T Nation

Training While Serving in Military


#1

My military service in Finnish Defense Forces starts next month, so I figured I still have time to post some questions.

The thing is that I'm joining a branch where I have to be able to run fast and be in good shape altogether, so conditioning outside of the usual PT is a must. I just happen to dislike running and I'd much rather hit the weights on my free time. I also fear that too much conditioning in addition to PT will ruin my results at the gym.

I know some members here (like hungry4more and gregron for instance) are strong and big and have served (or still serve) in branches where one has to be in great shape. So how did ya'll get results at the gym while serving and how did you work in conditioning outside of PT?


#2

Go to the medic when you get there. He will issue you a drinking straw. Now here is the important part, follow the directions exactly and suck it up.

It sounds like you are trying out for some sort of spec ops unit (like our Rangers). You will run, a lot.

There is no other way around it, running is the only way to get better at running.

You didn’t state if this is your initial entry in to the military, but if it is you will not be having “free time” to hit the gym when you want. This is just a part of initial entry/basic training.

Here is what you should be doing in order to get ready. I’m not sure if the Danish military is anything like 'Merican Army, but here it is.

Running (work up to 4 miles every other day)
Calisthenics (pushups, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, air squats, etc.)
Bodyweight excercises (pullups, dips, rope climbing)

That is it. Basically DON’T WORRY about your “gym body” or your bench going down. This is a different kind of life you are about to learn. The military gears you to go for endurance which is important on the battlefield. You do need to be strong, but what does it matter how much you can bench if you fall out after walking 20 minutes in 120 degree weather wearing 80 pounds (30 kilos) of gear.

Once you get past the basic training and get to a regular unit, you will have time to hit the gym. Focus on becoming a running/calisthenic machine and you will smoke basic training in the physical part. Once you get to your unit it gets better.


#3

I pretty much trained hard at the requirements that I have to meet while I serve in the US Navy (ex: pushups, pullups, sprints, long distance running), as well as training hard at the specific goals that I want to meet, and lately they are all starting to mesh together


#4

^^FMF?


#5

No, Seabee (haha i know, a whole bunch of fatty fat fats.)…I am looking into special warfare programs though…had the best PRT in my battallion and am constantly getting calls


#6

@Evander-If it is a form of basic training you’ll be attending, you won’t have the time during that to do anything besides what you’re given, and maybe some bodyweight stuff after hours. If there is a specific unit/selection sort of training you’ll be going to, your best bet is to worry about nothing but what is required of you to excel in that specific course, be it rucking, running, swimming, or whatever.


#7

[quote]Hintonshawn88 wrote:
No, Seabee (haha i know, a whole bunch of fatty fat fats.)…I am looking into special warfare programs though…had the best PRT in my battallion and am constantly getting calls[/quote]

I just guessed FMF from the haircut/you said navy. I would have thought marine otherwise.

What program are you looking into?


#8

Thanks for the responses everyone!

On another note, what have you guys found to be the most effective and consistent “method” to improve pullups? They’re easily my biggest weakness as far as physical tests go.


#9

Evander, I sucked terribly too, never really did them until I joined…I’d say try to do 50 each day or something since that’s your biggest weakness, then eventually making that number higher each day.

Gregron- UCT/SWCC possibly, not sure. My battallion is getting decommissioned when I return from afghanistan next year so I am looking into orders.