Law Enforcement Fitness Training – With Kettlebells

Law enforcement fitness training - with kettlebells!

If you’re reading this blog, I assume you’re not doing what most police/law enforcement/criminal justice types probably are: long, slow distance runs, a typcial bodybuilding-style weight training routine, or a combination of both.

And if you’re stuck in the 90’s and are still training this way, here’s why you need to stop: LSD cardio and/or bodybuilding-style weight training does very little to prepare you for your line of work.  Law enforcement fitness training, at the most basic level, should be based around preparing for short, intense encounters where your very survival may depend on quickly controlling a confrontation.

You should know full well that a seated chest press machine – or even a slow jog – is nothing like this type of activity.  What we’re after are high-intensity, functional-style workouts that get us better at the specific tasks/activities/etc. we’ll be facing in real life.  And this makes kettlebells a great tool for the job!

In this article, I’m going to address specific needs of law enforcement fitness training. I’ll explain exactly why kettlebells are a great tool for meeting/improving these needs. And I’ll give you a sample law enforcement fitness training kettlebell workout!

Law enforcement fitness training – specific needs

People who are in the field of law enforcement need to be in great physical shape not only because of their health, but also their safety.

One key to this is being able to have a strong grip and forearm strength in order to survive in the field, whether it be dealing with someone who isn’t cooperating or the need to catch a suspect who has jumped over a fence. In addition, officers must have strength and endurance in terms of running so that they have the capability to physically sustain a high speed pace in the case of a chase.

Why kettlebells are the perfect tool

Kettlebells provide a functional form of training that carries over into the daily lives of law enforcement. They allow a person to strengthen their grip through a variety of exercises, which will not only help to apprehend a suspect, but also provide strength in operating weaponry with quickness and safety. Kettlebells engage the posterior chain, which enables people who are training to become more powerful runners with increased endurance.

Because of these benefits and the small amount of time required to get an intense workout with kettlebells, training officers have begun to incorporate them into their regimen to help improve the fitness of their recruits in the little time they have to train them. As opposed to going on long runs and going into the weight room to lift, they now require shorter runs and then a kettlebell workout, followed by firearm training. This has proven to be more applicable to the field work required of the officers.

Law enforcement fitness training kettlebell workout

Here’s a workout that incorporates all the needs and elements I’ve discussed in this article:

Warm up


  • 3 Turkish get ups each side, adding weight each rep – for example, do one rep with no added weight (‘naked’), one rep with a 12k ‘bell, and one rep with a 20k ‘bell on each side
  • light .5 mile jog (easy warm up pace)
  • 100 kettlebell swings total (two hand, one hand, or hand-to-hand) – any combination, just finish all 100 before moving on to the next exercise
  • medium-intensity .5 mile jog (getting hard, but not going all out)
  • 20 burpee pull ups (do a burpee. Step forward to the pull up bar, hop up and do a pull up. That’s one rep.)
  • hard .5 mile run (go hard!  Finish strong and give it all you’ve got.)
  • three 100 yard farmer’s walk carries (grab two heavy kb’s. Walk with ’em ’till your grip gives out.  Pick a weight that allows you to walk about 100 yards.)

Cool down

  • Static stretch of tight muscle groups

In conclusion, kettlebells are a great tool for law enforcement fitness training.  Folks involved in this line of work have some very specific fitness needs, including strength, endurance, and grip/forearm strength.  Kettlebells very effectively and efficiently help one train for all of these qualities.

Thanks for reading and and talk soon –

Forest Vance, RKC II

PS – If you liked this kettlebell workout, you’ll LOVE my free kettlebell email newsletter … plus, when you sign up, you’ll get a copy of my Beginner’s Guide to Kettlebell Training!  Just drop your best email into the box at the upper right of the page to sign up now.

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