T Nation

Lifting Lost Priority to Outside Training


Greetings TMUSCLE readers and contributors,

I'm posting in this section because I am not a member of the War Room where it would be better suited, but I also feel it can be answered here.

I train for the military 5-6 days a week. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are either 5-6 mile runs or 60:00 of sprint/speed work or incline running. Heavy aerobic/endurance.

Tuesday and Thursday are upper-body training days. These include push-up and sit-up/crunch routines with various weight circuits thrown in to include DB overhead presses, DB bench presses, pull-ups, dips, and others.

For the sake of progression, we strive for higher reps or longer distances with less rest. In the bodybuilding world, I see these methods are commonly thrown into the fat-burning camp as opposed to the hypertrophy. Here is where my concern lies: I am not trying to lose fat. I am trying to gain muscle.

I am a long-time weightlifter, and prior to these 5 day per week routines with the military, used to lift 6 days out of the week. The question is not whether or not it is a good idea to train twice a day, the question I have is how should I approach weightlifting given that every morning I have already done the routine as stated above?

I am at the stage where total-body workouts are not very effective, and where dedicating an entire session to one major body group is the only way to guarantee the kind of hypertrophy that builds mass. As such, I need at least a 5-day split to hit all the major groups.

However, this puts me at 10-11 workouts per week, and my concern is with over-training and injury. Does anyone have any suggestions as to alternatives, or perhaps what has worked for them?

I realize I may be asking too much of my body, but I would like someone more experienced than I confirm this before I decide on it. It hurts me (as many of you know) to continue weightlifting and not see any progress because of too much cardio/endurance work, but it would hurt even more to have to leave it behind.

Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Some FYI stats:

Age: 19
Height: 5'5
Weight: ~132lb (see what I mean?)



Do what you have to do, if you eat and sleep enough to support it, it will work. If you don't do those two things, it won't. Your call.


Lift in the evenings 3-4 times a week on your run days. Lift hard, lift heavy. Short sessions of max intensity work. Focus on compound exercises. A few finishers if you want. Train (3) bodyparts a day. You should be able to work your whole body by the end of the week. If you miss a session hit it on the weekend. The body is very resilient. It'll adapt to just about whatever you throw at it. As long as you're eating enough protein, carbs, and healthy fats you should be fine.

I think the hardest thing about being in the military is getting consistancy with your training. Sometimes it's a battle just to get into the gym for me. Luckily I don't have to do group PT sessions anymore, so I can do my workouts in the morning, pre-PT, and then participate in PT if I want or go off on my own and do whatever I feel is necessary. Normally I'm too taxed out after leg/back days to do much of anything at least until the evening.

If I have to, I take a lunch break to go workout. That seems to work well, save for the time factor. But hey if you can't bust it out in under an hour you're resting too much...LOL, right?

Try something like this...

Legs/Calves/Abs (or) Shoulders

leg press
stiff-legged deads
walking lunges or SL E(x)
SM calf raises
Seated calf raises
hanging leg raises


DB/BB incline press
DB/BB flat bench press
DB/BB shoulder press
DB rear delt rows (or) flyes
DB/BB shrugs
Wt.ed dips
Close-grip bench

Lower Back/Upper Back/Biceps

Deadlifts (Regular/Sumo)
Back extensions
Wt.ed Pullups/Chinups
B/O Rows (or) T-bar Rows
Lat pulldowns (multiple varieties)
1-Arm DB rows (or) cable rows
DB/BB bicep curls
Incline supported DB curls
Reverse EZ-bar curls

Done...I mean just follow the basics. Then find what works for you. If you can't gain any size modify. Never stop remodeling. If you find something that works superbly well, stick with it and keep it in your program. If something isn't working after a while, change it. Tons of info out there. Look for it.




Thanks, Gremlin.

Although I probably will not incorporate heavy leg work, I am definitely going to consolidate my routine and combine muscle groups as you suggested.

Glad to see somebody understands the situation.

...drive on


Military PT sucks. All focused on running and endurance exercises. Pretty counterproductive to putting on muscle like you said yourself. Only way to combat this and get weight workouts in is to eat enough to support two sessions a day on most days, and getting quality sleep in every night.

I sometimes have to deal with twice daily workouts depending on my work days of the week as we have mandatory pt sessions on mon, wed, friday. If you want to get bigger and stronger bad enough you will figure out a way to make it work as I have. Good luck man.