that to maintain muscle mass, resistance training as few as two times per week is sufficient, so there’s no need for concern about weight training only four times per week in this program.)
In addition to resistance training, other modalities are integrated to ensure a well-rounded fitness routine. The second portion of the program focuses on either non-conventional methods, plyometrics, and agility-based movements, or aerobic capacity and sprinting/intervals.

With this structure, you’ll be engaging in resistance training four days per week, while the other fitness modalities will be incorporated three to four times per week, depending on your current level of conditioning. This blend ensures a comprehensive training regimen that challenges and improves your physical capabilities across different fitness domains. This program layout ensures that participants are not only challenged but also provided with a structured and varied training regimen to enhance their physical performance and readiness for the demands of law enforcement duties.

Below are the sample programs:

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Complete the “Get Access to this Police1 Resource box” on this page to download a copy of the program. The Tactical Tober program outlined above provides a comprehensive and varied training regimen tailored for law enforcement officers. Here’s a refined version of the additional conditioning days and aerobic/anaerobic endurance exercise techniques and programming:

Additional conditioning days to supplement the above routines:

1. Heavy bag carries for time

  • Hold and carry a designated heavy bag, transitioning between the right shoulder, anterior chain (front of body), left shoulder, and ultimately the posterior chain (on top of both shoulders).
  • Keep count of steps on all different sides of the body to promote uniformity and symmetry, aiming to develop superior core strength.

2. Agility ladders

  • Include 2-3 sets of the following drills: Single leg run through, double leg run through, 2 feet bunny hop, lateral side step, lateral in and out step, Icky Shuffle, and backward bunny hop
  • Emphasize proper technique over speed. With correct body alignment and improved technique, speed will naturally follow. Maintain a body position stacked above the feet, look forward, and pump arms.

3. Plyometrics

  • Drop freeze – 2 x 6
  • Box jumps – 3 x 3-6
  • Long jump – 3 x 3-5 successive jumps
  • Pogo hops – 3 x 8 each side of the body

Focus on executing plyometrics for speed, power and explosiveness with a challenging height on the boxes. This is not metabolic conditioning, so avoid repetitive high-repetition jumping.

Aerobic/anaerobic endurance exercise techniques and programming

Below is a sample basic weekly workout designed for aerobic conditioning, with recommended frequencies or volumes. The methods utilized include running, rucking, or swimming. The aerobic portion is segmented into Long Slow Distance (LSD), pace/tempo, and interval runs.

  • Day 1: LSD run for 20-40 minutes, depending on conditioning.
  • Day 2: Interval run, such as 100, 200, 300 or 400 meters.
  • Day 3: Tempo Run of 20-30 minute run at race pace.
  • Day 4: LSD run for 20-40 minutes, or opt for a ruck or swim, depending on conditioning.

The Tactical Tober program offers a fresh and diverse training approach for law enforcement officers. By dedicating a month to this tactical athlete training program, officers will experience a different training style that may serve as a refreshing start to a new routine for the upcoming winter months. Depending on the chosen conditioning modality – whether unconventional, agility, plyometrics, or running – participants will likely observe noticeable improvements in their daily job performance through this newly introduced program design.
Complete the “Get Access to this Police1 Resource box” on this page to download a copy of the program.

About the author
Daniel Borowick, MS, CSCS, and founder of DOMEX Strength and Fitness, LLC, is a former DEA special agent and physical task test administrator who has over 27 years of tactical experience in state (New Jersey State Police) and federal (DEA) law enforcement. Currently, he is a strength and conditioning specialist serving the U.S. Army’s 1st Armored Division’s Holistic Health and Fitness Program. You can contact Borowick on Facebook, email, or LinkedIn. Visit his website here.