T Nation

Powerlifter Training For Navy OCS


Hey all,

I’ve made the decision to apply to be a Navy Nuclear Officer and I need to get in better overall shape. I want to have this not only as a log, but also make it open for criticism and/or to help others if they need ideas…

My diet is around 1800 calories, meats and vegetables, etc. I am taking probiotics, greens shake and krill oil supplements.

Also, I do not have a “ship” date for OCS, but the recruiter wants me at 250lbs before he starts my application process, which should take 2-3 months.

Just a little background about me: Last year I was laid off, eventually found a 3rd shift job that was decent, but after a year, it’s just about the best I am going to get right now. Around Thanksgiving of last year, I made the decision to make a serious push to lose weight. At 5’8" I was at 315bs, but in ok shape and doing crossfit 3 days week. I cleaned up the diet and started going 5 times a week, as well as doing 5/3/1. Last week at 265 lbs, I hit lifts of BS/BP/DL at 472/255/518. That being said, I’ve been stuck between 265-270ish for 6 weeks and lifting 4-5 days a week is probably not going to help. After some great discussion in another post, I settled on running plus calisthenics 3 days a week, and doing 5/3/1 on two days. Once the local HS gets out in a couple, I will work in some sprint work 1-2 times a week at the track. I haven’t run at all the past 6 months, besides a 5k like 5 months ago, which I finished in like 39 minutes. I am using the 100 push-up program, as well as the 200 sit-up program progressions.

Day 1:
BW: 271 (clothed and shoes)
1.32mi (mapped my run badly beforehand, aiming for 1.5) in 16:15
Push-ups: 10, 12, 7, 7, 12
Sit-ups: 3, 4, 3, 3, 6

(edit to reflect bw with clothes and shoes)


In for this brother! Excited to see you progress, exciting stuff ahead


Day 2:
5/3/1 + FSL 5x5

2 min jump rope

Back Squat: 1x5 @ 295, 1x5 @ 345, 1x5 @ 385, 5x5 @ 295
Bench: 1x5 @ 155, 1x5 @ 185, 1x5 @ 205, 5x5 @ 155
Yates Row: 3x10 @ 135

Starting out, I was a sore a tiny bit in my quads from the run, but to be expected when starting something new.
Holy Volume Batman! I was almost sick of squats by the 2nd set of FSL at the end.
On a related note, I have literally never gotten hungry during a workout. Around the 3rd set of FSL squats, my stomach was churning. I calorie loaded the past couple of days, so that was probably it. I’ve also never done this much volume.
Yates row was not bad at all, but I’ve never done BB rows. Third set felt a little heavy, so this was probably a good starting weight.


Day 3:

1.5mi run in 19:10
Push-ups: 10, 12, 8, 8, 13
Sit-ups: 5, 6, 3, 5, 6

Holy Reality Check Batman!
I worked 12-8am and then ran at 9ish.
I was definitely sore from the squats, but my stomach was the worst part, really sore during the run.
Pushups were a little tough, but I benched yesterday, so we’ll see how Friday goes.
I am not eating any carbs besides green vegetables at this point. Might have some berries at some point this week. I’m hoping my body will adjust to the lack of carbs, as well as the volume of training, I’ve never run this much, or done weights with this much volume.

I think that Wednesday morning workouts will probably always suck until I am no longer working third shift.

I know I am putting my body through the ringer. Here are the supplements I am taking:
Pre-workout: Amino Blitz (Caffeine and 4:1:1 BCAA)
Post-workout: Post Jym
Other: Multivitamin, Glucosamine w/ Vit D, Krill Oil, Probiotics


Day 4:
BW: 273 (clothed and shoes)
5/3/1 + FSL 5x5

2 min jump rope

Sumo Deadlift: 1x5 @ 235, 1x5 @ 275, 1x5 @ 315, 5x5 @ 235
Overhead Press: 1x5 @ 105, 1x5 @ 125, 1x5 @ 145, 3x8 @ 95
Face-pull + Tricep extension 3x8 each @ 2 “plates” (not sure what weight, they are just labeled 1-16)
Wide-grip Lat pull-down: 1x10 @ 10 plates, 1x8 @ 12 plates, 1x4 @ 14 plates

Did not think I would be up after two days of almost no carbs and very little fat. But it’s probably the creatine I started taking…
I regularly pull conventional DL, and I know my posterior chain is weak, so decided I will train sumo DL for the next 6 weeks or so.
DL felt fine, stomach was the worst part of it.
This was the first time I’d done overhead in a long time, like 3 weeks between meet prep and recovery. There was a bunch of cracking in my elbows and shoulders on the first couple reps, but that’s expected.
Am aiming to build up to 5x10 @ 95 on the OHP, my shoulders are the only place that lost strength through all the weight loss.

(edit to reflect bw with clothes and shoes)


Day 8:
BW: 261.8

1.5mi run in 18:55
Push-ups: 14, 14, 10, 10, 16
Sit-ups: 6, 9, 6, 6, 8 (+ 10 double-crunches)

Took Friday off - lots of factors
I’ve been eating about 1000 calories a day of literally just lean meat and vegetables. I’m happy to finally see the scale move.
I went to run in the morning after mowing a friend’s lawn and just felt sick. I went home and slept for a couple hours -then went for the run.
The run felt good, wasnt as labored as the last time - stopped to walk like 4 times, but only for less than 10 seconds at each time.
Push-ups are getting tough - but can’t tell if I’m getting full ROM - I might repeat last week’s reps using hand-release push-ups.


Day 9:
5/3/1 + FSL 5x5
BW: 261

2 min jump rope

Back Squat: 1x3 @ 315, 1x3 @ 365, 1x3 @ 405, 5x3 @ 315
Bench: 1x3 @ 185, 1x3 @ 215, 1x3 @ 235, 5x3 @ 185
Yates Row: 3x6 @ 155

I have felt like crap since Saturday, so besides the fact that I have lost like 9 lbs in a week, I am going to a standard diet. Around 2000 calories including meat, vegetables and clean carbs like sweet potatoes and rice.

Yates row was tough- gonna stick at that weight until I can get 3x10


Hey man, Marine Corps Infantry veteran here - why are you doing powerlifting training for OCS?


Hey boss,

He started a thread in a different section asking about advice for his training, just thought ya may be interested in the background info he said.


Powerlifting and cross-fit, and diet was how I’ve lost about 60 lbs over the past 7 months, and I really like doing the lifts.
Now that I have slimmed down a little, I am trying to use 5/3/1 as off days training, cross-training for the Run/Push-ups/Sit-ups days that I have 3 times a week. I don’t really care too much about my lifting numbers per se, I’m not planning on competing for a while.
I’m slowly ramping up my running, push-ups, and sit-ups. I will be doing a sprint day 1-2 times a week once the track opens. The long run will probably increase in length until about 4-5 miles.

Would you cut back on lifting? Lower weight and add reps?


Well- the way you have your workouts set up is really not bad at all. I would just say that for the 5/3/1 you really need to leave a rep in the tank, avoid failure, and be meticulous with your form- if you record a form video for each of your main lifts, you might hear something that could prevent injury.

Honestly - weight is an issue, but not at all a deal breaker, especially given your dedication to fat loss right now. Much of military training is just mental fortitude, but the BIGGEST factor is: do you get injured. A strained knee, a bad ankle, a hurt back - I saw so many people held back or medically discharged for these setbacks, and they’re common because 1. You run all the time, 2. You’re always carrying some weight, and 3. The military is honestly kind of retarded in how they condition you. If you are gonna be deployed and may have to walk for a while with a pack, the Marines will say - let’s strap on a SUPER HEAVY pack and walk for 20 miles! Then they’ll be able to do it on deployment! Yeah, except our knees and backs are all shot now. With all that being said, I would just be wary of the injuries that can come with powerlifting.

Hill sprints are the shit. They translate to long distance endurance and even though fat loss is diet related, they really can help.

Improve your flexibility, which will help with injury prevention.

And besides that, I’m in for your log and rooting for you all the way man.


I appreciate the advice. For what its worth, I wear knee sleeves for running and squatting. I don’t have bad knees, just trying to do what I can to help. Knock on wood, but I have never been injured in my life, I am typically not too aggressive with workouts.
5/3/1 is great because it allows me to work sub maximally, and you don’t go above 85.5% because of the TM being 90% of 1RM.
I am doing 1.5 mi for last week and next, plan on bumping that up to 2mi for two weeks, then 2.5 for two, and so on. Once the track opens at the end of June, I’m gonna do sprints on Mondays and Wednesdays, long (for me) run on Friday.
I have a 5k “race” in 7 weeks from Saturday. My goal is to be able to run it without walking, which I am aiming for 35 minutes. In January, at 285 lbs and no running training, I did 38:41.
Its kinda funny that you mention flexibility. I typically squat pretty wide because I have tight hips. Since starting to run, I noticed my squat stance has gone in and it feels stronger.


Oh- interval running is good too- as in sprint a distance, jog a distance, sprint, etc.

The Marines running test is 3 miles - about a 5k - and I used to do it in 19:30, 18 minutes being a perfect score. All from hill sprints and interval runs.


I have to take the same PRT as you, 400 intervals are the best thing I’ve ever done for decreasing the 1.5 mile time. Just done once or twice a week with some longer runs thrown in, works wonders for me


Day 10:
BW: 264

1.5mi run in 19:05

I only got 3 hours of sleep between my workouts and then had a very stressful night at work. I almost skipped the run, but I decided to do it anyways.
The run felt kinda fast- I was really disappointed when it was actually slower than Monday. Granted, with lack of sleep and long night at work, I get it. Plus, I had to stop twice to tie my shoe. That was annoying.
I went down to do a pushup and my chest was super tight. I went way up in the bench workout the day before because I calculated wrong the first week. The workout wasnt tough, but I decided to wait to do the push:ups and sit-ups, will do them in Day 11.
I started eating carbs like a regular person, not surprised, nor disappointed at the weight gain.


Day 11:

5/3/1 + FSL 5x5

Push-ups: 14, 16, 12, 12, 18
Sit-ups: 6, 9, 6, 6, 9

Sumo Deadlift: 1x3 @ 255, 1x3 @ 295, 1x5 @ 335, 5x3 @ 255
Muscle-Snatch 1x3 @ 95, 1x2 @ 135, 1x1ish @ 155
Overhead Press: 1x3 @ 115, 1x3 @ 135, 1x4 @ 155, 10, 8, 8, 8, 8 @ 95
Wide-grip Lat pull-down: 3x10 @ 11 plates

This all felt pretty good.
The heavy-ish sumo maybe could have gone more reps, but my whole core was screaming.
So, the rest of the gym was working at 1RM on the snatch. I like doing it occasionally, so in between my DL and OHP, I did it with them. The “1ish” was because the trainer there told me it was ugly AF. I have no upper back strength, so I muscle it up, no getting underneath and pushing.
I was happy that I am almost at 5x10 for the OHP, should hit it next week.


Day 12:
BW: 265.9

1.5mi run in 18:03
Push-ups: 16, 17, 14, 14, 10 (aiming for 20+ on last set)
Sit-ups: 8, 8, 6 (aiming for 8,12, 8, 8, 12+)

I have been having low blood sugar issues since doing last week at 1000 cal diet.
Wednesday I went back to a normal 2000 cal diet with clean carbs.
A couple hours after my workout on Thursday (yesterday) I had a huge crash, after having a protein shake and Post-Jym after the workout. Because of that, I went to the grocery store and just ate a ton of rice cakes and baked corn chips. Probably overkill, but oh well.

Woke up today not feeling like working out, even after my pre-workout, I was eh. Went for the run and only walked twice, ended up with my fastest time yet. - bumping up to 2.0 miles next week per run.

Push-ups were good until last set- gonna repeat this week’s progression
Sit-ups were rough from the beginning, I wasnt sore from yesterday, but it was tough- gonna repeat this week’s progression as well.