T Nation

Powerlifting and Military Service

hello everyone.
im having trouble designing a program that will help me increase my powerlifting strength but keep me in good enough shape to run 3 miles for the marine corps. so far ive been pretty terrible at either one or the other.

when I try and work on my run my squat, and only my squat, falls horribly. when I ease off on the running my squat goes up as the running goes down. i think maybe i should just train more and get my capable of the volume of training higher. suggestions?

You could try just doing push/pull till you are out of the service. Maybe you could focus on powerlifting and cheat for the 3 mile.

That’s rough. There’s a reason military lifters tend towards being bench specialists. While most of the PT shit would improve your conditioning and, indirectly, your lifting- all that running is hell on your squat. That’s not to say you can’t get strong. It’s just that your body is probably getting beat to shit and you gains will come slowly and you might be a bit more inclined to get injured at some point.

I’m not an expert, but my uneducated opinion would be to just keep squatting and running, and hope your threshold goes up for both.

Not a Marine, but a Navy guy who has to run 1.5 miles twice a year and it is a problem, but not as bad as 3 miles.

Here is what i do. i know when the PRT is, generally November and May. So i plan my meets accordingly. When squatting heavy i try to keep some GPP up via KB snatches, sled drags, incline treadmill walking(walk at 15 degree incline will raise your heart rate big time and not mess up your squat.

Work up to walking the number of minutes you plan to do your 3m run in), hiking, or some assistance done via complexes. These have not hurt my squat. Running even a little destroys my squat. You need to check with your chain of command if you still have to run other times than the PRT, and consider the impact on your promotion if you don’t kick ass on the run. Then make your choice.

If you do this plan, then run 3.0M 3-5x before the PRT, you will be fine. You won’t max but you can do OK. Some other tweaks to this you can do if you care to. PM me if you want.

The Navy just offered us the alternative of a 12 minute stationary bike ride, scoring my calories expended. Way easier than a 12 minute 1.5M run.

jack

I’m in a similar situation. I started powerlifting about a year and a half ago and my run time (army, so 2 mile) went from 13:09 to over 20 minutes. pretty pathetic. I started to GRADUALLY add in a couple PT workouts a week in addition to training, then GRADUALLY add in a few very short sessions of interval sprints. Like 1 or 2 100m sprints 2 times a week. At the same time increasing calories, thats the most important part.

I’ve just gradually worked up to the point where i am now doing a full PT every morning, lifting in the afternoon, and either light running (keep the distance work to a minimum) or hard sprinting(this is where you put your work in) 2 or 3 times a week. The increased work capacity is actually helping my strength because i recover from ME work very quickly now.

The most important thing is to really ease into it. This was hard at first, i wanted to start 3 a days right off the bat, but i would get run down very quickly. you have to gradually work into it and keep the lifting a priority and after a month or so you should be able to do a your running no problem.

The other thing is that you have to train with shorter distances. I either do sprints or light jogging if my legs are still sore. You’ve gotta trust the sprints to do the work until the PT test.
a lot of 1600m track runners train by doing fast 400’s so shorter distances can work.

Unless of course you have to do your PT with your unit and do whatever they’re doing, in which case your kinda screwed.

those are some good replies. I think im online with most of you guys. Im not trying to destroy it, just run well and not worry about failing. I think what i may do is stick to one day a week ill do light jogging for extra distance and one day ill do sprints to increase my capacity. my main concern is not to hurt my squat. its the ONLY lift affected by heavy running. keep em coming guys. awesome ideas

Im in the Marines as well, infantry, so we Pt as a platoon and it tends to be extremely exhausting,and not much varitation and at times too much to combine w/ an active lifting schedule. I usually preach to those in my platoon to get your body to where you want you gotta deadlift- and squat. But then explain to them how to deal w/ the soreness the next day. Ive found that streching after PT, BCAA’s + creatine after PT, planning Dl and squats on weekend or on an easyier morning PT day helps.

You aint the only one who hates morning PT I know I could be a better lifter if i devoted more time to recovering and less to running 4-5 miles after waking up 5 mins prior- but my lifts have gone up as well as pull ups ( and i have the worst build for them at 6’6 260) Im amazed i can get 15. Also strech your lower back alot after deads thats one spot that kills me when running the next morning.

My brother, was in the army and is an avid powerlifter, he also has some pretty impressive run times.

He weighed 230ish and could pull 6 minute miles.

I’ll ask him and post back later.

[quote]popgoblinn wrote:
those are some good replies. I think im online with most of you guys. Im not trying to destroy it, just run well and not worry about failing. I think what i may do is stick to one day a week ill do light jogging for extra distance and one day ill do sprints to increase my capacity. my main concern is not to hurt my squat. its the ONLY lift affected by heavy running. keep em coming guys. awesome ideas[/quote]

Just make sure you listen to your body. if you feel beat, its ok to skip a run or put it off a few days. you might only feel refreshed enough for 1 run day the first few weeks. This is hard for people like us who wanna jump in full force and suck it up. This is one of those situations where less is more at first.
I had to learn that lesson many times before i got it right. I’d jump in too quick, get weaker, get shin splints, and then take time off to heal and do it all over. It wasn’t till just recently that i learned to hold back a bit and now i’m up to 3 a days and feeling stronger than ever.

I’m dealing with this right now as an ROTC cadet with a weak squat but a good deadlift.

My 2 mile run time is around a 15:30, which I want to improve but doing it at the same time as my squat is seemingly impossible.

[quote]IronAbrams wrote:
I’m dealing with this right now as an ROTC cadet with a weak squat but a good deadlift.

My 2 mile run time is around a 15:30, which I want to improve but doing it at the same time as my squat is seemingly impossible.[/quote]

I’m gonna go on a limb here and guess that based on your avatar and the fact that your in college that you drink alot. If you plan on having the recovery ability to improve both your strength and your run time together, you’re gonna need to drink very very rarely.

[quote]evansmi wrote:
IronAbrams wrote:
I’m dealing with this right now as an ROTC cadet with a weak squat but a good deadlift.

My 2 mile run time is around a 15:30, which I want to improve but doing it at the same time as my squat is seemingly impossible.

I’m gonna go on a limb here and guess that based on your avatar and the fact that your in college that you drink alot. If you plan on having the recovery ability to improve both your strength and your run time together, you’re gonna need to drink very very rarely.[/quote]

I actually have only ever gotten drunk once in my life. I get buzzed (which is like 6 shots or so, lol im weak) every other weekend or so, and never more than once a week.

I just liked the handstand lol.

Ok- I gotta as this question being a total civvie- just when in times of war are soldiers called upon to run for miles and miles?

Is this kind of like football training where you run for miles and miles to prepare for an event where a more than 40-yard run is rare?

[quote]Pinto wrote:
Ok- I gotta as this question being a total civvie- just when in times of war are soldiers called upon to run for miles and miles?

Is this kind of like football training where you run for miles and miles to prepare for an event where a more than 40-yard run is rare?[/quote]

Trust me, your not the only one thinking this.

the fact is, the military is heavily based on tradition, so are the training methods. so it doesn’t matter that there are superior ways to train, the military isn’t gonna change it anytime soon.

Also, military PT is designed for fat loss, because that is what benefits most people joining up. PT isn’t exactly focused on individual needs, individual is a 4 letter word in the military. and since PT is designed to train huge groups with little to no equipment, weight training isn’t looked into.

I can tell you that when I entered as a scrawny 145 lb absolute weakling, PT was easy as hell, but I sucked at combatives and was slow when performing fireman carries and whatnot. Now that I’m bigger, PT is tougher, but I throw people around like rag dolls in combatives and a 150lb guy on my back is pretty easy to run with.

So yes, it is a flawed standard, but we have to put up with it.
The other argument is that less muscle = lower metabolism = can go longer in the field without food or with less food.

Thank god I’m in the National Guard so I can train myself instead of doing group PT.

You got to remember the mental aspect of being able to run 3 miles. it takes some tough mental discipline. the physical aspect is being able to push and push and keep pushing. They are starting to implement a new test called a CFT. It stands for Combat fitness test. During a normal PFT a marine is required to run, do pull ups and crunchs for a score to determine physical preparedness. Now the CFT is different than a PFT.

A CFT is all about muscluar endurance, explosive strength and functional strength. really all around anaerobic capacity. Buddy drags, firemans carry, ammo carry, sprints and low crawls. Guys that run 18 min 3 miles are sucking at this. I run 25 min 3 mile and Im smashing these guys in the ground. so they are taking steps into different areas of GPP. excellent posts guys

[quote]popgoblinn wrote:
Buddy drags, firemans carry, ammo carry, sprints and low crawls. Guys that run 18 min 3 miles are sucking at this. I run 25 min 3 mile and Im smashing these guys in the ground. so they are taking steps into different areas of GPP. excellent posts guys[/quote]

About fuckin time!!! hopefully this will catch on with the other branches soon enough.
Bet it felt good to finally shut the scrawny guys up.

http://asp.elitefts.com/qa/default.asp?qid=71172&tid=

Post from Matt Kroc at Elitefts. From a marine regarding matts training (matt was also a Marine and is one of the best powerlifters in the world.)

thats me!