T Nation

Weightlifting and the Army

Hello,
I am set to enter Army Basic Training and then Officer Candidate School.
Basically, I realize that during this time i will not be able to train as I do now (basically bodybuilding with some basketball/occasional cardio). I love weightlifting and getting bigger, so this was seen as a huge drawback in making my decision. I realize, though, that there are lots of big guys in the army so you can certainly train while on most tours.
Anyway, it seems there are a number of guys here with military experience, and I just wanted to pick your brain and get any thoughts on the army and training (and the army in general)?
must i incorporate distance running?
any recommmendations for branch (is it seen as being a “wuss” to request certain support branches like finance or transportation? can you get promoted high in these?)
what about enlisting first and then trying ocs later, i had considered that?

also, how nutritiouis is army “chow”?
can i expect to lose lots of weight at various training schools?

Yes, you can train while in the Army. It is tough, but you can do it. While station in Alaska in the early 80’s, when I wasn’t in the field I trained with Joe Dawson, a IFBB Mr. America competitor. His branch was Administration. Finance spends less time in the field than Transportation. Promotions are slow in Combat Support and Combat Service Support Branches unless you make yourself standout. Being Airborne qualified and doing a tour with an airborne division doesn’t hurt.


You are going to be required to do unit Physical Training (diffierent Divisions have different standards[101st four miles and 9 miute miles, not really distance training] and pass a the Phyiscal Readiness Test.
If you are not really interested in spending time with the troops and are qualified then by all means try for OCS.


Army food is like any other food. It is up to you to eat the right things in the right amount. MREs and Tray packs are something else, but if you are going to be in a branch that does not send alot of time in the field that should not pose much of a problem.
Check out Military.com for more information.
Best of Luck.

So you wanna join the service, eh? If i were you i’d go coast guard. You lift weights 1-3 times a week in basic(and your only there for 8 weeks), and when you get out of basic, even if your underway, most cutters have a gym you can work out in on board, just i hear benching is a little hard when the ship is taking 15 degree rolls! So are you DEPed right now or what? also, so far as OCS goes, i mean wait until you get in to decide that. alot of enlisted folks, myself included, loathe officers. also, you don’t make jack as a junior enlisted person. i make 610 dollars every 2 weeks…thats nothing.