This text was sent to our FitForce Newsletter readers 1 Aug 2016.
Bob probably wasn't telling "fish stories" in this photo, but he loved to tell stories. For all of the years I taught with him, I marveled at both his experiences and his ability to weave them into whatever lesson he was teaching. As many of the readers of this newsletter know, "Hoff" was hugely accomplished: Bobby ran for one of America's great distance coaches, Frank Gagliardi, when both were at Roselle Catholic High School in Roselle, NJ were Bobby grew up; while at RCHS, Bobby and three of his teammates won national championships in the distance medley and two-mile relays in the same year; The United States Military Academy at West Point was the next stop for Bob and a place he would return to often throughout the years to teach, coach, and later to visit. Bob had an illustrious career in the Army: he was a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War; he spent most of his 22 years in the Rangers including a stint as Director of Training at the Fitness School at Ft. Benjamin Harrison and later as Commander of the 4th Ranger Training Battalion at Ft. Benning, Georgia; Bob retired as a Lt.Colonel.
This is a best practice we have tried to get clients to strongly consider. Realistic, video-based depictions of the job have great value in self-selecting candidates, supporting standards, and defending job actions should they become necessary. In the instance of the fire service, where we have suggested an emphasis on job-task simulation testing, such a video serves to inform folks about the demands of the test and of the job.
From a personal and professional prospective, I'm very fortunate in that I get to wear several different hats (but not usually a clown suit!) and I get to interact with some of the coolest people. As a long-time strength coach, I sometimes feel the bench press is a little over-emphasized. Personally, I used to chase big numbers (before big shoulder surgery) so I have an affinity for the lift. And we obviously rely on it to help predict who can and who cannot do the job. Teaching the bench press exercise/test in our FitForce courses is typically a highlight for me. A year or so ago, I taught a class in Texas and recently received this email from a participant who wears among other hats, that of the training officer in her department.
Hope all is well. I wanted to ask you something about the bench press. I’ve been working on my bench press. When I started I couldn’t complete 10 reps of just the 45 lb bar. Now I am up to 110 lbs 1RP (including the bar). I always use the techniques you showed us about squeezing the shoulder blades, chest out, back flat and driving the heels. I couldn’t get past 90 lbs. with all the techniques. My feet were flat on the ground but one of the guys suggested I put plates under my feet. I told him I could reach just fine but he insisted I try it. There it was, I increased 20 lbs . to 110 lbs.
I wonder if there is something else I’m lacking, maybe another technique and I’m
There likely are few readers of this newsletter who disagree with the notion that law enforcement is an honorable profession that requires you to face every shift with the possibility of life altering or life ending injuries as the possible outcome of the performance of your job. Duty. Honor. Courage. Workers' compensation benefits are probably not on the same mental checklist when you start your tour of duty. Coverage for health, WC, and disability are supposed to be some of the "givens" you can count on, take comfort in, and trust will be available to you and your loved ones should the need ever arise. Unfortunately, that is not the case for everybody reporting for duty.
As some of our loyal followers (Hi, Mom) have noticed, our blog-output has until recently dried up. The last number of months have been extremely busy with contract work. We wrapped up a validation study for the Air Force Security Forces Command in 2011 while starting another for the Department of Energy. FitForce is
currently working under a service agreement between DOE and Innovative Technology Partnerships in Albuquerque, NM to develop and validate standards for the Office of Secure Transportation. Using a similar contracting vehicle, we have teamed up with PDRI to assist in identifying standards for Customs and Border Patrol's Tactical Unit (BORTAC).
Jay Smith, the founder of Integrated Fitness Systems (IFS), was involved in the development of FitForce prior to acquiring it from Human Kinetics (Publishing) in 1998. Jay is the president of FitForce™ , Inc., a primary instructor, project director and ‘on the ground’ person for the FitForce courses and validation studies conducted around the country for local, state and federal law enforcement and public safety agencies. He began his career in law enforcement training in 1989 as the first Director of Physical Fitness and Health Maintenance Programs for the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Council (POST), a position he held for eight years before leaving state service and establishing IFS. During his more than 20 year career he has assisted hundreds of agencies in meeting their physical readiness needs.
Tom Collingwood has been involved in implementing law enforcement programs for 30 years. He developed and directed the continuing education division of The Cooper Institute, where he created the institute’s police instructors course that has trained more than 10,000 police fitness coordinators. He also designed the FitForce program for Human Kinetics. Tom has worked with more than 200 law enforcement agencies worldwide to design fitness programs and has conducted validation studies to define job-related fitness standards for 100 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. He is the author of seven books and more than 100 publications in the field.
Bob Hoffman retired from the U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel in 1991. The former director of FitForce has been training public safety officers, advising agencies about fitness issues, and helping those agencies develop fitness programs for the past 12 years. In addition to assignments around the world, Bob spent three years as the director of training for the Army’s Soldier Physical Fitness School and helped to develop the Army’s Total Fitness program. He spent four years as a professor in the department of physical education at West Point, where he was an assistant cross country and track coach and a junior varsity basketball coach.