T Nation

Stronglifts + Intensive Fitness Program


I posted a few weeks back asking for advice on the right training program for my level. I got some good feedback and have been working with the Stronglifts program. I've made good gains - 2.4lbs gained in 18 days (180.4lbs), all measurements have increased (chest 3/4", legs 1/2", arms 1/8", neck 1/4") except my waist, which is slightly smaller than it was when I started. All good stuff.

I recently applied to join the army reserve (UK), and I started Stronglifts thinking I would probably have 'til after Xmas to put on some muscle, and could then transition to a more balanced strength AND fitness program. I've had a call this morning from the recruiter, suggesting that it could be as soon as 6 weeks time that I go for my initial selection, which will involve a fitness test. I'm confident that on my worst day I could pass army boot camp with the minimum scores, but I'm looking to join a specialist unit with interesting opportunities to work with other specialist units, where physical conditioning is at a premium. I would like my record from the start to show me as a stand out physical performer.

There will be further physical tests over the next few months, and physical fitness will be a primary concern from now on. I would like to continue gaining muscle and strength, but this will have to be done whilst simultaneously developing and maintaining a very high level of 'cardio'.

dagill2 asked me in my last thread to state my priorities, and the order I gave will have to change now to:

Fat loss (don't need to do any)

I don't want Stronglifts to interfere with getting into great physical condition, however, I think it would be a disadvantage to cut weight training out of my schedule. I am a novice in matters of strength training, and have no idea what toll stronglifts & squatting 3x/week will take on my ability to develop very high levels of conditioning, although I can guess based on feedback from my sessions so far that this program will take some recovering from in the next month or so.

It's obviously a long and rambling post, but I don't want to be thought of as a program hopper, or someone who can't stick to the message. Unfortunately, priorities change, and I'm basically looking for as much input as possible on my programming for the next few months, as I'm fairly clueless.


Full body 3x a week (TBT for example)

Conditioning 3x a week. variation is preferred (HIIT, LISS, complexes, kettlebell, etc). Prepare your body for everything.

It's only six weeks, so attack like there is no tomorrow.


Thank you for your response. I will try to keep the conditioning varied. I will need to cut back on the lower body training, or keep reps low, so that I have the legs to get out and run, sprint etc on my conditioning days. I think so at least.


For what you want to do the Greyskull LP ebook coupled with the Greyskull condition challenge books would probably all benefit you to check out.


Very similar is the Greyskull LCI program.


There is a template in the Greyskull LP called "Run Forest Run" which does a decent job of combining 3x weekly lifting with running. You could add daily pushups and pullups. If you need more cardio, you could also do a HIIT session after 1 or 2 lifting sessions per week.


I'm guessing you know what the tests will be and what your target score/goal is? With this short timeframe, it'd be worth it to include the tests themselves as part of your training, not necessarily in one whole "practice test" each week, but integrated into your plan. Like if max reps in two minutes will be tested, use it as a finisher once week.

Hit the Search Box (top right of the screen). There have been a bunch of threads with guys getting ready for military service and usually current or former military will chime in, so you should be able to pull some info from there. Also, if you approach it from the mindset of an athlete entering his season instead of "just a guy" getting ready for PT, you should be able to read articles with a different perspective.

It's basic stuff like the guys have said so far. Basic lifting (full body or upper/lower) a few days a week with hard conditioning to complement. If you're focusing on conditioning and strength, nutrition will still play a huge role for recovery and maximum performance, so I wouldn't slack on that.


High volume with weight that is still heavy (70%+) seems to work well.

If nothing else, I've noticed that doing 4x8 with 70% of my max bench made my push-up numbers go from about 18-20ish to 30ish within just 2-3 weeks. I honestly didn't expect that.


Thank you very much to everyone who has contributed. I've been reading through Greyskull, and it looks like just the ticket.

I think I will do 3x full body/week, with a short, intense conditioning session after, then 3 days of rucking and trail running on my 'off days', as well as pressups, pullups, and situps.

The standards are 10:30 1.5 mile. I can already do it in 9 without killing myself, but the aim over the next 6 weeks is to get as close to 8 minutes as possible.

I have to do 40 pressups in 2 minutes. I haven't done this in years, but I would be surprised if I couldn't do it with a week or so of training. The aim is to get as close to 100 as possible.

I also have to do 8 dead hang chinups on a beam, to a beep. I can do 12-14, so this shouldn't be a problem. I am aiming to get as close to 20 as possible.

Thank you again for all of your input. I'd already done a fair bit of searching, as suggested, and got some good stuff, although Greyskull was a new discovery and looks very promising.

Edit: I will be doing the 'Greyskull LP with Gladiator focus' program. On the off days I'll also be doing a ruck or a few miles gentle jogging. This program would seem to cover all the bases


I basically wrote this same response in a thread a few days ago. Running and rucking 3 days a week with full body lifting 3 days a week is going to be tough. Honestly, if your goal is conditioning, then you don't need to be lifting 3x a week. Once or twice a week is more than enough. Here is the program I would recommended, which will help you maintain strength and muscle mass, while helping you get that high level of conditioning you're seeking. I ran a similar program to this while training for Marine Corps OCS, and it got me to a 19:20ish 3 mile, 20 pull ups, and 100 crunches, while maintaining my strength I had from lifting during the year.

Monday- Squat, Bench, Rows, then a finisher of pull ups SS with crunches for 10 minutes. Sprints/intervals for 10-15 minutes after.
Tuesday- 3 mile run, then MARSOC short card
Wednesday- Off, or a light swim
Thursday- Thursday- Deadlift, Press, Weighted Chins, then a finisher of push ups SS with flutter kicks for 10 minutes. Sprint/intervals for 10-15 minutes after.
Friday-3 mile run, MARSOC short card
Saturday- Ruck March
Sunday- Off

For the heavy lifts, use whatever progression you desire (I like 5/3/1, but Greyskull, SS, stronglifts ect could work). The MARSOC short card is a great series of bodyweight exercises that MARSOC Marine hopefuls use to train. Run through it once or twice, depending on how you feel. I can't post a link of it to T-Nation, but you can find it pretty easily just by googling it. Alternately, you could use these days to do a short Crossfit WOD if you prefer, but make sure you're still running beforehand.


Thanks very much mate, I appreciate you taking the time to write a detailed and thoughtful response from your experience.

I will check out the MARSOC recommendation. I've been doing grease the groove with pushups and pullups.

I just ran 3 miles in under 18 minutes, with a few hills along the route. I was pretty dead at the end, but I think maybe my running fitness is about where it needs to be. I think closer to the time I may well drop back to 2 days lifting/week, and throw in a ruck march or something instead. Hopefully though, I'll start building up my total potential work capacity so that I can follow along the path of the poster Alpha, in being able to handle a lot of conditioning and weighted work.