Military and Lifting

I know there may be tons of topics on running and lifting, but my case may/may not be a tad different.

I’m following SS, been doing it for about a 2 months and I’m up to Squat: 185, Deadlift 250, Press - 85, Bench - 135, PC - 135. So now that I’m getting up to larger weights, I’ve noticed recovery is a lot more important. I really feel crappy on my middle day workout some times…

I think I"m eating enough. 3 meals - a plate heaping with food, with focus on meat and veggies - a day, along with GOMAD. I gained about 30lbs since I started. I’m sleeping 8 hours a night, some nights when I stand watch I get 5 or less, but those are few and far between.

My main issue is my unit’s PT has this obsession with frog/broad jumps and bear crawls. These really trash my legs and lower back - respectively. I’m concerned it will shorten the linear progression. How should I program around these??

PT is MWF 0600-0700, I train Tue, Thu, Sat 0900-finish (usually an hour). It’s worked so far because I haven’t been lifting much weight. I don’t know if this is a huge concern, but I also walk a lot with a 35lb pack… but I feel like I’ve just gotten used to that.

Is there anything more I should be doing?? Supplement wise I’m only taking fish oil and a multi… sleep?? In the long run, is it ok that my linear progression wasn’t milked the optimal amount?

Correct me if Im wrong but are you asking whether or not your pt is the reason your workouts sometimes feel crappy?

Judging by how you say youve been eating and sleeping I would guess that youre doing great in that department, i often dont get quite enough sleep and that makes lifting or additional training very difficult for me sometimes. I’m a JTAC so we get pretty brutalized just in our daily pt and training.

Whats your MOS? If your an 11B I might suggest not worrying about your max wieghts or your bulk mass and focus a little more on functional strength. If you find that things such as bear crawls are killing you, i would find a way to work that into your own workout routines until such exercises are not so hard on your body.

For people like us we dont have an “off season” to just weight lift. Look into sealfit in the “sof candidate” section. They have a really great group of guys that imagine up those workouts. After a couple of weeks of doing that id be willing to bet youd have a good enough foundation that liftin along with pt wont be so diminishing.

If youre only doing pt 1 time a day you just might not be fit enough to easily handle a heavy lifting program with the pt youre doing. In my job we pt in the morning, train, go to lunch or eat in the field, lift, train more, then pt a 3rd time most days. The foundation of fitness that kind of training gave me is what allowed me to start working in additional heavy lifting.

In terms of supplements, just get yourself a good whey protien. Make sure your getting about 1gram of protien per pound you weigh per day and it should really help with your recovery and muscle strength.

How old/heavy are you man?

[quote]vadertater wrote:
I think I"m eating enough. 3 meals - a plate heaping with food, with focus on meat and veggies - a day, along with GOMAD. I gained about 30lbs since I started.[/quote]
Your profile says you’re 5’7" and 180 pounds. Is that current/accurate? What’s your bodyfat like? Not a percentage, but are you kinda pudgy, average/smooth, lean/ripped?

[quote]My main issue is my unit’s PT has this obsession with frog/broad jumps and bear crawls. These really trash my legs and lower back - respectively. I’m concerned it will shorten the linear progression. How should I program around these?

Is there anything more I should be doing??[/quote]
What exactly is your training goal? That will be a big factor in what changes could/should be made.

Ha, well yeah, sleep is always a good “supplement.” Also make sure you’re getting enough quality protein everyday.

Long term, it’s not exactly a deal-breaker. Plenty of people don’t start out not strictly following a linear progression plan and end up being pretty decent. But it’s not like you’re running marathons three days a week. You’ve got a hour of (presumable high intensity) PT on your non-lifting days. You’re likely going to adapt to the stress as long as you’re eating well seven days a week and recovering/resting as much as possible given your situation.

Ghillie: Yeah, I am asking whether PT with a lot of emphasis on frog jumps is screwing up my workouts. I didn’t notice it initial, but some days after we do frog jumps, bear crawls, the workouts feel MUCH harder than the previous one.

I always get shit, but I’m just a midshipman. The pack is from lugging around text books (I am serious though that I walk about 6 - 8 miles a day with it on). UNM Is one of the only NROTC units that actually PTs, because the Marine’s tend to run things around here.

Thanks for the advice on protein, I admit I don’t do that and I typically don’t eat before PT. I am 21 and 180lbs. I’ll check out sealfit too…

So the way I’m seeing it, is people do worse than I’m doing on a daily basis… I just gotta get tougher.

Chris Colucci:
That is recent. I don’t have a body fat number, but My jeans are loser around the waist and (really) tight around my legs more so than before I started SS. So I’d say I’m average - can’t see my abs or anything.

I’m just training to get stronger. I’m gonna be a damage control men on a ship/submarine in the future and I don’t think running 1.5 miles will help me with that.

Thanks for pointing out the goal thing, I think that put things into perspective for me.

Move on to Texas method

If you cant see your abs (although this i dependent on the size of your ab muscles) youre probably sitting anywhere between 10 and 17 percent if you dont have a gut.

Ignore guys that give you shit, although as an enlisted if i ever bump into you I might take a poke at you in person for being an officer ha.

But in all seriousness the fact that youre putting in the extra work in college and foregoing all the fun stuff is a big deal and you deserve at least a certain amount of reapect for that.

Now on to the main thing. This really sounds to me like a protien/conditioning issue. Getting bigger muscles doesnt make you stronger or faster. Now in the future if you want to get huge then by all means get on it, but many body builders dont begin to to become what they are until they already have a strong foundation of fitness

If you want to give me a run down of what you guys do for pt exactly, ill work up a schedule that will benefit you greatly if done right with protien an sleep. Try it for a month then pm me and let me know how much more fit and strong you feel and we can start working in weights hell even do a before and after pic if you think itll motivate you

The military guys on here have been very helpful to me with my particular issue and Im here to do the same if you want it

There are a lot of websites that you could train with if you aren’t confident in your own workouts. Even if just for a short time to take a break from the usual. Rob Shaul’s websites are good. Not free though.

How long have you been in? Presumably after a while you can take greater control of your own training so from a long term perspective I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

I think the op has dissappeared its been a few days

Gained 30lbs in 2mo? Did I get that right? If that’s correct, I’d be dumping the GOMAD.

I’m still here!


I’ll hit you up on that for sure! If you don’t mind, I’ll PM you all that info by the end of the week (busy week… got a physics test on Friday). I got to gather all that info together


It’s true! went from 150 to 180. Thanks for the advice… I re-read SS nutrition section and I see it mentioned there too. I’m so happy to not have to do that crap any more…

Get away from traditional weightlifting. Before I was in I went to pt with my recruited while i was big into lifting and got smoked, then my cousin got me on crossfit. I still prefer traditional lifting, but as far as production, crossfit gets you in military shape quick. Your background will give you a slight headstart over true beginners, but itll mess you you for a few eeks then youll see serious progress

[quote]vadertater wrote:
I re-read SS nutrition section and I see it mentioned there too. I’m so happy to not have to do that crap any more…[/quote]
Agreed, definitely ditch the GOMAD. I don’t see it ending up well from here on out. But do be sure to eat plenty to support recovery.

Take a look at this video for some more training info about lifting and military training. It’s Rippetoe and a bunch of other great coaches discussing the idea.

The plan Schaeffer came up with…

Mon- Squat, bench, maybe other stuff
Wed- Deadlift, overhead press, maybe other stuff
Fri- Squat, bench, maybe other stuff

Mon- Squat, overhead press, maybe other stuff
Wed- Deadlift, bench, maybe other stuff
Fri- Squat, overhead press, maybe other stuff
… sounds like a solid option to consider. Keeping the volume “starting strength-ish” (low volume, 10-15 total reps for exercise) will also help to manage fatigue while keeping that strength focus.

Instead of trying to tweak Starting Strength around a less-than-ideal situation, figure out the best plan that can work with your schedule.

Also, just to touch back on something I noticed earlier:

Not to rain on the parade, but at 180 pounds, you’re not “getting up to larger weights” just yet. Heavier than you’ve gone before, for sure, but none of those lifts are considered heavy for a dude your size. Stick with it though.

Ghillie, sorry that took longer than the weekend, I had to pry the schedule from the CFL’s hands!
Dates will be omitted, but workouts are every MWF starting with this W (tomorrow) each line will be a new workout

Run 4 Miles
Frog Jumps and Bear Crawls
Hill Sprints and Bear Crawls
4 station workout (exercises at each ‘corner’ of an 800m track
Stair run and Push-ups
Push-ups and sit-ups to failure
12 x 400m runs
Sandbag Run (2 Hill Sprints and Bear Crawls
4 station workout (exercises at each ‘corner’ of an 800m track
Stair run and miles w/ 35lb sandbag)
Run 6 x 800m intervals

After the PFA there is no schedule, but we will still PT. Probably just light stuff. As you can tell… there’s no real program involved in our ‘training’. I hope you can still afford the time to help me out.

I have noticed since stopping GOMAD that I’m a lot hungrier. So my main focus as you’ve mentioned is to consume a ton of protein. Do you think I should keep a log for food? At this point in time, I do not have a meal plan because I eat at the cafeteria. I just eat half a plate of whatever meat they have (usually chicken) and then I fill up another plate w/ veggies and root veggies… I figure that should be getting enough protein - at least I hope it is! I’m still sleeping 8 hours a night too.

Chris: Thanks for the video! And I’m gonna see what ghillie says, but I like that plan it makes sense to me. I appreciate the help. And I do realize I’m not lifting anything as heavy as I should be, that’s what I meant by “heavier”

I’m in the infantry. I do an hour of unit PT most mornings and lift in the afternoon. I’m also 35, 5’7 and 204lbs if it makes any difference.

I did 3 months of SS. The program was really effective but difficult to recover from. Around the three month mark I really started hitting my limits for recovery and tried to transition to Texas Method. With Texas Method I had difficulty adapting it around my work/life schedule. The Volume Day/Intensity Day cycle depended on consistency, which I couldn’t provide. I’ve recently switched to 5/3/1. It’s a lower intensity program with an upper/lower body split that was designed with a daily conditioning session included in the recovery. You can scale the assistance exercises up and down easily, so if you’re busy or feel gassed you can just hit your main lift and leave, or you can push it off to the next day since doing lower body the day before upper body isn’t going to kill you.

For food I did 1/2 GOMAD (whole milk, consumed as 3 protein shakes/day… plus whatever else I used in my coffee and whatnot) and ate a fairly normal diet. My weight shot up 12lbs and dropped back down 6. Some of the weight gain is water retention due to swelling, so if you’re feeling fat/bloated I wouldn’t panic right away… you might find yourself pissing it all out a week or so later and your thighs will fit in your pants again. I’ve stayed a fairly steady 204lbs for the last couple months despite a slowly shrinking gut. Body fat estimates put me at gaining just under 2lbs of muscle/month, which is fairly normal.

My suggestion is to push Starting Strength as long as you can then switch to 5/3/1 once you feel you’re hitting your limits in terms of recovery. I wouldn’t sweat it if you don’t maximize your noob period. At some point in time during your training I’d imagine they’ll explain that there’s rarely a 100% solution, so try to find one that achieves 80% of your aims and run with it. Do the same here.

I’d also consider doing your lifting on the same day as your unit PT. It may seem counterintuitive but it’ll give you a full day of rest between sessions. Also, I always found myself stiffer and more sore the day after, so I’d rather lift shortly after bear walks than wait until the following day.

^what he said lift on your days you do PT. If pt is kicking your ass get your conditoning up and maybe lift lighter for a while until your body gets used to pt and then you can plan your lifting around your pt. Running distance def sucks especially if you gotta do squats that day. Not to sound like a dick but suck it up, you said you do pt 3 days a week for an hour…I know plenty of guys who do PT 5 days a week an hour + and still lift and find time to be strong.

some_dude: Thanks, I’m glad I’m not the only one with this issue. So I rely on the cafeteria for food, which is not open at 0500. What should I eat before PT and then what should I eat after PT? Do you hvae a roundabout number of calories I should intake?

I figure I’m gonna have to eat something in order to perform well on the same day after running a couple miles and doing squats and shit. Do you recommend a time gap between workouts? Like 3+ hours between workouts? or is less good… I guess I’ll just try it out today and see how it goes… I’ll drink a few protein shakes and some fish oil.

[quote]vadertater wrote:
some_dude: Thanks, I’m glad I’m not the only one with this issue. So I rely on the cafeteria for food, which is not open at 0500. What should I eat before PT and then what should I eat after PT? Do you hvae a roundabout number of calories I should intake? [/quote]

Before morning PT I drink a milk/protein shake and chase it with coffee. After PT I have a normal breakfast if I have time, if I don’t I drink more coffee. You’ll have to work with your resources. If you can’t store milk in your quarters then maybe look at using a protein bar to kick start your morning.

Calories are fairly individual. I average around 3200-4500 calories/day. My system is that I eat when I’m hungry and I control my weight by the size of my portions. I’m not a bodybuilder so I don’t really see the need to get too anal about it, although I do occasionally track calories for a couple weeks just to verify my estimates are on.

Just play around with timings until you figure out what works for you and your situation.

Hey sorry I’ve been absent we were getting ready to push out and the deployment just got cancelled last minute.

I dont know about eating before pt. me personally i prefer to run on an empty stomach. I can push a lot harder without throwing up. Especially when we do log rolls and other dizzying exercises

It seems that your pt regiment is definitely more oriented towards endurance. Which can make muscle mass gains slow. Also if its still kicking your ass i would suggest starting by figuring out a workout routine on your off days.

When i lift i operate on a 10-8-6-4 reps cycle for each exercise

So for example if im doing lat pull downs
10 reps at 205lb
8 reps at 215lb
6 reps at 225lb
4 reps at 235lb

I break up my lifting days by muscle groups
So pulling muscles (lats biceps) monday thursday
Pushing (triceps chest shoulders)tuesday friday
And i do all my leg lifts on the same day wednesday saturday

If you want to do 3 days a week consider doing a similar style routine tuesday thursday saturday

I would also run

When i was training up before entering tacp my routine was kind of like this

Morning- pulling lift
Afternoon- 6 mile run
Morning- pushing lift
Afternoon- 1 hour swim
Morning-leg lift
Afternoon- chute sprints
Morning- pull lift
Afternoon- grass and gorrillas (i can elaborate on that)
Morning- push lift
Afternoon- 8 mile ruck
Morning-leg lift
Afternoon- 1 hour swim

Light jog stretching and yoga

In addition once i was in good enough shape i worked my way up to doing 200 pull ups, 400 push ups and 600 sit ups or flutter kicks (4 count) every day between working out