Fighting Fit: The Israel Defense Forces Guide to Physical Fitness and Self-Defense

Fighting Fit: The Israel Defense Forces Guide to Physical Fitness and Self-Defense

Fighting Fit: The Israel Defense Forces Guide to Physical Fitness and Self-Defense


The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is known for its exceptional physical fitness and self-defense training. In the book “Fighting Fit: The Israel Defense Forces Guide to Physical Fitness and Self-Defense” by David Ben-Asher, readers can gain insights into the IDF’s unique approach to staying fit and protecting themselves.

Why is Physical Fitness Important in the IDF?

Physical fitness is a crucial aspect of IDF training. Soldiers need to be in top shape to endure the demanding tasks and challenges they face. The IDF believes that a strong body leads to a strong mind, enabling soldiers to make quick decisions and perform effectively in high-pressure situations.

The IDF’s Fitness Regimen

The IDF’s fitness regimen focuses on a combination of cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and combat-specific drills. Soldiers engage in regular running, swimming, and cycling to improve their endurance. Strength training includes weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, and functional movements to build muscle and improve overall strength.

Combat-Specific Training

In addition to general fitness exercises, the IDF incorporates combat-specific training to prepare soldiers for real-life scenarios. This includes hand-to-hand combat techniques, weapon handling, and tactical maneuvers. By combining physical fitness with combat skills, the IDF ensures that soldiers are well-rounded and capable of defending themselves and their country.

Benefits of IDF’s Fitness Program

The IDF’s fitness program offers numerous benefits to its soldiers. Firstly, it enhances overall physical health, reducing the risk of injuries and illnesses. Secondly, it improves mental resilience and stress management, enabling soldiers to stay focused and composed during challenging situations. Lastly, it fosters camaraderie and teamwork among soldiers, as they train together and support each other in achieving their fitness goals.

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Q: Can anyone join the IDF’s fitness program?
  2. A: The IDF’s fitness program is designed for soldiers and recruits. However, civilians can also benefit from incorporating some of the IDF’s training principles into their own fitness routines.

  3. Q: How often do IDF soldiers train?
  4. A: IDF soldiers engage in physical training sessions several times a week. The frequency and intensity of training vary based on the soldier’s role and unit.

  5. Q: Is the IDF’s fitness program suitable for all fitness levels?
  6. A: The IDF’s fitness program is designed to accommodate soldiers of different fitness levels. It gradually progresses in intensity, allowing individuals to improve their fitness over time.


The IDF’s guide to physical fitness and self-defense provides valuable insights into the training methods used by one of the world’s most renowned military forces. By prioritizing physical fitness and incorporating combat-specific training, the IDF ensures that its soldiers are prepared for any challenge they may face. Whether you are a soldier or a fitness enthusiast, incorporating elements of the IDF’s fitness program can help you achieve your fitness goals and enhance your overall well-being.