US Army Basic=Atrophy?

Well… after several months of thinking about it, I decided it was time i just did it… I signed up for the US army reserves and I leave for basic training in fort jackson next month. Over the past years I have (slowly) built up a decent body, and I was wondering if should plan on losing on muscle mass. I am expecting to lose some due to the training, but can anyone give me an idea as to how much? Thoughts an opinions are welcome. Thanks for your help!

In ten weeks, I went from a pretty fat 218 to a lean, lean 168. When I got to AIT and was able to eat more and lift, I went up to a pretty solid 178 pretty quick.

I’ll just tell you probably what everyone else would tell you. Stick with 2-3 whole body workouts per week…with lower volume and 2-3 sets of 6-8 RM. I believe like many others do that if you have many other physical stressors to stick with heavier weight and less volume for maintenance. Eat as much as you can and make sure you are getting a daily intake of vitamins and at least some supplements-I would say creatine would be really helpful in this situation. Then, when you have weeks with less outside stressors…try increasing volume and see how you feel. Best of luck man.

Sorry man…I was recommending advice when you didn’t even ask for it! I would say though that if take the right actions in terms of diet and training you will not lose that much. But as the intensity picks up I could see you losing maybe 5 or so pounds. I read somewhere that army rangers lost up to 30 pounds at ranger school,but this is your basic army training; not months in the everglades with little food, so I doubt you will lose that much.

[quote]vandystudent18 wrote:
I’ll just tell you probably what everyone else would tell you. Stick with 2-3 whole body workouts per week…with lower volume and 2-3 sets of 6-8 RM. I believe like many others do that if you have many other physical stressors to stick with heavier weight and less volume for maintenance. Eat as much as you can and make sure you are getting a daily intake of vitamins and at least some supplements-I would say creatine would be really helpful in this situation. Then, when you have weeks with less outside stressors…try increasing volume and see how you feel. Best of luck man. [/quote]

Is it even possible to do that many workouts?

Someone here has had to have gone through Army basic training.

I am talking out of my ass, cause I haven’t done it, but I think you will be running and doing cal’s on pretty constant basis, I don’t know how you will be able to get any effective weight workouts in.

A friend of mine at work was a Marine drill instructor for a few years(he was in 18 years). He said he would typically lose 25-35 pounds bringing a group through on a rotation no problem, and that was starting out a lean and muscular 220.

doulovebeef-
I went through basic and AIT in 93 at the time of enlistment I was 205 lbs @10-12%bf. By the time I got out of AIT I was 175 and 15-16%bf.
The food sucks in the chow hall, and when you are doing field problems you eat MRE’s which are very high in Carb and fat.
your excersise program will consist of lots of running, lots of road marches. 90% of your resistance training will be bodywieght excersises( that part reminded me of football two-a-days)

I attribute alot of my weight loss to all the running and roadmarching since I never had run prior to joining. I think the BF increase was due to the large number of caleries I was ingesting (MRE’s are around 2500-3000 Kcals per) and it was very common to eat at least two MRE’s a day on field problems.

I went through basic and AIT as 11B(Infantry) so it may have been more intense than some other MOS’s. AIT for Infantry is just a continuation of basic training where as other MOS’s AIT is more relaxed.

Anyway I hope this gives you an idea of what you may be in for.

Thank you and Godspeed

HyperX

Thanks for the info guys, I’ve really been working on getting into better shape in the past months to make it easier on me when I get there. Just the running is kicking my ass. The whole thought of being away from my family and friends til a week after x-mas is kind of nerve raking though. But I cant help but look forward to the challenge! If anyone has any advice on how to make it through basic and/or AIT, post it. thanks!

Good for you and your decision to go Army. To anyone who is no stranger to hard physical activity, basic should be a cakewalk. If you should go through RIP and Ranger School, now that’s a different story. The drill sergeants will hard to smoke your balls, but they are told to not take it too far (due to retention purposes). PM me if you want any PT tips and workouts. RLTW

rangertab75

expect to lose some lean by because in basic you eat when you are told to eat and that is normally small meals only 3 times a day. you will burn more calories than you take in each day from my experience… expect to run 4 to 5 times per week normally twice a day… on the days you dont run you will be doing basic pt push ups/sit ups/sand bag carries… just suck it up lose the hard earned lean mass because once basic is over it only takes a few months to put everything you lost back on maybe even some extra. anyways i am not sure how they run things in (Relaxin)Jackson but in Benning basic is balls to the wall because it is well the home of the infantry…

First I want to say congratulations for taking the plunge and thanks for being one of the few willing to sacrifice for their country.

Having said that, don’t worry about the muscle you might lose while in basic training. It won’t last forever and you should be able to regain anything you lost fairly quickly once it’s over. Just concentrate on the fact that you’re taking part in something worthwhile, something that will hopefully help you grow as a person.

I think too many times(and I speak from experience)those of us who work on improving our physiques ignore other important aspects of our lives. Even though T-mag focuses mainly on ways to improve physically, IMHO improving your body at the expense of all other areas of your life will make you a very unhappy person.

I agree with FCFighter. Worry about developing the qualities you need to be a great soldier, not about retaining lean muscle mass and being pretty. I think (someone correct me if I’m wrong) soldiers usually carry around about 60lbs. of gear and do a lot of walking/jogging, so any extra weight (lean muscle or otherwise) would be counterproductive.

Thanks for the advice everyone… my MOS is unit supply specialist (92y) so AIT i doubt will be very intense and i look forward to hitting the weights while im there. honestly im not to worried about the physical strain but rather the mental, this will be the longest ive been away from home in my life, but im sure when i get there ill have little time to think about how much i miss home. i know while your at basic things are pretty restricted, but in AIT i was wondering… will i be able to get Biotest suppliments in? obviously ill be anxious to gain back what ive lost and i was hoping i would be able to recieve suppliments via mail to aid me. thank you all for your support, everytime i post i get positive feedback, and the support everyone gives is amazing! thanks guys

beef

I went through Ft. Jackson in 1997 and then went on to AIT at Ft. Petersburg, which from the sounds of your MOS and if the Army has not changed that is where you will be going.

I definitely experienced atrophy and gain in bodyfat during basic and somewhat in AIT. The weights were not available to me then as much either; hopefully they will be for you. I don’t know if you will be able to recieve supplement from Biotest but you will likely be able to by something from the PX - likely protein powder of some sort would be my recommendation.

I attribute my atrophy and fat gain to poor nutrition, lack of sleep, and bodyweight exercise not providing enough stimulus.

Hopefully things have changed a bit, but if not do the best you can with the resources you have, and then get back on track. You are doing a great thing for the country just remember that.

PS BTW one of the things I used to do when in basic was perform some manually resisted exercises with my towel - i.e. rowing, curls, tricep extension, throw in some pistol type exercises and you might have little auxillary program if you have the time and energy.

Good Luck