Joining the Army, Keeping Muscle?

Hi guys, I’m joining the army in 2 months, and I wanna know how can i ensure not to lose any(most?) my muscle and not gain fat. I know that probab. for the next 6 months after i’ll be in basic +advanced training, and probably won’t be eating/sleeping properly. Do you guys ahve any good ways to ensure not too big loses will occur during that time-period?

Thanks in advance.

This question seems to get asked about every other week, it is one I never mind repeating. There are several vets here, including myself, who will be willing to help you out (training and other questions) between now and when you leave. Before I get to your post, good luck and let us know anything we can help you with.

Okay, forget about muscle gain/loss for the next six months. It will happen as it happens. Nothing you can do will prevent it. In the mean time, you are best to work on endurance- running, pushups, situps, endurance. Strengthen your core, work on any imbalances your have, and try to prehab any injuries. Keep weight training simple; basic compound movements. Forget about bodybuilding for a while, just get your whole body stronger. We can get into more detail on these if you need to.

I got frowned at before by saying this, but I will repeat it anyway. This is a weak man’s army. By that, I mean that weight lifting is really not a focus, and most units would rather have you skinny and be able to run than thick and strong as an ox. For example, I am 5’7 200lbs and I am considered overweight. To make weight I need to be @175. They do test bodyfat, I pass, but I am still scrutinized on a regular basis.

It is a weak man’s army. Standards are dropped on everything army wide to allow more people to pass. Physical standards are no exception and I have seen soldiers come to a unit unable to do thirty pushups. Quanity over quality but that is another topic.

On the plus side, if you take your training seriously and give it all, you can get as lean as you ever have been and your conditioning will be great. Muscle memory will be in your favor. @6-8 months down the road, when you are able to lift and eat like you want to, gains will come back quickly.

Err man I join the israeli army, not USA army… I know for sure I will do long marches (90+kilometers), climbs with heavy gear and stuff… Is your advice based on US army, in that case it may not be completley valid for me.

Thanks alot for the reply btw.

No, that advice applies to almost any country’s military. It’s all about endurance, agility, and performance.

bulldogmedic, I know how you feel about the weight thing. I’m 5’8" and 197lb, at roughly 12%BF, but because my runtime is now in the upper 13s, it’s apparently the general consensus that I should drop some weight.

I was talking about the US Army, but as Contrl said, I have to imagine it still implies. Based off nothing but my preconceptions, I would think your training might not be so ‘kinder gentler army’ as ours, but training styles similar. Endurance over strength.

From my own experience, the biggest thing you can do is prepare your mindset, the rest will be handed to you. Enjoy your freedom now, make good memories to keep you going through the hard times coming.

I don’t like to join a forum and post on the first day. But I have been lurking here for about a month. I am not a bodybuilding expert by any means. That’s why I joined this website. But, this is one I do have some personal subject matter experience with.

Bulldogmedic’s advice is right on. Heed it.
Regardless of what Army you joined, for the next 6 months I wouldn’t worry about how ‘big’ you are or keeping it. I would learn your new profession, and become a professional at it. Your life and the lives of your new family will depend on it.

You will get time to get big again. And for those 50miler ruck marches, a lean body will hack it a lot better than a big body. I went through the U.S. Army Ranger School. Saw big guys drop like flies. (I’m not saying big can’t or didn’t make it through too.) Just look at most of your marathon guys. That’s your new sport, endure.

Congrats on serving your country. The task that lays before you now is greater than any other of your lifetime. Oh, and on those long ‘walks’ just have a good song playing your in your head while you enjoy the scenary.

and also… once you do get time, I highly recommend checking out a crossfit type of work out. They are designed for our profession. Being able to go %200 at any task for an undetermined amount of time.

i know it’s going to sound crazy, but when you’re given time off, do a bit of pt on your own.

group pt was never enough for me and i got weaker because of it. in order for me to maintain strength and endurance i had to do a few little things on my own.

superset diamonds, wide and regular pushups. lunges, squats…little things. even though it’s body weight it’ll still help. just until you get to your unit and you can get to a gym regularly again.

just my 2cents