T Nation

One Day/Wk to Train

ok, so i’m enlisting in the army soon. (in singapore, enlistment is a compulsary two year thing for all able bodied males) its quite a sad thing for all lifters in singapore as once you get in, its hard to train consistenly and the food sucks( you only get let out on friday nights/saturday mornings and have to book in again on sunday night. and no protein powder allowed for the first two months ) so most guys 1) stop lifting 2) just grow weaker for those months before heading to the gym again once things in the army get easier and more relaxed.

so i dont want to grow any weaker than i already am. so any suggestions on how to maintain my strength level? ill only be training squats/deadlifts due to my elbow problem which means no overhead press/bench press. so anyone know how to train with only ONE day per week? keeping in mind that army life has all that PT, running and shit.

i was thinking 5/3/1 without all the supplemetary stuff. but i dont know how to fit in both squats and deadlifts. or should i alternate each week?

Well I assume from my experience here in the States with ROTC friends that you’ll be doing plenty of running, push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups; maybe even swimming (I know Marines/SEALs do it). 5/3/1 periodization is more frequent than once a week in terms of leg development. But if I were in your shoes, I’d do something like the following:

Periodized Squat or Deadlift (alternate through them and variations like in Westside)
PC Work (GM’s/lunges/sldl’s on days without deadlifts)
Lower back extensions/reverse hyper
Shrugs if trap/grip strength is necessary to improve your deadlift.

I’m really vain so I’d include arm work, calves, and flyes too but that’s not necessary for strength.

hmmm. or i was thinking 5x5 since i agree that 5/3/1 is periodisation. haha i just wanna focus on strength. (:

Well, you can try 5x5 for sure or just do a periodized westside workout. Try out whatever you think is best. If it doesn’t work, switch to something else. But be prepared to lose some strength due to the cardio and new diet.

[quote]LTKO wrote:
i was thinking 5/3/1 without all the supplemetary stuff. but i dont know how to fit in both squats and deadlifts. or should i alternate each week?[/quote]
It really doesn’t make sense to do any “periodized” training, because one training session per week is so infrequent that the “period” just won’t carryover for any significant progress. (And a side note: People can and have trained squats and deads in the same session, so that wouldn’t even be an issue.)

Also, if your elbow is bad enough that you can’t do any weighted pressing, I’ve got to wonder how you’ll hold up in PT, figuring you’ll be expected to do more than a few push-ups. Anyhow…

If this is a 110%, no other alternative, crazy-tight schedule and you can only hit the gym one day a week, I’d use an old combo Dan John talked about in From the Ground Up. A few sets of 2-4 power snatch-to-overhead squats, followed by a few sets of 2-4 power hang cleans, followed by whatever you felt like/had the energy for.

Something like that should help you “maintain” whatever strength you have in most basic lifts, especially if you can nudge your working weight up on either of those lifts. It would also serve as some solid, “functional” athletic training to help prep you for whatever else your Army training will bring.

ok i FINALLY saw a specialist, turns out my elbow problem is actually a torn tricep tendon. after the 4-5mths it HAS healed, BUT its apparently very very weak from not being used after thr 4-5months. doctor suggested doing push ups slowly to build up strength. (so im doing it with knees on the grd now for the time being.)

and i got excused from press ups and all pressing movements in PT. cool huh. :smiley: doctors letter.

and its not like a crazy tight schedule… its just that we stay in camp. and theres not really any free time at all? until maybe an hour before lights out. which is for bathing/packing for the next day etc. this will be for the first two months? which is our training period.

so no squats+deadlifts? ):

AHA, I’m from Singapore too, finished my national service in early 2009, and only started lifting on June the same year.

Well, from experience, you should not worry too much about losing weight if you have held your current weight for some time already.

As for strength, i’ll recommend that you switch to more bodyweight-type workouts.
You can check out levers and planches to keep yourself progressing if you are fairly competent in chin-ups and dips already. There will also be cases where you can’t book out on weekends and you stay in for 2 weeks. (I had plenty of these), so a bodyweight type of workout would be more sustainable.

Back when I was in BMT, i had friends who brought dumbbells in, though I would suggest against it cause it would be too troublesome for you to bring in the heavy ones.

Also, it depends on where you are posted to. At BMTC, there won’t be gyms easily accessible. After your BMTC, if you are lucky, you might get posted to a camp with a decent gym. I was posted to one, but I didnt start lifting at that time, so you could probably workout at least 4X a week in those camps.

For food, they only provide breakfast, lunch, dinner and nightsnacks. Carbs should be aplenty for you, but as for protein, you might want to get some cans of tuna or protein powder if u deem it necessary.

wow ok. thanks for the good advice. i may gym when i book out every sat. hopefully ill get into one of those camps you mentioned. sounds good. (:

whoa jialat sia hear u all talking bout army. still have 3 years to go b4 i enlist

3 years? dude youre so young. lol. 16? but you seem to have a nice build already. youre what, a dragon boater?