SGPT Interviews Everyday Warrior Brian Joseph

Brian Joseph LEO interview

SGPT: Tell us about yourself? Where are you from and where do you train?

I am a 35 year-old from Iowa. I’ve been a LEO for 11 years. I’ve worked on nights as a patrol officer, did 3 tours on a gang task force, and worked as robbery/homicide detective. Currently, I am the lead training officer for basic recruits and I also have an additional assignment as a SWAT operator (5 years). As far as my individual fitness training goes, I conduct my workouts either at my home gym (Preferably outside on farmland and gravel roads) or at the PD training academy.

SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?

I was always into sports as a kid. I played baseball from tee ball and into college. Currently, I am a volunteer youth softball and baseball coach. I also help a local sports academy in individual and group baseball/softball lessons and clinics. I strongly believe sports can be the biggest teacher to players, if led the correct way through proper coaching.

SGPT: Tell us about your training. How did you find SGPT training?

From high school to the present, individual fitness has always been a large part of my lifestyle. I covered the gambit from being a young, dumb kid who wanted to look good in his t shirt, to performing well on the ball field; and now being as fit as I can to perform well as a LEO and SWAT officer. I’ve trained through hundreds of different programs. Eventually, I got to a point where I really wanted to step up my game. I wanted to perform extremely well and push above my own expectations. I’ve always maintained a solid level of fitness, but I wanted more. Most fitness programs advertised nothing but “lose weight” and “get huge muscles.” I didn’t need to lose weight (If anything I needed to gain good pounds), and I definitely was not worried about “looking huge.” I wanted to perform at an extremely high level as a LEO, SWAT operator, and keep my body healthy as a coach and father. “Performance,” in my life, has a foundation in fitness. So, I searched up “tactical fitness” on the inter-webs and came across Seal Grinder PT. I was never in the military (One of my few regrets), but I have done nothing but read books and listen to podcasts revolving around all things U.S. military. I am familiar with the top-tier fitness work conducted by SEALs and those in Special Operations. I figured, these dudes know how to move the dial, and I wanted in. So, I purchased SGT PT 365, Operator Training System 1.0, and then purchased Tier 1, versions 1, 2, and 3.

SGPT: You completed SGPT Tier 1 series versions 1,2 and 3. How do you like the Tier 1 program and how did it help you in your job as an LEO?

When I checked into SGPT. I was hell-bent on finding a fitness program to test me, push me, and make me fail. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was looking for a program that was going to test me mentally more than physically. I found that in the SGPT Tier 1 series. Now, I know that if I was standing next to a SEAL, DEVGRU, CAD, or MARSOC operator, they would run circles around me in terms of the physical piece of the workouts. However, I quickly came to realize that it wasn’t about the physical piece as much as it was about developing the mental fortitude to push through those workouts. For example, a year ago you could’ve said, “Brian, go knock out 400 flutter kicks, 200 burpees, and 100 pull ups.” I would’ve thought, “Well, that’ll suck.” Now, I would look at that and say, “Game on!” The Tier 1 program pushed me physically, but it trained a better piece of me: my mental fortitude. Did my numbers on my deads, shoulder presses, squats, and bench go up? YES and more YES! Did my strength, endurance, work capacity, and power increase? Absolutely! Oh, and for you guys and gals wanting to look good in your t shirt, or without it, Tier 1 absolutely does that as well!

For me as a recruit instructor, I have to be able to walk the walk and set the example for on-boarding recruits. They see me, my capabilities, and they strive to hit that level. Not to mention, I need to keep up and be able to push ahead of recruits in their 20’s. On the street, fights, foot chases, and high-stress critical incidents are absolutely ever-present. You don’t choose the time and place, and the other side does not care how old you are, what shape you’re in, or how much you’ve trained. That is on me to be prepared to handle those threats, 100%. As a SWAT operator, I have 11 other dudes who depend on me to do my job, cover my corners, fill the gaps, and take care of business. Unfortunately, more LEO’s, than most, are not functioning at a level of fitness where they should be. I never want to be THAT GUY who my team can’t depend on. Instead, I want to be THAT GUY who my team knows they can depend on. As I said before, a large root of dependability is rooted in fitness. SGPT Tier 1 has provided me with a fitness game plan, physically and mentally, to make sure that I am ready to take care of business. From the street, to academy work, to SWAT takedowns, I am at my peak level of performance, due to SGPT Tier 1. The program is not for everyone, nor should it be. However, if you’re looking to push yourself to a physical and mental level that you’ve never explored, Tier 1 will give you the path. However, it is on you to get your head right and persevere through each workout. Adapt to the training, but, also, don’t be afraid to tailor and modify pieces to fit your goals. I can positively say that you’ll work, sweat, and hate certain aspects, at times, but there will never be a time where, at the end, you wish you hadn’t done it. Work, sweat, and occasional bouts of hate should encompass workouts, because, if not, are you really working and pushing? I was looking for the next level of programming to push me to hit a higher performance, and I can 100% say the SGPT Tier 1 series hit the mark!

SGPT: What is the biggest threat you face as an LEO?

The biggest threat I face as a LEO, I think everyone would assume, is facing a threat that could potentially kill me. However, for me, that is not the biggest threat. The biggest threat is making a mistake that will cause a civilian or my partner to be hurt or killed. I view my life as a distant second to my partner and teammates. Paperwork errors can be fixed. However, errors in tactics, gun play, chases (On foot or vehicle), and fights have to be extremely well mitigated. Those errors and risks strongly rely on experience and training in order to be mitigated. I have to think like a seasoned officer, yet, physically perform at a level that does not and will never care about my age. And surprise, surprise, the performance to handle threats appropriately, as well as keep me and others safe, is rooted in physical training. You can have the best “cool-guy” gear, the most high-speed blaster, sharpest wit, and best look in your t shirt; but if your body is not conditioned to press the threats, undoubtedly, bad things will happen and business will not be handled; and if it is taken care of, it definitely won’t be handled as efficiently as it could have been. The biggest threat of error, mentally and physically, is always waiting for me. It is on me 100% to combat error, be prepared, and be dependable. That is true on the job and on the homefront.

SGPT: What kind of boots/trail running shoes do you use for training?

I use basic, Under Armour Charge cross-trainers for standard “gym” shoes. If I’m on the trail, gravel, or anything outdoors I use Under Armour Micro G Strikefast shoes. For duty on the street and SWAT, during the warm weather months, I use Oakley tac boots. Cold weather months I use Black Hawk Black Ops boots (Warm and water resistant). For academy, day-to-day work, I use Merrell Moab 2 boots.

SGPT: What good book/ podcast are you reading /listening to now?

The last book I read, and I highly recommend to all, was Objective Secure by Green Beret Nick Lavery. As far as podcasts go I bounce between the Jocko Podcast, Shawn Ryan Show, and Mike Ritland podcast.

SGPT: Many thanks for the interview Brian.

I appreciate the opportunity! Thanks to you and the SGPT household for your continued work!

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