T Nation

Almost Fat By Army Standard

I didn’t know where to post this so I put it here.

So I have a little bit of a problem. By army standard I’m almost fat. We have a height and weight chart and if you weigh more then you should for your height you have to get taped, meaning they measure your neck and then measure your waist and somehow they come out with your body fat percent. Its complete bull shit. My problem is that right now I’m eating between 4000-5000 calories a day, so of course I’m going to gain weight, some fat but if I keep lifting hard and busting my ass then hopefully most of it will be muscle. I keep a food log and stay away from the fatty foods that aren’t good for you, so 99% of my diet is clean. I’m only 5’6 and right now I weigh 165-170lbs, depending on when I get weighed. When I get taped I’m told that I’m at 0% whichs means I’m right at the maximum weight I can be, I’m not under weight or over, so I can’t gain anymore weight. If I do gain weight and fail tape I get put on fat boy pt, which sucks because during that we can only do cardio and are not allowed to lift weights or we get the shit smoked out of us. There are really no acceptations to army regulations, specially if your one of the lowest ranks in the army. I know later on when I start to pack the muscle on it won’t be hard to pass tape, but until then is there anything I can do? I need to eat to gain, but at the same time I don’t want to get labeled as a “fat boy”.

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We do have guys here who are massive, like they could win some competitions if they really wanted to and they pass tape, but it will be awhile before I’m considered really muscular before I’m called a little chubby. Right now I would say i’m somewhere between the 12 and 16% bf. The army’s way of measuring bf is really messed up, they tried to tell one guy he was under weight and needed to gain more weight because he was -15% bf.

[quote]karl.allen2 wrote:
I didn’t know where to post this so I put it here.

So I have a little bit of a problem. By army standard I’m almost fat. We have a height and weight chart and if you weigh more then you should for your height you have to get taped, meaning they measure your neck and then measure your waist and somehow they come out with your body fat percent. Its complete bull shit. My problem is that right now I’m eating between 4000-5000 calories a day, so of course I’m going to gain weight, some fat but if I keep lifting hard and busting my ass then hopefully most of it will be muscle. I keep a food log and stay away from the fatty foods that aren’t good for you, so 99% of my diet is clean. I’m only 5’6 and right now I weigh 165-170lbs, depending on when I get weighed. When I get taped I’m told that I’m at 0% whichs means I’m right at the maximum weight I can be, I’m not under weight or over, so I can’t gain anymore weight. If I do gain weight and fail tape I get put on fat boy pt, which sucks because during that we can only do cardio and are not allowed to lift weights or we get the shit smoked out of us. There are really no acceptations to army regulations, specially if your one of the lowest ranks in the army. I know later on when I start to pack the muscle on it won’t be hard to pass tape, but until then is there anything I can do? I need to eat to gain, but at the same time I don’t want to get labeled as a “fat boy”.

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We do have guys here who are massive, like they could win some competitions if they really wanted to and they pass tape, but it will be awhile before I’m considered really muscular before I’m called a little chubby. Right now I would say i’m somewhere between the 12 and 16% bf. The army’s way of measuring bf is really messed up, they tried to tell one guy he was under weight and needed to gain more weight because he was -15% bf. [/quote]

I went through MEPS in February. (Military Entrance Physical Screening) So I have a good idea of what you are getting at. I understand the weight to height ratio and how they find you “fat” or whatever…

It boils down to this… If you have to do a small cut to join the Army and provide a better future for yourself then do it? You’ll have plenty of time to lift and bulk once you are in and after 9weeks/AIT.

EDIT : if your post is not about joining the Army, forget what I said above.

Train your neck. Add it like people add abs, 3 times a week.

If you don’t have a machine for it, which is kind of rare, and you are serious about this, try the following:

Buy a football helmet (used) and drill a hole in the top.

Insert a post and anchor it inside.

Add weight to the post. (Obviously, secure it well)

Put it on.

Do neck exercises.

Or use bands.

I have friends that are well over weight, but they have jacked their neck up to massive proportions.

Big necks look cool, too.

The height and weight thing still applies once you get out of meps and ait. I finished all that already and am in the big army. But they aren’t so strick about it in training as they are in the big army. I’ve been to a few of the gyms on the base and we have neck machines here, we acutally have a lot of machines that I’ve never even seen or heard of before. I don’t really like the gyms here because they have way to many machines and not enough free weights.

Yea that is pretty funny, I’m 6’4" and weigh 215, I would be over the max weight by three pounds, and I consider myself to be pretty thin-framed. My bodyfat is around 11 percent now but there are people my height at under 10 percent that are 220-230, my guess is its a case by case basis so if your obviously fit it would be ok.

Another thing to consider is that it could be an efficiency issue. If you are 6’4" 240 at 19% bodyfat you fit the bodyfat% guidelines but are above the maximum weight for that height.

Lets think about this. How often is being that big even if its primarily muscle, going to benefit you in a combat situation? I suppose in the extremely rare occurrence where you are fighting someone in hand to hand combat it would pay off, but I would imagine that almost never happens. Regardless of the type of shape you are in, someone that heavy would definitely have an endurance issue rucking for long distances. The easiest way to increase strength to weight ratio is almost always to reduce weight.

Marine standards are interestingly different than army. http://usmilitary.about.com/od/marines/a/weightmale.htm

Lower bodyfat along with higher max weight.

[quote]karl.allen2 wrote:
I didn’t know where to post this so I put it here.

So I have a little bit of a problem. By army standard I’m almost fat. We have a height and weight chart and if you weigh more then you should for your height you have to get taped, meaning they measure your neck and then measure your waist and somehow they come out with your body fat percent. Its complete bull shit. My problem is that right now I’m eating between 4000-5000 calories a day, so of course I’m going to gain weight, some fat but if I keep lifting hard and busting my ass then hopefully most of it will be muscle. I keep a food log and stay away from the fatty foods that aren’t good for you, so 99% of my diet is clean. I’m only 5’6 and right now I weigh 165-170lbs, depending on when I get weighed. When I get taped I’m told that I’m at 0% whichs means I’m right at the maximum weight I can be, I’m not under weight or over, so I can’t gain anymore weight. If I do gain weight and fail tape I get put on fat boy pt, which sucks because during that we can only do cardio and are not allowed to lift weights or we get the shit smoked out of us. There are really no acceptations to army regulations, specially if your one of the lowest ranks in the army. I know later on when I start to pack the muscle on it won’t be hard to pass tape, but until then is there anything I can do? I need to eat to gain, but at the same time I don’t want to get labeled as a “fat boy”.

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We do have guys here who are massive, like they could win some competitions if they really wanted to and they pass tape, but it will be awhile before I’m considered really muscular before I’m called a little chubby. Right now I would say i’m somewhere between the 12 and 16% bf. The army’s way of measuring bf is really messed up, they tried to tell one guy he was under weight and needed to gain more weight because he was -15% bf. [/quote]

I had a buddy who was 6’1 245 when I was in and probably had ~10% bf. He was put on the “fat boy” program because of his stats. So he requested a meeting with the commander to discuss this. There was no discussion, my buddy just took off his shirt and asked whether the commander thought he should be on the fat boy program. He got waived from it that day. He performed outstanding on everything except the weight/height ratio bs.

I was always over the weight limit.

Only time I WASN’T above weight limit was RIGHT after boot camp. Now I’m 22 lbs over my max weight limit, but always tape within standards. 2 things:

  1. I’m guessing your diet is pretty shitty, or your training intensity/programming sucks, so fix that shit up (would help if you gave us more info about that to work with).

  2. Train your neck.

Do a tape test on yourself now, and see how you do?

The height weight thing is complete bs, but we do have those people who are really fit, can carry 70lb ruck 12 miles easily, and pass their pt test.

Being big in my job isn’t a problem, half the people on the flight line are over weight and have huge guts and can barely pass a pt test. We’re all mechanics, so most of us will never see combat first hand. There are a few who will with this job, but those are the guys who leave the security of the base to go out and pick up aircraft that have gone done. If I had a combat arms job I would probably be going more for high endurance, being able to run fast and have tons of stamina while maintaining more then average strength. My buddy who is special forces quit lifting for size and started to lift and workout purely for endurance and he has done pretty good and met his goals.

But my goal is to be big, I don’t care about the endurance part bc I run enough as it is. My job consist more of heavy lifting then running and carry a ruck sack all over the place.

My diet doesn’t suck at all. Its pretty good for the most part, just I don’t get money for food, I get money taken out of my pay check so I can eat at the army cafeterias. They only take about $75 but still thats a weeks worth of food. So when I run out of money to buy my own food I have to eat there and they have a “healthy” line and “fast food” line. I never eat the fast food, but the healthy food isn’t exactly the healthiest food either.

For breakfest I normally eat 3 eggs, whole wheat bagel, oatmeal, protein shake, some fruit, cottage cheese, yogurt, and a protein shake along with chicken or sausage. For lunch and dinner I normally eat plain salad, with some chicken, turkey or steak, fruit, cottage cheese, protein shake, mixed nuts. I don’t ever eat out, if I go out to lunch with people from work its subway. I’m very good about watching my diet, it could probably use some improving but for the most part its pretty good. I’m always eating something and its never chips or anything bad, its always veggies, fruit, nuts, the good stuff. I stay away from foods high in fat and sugar and that have been fried. I try and make everything from scratch.

The reason I almost fail tape though isn’t because I don’t train hard enough, its because I just started training hard again. I just got out of training and for 8 months I couldn’t lift, take supplements or control my diet at all. We weren’t allowed to have any food in our rooms and only had access to food at one place and it wasn’t always the healthiest food so I kind of went down hill while I was in training but now I’m trying to fix all that, but if I keep eating as many calories as I do, I know I’ll gain some weight and possibly fail tape. Which I don’t want to do, because then I have to do fat boy pt.

[quote]karl.allen2 wrote:
The height weight thing is complete bs, but we do have those people who are really fit, can carry 70lb ruck 12 miles easily, and pass their pt test.

Being big in my job isn’t a problem, half the people on the flight line are over weight and have huge guts and can barely pass a pt test. We’re all mechanics, so most of us will never see combat first hand. There are a few who will with this job, but those are the guys who leave the security of the base to go out and pick up aircraft that have gone done. If I had a combat arms job I would probably be going more for high endurance, being able to run fast and have tons of stamina while maintaining more then average strength. My buddy who is special forces quit lifting for size and started to lift and workout purely for endurance and he has done pretty good and met his goals.

But my goal is to be big, I don’t care about the endurance part bc I run enough as it is. My job consist more of heavy lifting then running and carry a ruck sack all over the place.

My diet doesn’t suck at all. Its pretty good for the most part, just I don’t get money for food, I get money taken out of my pay check so I can eat at the army cafeterias. They only take about $75 but still thats a weeks worth of food. So when I run out of money to buy my own food I have to eat there and they have a “healthy” line and “fast food” line. I never eat the fast food, but the healthy food isn’t exactly the healthiest food either.

For breakfest I normally eat 3 eggs, whole wheat bagel, oatmeal, protein shake, some fruit, cottage cheese, yogurt, and a protein shake along with chicken or sausage. For lunch and dinner I normally eat plain salad, with some chicken, turkey or steak, fruit, cottage cheese, protein shake, mixed nuts. I don’t ever eat out, if I go out to lunch with people from work its subway. I’m very good about watching my diet, it could probably use some improving but for the most part its pretty good. I’m always eating something and its never chips or anything bad, its always veggies, fruit, nuts, the good stuff. I stay away from foods high in fat and sugar and that have been fried. I try and make everything from scratch.

The reason I almost fail tape though isn’t because I don’t train hard enough, its because I just started training hard again. I just got out of training and for 8 months I couldn’t lift, take supplements or control my diet at all. We weren’t allowed to have any food in our rooms and only had access to food at one place and it wasn’t always the healthiest food so I kind of went down hill while I was in training but now I’m trying to fix all that, but if I keep eating as many calories as I do, I know I’ll gain some weight and possibly fail tape. Which I don’t want to do, because then I have to do fat boy pt.

[/quote]

It sounds like you better get ready for fat boy pt.

You do realize that those of us giving you advice (for the most part) are current or ex military, right? Your situation isn’t unique really. Cut down on your carbs, increase protein intake, and you should be fine. If what you say is true.

when I was in (just got out a week ago) I always was over the hieght/weight limit. At 5’11 and 215 I had to get taped every time but am definitely no where near fat. It was never an issue with anyone as long as you passed the PRT. My slowst PRT time was still under 10 minutes so it was never an issue. Just smoke the test and you shouldnt have any problems.

When I was at Basic Airborne at Ft Benning there were a bunch of Joes who were overweight but they could all pass the minimum standards for the airborne prt for the most part. It didnt seem to be a problem for them being heavier.

.greg.