This week I have something really amazing to share with you. An interview with a man that’s working his glutes off to make sure you and yours survive the apocalypse: Jesse Sumrak of Fallout Fitness!
Fallout Fitness is the place hopeful survivors can go to learn everything they need to know in order to survive the end of the world. Whether that be zombies, civil unrest, World War III, aliens, or AI takeover, physical fitness will be your #1 survival asset. Fallout Fitness provides proactive training workouts for preppers to get fit before the apocalypse and also provides post-apocalyptic workouts for survivors and procrastinators alike.
So, Jesse, what do you do exactly?
I physically prepare individuals to be survival fit for the apocalypse.
That sounds awesome for so many reasons. But there’s fitness information all over the internet, from Instagram and YouTube to blogs and news magazines. Why should people seek you out?
YouTube and the rest of the internet are littered with crappy fad workouts and diets. Half the people who write fitness-based articles don’t dare include their picture in the bio because it’s obvious they don’t practice what they preach. I’m a result of the fitness that I teach. I don’t post about anything I haven’t tried yet – and I’m humble enough to admit I don’t know everything. But I’m constantly learning and constantly sharing, without the BS and “buy my supplement or workout program” tish.
As far as Post-Apocalyptic training goes, I’m the most reliable fitness asset because I study the whole picture. I read zombie books and survival guides and analyze survival techniques and practical advice. Check out the most popular articles on Google search about zombie fitness preparation and you’ll see the difference. These popular authors and trainers have no clue what to expect in the fallout – their experience comes from the single episode they watched about the Walking Dead – and you can obviously see that in their workout advice.
I’m interested in having more survivors as allies in the future – not in just writing fun, popular content.
How did you come to this way of thinking?
My workouts and diet aren’t based on speculation and fiction. I’ve lived it.
For two years, I lived in Sierra Leone, West Africa (yeah, that place where the ebola virus erupted). I lived a life similar to what you’d expect in the apocalypse (minus the flesh-eating zombies). I found what resistance training I could do to build muscle; I performed bodyweight training to maintain practical strength; I practiced HIIT to burn fat and promote lean muscle; I took bucket showers from bleached, cold rainwater; I ate meats I could hardly identify; I climbed the mountains of Freetown every single day; I ran for my life from a black cobra; I played soccer weekly with the locals; I bucketed drinking water from a well; I fought off dangerous diseases and infections without the help of a doctor – and I survived. Not only survived, but I thrived. I returned to the States healthy, strong, and ready for anything.
What were you doing in Sierra Leone?
I was a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Every day, from 10 AM – 8 PM I walked up and down the mountains and streets of Freetown to find people to teach the gospel. Honestly, it was a ton of cardio. Missionaries would lose 20-50 lbs. while serving there. I lost a lot of weight at first, but then I found a balance with the food intake and exercise. It was an amazing experience meeting people and learning more about their lives. It was definitely the best two years of my life.
What’s your background? You’re a farm boy from Kansas or a hipster from Brooklyn? Who are you?
I grew up in the small town of Smithfield, VA (the ham capital of the world). Growing up, I was the fat kid. I was super active and always playing soccer and basketball, but I was just a super chubby, unattractive kid.
But when I got into high school and started liking girls and stuff, I didn’t want to be the fat kid anymore, so I quit eating food, ran morning and evening every day, and lost a lot of weight.
Unfortunately, I also became anorexic, stopped eating food all together, and started to become quite unhealthy. My parents were scared, naturally, and they wanted me to get help, but I was in denial. Fortunately, before it got too bad, I became interested in weight lifting. I didn’t just want a skinny body – I wanted a strong body, and I learned food was necessary to build a shredded physique.
So I began to eat again, but I ate the right foods. Ever since, I lived a healthy life while balancing food and nutrition, but I became concerned for family and friends who never seemed to care about their size or health. I would always imagine terrible scenarios, like our boat sinking, or a horde of zombies rushing our house from the trees – how would these people ever survive?
And that’s where the idea came for Fallout Fitness – if how you look doesn’t motivate you to exercise, does the innert will to survive?
In my case I lived in Fukushima Japan not far from where the Daichi Nuclear power plant was. Plus my wife is from Sendai. The day after the quake we went up there. So the idea of fitness in these real-world situations really is a hell of a big help.
So let’s say there’s been an earthquake, tsunami, disaster of some sort or the dead are on the way. What should I already know or be capable of at this, the decisive moment?
I’m a strong proponent of strength training for most situations. Training to do hundreds of pull-ups is great, but chances are you’ll only need one or two pull-ups to make your way out of a dangerous situation.
But that doesn’t mean you should just stop training once you can do one or two pull-ups. Think about the real situations you may encounter. You may need to climb to safety and pull yourself up, but maybe you won’t just be pulling your bodyweight up. You may have a heavy backpack full of weapons, food, clothes, and supplies or you might even have a child on your back. So you need to build sufficient strength to the point where you’re doing heavy weighted pull-ups.
As for running, you need to have strong endurance and sprinting endurance. At least you should be able to run a 10k and not drop dead the end. Ideally, get to the point where you could run a 10k, take a 10-minute walk, then run another 10k. These kinds of fitness levels would be more representative of what you might encounter in the apocalypse.
I actually do personalized workout plans and training for my clients, but I love to post general workouts on most of my posts, so here are some links to the workouts that my followers have liked the most. Feel free to use any of these if you’d like: