Click HERE for 20% off on HOT DEALS!


How strength training can save your life

How strength training can save your life

Your skills die if not used

Lift, Train, Shoot has a ton of resources out there who are superb fighters and shooters. I’m pretty good at both but I wanted to talk about the 3rd (or the 1st) Wedge of the pie - ‘Lift’.

When it comes to self-defense or protecting those you love, everyone gravitates towards some form of combatives training and or firearms training. Both are extremely important of course and require regular updates and work to keep the skills honed. They are ‘perishable skills’. Another time I will discuss my thoughts on both!

However, the ‘Lift’ is often overlooked – and it is, in my view, the most important.

I have an extensive background in fighting. Both in combat sports and in real life. In combat sports it is so well known that size and power MATTER that weight divisions exist. The bigger and stronger you are makes such a difference that it is considered unfair to put someone significantly heavier against another person.

AGE can’t be beat, but it can be better managed through strength & conditioning

From my own days as a sport fighter, I was often at the bottom of my weight class. This sucked because although I was faster and more agile these dudes hit HARD. This was bad enough in striking competitions but in grappling it was ridiculous.  Simply put, size matters. The BJJ Gracie Brothers have a rule of thumb. For every 20 lbs you give up to your opponent + 10 years in age, you give up a belt rank. So for me a 48 yr old, 185 lb man who is a Blue Belt in BJJ, if I roll with a 25 yr old 205lb guy then I’m giving up 3 belts… So I’m in negative belt territory! After over 15 years of BJJ I can assure you it is a Thing!

Keep the gas tank full!

Going back to my fighting days, there was more than one occasion when I faced off against someone who was hands down better than me. They were gifted naturally, faster, and flashier. But they had a time limit… I just had to weather the initial onslaught, cover up and do damage limitation. They were like wind-up toys and once the gas tank was empty, they were done. I wasn’t as good as them technically but I could keep going longer than them. So, in the final minutes it was my turn to unload and they were so tired they could barely defend.

OK so that’s great but what about real fights? Forget everything you think you know about ‘it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog’ nonsense… imagine trying to fight one of the following people:

  • A pro football player
  • A pro rugby player
  • An elite Crossfit athlete.

But… My Kung Fu is STRONG…

You’ll hear Karate guys talking about how they would ‘just do…’ and I giggle inside. I can assure you that someone who is FIT and STRONG is incredibly hard to deal with in a real fight. In the pavement arena someone who can either (or worse both) out museless you and out gas you, will win. Unless you are very very nasty lol…

So what does this mean?

It means that you need to train, you need to LIFT. Be as strong as you can be and be as physically fit as you can be. The best competitive fighters, race car drivers, in fact ANY physically demanding pastime they ALL train strength and conditioning to augment their chosen sport. The military all train relentlessly to be as fit and strong as they can be to make them better warriors.

It is even shown that the stronger you are the better you can take and recover from damage yourself.

You want to be a good Shooter? You need to Lift. What to be a good Fighter? You need to Lift.

“The IRON doesn’t lie.”

Lifting is pure too. Shooting and Fighting are subjective to a certain extent… but Lifting is pure. The iron doesn’t care about your feelings or your scoring system or even your time. You can either lift it or you can’t. You can either lift it 8 times or 9, or 10. You need a notepad to keep a score of how you did one session compared to the next. The iron doesn’t have an ‘off day’ – you either are better than the last time or you are not.

Get in the gym and Lift. Lifting supports the Training and the Shooting.

Training time and Shooting time is fun and necessary, but Lifting is essential.

Go Lift.



 Paul Landreth-Smith

Is a paramedic and Director for Krav Maga Universal. 18 Years LE experience and Black Belts in Tae Kwon-Do, Kickboxing and Krav Maga. Blue belt in BJJ and trained in various other styles. Fought competitively in tournaments and match fights as had 100’s of real life ‘encounters’. Author of ‘Sheepdog with a Black Belt’ detailing his experiences of reconciling martial arts training and real life fights, in which he discusses this exact topic.