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  • Writer's pictureAscalon Protection Group

Close Protection Fitness: A Fundamental Element of Top-Tier Security Performance

Updated: Sep 12, 2023


Maintaining Close Protection Fitness

As a professional Close Protection Operative, there is an immense responsibility that comes with safeguarding individuals from potential threats. Bodyguards, amongst a multitude of critical attributes, must also possess a high level of fitness and physical readiness in order to carry out their duties effectively. In this article, we will explore the importance of maintaining Close Protection fitness and delve into the key elements of a comprehensive fitness regimen that ensures security personnel can perform at their best, wherever they are.


Understanding Close Protection Fitness


1. The Physical Demands of Close Protection

Close Protection operations can sometimes be physically demanding, requiring agility, strength, endurance, and quick reflexes. From reacting swiftly to potential threats to providing secure transportation during emergencies, Close Protection professionals must be in peak physical condition to execute their duties efficiently.


2. Mental and Physical Preparedness

Fitness in Close Protection goes beyond physical prowess; it is also about mental preparedness. The ability to stay focused, think critically under pressure, and maintain composure during high-stress situations is essential for effective security management, and often goes hand-in-hand with physical fitness.


3. Potential Consequences for Lack of Physical Fitness

Similarly to the Military, a good level of physical fitness is considered a key cornerstone of professional competence. In the world of private security it is easy to get complacent, particularly if working on multiple tasks which have been conducted without any incidents occurring. However, the consequences of not staying on top on key attributes, physical and mental fitness amongst them, can have potentially disastrous consequences in the event of a serious incident. Furthermore, Close Protection Operatives are often sub-consciously viewed by most external parties as an extension of their client. Therefore if a client is working with Bodyguards who are clearly not on top of their fitness or appear to be out of shape, it can also have a negative impact of the perception of not just the client, but the operational effectiveness of the security team.


The Key Elements of Close Protection Fitness


1. Strength Training

Strength training is crucial for building muscle mass and improving overall physical strength. Close Protection professionals must have the power to react swiftly and manage potential security threats effectively. Incorporating strength training exercises, such as weightlifting and bodyweight exercises, helps enhance strength and size, but also aid with bone health and overall agility. It is worth noting that many Close Protection Operatives are not 6'8 man-mountains with bulging biceps; however for those Bodyguards who are adopting a more overt and obvious presence in order to provide an effective deterrent against attack, strength training is also a vital component.


2. Combat Training

Although Hollywood may tell us otherwise, most high-quality Close Protection professionals view physical intervention as a last resort when on task. However, there may well be situations where self-defence and combat skills are necessary, and possessing the ability to effectively deal with violent incidents is a key attribute for any Bodyguard. Engaging in various martial arts training (such as Judo, Muay Thai, Boxing, Jiu-Jitsu etc), a background in a contact sport (such as Rugby or American Football) as well as undergoing combat simulations, can prepare security personnel to handle physical confrontations safely and confidently, should they be required to.


3. Flexibility and Mobility

Close Protection operations can sometimes involve long periods of observation with little physical movement required, for example sitting inside a vehicle or standing outside a venue for a number of hours. Following scenarios such as these, regular stretching exercises and mobility drills are essential to enhance flexibility and maintain joint health, reducing the risk of strains and other injuries.


4. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT is another effective training method that involves alternating between short bursts of intense exercise and brief recovery periods. This type of training is usually conducted over a shorter time than traditional cardio training, and improves cardiovascular fitness, boosts metabolism, and enhances overall endurance, making it ideal for Close Protection professionals who may have a short window in which to train.


5. Overall Conditioning

General fitness and health is arguably the biggest overarching element for Close Protection professionals. Engaging in regular cardiovascular exercises, such as running, cycling, or swimming, enhances endurance and cardiovascular health, enabling security personnel to keep up with the demands of their duties. For most Close Protection Operatives who come from a Military background, this should be the foundation of their physical fitness and something which they will have likely continued post-service.




Maintaining Close Protection Fitness

The Role of Nutrition in Close Protection Fitness


1. Diet

Eating well is an essential part of maintaining optimal fitness levels. Close Protection professionals should consume a balanced variety of nutrients, including lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, to support their physical and mental performance.


2. Meal Planning

Busy schedules can sometimes make it challenging for security personnel to maintain healthy eating habits. Planning and preparing nutritious meals in advance, alongside snacks such as protein bars, nuts etc can help ensure that they have access to healthy food options while on duty.


3. Hydration

Staying hydrated is crucial, especially during physically demanding operations or in hotter climates. When on task, particularly during busy periods, it can be hard to Operatives to remember to maintain their own hydration as well as their clients. However it is important that Close Protection professionals ensure that they drink plenty of water when on task to maintain energy levels, cognitive function, and overall well-being.



The Mental Aspect of Close Protection Fitness


1. Stress Management

Close Protection operations can be highly stressful, and security professionals must develop effective stress management techniques. Regular exercise and proper nutrition, coupled with meditation and mindfulness practices can help reduce stress and improve mental clarity.


2. Continuous Training and Learning

Staying updated on security protocols, emerging threats, and best practices is essential for Close Protection professionals. Continuous training and learning ensure that skillsets are consistently honed and developed, enabling private security personnel to adapt to ever-changing security challenges, and maintain a degree of mental agility.


Conclusion


Maintaining Close Protection fitness is paramount for security professionals tasked with protecting individuals from potential threats. A comprehensive fitness routine that includes cardiovascular conditioning, strength training, flexibility exercises, and combat training enhances physical capabilities and prepares security personnel for the rigours of their roles.


Additionally, prioritising mental preparedness through stress management and continuous learning equips Close Protection professionals to perform at their best, even during long stints or high-stress situations.


Remember, Close Protection fitness is not just a physical necessity; it is a holistic approach that ensures the safety and security of those under the care of these dedicated professionals. Investing in one's fitness and well-being is an investment in top-notch security performance, safeguarding lives and providing peace of mind in today's dynamic and unpredictable world.

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