T Nation

Extended Vacation


Good day everyone,

I've been following T-Nation articles & forums for about 8 years now but I am a first time poster!
Currently serving in the USAF and I am about to take a 8-12 month extended vacation to a very hot location. This location will have a very limited set of weights to work with and I was curious as to any members with similar experiences that could guide me in continuing effective training / tips to stay fit.

I'm currently 26, 6'1, 225. I train MMA/BJJ casually and if I partake in a tourney I cut down to about 210.

Some stats :
-DL Max = 515
-Squat max = 365
-Front Squat = 325
-Powerclean = 255
-Push Press = 275
-5k average = 22 mins
-10k average = 53 mins
*I run 10k 3 times a week which allows me to maximize my strength training, for some time I would run the distance M-F but that took a severe hit on my strength training. On Tues & Weds I will run variations of sprints in the morning (50s, 100s, 400s) to get my heart & metabolism going.

I appreciate any and all input on a good program for a person in my position,
thanks in advance


Well, its 121 degrees today, where I am, and thats hot enough (southern Iraq). I just wanted to welcome you to the combat forum. I lurked for several years myself before sticking my 2 cents in. I am not qualified to offer any detailed advise on strength training, I basicially follow the 5-3-1 program and, have been in places where sandbags had to be used for almost everything. Hope your vacation isnt that primitive.

Aragon, Sento, and numerous others will be able to provide a strength program for you. You could also post this in the “Bigger, leaner, section” Lots of experienced lifters over there. If you have a internet connection out in the boonies, check in,. Again, welcome, good people on the combat forum.


Appreciate the welcome good sir, I myself have invested greatly in the 5-3-1 and love the results. Unfortunately this tour will be extremely primitive to include minimal internet access. I will look into some more research and hope to find some good stuff


By “extremely hot location” I’m assuming you mean the Middle East.

So, in my view, a lot is going to depend on two things: what your job is and how many hours a day you spend doing it, and what kind of equipment is available to you.

If you’re working 8 or 9 hours and that weight set has 315 lbs., well I’d say you can make do without much guidance from any of us. If you’re going to work 12 hour shifts in an Iraqi prison like one of my buddies was, you’re probably not going to have the time or the inclination to lift much.

That being said, it appears you’re experienced enough to know what to do if you can’t lift heavy. If there’s only 250 lbs. there, squat 250 in sets of 20 until you puke. If there’s hills, run them. If there’s cinder blocks around, slide them through the bar and add some weight. You know the drill.

Otherwise, focus on something else entirely. You compete in MMA? Find or fill a heavy bag and work your boxing skills three times a week. Find someone who teaches the military martial arts and increase your proficiency in them, with the intent to refocus on strength training when you return.