T Nation

Running while Trying to Preserve / Gain Muscle?


Ok which field of service are you planning on will help me know better for PFT? I would’ve recommended abou 4-6 months to get ready. You are right on track. You’ll need to be ready to practice running in boots a couple of months before about twice a week. Therefore, you need to start out soon. I personally, would recommend interval training. I can go more into detail if you’d like just need to know branch so I know if you are preparing for 1.5, 2 or 3 mile PFT run

Best of luck. Go army beat navy :upside_down_face:


Beat Navy!!


marine corps


I hate you all…

And we are pretty definitely going to get wrecked this year…


Ok 3 miles hehe. What’s your PFT goal? We can get to size after that.


In all seriousness, focus on being a Marine first. Swolled is a distance second.

You need to run and ruck. Despite all the theory above, it’s hard for me to believe you’ll get to the level of running and rucking you need without running and rucking.

Good news - they’re mutually beneficial! I used to use medium rucks in place of long runs, and that worked out pretty well.


And I did not mean this as derogatory to anyone


I know it’s a life and not a lifestyle choice :+1:. That’s why I’m asking about goals, then deal with size. Right on, @TrainForPain :hugs:


Here’s a dude who Actually trained some Armed Forces bros. Check out some of his theories.


I didn’t watch the video due to length but the first one’s title mentions making the military bigger, stronger… I don’t think you want to be bigger in basic training/boot camp. Long distance running just hurts more when you’re bigger. I think a guy should wait till he’s past that phase before focusing on size.

I have a Tactical Strength & Conditioning certification but it’s not much different than regular strength & conditioning. You just evaluate the job that is being done and break it down into energy systems and movements.

For basic training I’d focus on being ready for the PT test and then some. Practice/train the movements and build up to long runs to survive basic.

Basic if a short enough phase that the OP can go back to lifting for size afterwards and he’ll regain anything he loses quickly.

My first police academy was paramilitary and I wasn’t allowed to lift weights for 16 weeks. We did 1000 push ups a week (usually in 3-4 days) and ran long, slow distances. I’d occasionally lift on the weekend but it was just to fight off muscle atrophy. Once I was allowed in the weight room during my down time I grew pretty fast. It took two weeks to bounce back. Regaining muscle is a faster process than building it for the first time.






Wenning works with fire departments on their strength and conditioning. As a result they have fewer injuries and miss less work. The fire departments are more effective insurance costs for the department go down. His job is the job you want to have.




You don’t have to convince me!

The biggest hurdle is the people at the top. The only thing they can see is $$$ for this year’s budget. Telling them that spending X amount of dollars now will save them 5X amount of dollars over the next two years doesn’t get through. All they hear is that you want to spend $$$ now.

Our local state university just built us a new academy AND THERE’S NO FITNESS AREA OR EQUIPMENT. Freaking idiots.


Do you think that maybe this guy was in a Similar Situation with skeptical locals? Is it possible that he talks about the Solution?

Spoiler Alert!



Been waiting almost two years to get permission to run a weekly group training session in the gym at city hall. My department is in a tricky spot. If I hurt the feelings of someone at the top by going around them then it could be career suicide. People are petty. My proposal has been on someone’s “desk” the whole time.

You’re also talking about firefighters :joy::joy::joy:

They value their fitness more than cops. They always take their truck to the Y and work out on duty. We don’t get that luxury.


Show your proposal to the fire chief.


Oh my god even some churches have a gym. Shit, my grandmothers assisted living place has a fitness area, and, get this, they have a set of 40 lb dumbells :rofl:. I can’t wait to see her take her 96 year old self in a wheelchair and hit the iron. Nah, but I think she could :rofl: She broke her hip and had it replaced after both knees and she gets up from bed into her wheelchair faster than people my age not restrained to a chair. I mean heck, she’s so modest, she does everything herself in the bathroom. I guess “guns” run in the family.


Soooo, I’m old enough to actually remember when Matt was doing this - and he was awesome at it, and is obviously smarter than me in this area.

A couple points to keep in mind:

  1. He was changing a paradigm - we already did a ton of cardio, and that wasn’t going anywhere. Sometimes you have to exaggerate just to make a point.
  2. To point #1, we were doing a lot of cardio - he was closing a gap (strength); his goal was to train what we needed, but didn’t already do.
  3. Following along, we had a crazy base of conditioning; it could be neglected while we built strength (I think OP is in the opposite scenario).
  4. The goal, for the most part, was Iraq - that battlefield was heavy and short. Even after Matt, we went back to longer movements when going to Afghanistan.
  5. Matt was training units for operational deployments (see #4) - that is a different goal than Basic Training. We can argue whether initial entry training should change all day, but I often see folks trying to train for basic/ selection/ whatever as if they’re training to clear rooms all day - they aren’t the same animal.
  6. I’m not sure this is relevant, but his background was as an S&C coach at West Point (Go Army), where, again, as athletes, we were typically undersized and ran too much for our sports; I think that maybe colors your experience.

I will say - Matt built some cool gyms (the one on Benning is still my favorite place ever), created a whole new concept of physical training that has moved throughout the conventional Army and even resulted in a new PT test (from what I hear), and absolutely reduced injuries. I’m not downplaying the importance of strength; I do disagree that not running will improve your running, and USMC basic training is very running-focused. Whether we think running 5ks is important for operational deployments is a different conversation, I think.


the best i can , however im sure plus 20 pullups , 100 crunches , 18 minute 3 mile. Current is 14 pull-ups , 70 Crunches , and a 24 Minute 3 mile.


Ok so you want to go from a 8 minute mile pace to a 6 minute to be aces. K. Unfortunately size might be an issue at this present point in time unles you feel that currently you are getting stronger and not just bigger. I know this is A, B,Cs, but the heavier you are, the harder pull-ups, crunches and running are to achieve your goals. But if you get yourself into the shape that reflects in “your goals” you won’t need to focus on the scale. If others disagree, chime in.

K, you’re weightlifting will benefit you because I’m all about the essentials, strength and power. Rucking and load bearing will be easier :wink:. But now it’s time to run, cycle, add in some non impact cardio like running in a pool and lift less. Now I’ll ask, have you ever tried intervals or slamming in some circuits? I wouldn’t cut back calories if you plan on getting some cardiac conditioning. Going balls to the wall to prepare for this requires eating what I call “the rainbow of foods” and getting an ass ton of sleep.

I’ll stop there and see what other feedback you get because I’m always learning new things that work for others and see what gear your mindset is in.

:hugs: guns


This is your goal. Do what you have to do to achieve this. You chose to enlist and you chose the branch (and PT test along with it). I understand your gym goals because I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get bigger and stronger. It’s what I’m driven to do — it’s kind of natural for me. Unfortunately you made a decision that supersedes your personal gym goals regarding size and strength.

Your immediate goal (and first priority) is to train in a manner that helps you achieve the above goals. There are tons of 5k training programs online that you could follow. There are beginners ones for people like me who despise running and there are advanced ones for people who want to compete. Oregon puts out some great track athletes and you should be able to find some running programs put online by an athlete or coach. Push ups and sit ups just have to be done often to improve. Train the skill of the movement so you can get better just through technique.

Continue to lift weights but I suggest backing off to a two or three times a week full body session. Don’t try to make gains just go in and use your muscles—especially the ones that you aren’t using as much when you train for running, push ups, and sit ups.