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ccrn
06-16-2006, 02:18
Im old school so have always been biased towards body weight fitness such as pushups, pullups, situps, and run run run.

Now serving in Iraq with most soldiers in my unit half my age I see that almost all the PT studs that max their APFT (and more) are mostly training with weights. When questioned most of these guys are only doing tradiional pushups on chest day or a couple of weeks before an APFT. This means they are only doing pushups about twice a week compared to my five days a week. They are still doing situps with modifications such as decline bench etc.

Since being here I included a leg workout that I do every few days (standing squat, front squat, leg curls, leg extentions) as I feel it directly applies to military fitness. Ive noticed a difference.

I feel like Ive hit a plateau with bodyweight only training so am strongly considering hitting a gym in a serious way starting in the next few days then continuing when I return CONUS. Ill still contiue bodyweight training and ropes etc. Running is a given so Im not discussing that here.

Of course I realize that in primative environments that you cant take a weight gym with you.

Having said all that, my question is: How many of you Bubbus, particularly guys in the pipeline and currently in units, are using weights to maximize your strength as it applies to military fitness (not beach muscles)?

Do you notice a majority of you hitting the gym or is it the other way around?

How are you guys incorporating bodyweight training into your weight lifting?

Thanks for any input-

Mods please feel free to delete if not appropriate.

Jack Moroney (RIP)
06-16-2006, 06:46
Having said all that, my question is: How many of you Bubbus, particularly guys in the pipeline and currently in units, are using weights to maximize your strength as it applies to military fitness (not beach muscles)?

.

Well you are going to get a whole range of answers here. Now I do not know if I ever fit into the Bubba set, but I trained with weights my entire career and always maxed the PT test. I found body weight training only to be insuffcient to meet my own goals. As far as taking the gym with you it is pretty easy to add additional weight to any exercise just using what you have available. The answer for anyone is to develop a program that they can adapt anywhere to fit their needs and stick too it. I find that the problem with guys that depend mainly on weight training is that they get frustrated after a deployment trying to get back into their routine and not being able to start again where they left off.

Five-O
06-16-2006, 07:02
Disclaimer. I have yet to attend SFAS .
Three components of physical fitness include: strength, endurance and flexibility. A well balanced program will attack these components; by definition a well balanced program includes resistance training, body weight exercises and of course cardio. Most successful athletes have an training program that enhances and maximizes (mentally as well as physically) their ability to perform specific tasks. Preparing for SFAS is not much different. However; one major difference of course is that, your entire being will be assessed during selection.
I assume you want to get in condition for SF? Read the book GET Selected for SF written by WM. An important part of the book is Appendix A. In it, he lays out a 30 day, day by day PT routine designed to get you in shape for SFAS. This program includes the obvious push up, sit up, pull up/ropes, run/ruck program but also integrates weight training and swimming. I have completed his suggested program and I found it quite challenging. The only thing I would add would be LONGER ruck movements with HEAVIER rucks and longer runs. Mostly for for my mental conditioning. IMHO you should keep your workout varied while focusing on excercises that will maximize your SFAS performance (Rucking/Running). As far as weight training, I am doing SOME heavy weight excercises but focus mostly on a light weight 7-8 station circut training. The circut hits all major muscle groups including cardio. The circut is so tough I do it only once a week because recovery time takes a few days. Also, guard against over training.
You want to peak at SFAS so read up on how endurance athletes "taper" workout programs prior to races. The weight training excercises should be compound movements that work two or three major muscles groups in one excercise ie...the clean and press, deadlift etc. I have read many, many, many times on this board that SFAS does not test your one time max on the bench press and the Cadre will probably not ask you to curl your ruck....so I stay away from the "beach weights". Again, IMHO only, complete the program WM lays out then make you own modifications to maximize and enhance your performance. Having said the above...I anticipate mental conditioning being the key to getting selected for the Q.

Razor
06-16-2006, 10:15
Your poll is flawed, in that its 'either/or'. You need to incorporate BOTH weight training and bodyweight training into your program, along with cardio and lots of stretching to improve flexibility.

Firebeef
06-16-2006, 10:56
I'm with Razor..... ya GOTSTA do both!!! not either /or.... Of course, most people in Group and even during the Q course, we PT'ed ourselves silly during morning PT, and did body weight/isometric stuff, but lunchtime or whenever we could sneak it in we were in da gym pushin iron.

ccrn
06-16-2006, 12:28
I realize the poll is not very scientific.

That is why the choices are "Lift Weights" or "Bodyweight Only".

The "Lift Weights" choice does not imply that you do not include body weight, cardio, running, or stretching. That is why it is not "Lift weights only".

It is also not meant to be a thread about preparing for SFAS or Phase I though it is aimed at those who are either in the pipeline, are or have served in teams.

Other types of weight training such as kettle bells would not be included. That is not to say I do not respect other forms of stress for the body, and I do understand that the body needs variety in order to not stagnate. For my purposes I have limited it to standard free weights and mostly AR type bodyweight exercises only. I should have mentioned that in my first post.

As far as my work out is concerned, I have pretty much always stuck to bodyweight only as previously mentioned. Besides that I usually run about 15-20 miles per week over four days and ruck about three times a week 4-12 miles with no more then 55 lbs. I ruck with issue boots, BDU bottoms, and what ever top I choose for that day (or night) at about a 4 mph pace if not faster on varied terrain.

When we redeploy CONUS I am going to up the intensity and volume of the above workouts and weight train pretty hard with an emphasis on strength and endurance.

As I learn more Ill explore other stuff that I have read about here and elsewhere.

I thank you all for responding-

eyes
06-16-2006, 21:02
...........

Gene Econ
06-16-2006, 21:14
Im old school so have always been biased towards body weight fitness such as pushups, pullups, situps, and run run run.

Now serving in Iraq with most soldiers in my unit half my age I see that almost all the PT studs that max their APFT (and more) are mostly training with weights. When questioned most of these guys are only doing tradiional pushups on chest day or a couple of weeks before an APFT. This means they are only doing pushups about twice a week compared to my five days a week. They are still doing situps with modifications such as decline bench etc.

Since being here I included a leg workout that I do every few days (standing squat, front squat, leg curls, leg extentions) as I feel it directly applies to military fitness. Ive noticed a difference.

I feel like Ive hit a plateau with bodyweight only training so am strongly considering hitting a gym in a serious way starting in the next few days then continuing when I return CONUS. Ill still contiue bodyweight training and ropes etc. Running is a given so Im not discussing that here.

Of course I realize that in primative environments that you cant take a weight gym with you.

Having said all that, my question is: How many of you Bubbus, particularly guys in the pipeline and currently in units, are using weights to maximize your strength as it applies to military fitness (not beach muscles)?

Do you notice a majority of you hitting the gym or is it the other way around?

How are you guys incorporating bodyweight training into your weight lifting?

Thanks for any input-

Mods please feel free to delete if not appropriate.

CCRN:

Like Jack Moroney, I have lifted weights for my Army career and still lift nine years into retirement from the Army. Also like Jack, I ain't 'Bubba'.

'Bodyweight' meaning using your body weight for resistance? Unless you gain more body weight, you probably won't gain any more strength. Never used it as it won't add body weight or the type of brute strength a fellow needs to carry heavy loads short distances. I would rather spend twenty minutes doing some heavy sets on the flat and incline bench than spend twenty minutes doing push ups. Take my word for it, you will gain more strength using weights than your own body weight.

I used to have to train up for a PT test as I lifted more than ran. Would start running wind sprints about a month from a PT test and that was enough to get me through the two mile run in a respectable time.

I still lift and yes, I do cardio. As I destroyed my back, feet, and knees while in the Army due to a combination of excessively long runs (mandated) and excessively long and very fast ruck sack marches (also mandated), I can't run as much as I would like. So I bought a rowing machine and now will run a mile and then row a mile or two three times a week. However, I lift five days a week and have done so for going on about 28 years now.

I have yet to hear someone who isn't living in a dream world give a logical reason why someone in the Army is in shape only if he can run five miles in 35 minutes or ruck march twenty miles in five hours. If our Army is ever reduced to having to speed march with full kit, it means we have already lost the war.

Oh yes, there is no difference in muscles between those who are Bodybuilders and those who are Power or Olympic lifters. I lift weights and am not a body builder but take my word for it, a body builder who is competitive and doesn't take drugs is one tough and very powerful Muldoon. I have watched them go through a leg routine numerous times. Sets of heavy squats, hack squats, leg presses, calf raises, etc. They have immense power and stamina.

The problem with the Army and its PT is that the right thing for a Combat Arms outfit to focus on is in fact resistance training with weights. However, there simply isn't enough gear to allow for any sort of progress in terms of entire units so the Army settles on things that don't require equipment.

My idea of PT for the Combat Arms would be something like 'Worlds Strongest Man' competitions. Easy to support -- just get a bunch of 50 - 100 pound round stones (BFR's is OK) , Beer Kegs filled with water, a couple of 1/2 ton trailors, and maybe a Stryker or two for towing.

Gene

NousDefionsDoc
06-16-2006, 21:23
http://www.rosstraining.com/infiniteintensity.html

More info than you can shake a barbell over. One of the best buys I ever made.

ccrn
06-17-2006, 10:39
Thank you for the link-

Brother Rat
06-17-2006, 22:48
I like to do crossfit and Warrior-Mentor's routines from THE book.:lifter

Warrior-Mentor
06-17-2006, 22:58
...just get a bunch of 50 - 100 pound round stones (BFR's is OK) , Beer Kegs filled with water, a couple of 1/2 ton trailors, and maybe a Stryker or two for towing.


Hey Gene,

Why would the beer kegs be filled with water? :confused:

Brother Rat
06-17-2006, 23:02
Possibly so you would not be as tempted to consume the contents while training...:D

But seriously, cleaning a keg that has water sloshing around in it can be a difficult task. It seems to call into play all the little balance muscles that you didn't know you had.

MtnGoat
06-20-2006, 20:07
http://www.rosstraining.com/infiniteintensity.html

More info than you can shake a barbell over. One of the best buys I ever made.
NDD

Nice site, I'm doing alot more of Total Body or Body Weight only training. With no Weight training due to the Surgery. I'm starting to look into stuf like this site. I was looking into Matt Furey Combat Conditioning. May have to get one of these books.

Thanks for the Info

NousDefionsDoc
06-20-2006, 21:43
Goat,
In my opinion, Ross is much better than Furey.

Gene Econ
06-20-2006, 21:52
Hey Gene, Why would the beer kegs be filled with water? :confused:

WM:

He, he, he. I know where this one is heading.

I did some work with the Hooaas a few years ago and noted a bunch of dented beer kegs scattered about the parade field in 2/75 so I asked a CQ what was up with the beer kegs. Apparently the Hooaas of 2/75 used to mob about with beer kegs filled with water doing something like Rugby once a week. Never really did understand what they were doing but they all seemed to get a big kick out of the PT. Sometimes you take the Hooaas as Hooaas and don't bother to try and figure out what they are doing or why.

Gene

ccrn
06-21-2006, 20:28
I appreciate the comments and those who voted. As a result Ive gone back to lifting freeweight as well as calisthenics.

While a lot of the guys I know here (Unit) are on a three day schedule Im doing four as follows:
1.Arms
2.Shoulders and back
3.Chest
4.Legs

Abs are everyday.

I like the four day regimen for recovery.

My problem is where to add pushups. It doesnt seem to work well for me on chest day and arm day. One guy here suggested adding a fifth day just for doing pushups, and maybe putting my leg day in the middle of my schedule and do pushups that day too. That way Im doing pushups twice a week.

Others seem to think that would get in the way of recovery for chest and arms. These are guys who max the APFT so I respect their opinions but Im concerned about not doing pushups more often.

Any opinions are most welcome.

Again thanks for all the input-

Five-O
06-22-2006, 10:05
As far as integrating push ups....instead of doing the standard flat bench, incline bench then fly's etc......slide in push ups instead of one of the bench excercises once a week. Then, once every 3-4 weeks do only push ups for the week.

This approach will keep you in the ballgame for the PT test and still give you the size and strength the free weights provide. As a PT test approaches switch to PU only and you should be in the 90 point range easily. If you are looking for strength....substituting PU in one excercise (after your heavy lifts) will not hurt your bench and transitioning to PU every 3 or 4 weeks may help protect against shoulder injuries associated with doing heavy bench.

IMO you should not devote a whole day to arms unless you want to be a competitive body builder. Arms get worked well by doing bench, shoulders and back. Adding one or two arm excercises on one of your major muscle group days should be sufficient.

Hiclaude
06-22-2006, 15:42
ccrn,

Your schedule sounds awesome. One thing that I don't think you should do is hit your abs everyday you work out. We all know that having a strong core is very important, but you have to realize that working this section of your body is the same as almost any other. Think about it like this - would you work your triceps or thighs everyday (all four days)? This is counterproductive because your abdominal muscles need time to heal from the previous day's activity. IMO, you should have no more than 2 days of abs a week.

Thanks for listening :cool:

Solid
06-23-2006, 07:06
I perform ab exercises every day (along with back-bridges) and it seems to me that the abs and other 'core' muscles recover at a far greater rate than any other ones. As such, it becomes possible to exercise them four days a week, using the remaining days for a short rest period.
I was mindful of the fact, however, that by doing ab exercises without the backbridges I was potentially overpowering my abs relative to my back, which would (I've heard) lead to back injuries. For this reason, for every 2 mins I spend doing a set of abs, I spend 1 min doing a concentrated back bridge a la Furey.


Solid

PS: Re: Pushups- Perhaps doing dumbell lifts while lying on a swiss ball would work the supporting muscles and core as much as pushups, but with greater-than-body weight?

VAKEMP
06-23-2006, 14:44
Hello everyone. It is interesting to see what others do to maintain/improve their physical fitness. I am currently going on my 10th year in the USMC, and am considering a career change into the Army. At this point, it is more a question of what the Army will allow me to do if I crossed over, and not whether or not I will actually make the transition.

Currently, my training consists of running every day during the week, doing push-ups throughout the day every day of the week, and doing a pull-up/timed ab workout on M-W-F. My runs differ in length and intensity in an effort to have a more balanced workout, instead of focusing just on speed or endurance. My goal is to maintain the physical fitness requirements of both the USMC and the Army so that I have a smooth transition. I have yet to actually test myself on a timed 2-min push-up workout, but I have realized that being able to do 20 pull-ups does not automatically mean I can max out the push-ups for my age group, which luckily for me is the highest. :D

I am also aware that form is very important for the push-ups on the APFT, so I have been keeping my head forward, my back straight and bring my chest down to the deck on every repetition. I feel my training for the USMC PFT is adequate. I have had to recover from an injury I sustained while participating in the MCMAP program, and now I am in better shape than I was before the injury.

I have done weight training before, and I am sure I will incorporate weight training into my workout again once my performance plateaus. However, I am still noticing gains with my current routine, so I don't see a need to fix what ain't broke. ;)

Long story short, I currently stick to bodyweight-only exercise!

EDIT:
Something else I have heard is that running barefoot increases your run time. I believe the reasoning behind this is that when you run barefoot, you are working more muscles than when you run with shoes on. So, if you train by running barefoot, when you strap on your shoes and run it would be like swimming with fins compared to running without.

I haven't actually tested this myself. Has anyone trained like this and noticed a difference?

Jack Moroney (RIP)
06-23-2006, 15:13
Something else I have heard is that running barefoot increases your run time.

So does running naked through a bee swarm, but I wouldn't recommend that either :D Perhaps you meant decrease your run time?

VAKEMP
06-23-2006, 15:21
So does running naked through a bee swarm, but I wouldn't recommend that either :D Perhaps you meant decrease your run time?


Whoops! Yes, I meant decrease. I must have been thinking about increase run score and butchered it there at the end. Thank you for pointing that out.

Gene Econ
06-23-2006, 22:38
So does running naked through a bee swarm, but I wouldn't recommend that either :D Perhaps you meant decrease your run time?

Yo Jack:

This is getting real weird to me. Twenty foot long pole to vault over a pile of mouse turds.

I wonder sometimes exactly what ideas guys have about the military in terms of physical fitness.

Bottom line is this. For the bi-annual PT test you need to be able to run real fast and do a bunch of sit ups and push ups. That is only done twice a year and honestly, no one gives a damn what your score was unless you fail the thing. In SF, the PT test is something you do and forget about before you have even taken your after breakfast shit following the test. It is as useless in terms of duty as the Train Fire qualification course.

In the military -- Marine Corps / Army / Rangers / SF -- doesn't matter the branch -- your morning PT will not get you into condition as units don't have the time to get guys into condition between field exercises or deployments.

If you want to be in better condition than most in the military -- dedicate another hour or 90 minutes after duty to what ever discipline you like to do. Karate, swimming, lifting, running, bicycle riding, rowing, boxing.

Moroney and I lifted weights. Hooaa. Jack did some weird exercises due to his back condition but he lifted real heavy and lifted daily. At the time I was a body builder / power lifter who followed the concepts of Franco Columbo. I used some pretty significant amounts of weights as well. I would also cross country ski when there was snow and would run when there wasn't any snow.

You adapt to your conditions but one thing is for sure -- if you want to be a cut above the rest - work out for that extra hour or so. Forget heading out for a beer. Ain't worth it when you hit fifty plus years old guys. Hit the gym or the road or pool and do your routine.

Then go to some restaurant where you can get broiled or baked food and eat a good 1500 calories of the three food groups. Finish it off with a good piece of berry pie or a huge plate of fruit and hit the rack by 2100.

On weekends spend at least five hours per day on a firing range practicing your marksmanship skills. Doesn't matter your shooting discipline but have a discipline to follow and be the very best there can be. Set some goals and achieve them. Then set higher goals and achieve them. Shooting is training and is also PT.

There you guys have it in a nutshell. Do your thing, but do something. You will never regret it.

Gene

Jack Moroney (RIP)
06-24-2006, 06:42
Yo Jack:

This is getting real weird to me.

Gene

Me too, thanks for pitching in on this. Practicing to take a PT test to me always sort of seemed like studing to take the SAT or GRE. When you got done all you could do was excell at either test but that only let you get into the academic disciplines where the work really started. Troops, the PT test is only an indicator, and not a very good one at that, that you are physically fit to meet the minimum demands of the service for your age and branch-that's it. You have to go way beyond that to do all that is going to be expected from you. This is one area, among others, where the "train as you fight" slogan has absolutely no relationship to reality. If it did, the PT test would be a combination of the biathalon, bayonet course, obstacle course, at night, in extreme weather conditions and under fire.
This is nothing more than a gentlemans gathering in shorts, running shoes, and color coordinated T-shirts where folks worry about wet-bulb readings and comfortable weather conditions. Stop obsessing about it, set your standards higher than required and just do it!

ccrn
06-24-2006, 12:32
There you guys have it in a nutshell. Do your thing, but do something. You will never regret it.

Gene

Thanks for that reminder.

I have all those things in mind. That is why I run, swim, ruck, and shoot weekly while CONUS.

I want more power as well as endurance and now my question has been well answered regarding that. Dont mean to beat a dead horse.

Perhaps if others want to continue using this thread they can comment regarding specifics incorporating weight lifting into miltiary fitness. Or not.

Thanks very much of all the input I truly appreciate it-

Respectfully

geronimo
06-25-2006, 21:53
Something that I do since I hate push-ups is to just get on the bench about a week before a PT test and do 100 reps of just the bar every other day until the test. It seems to get the muscle memory back and helps with my push-up speed. I usually max the test unless I'm really dragging that day.