T Nation

Combining Running and Powerlifting?


#1

Hey everyone,

So I’m going into my 1st year of college and plan to do ROTC. I can meet the minimal Army Push-Up/Sit-Up PRT Requirements but I feel as if the run will kill me. I have a 1300lbs total w/wraps (500/300/500) and was really looking to hire a coach (like Mike T/RTS or Ben Rice) to help push myself to a 1500lbs+ total by sophomore year @105kg. How much do you think ROTC will interfere with this goal? I know that running is really high impact, but I thought that maybe cycling will have less of an impact while still improving my cardiovascular system and eventual work capacity (I know Greg Nuckols spoke about something like biking being a 1000 rep pump for your legs). Anyways, sorry to ramble. I guess to put it simply; how hard will ROTC cut into my powerlifting recovery when my cardio isn’t the best at the moment.

, Thank you


#2

Mike T was in the military, so he can probably provide some advice specific to your situation. I hear that “guided programming” is kind of hit and miss, some people do well while others don’t. If you can afford it, go with one of the customized options…

I also hear that Bryce Lewis/TSA gives discounts to people in the military, but I’m not sure if he can help you with the running thing.


#3

Barely meeting minimum standards and being overweight is not good. The cadre will not be very supportive of your lifting.

You’ll probably be put into Supplemental PT, where you do what everyone else does, plus extra. If you stay over weight, and keep getting low scores it will be interpreted as you “Not wanting to be there.”

Make sure you want to be in the ROTC.


#4

Ok thank you for the advice, much appreciated. I heard that Mike T was at the Air Force Academy so yeah, I believe he might be able to offer some insight. Have any of you guys had any experience with Alex Viada? I’ve heard that he specializes in aerobic conditioning combined with strength training (dude squats and pulls 700lbs while running marathons lol, although he is on PEDs).


#5

Thank you. Yeah ROTC is definitely more important to me than powerlifting, so if sacrifices have to be made I’ll make them. Just trying to really find an optimal way to combine running w/strength training. Also, I wouldn’t say I’m overweight, abs are still visible @220 although that doesn’t mean anything when it comes to aerobic conditioning lol… so that sucks.


#6

220 is heavy for military personnel. Basically running and body weight training is what they do. Gotta get good at those things.

I do applaud you for ROTC being more important than PL’ing.


#7

Yeah, what he said. I think 220 is a pretty cool bodyweight. My favorite number to weigh is 222.

But the Army has a chart. If you wanna weight 218+, you have to be 6’5".


#8

I realize I’m a little late to the conversation, but I thought I’d add one more thing. Elite-level football players manage to get very strong in the bench, squat, and power clean while also doing a fair amount of running and agility work. So unless you’re routinely running so much that you are too exhausted to even lift, I would think it would be possible to run and still make some gains on your lifts.


#9

I served I the army for seven years. Last two were as a recruiter. So you know, the way the army calculates body fat is very old and skewed. Chances are you’re going to have to cut weight. The PT test is an extremely important part of service. Scoring low will get you a shitbag title and extra pt. Especially in any combat arms MOS. My last unit had a minimum score of 270. If you didn’t make that, extra pt.

Here’s my honest opinion. If the service is what you want, train for it. You don’t have to cut out lifting. But you should be training for the pt test hard. Do what you need to get in. Once you’re in you’ll see there’s quite a lot of people that lift. Getting in is very hard. Put your focus on that. Check the height/weight chart for your desired branch. Once you’re in you can get back to your PL goals. Its not so bad if you bust tape while in(considering your pt scores are good). Leadership won’t turn a blind eye to height/weight standards, but will be more lenient.

Here’s an example. I had a platoon sergeant that was a beast of a man. Maybe 5’8" over 200lbs. All muscle. Could out pt my entire battalion. But he would bust tape every time. Had he not been such a pt stud or just all around great soldier he would have been discharged. Last I heard he was trying out for delta. Never heard of him since so I figure he got in.

Here’s the bottom line (which a whole lot of people don’t understand), you conform to the military, not the other way around. And the last thing you want is an injury from training just before getting in. If you’ve got any specific questions shoot me a pm. Most of my friends are still active so I could find out any of the updated standards. Good luck. Serving my country will always be my greatest accomplishment.


#10

Sorry for the late response everyone, been busy and just checked back today. Thanks for all of the info, much appreciated.


#11

Yes, thank you sir and thank you for your service. I agree with everything you said. I now realize that for the most part, I will have to cut down a whole lot on the powerlifting. I do want to go SOF so my PT scores will have to be maxed out. I hired a coach from CHP who’s a current Army Ranger Officer and came from a Strongman/Powerlifting background (Max Pippa). He said he was in the same spot as I am now and that he had to lose about 40lbs (from 230-190) to max out the PT and that it hurt his strength numbers. As of now I’ve lost about 7lbs and plan to go down to 180-185. Lifting weights twice a week and running 3 times a week. Will start ROTC next semester and going to take these next 4 months to try to get close to maxing the PT out, because as of now, my PT scores would make me look extremely delusional for considering SOF lol. Still conflicted about whether or not I should go Army or Navy though, the upside to NSW is that I could make use of the fact that I swam competively for 8 years but I also really love the forest so North Carolina just seems so much better than California (plus going Airborne and doing some training in Alaska during college intrests me a lot more than being in a Submarine or on an Aircraft Carrier)