The majority of British police officers do not carry firearms, but certain special units are trained to carry, and authorized to use, firearms. These elite units undergo intense physical, mental, and psychological training before they ever fire their weapons.
James St. Leger is a Grenade Nutrition athlete, an MMA fighter, and an Authorized Firearms Officer. He's part of a special unit that tracks down violent criminals, handles hostage situations, and deals with breaches.
Listen to his story, and you'll understand why Grenade signed St. Leger. He details his training, nutrition, and supplement plans, so you can follow in his footsteps and kick down the doors blocking your progress.
JAMES ST. LEGER
Watch The Video - 12:04
Name: James St. Leger
Weight: 187-191 lbs
Occupation: Authorized Firearms Officer (AFO)
Education: HND - Computing; Bachelor's of Science - Multimedia Computing
Winner of the Maximuscle Dragan Challenge 2010; Winner of the Men's Health Davidoff Champion Challenge 2010; Winner of the Men's Health Reebok Zigtech Challenge 2011; Winner of the One-Arm Press-Up Challenge @FIBO 2011 (85 reps); "The Face and Body of BodyPower Expo 2011"; Winner of the Ultra-FIT Magazine Fitness Model Search 2011; Empire Strongman Superman - Winner (March 2012); Official Guinness World Record (2012) - total weight curled in 1 min; Empire Strongman Superman - Winner (December 2012)
Athletic Background: The main sports I have taken part in since school are swimming, rugby, MMA, endurance lifting, and CrossFit.
MMA: 2 wins, 0 loss (77kg); No-Gi Grappling: 8 wins, 2 loss (77kg)
Ultimate Goal: To become successful in CrossFit and be the face and physique of the sport.
James started competitive fitness training at an early age, gaining moderate success in swimming at the county, regional, and national levels. It wasn't until he was 22 years old at university that James shifted his interest to lifting weights.
After three years of casual training and an introduction to different kinds of supplements, he turned to MMA, quickly picking up the sport and landing two successive wins within eight months of training.
When James changed careers and locations, he changed his training goals. In 2010, St. Leger came across his first weightlifting competition: The Dragan Challenge, an endurance-lifting event that he won on his first try.
He was unable to defend his title the following year due to the emergence of a blood clot from a work-related incident. The accident halted his ability to continue competing in the endurance-lifting event that changed his fitness life.
Calamity only encourages men like James. It didn't stop him from training; it just forced him to switch disciplines. He tried out at a local strongman competition, which he ended up winning.
In 2012, St. Leger set an Official Guinness World Record in a separate weightlifting event: He curled more total weight in less than a minute than any man had ever done.
Now, St. Leger has turned his attention to CrossFit, and the remarkable challenges the "Sport of Fitness" poses. He hopes to dominate the sport as he has many others.
St. Leger's sponsors, Grenade Nutrition, approached and signed him at the Bodypower Expo. They keep him busy as a sponsored athlete. Since joining Team Grenade, St. Leger has flown around the world, appearing at fitness expos like the Olympia in Las Vegas and regular photo and video shoots with the British nutrition company.
Shot for Shot
Q&A with James St. Leger
The main difference in fitness qualification is a higher level on the 15-meter beep test. You run the 15-meter shuttle in increasingly shorter time periods. It keeps changing for the new recruits, but I believe it is currently 7.4 for AFOs (regular police is 5.3), and a special team is around 9.
Watch The Video - 10:19
There is also the expectation to be a lot more fit and strong due to the amount of kit we carry—roughly an extra 40 pounds (three stones), although there isn't a benchmark currently set. We still perform the press-up and sit test, as a regular recruit would.
We have regular training days where we're exposed to certain situations that induce physical and mental fatigue. Because of my training, I am much better prepared to efficiently and quickly move through buildings and open land, and up and down stairs carrying all the extra weight, all while being fired at, with enough reserved energy to restrain and detain a subject after a chase.