T Nation

5/3/1 for Overweight Military Recruit?


#1

Hey guys,

as some of you might remember I was planning on starting a 5/3/1 routine in the hopes of getting into powerliftiing after a long lay off from training due to injury, I was questioning the validity of anything other than linear progression for someone interested in powerlifting and was convinced of the benefits of using 5/3/1, which I was about to use up until today.

I have been informed the medical problems previously holding me back (I sustained them after I had done both the physical and written tests for the Royal Marines and was awaiting intake) were now not an issue and I was all clear to restart the application process.

This however comes at a time I am in the absolute worst shape in my life after over a year doing nothing but sitting around injured.

I can do zero pull-ups, about 2 press ups and a handful of sit-ups, I am incredibly immobile from impingements and and other minor injuries I still suffer from ( I am working on these issues).

I can not run a mile without almost throwing up and I would guess my body fat was in the upper 30 percentile.

Basically I am in no condition to restart my application and I am going to give myself 12 months to get back to a good level of fitness.

I have a few questions regarding what I should do:

  1. Is 5/3/1 a good template to build my training around?
  2. How much running and what distances
  3. How should i progress to proper chin-ups and pushups? Through using weights to build my back and pressing strength or start assisted bodyweight movements?

Basically I am shocked and this news while awesome, changes pretty much everything as far as my entire life and plans. I want to prepare right because I am at such a low starting point and only have a year to maximise my recovery and still join while i am young and have no commitments apart from a girlfriend.


#2

I did CrossFit to prepare for US Marine OCS, but if that’s not an option and/or you wish to do something a bit more structured, I would recommend beginning with Starting Strength then transitioning to 5/3/1 after 2-3 months. You will progress faster on SS, and doing heavy squats 3 days a week will work wonders for toughening your joints and ligaments to help prevent further injury (running will do the exact opposite.)

I’d say for the first month do nothing but Starting Strength, then then add some circuit training at the end of each workout (pushups, KB swings, bodyweight squats, etc.) for conditioning work, gradually increasing weekly volume over time. In the last few months before I shipped out. I was working out 6 days a week. One of those days was a 12 mile conditioning hike with 75 lbs. in my backpack.

The deadlifts you will do on SS & 5/3/1 will increase your pullups, but if you wish to throw in some flexed arm hangs as well until you can do multiple reps then go ahead. After I was able to to 15-17 pullups, I started doing them with a backpack loaded with weights. This got me to 20 pullups.

It’s a good thing that you’re doing strength training while preparing. Buddy carries aside, a lot of guys overlook the fact that they’ll be repeatedly lifting a 100 lb. foot locker on a daily basis during cleaning and/or squad bay games.


#3

[quote]antares45 wrote:
I did CrossFit to prepare for US Marine OCS, but if that’s not an option and/or you wish to do something a bit more structured, I would recommend beginning with Starting Strength then transitioning to 5/3/1 after 2-3 months. You will progress faster on SS, and doing heavy squats 3 days a week will work wonders for toughening your joints and ligaments to help prevent further injury (running will do the exact opposite.)

I’d say for the first month do nothing but Starting Strength, then then add some circuit training at the end of each workout (pushups, KB swings, bodyweight squats, etc.) for conditioning work, gradually increasing weekly volume over time. In the last few months before I shipped out. I was working out 6 days a week. One of those days was a 12 mile conditioning hike with 75 lbs. in my backpack.

The deadlifts you will do on SS & 5/3/1 will increase your pullups, but if you wish to throw in some flexed arm hangs as well until you can do multiple reps then go ahead. After I was able to to 15-17 pullups, I started doing them with a backpack loaded with weights. This got me to 20 pullups.

It’s a good thing that you’re doing strength training while preparing. Buddy carries aside, a lot of guys overlook the fact that they’ll be repeatedly lifting a 100 lb. foot locker on a daily basis during cleaning and/or squad bay games.[/quote]

Thanks for the advice man, most advice for future servicemen seems to be 5/3/1 and ws4sb on most forums, interesting new idea to think about.

Did you do any stretching routines that I might find useful? I am not seeing much progress in that department.

edit*

Wow its 65 pounds a month for 2 cross fit classes a week and over 80 pounds for access to the gym untouched swell as weekly classes. That is so expensive.


#4

Do defrancos agile 8, 2-5 Times a day to get tour mobility up. works wonders for me.


#5

[quote]Bjjbob wrote:
Do defrancos agile 8, 2-5 Times a day to get tour mobility up. works wonders for me. [/quote]

I can only find his limber 11, I will just use that instead.


#6

[quote]ScholesGoals wrote:

[quote]Bjjbob wrote:
Do defrancos agile 8, 2-5 Times a day to get tour mobility up. works wonders for me. [/quote]

I can only find his limber 11, I will just use that instead.

[/quote]

Even better.


#7

What have you been doing since July? Apart from posting!!

Have you even followed anything that was suggested?

All your questions have been answered already.

Just start and do.


#8

[quote]JFG wrote:
What have you been doing since July? Apart from posting!!

Have you even followed anything that was suggested?

All your questions have been answered already.

Just start and do.[/quote]

I have been running and doing yoga classes because my hips are utterly fucked and I have had multiple deep tissue massages.

I have been doing other forms of cardio like cycling and sprints and doing general lifting in the main compound movements.

It is not that I am being lazy I am just starting from a very low ability level trying to build back up, now I am eligible again for the military my goals have changed and thus my training will likely need to reflect that.


#9

If you are really in that terrible of shape, I would get to the point where you can at least do pushups, pull up , running. and losing some weight. Also look up what the minimum standards are for Royal Marines. (I have no idea what they are) but I would imagine that there is some sort of PT test. I would make all of that a priority over powerlifting, not that weightlifting can’t or won’t help but you seem to be pretty far off from just the basics. Just my 2 cents.


#10

[quote]bdocksaints75 wrote:
If you are really in that terrible of shape, I would get to the point where you can at least do pushups, pull up , running. and losing some weight. Also look up what the minimum standards are for Royal Marines. (I have no idea what they are) but I would imagine that there is some sort of PT test. I would make all of that a priority over powerlifting, not that weightlifting can’t or won’t help but you seem to be pretty far off from just the basics. Just my 2 cents. [/quote]

Unless they have changed they will be the exact same as they were when I passed them before getting injured, I don’t think they have changed since, but I will take a look.


#11

[quote]ScholesGoals wrote:

[quote]JFG wrote:
What have you been doing since July? Apart from posting!!

Have you even followed anything that was suggested?

All your questions have been answered already.

Just start and do.[/quote]

I have been running and doing yoga classes because my hips are utterly fucked and I have had multiple deep tissue massages.

I have been doing other forms of cardio like cycling and sprints and doing general lifting in the main compound movements.

It is not that I am being lazy I am just starting from a very low ability level trying to build back up, now I am eligible again for the military my goals have changed and thus my training will likely need to reflect that.[/quote]

newsflash: Your goals have not changed since you stared posting.

Stop trying to find the best way of getting in shape and start doing it. Just pick, follow the program and go.

We all started from a low ability level. At all ages. At all circumstances.

Want to do a pullup? use the search function and pick a program.

Push up? Same thing.

Your hips a tight? Limber 11 everyday.

Cheers


#12

Wasn’t this answered? Hold your hand to a flame and stop asking questions: find the discipline to do what is right. Any program is better than no program.


#13

How have you let yourself go THAT much?

I fail to believe that if you passed all the required tests first time around, including the PRMC - which is very physically demanding, that you have dropped to such a low level.

Stop making excuses. You don’t need to do 5/3/1 if you can’t do a press up. If your goal is to be a bootneck, stop asking ridiculous questions and just start doing some phys.

I would consider deferring ANY part of the application process for AS LONG as possible until you can safely hit ABOVE the required standards, even on your worst day. Training is progressive, but doing pull ups and press ups is the least of your worries.

You need to be a strong, robust individual in every aspect to get through training - despite what that bullshit channel 4 documentary would have you believe.

I don’t mean to sound rude, but if you scrape these tests and enter training, you’ll get a shock. It will catch up with you. If you’re used to making excuses, you will also get a shock. Letting yourself get fat is not the fault of injury or your hips, it’s because you’ve been weak and let yourself get into shit shape. You could have spent a year screwing the nut on your diet getting WELL under 30% and fixing your shitty mobility. You couldn’t have cycled, swam or rowed? You couldn’t even do SIT UPS for a year? What happened?

You need a serious reality check if you want to pass out of training. Stop posting. Start doing. There are literally THOUSANDS of ways to do it. No. 1 - why did you not just go on the RM website and use the get fit to apply tool. You don’t need Jim Fucking Wendler to tell you how to be a bootneck - you need a bootneck, or at least some common sense.

Out.


#14

Wrong. Not out.

I’ll actually answer your questions.

5/3/1 is a good template to build your training around WHEN you can handle your own body weight to some degree. If you can’t do a push up, WTF are you going to do with 5/3/1?!?! When you can post a video of yourself doing strict, good standard press ups (no half reps or chicken dipper shit), full sit ups with your knees together and your elbows going to knees, and at least 5 dead hang pull ups then start thinking about it. Until then, use the get fit to apply tool.

Running - sprint. Do lots of sprints. Of any distance. Be very progressive with this. Go out and walk and run between lamposts to start with and gradually build up the speed and distance. Don’t try to do too much, too soon. You could do walk/run routines e.g.
4 minutes walk, run 1 minute x 4
3 minutes walk, run 2 minutes x 4
2 minutes walk, run 3 minutes x 4
1 minute walk, run 4 minutes x 4
Run 20 minutes

Each line is a new week. After you can run for 20 minutes. Start thinking about increasing distance. When you can run for 30-40 minutes start thinking about increasing your pace and decreasing your distance and sprinting a bit more. Use hills for sprinting as they’re good on your joints and great bang for buck.

Progressions with exercises - seriously. Just do them. Do negative pull ups with a partner. Buy a pull up bar to hang over a door frame and attempt them every day until you can do them. Press ups - just start doing them. If you can do 2. Do 2. As many times in the day as you can. Next day, shit, shoot for 3. You would probably be the only person in history if you couldn’t progress by just doing a little more each day. If you can only do 2 press ups a day - then fuck me we have a problem. Same goes for sit ups.

Fix your diet too. It’s not hard - just cut the shit out. You’ll probably benefit in training being a former fatty as it’ll rid you of any excess you’re carrying.

Fix your mindset too. Start thinking about what you want to join and the type of people who’ll be training you and working with you once you SUCCEED in passing out (if that is truly your desire).

EDIT: You’ve made a good decision to defer any of the process for 12 months. THINK in that time, if this is what you want. Do not idealize and romanticize what it is going to be like. I would advise really thinking about it. Do you want to be away from family and girlfriend for long periods of time? Have you thought about where you’ll be drafted to once training ends, and how you will tie this in with a life at home. Training has a habit of killing your desire to be a Bootneck, and the last thing they need down there is someone who hasn’t got there head in the game, leaving after a few weeks and essentially being a massive waste of money. How does your Mrs feel about it? Parents? You need massive support network when in training, it’s key to not wanting to wrap. And when you do want to wrap, they’re the ones who convince you not too - so if they’re not on side, you’re already at a disadvantage because there will be days where you WILL ring them and want to leave and if they give it the OK then you’re screwed. Just a bit of friendly advice. It’s not all phys and watching Jeremy Kyle… Yeah right. It totally is.


#15

re fatloss try this -as its walking itwon’t impact 5/3/1 or annoy your hips and very effective…


#16

What about the Sheiko programs? Or the juggernaught method? Or the Cube method? I hear they’re all pretty cool. Or you could join a Crossfit gym or run a marathon? Or DC training? They all look fun, right?

Seriously man, just do it. You don’t need the perfect program right now, you need to move your body more.