Training for the Zombie Apocalypse


Zombies. Undead. Walkers. Infected.

For a very long time in the world of Zombie Apocalypse preparation, the primary fitness goal was core and upper body strength, to allow the survivor to better twist the head off /wield a chainsaw/swing a bat into the forehead of the zombie.  Then 28 Days Later and Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake introduced us to the need for a vigorous cardio program. But we can’t all be professional football players. How do we best train for the armies of the brain-eating undead?  That’s where this handy guide comes in. Maybe it's not about the zombie as much as it is about preparing and knowing what kind of zombies you're likely to have in your neck of the Apocalypse.

Part One: Know your neighbors.

It's important to know your neighbors’ habits and strengths. After all, it's their heads you'll be bashing in with their own bicycle seat posts or bowling balls when they contract ZOMBID-19. This is something completely overlooked by pretty much all zombie movies. A zombie is usually an undead creature or possibly the result of a mysterious virus. Either way, it doesn’t change the underlying fleshy material all that much that’ll be running around devouring the living. If you live in a trendy neighborhood and all your neighbors jog, then you’re more likely to run into the 28 Days Later/Dawn of the Dead (2004) variety. But guess what?  If all your neighbors are a bunch of guys that meet twice a week to drink beer and watch football while shoving down chili dogs in-between mouthfuls of Fritos, then you’re probably looking more at the lumbering type that really wants you to do half the work crawling into its mouth.

Part 2: Determine the zombie category

First, let’s deal with the standard American zombie you’re most likely to meet (I'm writing from America; if you want a typical English zombie,  write your own fish’n chips zombie guide, you self-centered limey).

Regular walking and minimal exercise prior to the Apocalypse should result in cardiovascular shape sufficient to mosey away from the staggering chili dog zombies. However, for these same undead you will require a great deal of upper body strength to extricate yourself in a timely manner when it ultimately falls lifelessly (undeadlessly?) across you after you impale their brain with one of their own barbecue skewers.

1398513 © Chrisharvey | (except the chili dog part)

So prior to World War Z, your goal should be to be able to bench press the body weight of the three individual lightest nacho zombies you're likely to meet.  The remaining behemoths, live or undead should be easy to escape, whether to prevent being eaten, or facilitating them to get eaten.  Remember, you don't need to outrun the bear, just the other hikers.

But what if you’re in one of those places with a higher-than-average number of fitness buffs? Then you need to up your game a bit. A cyclist may be an annoying, spandex-wearing weenie in the Before Times, but after the zombie crap hits the undead fan (YOU think of a better metaphor), those brain eaters will have thighs that make them move so fast you’ll be a screaming hors d'oeuvre before you can laugh at their dumb shorts. In this case, you really only have two choices: work on your own cardio, or move to Arkansas or Mississippi.

Part 3. PREPARE 

Preparation is key to survival. You can increase your odds of avoiding the undead hordes now by being friendly with your neighbors, especially when the signs of the Apocalypse draweth nigh. Give them cookies for the holidays. Celebrate every event by baking them cakes. Insist on providing gristle-laden meat stuff during barbeques. It might seem like a lot of work, but in the end, when all you have to do is lightly trot up a mildly steep hill to get away from those flabby-thighed nightmares, you’ll be glad you did it.


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