Preparing Americans to Serve in the Military, Special Ops, Law Enforcement, & Fire Fighting

Stew Smith Fitness

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Job Loss, Stress, Economy, and Fitness!!!


Here is a great email that is getting more and more common these days.  People are seeking new employment and coping with stress more than ever: 

Stew - I have been in the financial business since I got out of college and always regretted that I never served in some capacity (military, police, fire fighter, EMT).  Well, I am no longer working, thanks to the economy, and now at 30 starting to think more about joining the military or police force.  Where do I start? 

Sorry to hear about the job loss.  I know there are a few million of you out there now seeking employment as well as young high school and college graduates in the same market.  It is stressful losing and finding a job and dealing with that stress is not much different than going through a grieving / loss process.  You know - Shock, Denial, Anger, Resistance, Sadness, and Acceptance.  My recommendation is to get over the job loss quickly and start exercising to relieve the stress hormones coursing through your body.  You do not necessarily need to skip the above stages of loss, but speeding the process is helpful.  Here is a free plan to help with weight loss and building good habits if you have not done anything in a while

45 Day Plan  - A great plan for weight loss and basic fitness and health habits! 

And a stretching / core strength / lower back and stomach plan that will help with stiff joints of the torso and lower extremities: 

Lower Back Plan - This is the easy way to reduce stress - stretch / work it out lightly! 

Back to the job loss and new search:   Do not be embarrassed by getting laid off.  In fact, think of it as a new beginning.  These days, the average person will work at 4-5 different jobs before retiring - some even more.  Find something you like to do, or have always dreamed about doing and chase it down and communicate with your family and friends your situation and future options.  Having support from people closest to you is helpful as well. 

Military, National Guard, Reserves, and Federal Law Enforcement agencies are still hiring at above average pace.  Some local and metropolitan fire and police forces are slowing down academy classes due to budget shortfalls, but they always need replacements for retiring public servants, so see what is in your city, county, and state that is available.  All of these require some form of fitness training so get started running and doing calisthenics like pushups, sit-ups, pull-ups as they are commonly tested.   

No need for a gym - Since I have been out of the military (more than ten years now), I have never joined a gym.  No need to spend the extra money when you can run outdoors, find a pull-up bar or build your own.  I use playgrounds for pull-ups, high school tracks, community center pools, and floor space for some dumbbell weights and calisthenics. 

Get some education - This maybe the time to get to college if you can find scholarships, loans, or use the GI bill if you have it.  Get some training in a field of your choosing AND more than likely you can use the school’s gym / pool facilities while a student for free! 

Regardless, life is stressful no matter if you are in the civilian sector or serving your country in any capacity.  Dealing with that stress requires effort otherwise you will pay for it in the long run with more illness, lower energy levels, and a disrupted life.  Other than exercise and relaxation you need a healthy diet and sleep too: 

Diet – Where have you heard this before – “proper exercise and diet.”  Well it helps with stress too!   Foods rich in anti-oxidants like many fruits and vegetables are your best bet for snack foods and should make up a larger percentage of your overall meal preparation.  Limit foods high in sugar and drinks high in caffeine in order to have a more relaxing evening prior to sleeping. 

Sleep:  People who exercise actually sleep better than those who do not.  Some people with insomnia also have high levels of stress hormones in their blood stream when trying to fall asleep.  But regardless of diet and exercise, if you are not getting enough sleep / rest, you will not handle stress very well and succumb to the side effects of a stressed out life. 

See article archives for plenty of free information on fitness programs for various groups.  And google your local, state, and federal programs if you are interested in finding a profession in the public service of our country.  There are plenty out there and they are hiring.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association.  He specializes in military and law enforcement fitness, particularly Special Operations units.  Please feel free to email him at with any comments or questions and visit the Online Store if seeking a fitness program for military, law enforcement, fire departments.                        

Links to Stew Smith eBooks
Army Navy Air Force USMC Coast Guard
eBooks eBooks eBooks eBooks eBooks


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Published Books / DVDs
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness (Book / DVD)
Maximum Fitness

The Special Operations Workout

The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT Team Member
The Combat Swimmer Stroke DVD

The Pre-Habit Workout DVD
Clinic DVD for Navy SEAL PST
The FBI Special Agent Test Clinic DVD

The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:

Fitness for All Levels of Fitness

The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
The Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program

Reclaim Your Life - The Erin O'Neill Program

Veteran's Fitness - Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach

The Busy Executive Workout Routine
The Advanced Weights / PT Workout (Fall / Winter Weight Gain Cycle)
The Perfect Pushup Workout

The TRX Workout
- Circuit Training 101 ebook

NEW Obstacle Course Race Ebook

The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts
 Combat Conditioning Workout

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1  Beginner Weeks 1-9
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3 - Intermediate Weeks 1-12
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT -  Four weeks before Hell Week

Navy SWCC Workout

The Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout 

The Army Air Assault School Workout

The Army Airborne Workout

Air Force PJ / CCT Workout

The Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Workout

The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts

New - Army PRT and CRT
Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard OCS Workout

The USMC IST and PFT Workout
USMC OCS / TBS Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout

The Army OCS and PFT Workout
The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT


The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts

The FBI Academy / PFT Prep Workout

The DEA Prep Workout

The FLETC Prep Workout - Ace the PEB

The State / Local Police Academy Workout

The Fire Fighter Workout

Seal Multi Men's Multi-Vitamin Multi-Mineral

Free SEAL Training Videos from Phil Black

TRX Train Like the Pros


Some Titles Above available in Print Softcover Format