T Nation

Joining the Army


#1

Since im joining the Army im going to have to end up preparing a few months beforehand. Im thinking May is good, since im leaving july 27th.

Im going to start doing alot of running, problably twice a day, and a little routine I picked up off a guy whos joining special forces.
He said do 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 sit-ups, and 400 squats. 10 sets of the According amount(10x10,10x20, and so on.)
Its a no break workout. Once I finish a set of one exercise, or I cannot do anymore of one, I immediately move on to the next one. I have no doubts this will be a great routine to build my body up to what It needs, with the running--of course.

What is bothering me, though, is the fact that maybe I should stop lifting throughought this. I asked a powerlifter and he said I should--but it bugs me so much I figured id ask you guys. Id love to maybe do a 2day a week routine along with this setup. Something like this:

Sun: Break
Mon: Army Workout
Tue: Army Workout
Wed: Army Workout
Thu: Army Workout
Fri: Upper Body Lift
Sat: Lower Body Lift

Do you guys think that would be beneficial in any way, or maybe have an idea of your own? Let me know.
Otherwise if i just stick to the army workout it would be 6 days a week, 1 day rest.

Anyone have any ideas?


#2

Depending on what kind of unit you wind up in and how your 1SG decides to run PT, you're weekly workouts could vary. But a safe bet would be something like:

-Monday-
Calestinics
2 - 6 mile run

-Tuesday-
Calestinics
Push ups
Diamond Push ups
Sit ups
Flutter kicks
(etc.)

-Wednesday-
same as monday

-Thursday-
same as tuesday

-Friday-
same as monday

Granted some days you'll do push ups, sit ups, and run all in one PT session. It's really up to whoever's leading PT that day. Most units I was in put more emphasis on running than they did push ups / sit ups.

As for your PT test, you've got to do roughly 40 push ups in 2 minutes, roughly 50 sit ups in 2 minutes, and run 2 miles in under 16 minutes. I ETS'ed 5 years ago, so those numbers are estimations. They may have changed since then.

Also, those numbers are bare minimums to pass. You'll want to do much more than that to get a decent score. I think max score for push ups was around 70 or 80. Max score for sit ups was around 80 or 90. Max score for run was around 11 or 12 minutes for 2 miles. Like I said, it's been a while so those numbers may not be exactly the same as the standards today, but it gives you an idea of what to shoot for.

Also, during a PT test you get a minimum of 5 minutes / maximum of 20 minutes break between each event.


#3

Army BCT is not that hard. You do not need to be training that hard unless you're an 18x, or an 11x with an option 40 contract.

You will most likely step into the realm of overtraining, too many goals at once will lead to less progress in them all.


#4

I am 11x, with option 4 I believe(Airborne). Im problably going ranger as well. Yay, or nay?


#5

That looks like a pretty solid plan. I'd mix the type of running you do- duration, distance, and sprints. On some days, instead of running, go for marches with a loaded pack. Four to eight miles is a good distance.
Honestly, if you do that workout succesfully until you leave, you will lose some conditioning at basic. If you are in decent shape, Army PT is pretty much a joke. Ranger training on the otherhand is another matter, and I cannot speak of that.
As far as lifting, why not, if you still have the energy reserves to do it. Every little bit helps. Better to be over prepared than under prepared. Also, as I am sure you know, lot's of guys drop near 30 lbs or more during RIP. So the more mass you have going into it, the more you may be able to spare by the time you complete it.
Lifting goals should stay away from the bodybuilding side and focus on the core lifts. Strong tricep pressdowns won't help you any, total body strength will. Also, as much as you should focus on strength, focus on prehabbing any injuries. The most common injuries I see are knees, lower back and shin splints.
Good luck, and keep posting any questions you have here. There are many vets and current active duty guys (and gals) on this site who would love to help you however we can.


#6

That's a lot of training, dude.

If you're really fit you might cope with the volume, but only if all other aspects (sleep, nourishment, social environment etc.) are without fault.

in any case:

do not run twice every day, that's foolish- except when you want to lose a lot of weight fast.
some progression would be nice, don't stick too long to the same set/rep formula, especially since you will lose some weight. And since your workouts are mainly bodyweight exercises, that wouldn't make sense.


#7

Yeah, after im able to do it without trouble day after day ill move up the volume a bit. Although it will take a while ebcause i know for a fact i cant do that many pull-ups. Ill just start cheating it for now. Maybe for intensity one legged squats, one handed pushups, etc.


#8

Please please please please pleeeaasseeeee.


#9

And about the running: you really need to periodize that. We're living in 21st century just running an hour every day would be a shame.


#10

Do not do the same workout for three or more days in a row if you are beginning training and plan on working until failure. You will overtrain and burn out. I wouldn't run twice a day either. If you are smart, you will prepare as early as possible. Two months is too short. Its not like you need to peak for basic training. Get your pt stuff down, then work on other things.

You need to road march with a rucksack and boots (foot conditioning) and work on obstacle course related skills (dips, pull-ups, rope climbs). Don't over do it. One long ruck a week and one long run a week with some moderate pt improvement running should put you way ahead of the pack.

For S.F. training check out specific programs, but you should be able to score a 270+ (at least 85 on any one event) out of 300 on the pt test and road march 8 miles at 4 miles an hour with a #45 pound ruck before you go to basic. You will be well prepared. Do not stop weight training, but keep your focus on improving the specific performance goals listed above. If you can't pull your fat ass up a rope, save yourself some embarassment and work on it. Don't forget to swim a little as well.

Here is a great basic pt test improvement program:

http://usasma.bliss.army.mil/Journal/archives/before_2000/1997/summer/97summer_max_pt.pdf

http://www.vanderbilt.edu/Army/apft%20improvement.htm


#11

http://usasma.bliss.army.mil/Journal/archives/before_2000/1997/summer/97summer_max_pt.pdf

404 error for that link.

I was wondering though, any idea what kind of boots should I use for marches before I go in?

How, exactly, would I work in weightlifting during this? It seems like overtraining is such a big fear I dont know where to start.


#12

What I would tell you is that army fitness has no real rhyme or reason to it, and more is better.

BCT should see you getting your bags smoked often, same with your AIT and Airborne if you do indeed have that locked into your contract. I would recommend various bodyweight exercises, as in pushup, pullups, blurpees, handstand pushups, situps, dragon fly, V-ups and various others. I would do them in a grease the groove(GTG) method so that you will be able to handle the volume that will be forced on you and not already be burnt out.

You should start now, and work you way up as BCT is not really that hard, and I cant speak for the 11 series or airborne school as I have not attended(to save some face I did go to marine corp boot camp and was a ground pounder in the corp for 4 years...).

Anyhow I would work on the rucking with 45lb pack, longer distance runs, along with some shorter higher intensity ones. Start all this now and you will be well ahead of the game, or if you dont the Drill Sgt's will damn will make sure you pay. Hell they will make you pay anyhow. So enjoy your time before your leave, and get yourself square might not before too long and Ill run into you across the pond here.

SGT Walter
Camp Phoenix, Kabul Afghanistan.


#13

Hi Walt,

could you clarify what these "Dragonflys" are?
As I have a knack for bodyweight exercises, I'm really curious.

Thanks a lot.
-S