T Nation

jail, the army ,and nurtition

I was in the army for 8 years. 4 of those years I was in 2nd Ranger Batt. When we were not on green cycle (Mission ready posture) we were doing PT twice a day and in those PT programs we would run 5-8 miles…6 to 7 min mile pace. The avg age of a ranger was 23 and our metabolism were still in high gear. Most of us were very lean and cut.

The chow hall was only open 3 times a day and if you didnt go then you were SOL. Also you didnt get to eat all you wanted.

Once I got to a regular unit in Germany you saw all the desk sitters in the gym and they were huge cause they could sit around and eat all day.

Juice wasnt that big in my units because you would end up wasting cycles because at least once a month you go to the field for a week or more so it would not only screw with your diet but you lift also.

But once I got out of the army and sat on my ass for awhile I got fat quick went from 10 to 11% BF all the way up to 24% finally I worked it back down to 15% and still losing.

Hope comments helped.

I worked in a prison for a number of years, and this idea that they are all ripped is largely a myth. Like another poster mentioned, someone has been watching too many movies. The inmates that DO lift weights are usually in good shape, but I wouldn’t say that they are in amazing condition or anything. They just look like normal guys that push the weights around sometimes. In my time working in a prison, I met every inmate in the prison, and none of them were in the kind of shape we all envy. Again, like another poster mentioned, they are fed a lot of starches - lots of pasta and potatoes, so many of them tend to have a softer look, and the canteen that we had didn’t have any high-protein food. It was all chocolate, chips, and cigarettes.

Finally, don’t discount the fact that inmates don’t have access to the information we have. The guys that lift are learning through trial and error, and mostly end up focusing on maximal weights in low rep ranges (ego, reputation, like anybody else, really) which might get them stronger, but they won’t really look like bodybuilders.

all you guys who think that the majority of guys in prison “look like granite”, or even those in the military look like that are wrong. For example, On last month’s cover of Men’s Fitness they showed some pretty jacked Marines. One of them I happen to know, as he is from my old unit. Now this guy is in great shape, but he really works at it. In reality, the majority of Marines are in good shape, but not that many look like bodybuilders because they don’t all train like bodybuilders. The ones who are jacked are the ones we see in the magazines. The same goes for the ‘prison’ thing (movies). One more thing- probably one of the biggest reasons these guys in prison look like that is because they can’t eat like pigs all day- they get 3 meals- and they exercise- so they lose bodyfat.

Summer 1978. Lifted at a State Pen.couple of times a week during the summer. Volunter work. Food was OK. Drugs, in 78’ two hits a “D” a day was a big deal and anyway these guys didn’t even know what it was. DL day. 15 guys sitting around the platform, starting weight on the bar. Weight added each round. If you couldn’t lift it, you were out of the rotation. The last lift was always over 700lbs. These guys were hard and strong. Most of them were in there 20’s or early 30’s. No straps, one belt, no special lifting equip. Most of them smoked, they would lite up a Kool as they were sitting around waiting for there next lift. Could you picture a group of these guys at a gym today. No bullshit, no whining, no crying. Just hardcore lifting. Maybe if some guys would just lift and eat and quit whining about everthing they would probably see some great results.
1.567675 grams of protein per pound. LOL. But its so true. So many sweat the litte shit.

Guys I often wondered about this…

I had a friend who went to prison…a very skinny bastard. it looked like he never touched a weight in his life, I mean if I had to guess I’d say that his best bench would be about 205lbs at best. Anyways, when he get out like three years later he was pushing 400 plus!! I was like holy shit!! Me and my friends thought there was no way this guy could get big, I mean no way. And I seriously doubt he even has the background like I do that he knowsa about rotator cuff training 1/6/1 principle or like other posters said a extremely poor diet. Yet he still was able to get big and strong as hell…

It kind of makes you wonder what all this diet, training methodolgies mean, but when you have to get bigger, as a means of SURVIVAL, all that b.s. goes out the window…At least that’s what I think.

I was a prison gaurd for a few years so i might be some help. The reason alot (not all) inmates usally make such a incredible improvement in prison is because when they come in most of them have been caked out with drugs and alcohol, so they (for the most part) are becoming drug free and alcy free for the first time in god knows how long. And let me tell ya something, most of the big guys train like fuck8in bulls. Were talkin 2 and a half hour chest workouts with like 5 to 10 minute rest periods, with heavy weight. They also have things like the canteen were they can go to buy a wide variaty of food and such, So in fact alot of the dedicated ones do eat 6 times a day. I think the biggest thing is they have all the time in the world. They can wake up, absolutley obliviate the bodypart there working and then rest for 24 hours till the next workout. While most of them do have some kind of job in the system its usally nothing stressfull at all. So it comes down to 8 hours sleep,3 squares a day (at least) super intensity, so on so forth.

NO shit huh…nothing like going on RRF1 to end a good streak in the gym. Its one of the things Im looking forward to when I get out here in two weeks!

kinda does prove the simplicity of our quest… eat as much as you can, lift heavier weights as time goes on, sleep and relax a lot. that is the name of the game isn’t it?

‘Guys in the Army’ don’t, generally, get very big. They also don’t, generally, get very strong. I will agree that many (mostly combat arms soldiers) get very hard, muscularly. From my understanding (and experience), this consistant ‘hardness’ is not a good thing. Another point, many of the special operations soldiers, once they complete indoc training, and are allowed to eat what they want to, gain quite a bit of pudge (on SF teams, this is referred to as the ‘ruck gut’). The physical characteristics these guys have is that they can stand huge amounts of volume of work, because that is what they train for.