T Nation

Joined the Army, Program Suggestions?

Hey guys. I’ve been on this site a few times and have read an article here and there, but this is first time using this forum, so excuse any ignorance on my part. I’ve been lifting since I was 15 and I’ve made some pretty good progress. I had a 435# squat, a 450# deadlift, a near 200# overhead press, and I had never maxed bench press, all at 175#.

Now,I find myself in a bit of a snag. I just recently joined the Army (and by that I mean six months), where I haven’t been able to lift or do any REAL exercise for the past 20 weeks, effectively killing what base strength I’ve had. That in combination with the terrible food has led me to gain 13 pounds of who knows what, and it makes me worry that I won’t get back to where I was.

I did a mix of CrossFit and strength training before enlisting, and while it kept me under 10% body fat and fairly strong, it often led me to feeling like shit and sore for days on end. I’ve never really followed a set program for anything, so I was wondering if anyone could suggest SOMETHING that I could try. I have plenty of free time now (I’m in K9 school and have the end of each day and weekends of) so I can experiment around. As far as hypertrophy goes, I don’t know how much bigger I’d want to get, but lean and strong are definitely two things I’m going for. I’ll throw in a picture of myself so all of you can judge me.

Any advice/constructive criticism is appreciated.

5/3/1. It’s flexible enough that you can adjust and move lifting days around to conform to your PT schedule and the intensity is moderate enough to allow for a decent amount of cardio.

As far as conditioning goes, if PT isn’t providing enough then take what you learned from CrossFit and develop your own workouts to fill in the shortfalls. Upper body conditioning on upper body lifting day and lower body conditioning on lower body lifting day. I usually do PT in the morning then lift in the afternoon, and if neccissary I’ll add an evening conditioning session to fill in the blanks.

Lastly, accept that your training will never be perfect and that the army will always find a way to fuck it up. And that the guys on strict diets with low body fat are usually the first to shit the bed.

Based on where you say you were before joining it seems like you know what you’re doing.
Why not just do what you were doing before hand?
I’m sure you could cut out the crossfit metabolic stuff because you’re doing PT with your unit right?
Probably lots of mindless rucking and running in formation?

Anyway, clean up your diet, get your supplementation in order and get back into a lifting routine like you had before hand and you should be good to go.