T Nation

When Goals and Lifestyles Conflict

Hey team, so I’ve been reading this site for a while and this, coupled with a class I took last year on strength development, completely changed the way I look at lifting. As a high school and college athlete, I’ve always been “strong”, but I’ve only been seriously lifting (correctly) for about a year. Right now I’m focused on strength, and I’ll probably be transitioning to hypertrophy in about a month.

However, here’s the rub; next year at this time, I’ll be in Ranger school. I’m an infantryman in the US army and I feel like this will be conflicting with my goals to put on strength and mass. Almost everyone in the army is (or should be) able to run ten miles, stay awake for 20 hours, etc., etc. I expect to lose about 30-40 lbs during the 62 days (or more) of Ranger school itself.

Recognizing that I’ll be running and ruck marching for hours on end in my career, my question is this; is it possible to have the best of both worlds? I love crushing weights (almost at a 1RM of 600 on deadlift) and I love getting stronger. I actaully hate running and endurance sports. But is it possible to train for lower body endurance while maintaining a good amount of strength? Since I’ve been focused just on strength lately, I honestly get winded from running after about a mile or so…

Anyways, sorry for the long post and thanks for any help or information.

It is not possible to serve two masters at once.
You will have to trade some of one for the other.

[quote]ZSchaeff205 wrote:
Hey team, so I’ve been reading this site for a while and this, coupled with a class I took last year on strength development, completely changed the way I look at lifting. As a high school and college athlete, I’ve always been “strong”, but I’ve only been seriously lifting (correctly) for about a year. Right now I’m focused on strength, and I’ll probably be transitioning to hypertrophy in about a month.

However, here’s the rub; next year at this time, I’ll be in Ranger school. I’m an infantryman in the US army and I feel like this will be conflicting with my goals to put on strength and mass. Almost everyone in the army is (or should be) able to run ten miles, stay awake for 20 hours, etc., etc. I expect to lose about 30-40 lbs during the 62 days (or more) of Ranger school itself.

Recognizing that I’ll be running and ruck marching for hours on end in my career, my question is this; is it possible to have the best of both worlds? I love crushing weights (almost at a 1RM of 600 on deadlift) and I love getting stronger. I actaully hate running and endurance sports. But is it possible to train for lower body endurance while maintaining a good amount of strength? Since I’ve been focused just on strength lately, I honestly get winded from running after about a mile or so…

Anyways, sorry for the long post and thanks for any help or information.[/quote]

30-40lbs during Ranger school? How much do you weigh? I went from 220 to a little over 200 (but that was when Ranger school was hard ;-D ). It really depends on your body composition. I was always a runner, so I was lean. But, carrying a LOT of muscle is not wise. Being strong and being BIG are two different animals. Back then, I could do chin-ups with a 160lb “cherry” on my back. But, there is no way tat I could now. If you want to look good, get another MOS, Batt is not a place for biguns. That is, if you are going to Batt.

Good luck!

You may have to give up a little of one or the other, but just because most people can’t do it, does not mean that you can’t. Through out all of my training I still maintained most of my muscle mass and was able excel in all of my endurance and running events as well.

If you want it-make it happen, don’t accept the any other excuses

[quote]Alpha wrote:
You may have to give up a little of one or the other, but just because most people can’t do it, does not mean that you can’t. Through out all of my training I still maintained most of my muscle mass and was able excel in all of my endurance and running events as well.

If you want it-make it happen, don’t accept the any other excuses [/quote]

That’s a nice thought, one or the other, but that ain’t reality. If he is going thru Ranger school, he already knows a little bit about the physical and mental pressures. But, reality sets in when you are getting smoked by your RI’s for 2-3hours straight.

If you want to pass, do what every you need to do to get your endurance up. After you pass, you can do whatever you want as long as you can still run like a rabbit. But, if you can’t make your runs, you get kicked out. You can’t keep up on the humps, you get kicked out. You can’t hang in any aspect physically, you get kicked out. If’s you want to pass, make the sacrifices. Trust me, it’s well worth it!

Thanks for the input/motivation undesired. I feel like I’m just going to have to focus on endurance until at least after Ranger. Hopefully I’ll get scooped up by some battalion rugby team somewhere and I’ll have a chance to put mass back on afterwards. Why, oh why, am I not going Armor…

[quote]undesired08 wrote:
After you pass, you can do whatever you want as long as you can still run like a rabbit.

[/quote]

agreed. i’d def focus on endurance training before you get to ranger school. i have seen multiple guys with ranger tabs who were big mofo’s (granted, they were in standard line units, but it does illustrate the point that you can continue to get huge-o after ranger school)

FWIW OP, i am maintaining a 13:40 2mi time and have done multiple 20k rucks with battle rattle and 35lb ruck in the last few months at a weight of 220-230. pics of me currently are in my profile.

[quote]ZSchaeff205 wrote:
Thanks for the input/motivation undesired. I feel like I’m just going to have to focus on endurance until at least after Ranger. Hopefully I’ll get scooped up by some battalion rugby team somewhere and I’ll have a chance to put mass back on afterwards. Why, oh why, am I not going Armor…[/quote]

What position you play? I played second row with the Columbus Knights way back in the early 90’s. A great squad, we took second in the Interservice tourney. Some of my RIP Instructors were on the team, THAT did not bode well for me. You know how you like to play harder when you are playing against a friend? That goes double when you rugby friend is your instructor…

I was a lock (second row, number 4, whatever the naming convention is) when I played. Haven’t played for a while because of a seperated shoulder last year. Can’t wait to get back into it though. One of my former teammates is doing the World Class Athletes Program for rugby, but then again, he’s been playing since he was five years old…

It’s a great game. Who did you play with? When I was a Ft. Bragg, we payed a couple of times in SC.

I’ve actually only played at the academy (WP). I feel like admitting that I go to West Point is about the worst thing I could do, but that’s where I am right now. APFT in 2 days. Little do my TAC officers know, but I’m more concerned about my 600 lbs deadlift than I am my 13:00 2-mile run…

Everyone on this thread (you included as a future West Point grad) probably knows more about this than I do, but I think you do have to just be honest with yourself and sacrifice some strength gains for the endurance/bodyweight strength that the military requires. I’m training for Marine OCS, have lost weight, and gained a little strength in the meantime, but nowhere near what I could have done if I was eating like a bodybuilder/PL. My opinion, a guy can maintain a good cardio/pullup base and above average (2x BW DL, BW for many reps bench, etc.) strength, but the time for legit strength/mass gains comes after you have commissioned/enlisted and got yourself an MOS and a spot.

By the way, Craig Mullaney’s book is very good for an aspiring Ranger. Andrew Exum’s too.