Military Guys

Edit: I didn’t preview the post and the formatting was all jacked up. Woops. I’ll put the blame on what is apparently the flu that I came down with yesterday.

I get a lot of e-mails from guys that are in the service, and they usually have some unique circumstances. Some times guys want to get stronger while keeping their bodyweight in check because of annoying regulations. Some times they need to get ideas on programs that don’t have access to a typical training facility. Other times they just want to get bigger and stronger and have the room to grow. In any case, it’s always a pleasure to help them (I enjoy helping people in general).

I got an awesome e-mail recently from a Captain in Afghanistan. It was deadlift day for the group of lifters that includes some “runners that have been converted over to lifting”. You have to admire their intensity — they don’t fuck around.

How awesome is this?

These are the guys you want to go fight for you. Luckily they got to finish up with a meal of fried chicken, ribs, and mac and cheese. God bless America.

I wonder if they got to have any beer with that. I’d like to drink beer with this bunch.

Here’s 1LT McGraw out in Iraq training hard on a linear progression.

I’ve coached and worked with lots of military personnel and they are always a joy to be around (one of my best friends is an AF guy). All you deployed guys take care out there.

22 thoughts on “Military Guys

  1. Justin, my unit recently started doing 8-10km run 4 times a week with a ridiculous amount of pushups worked in. Im loosing my shit! squats are going down the shitter, deadlifts are getting fucked up, Pressing is fatiguing.

    eat more-sleep more?

    You might have to train less if it’s mandatory. At least try and maintain while you have to do silly stuff (unless you’re in some kind of selection school, then I wouldn’t worry about strength).


  2. 250orBust: That sucks ass, man. I wonder when the military will finally get it when it comes to relevant physical training standards?

    Those guys look awesome and I’d love to train with them, even if a couple don’t know how to do a proper 70’s Big face and look like they are constipated instead (then again, eating MRE’s almost every day will make anyone constipated).

    A for effort, Rygor, A for effort…


  3. Wow these are some pretty sick looking dudes. I would love to train with some intense guys like these, and the feast that follows looks taste-tacular too! Man Fuel!

  4. Right on! Thanks for serving and keeping us safe, men.

    Another reason why I love my gym – filled with current/former military, and a lot of US Alphabet Soup: DOJ, FBI, ATF, CIA, USSS, DIA, etc.

  5. @ 250orBust

    I ride a bicycle all day for work (Police, on the bike unit) and I found my squats were going down the shitter as well. I started supplementing with BCAA’s while I was riding and it was a huge help (I used Scivation Xtend). Also after a few weeks your body will adapt, but initially it will be tough. Eat/sleep a ton, it helps as well.

  6. When I was in the army, there were the pushup, sit up, cardio crowd, and the body building crowd for the most part. There were few concerned with getting strong, unless it was bench press. Dont get me wrong there were some exceptions. It is good to see that more military members are bucking the trend and lifting heavy weights. Thanks to all those who serve and who have served!

  7. “I wouldn’t worry about strength.”

    –Justin Lascek

    See, Justin, this is why you should always be very careful what you say on the internet, let some 90s Small dude try to quote you out of context.

    A) That isn’t a direct quote, B) I doubt I’m so popular that a misinterpreted quote would create significant controversy, and C) you smell.


  8. Wow 250orBust, that is pretty silly. Is there a problem with unit PT scores? Because that is way too much running to really do anything else. Is this from the company commander? If you’re feeling adventurous you can try talking to the Plt Sgt and try to get the Plt CO to pass it up to Company CO (don’t know how things are in your unit, but I wouldn’t hold my breath). Frame it as an issue of possible overtraining and lower unit leaders not being able to initiative and lead their own PT. Again, that’s a long shot. For now my best advice is to lower your lifting volume, but keep the intensity high. Work on 1, 2, and 3 rep maxes and keep sets under 3 reps. You may even want to do a 5/3/1 style 4 days a week, 1 main lift per day.
    Semper Gumby

    I support Scot’s advice here.


  9. Justin-
    Some of us military guys aren’t worried about weight for regulations but for job realities. For example, I’m 6’2″ and a lean 240. I would love to pack on weight to make my lifts go up. However, the weight limit for a HALO parachute is 350lbs. Add a 100-150lb rucksack to my 240 and I’m already at the limit. Adding that 20lbs to up my deadlift would be awesome, but a 260lb deadlifting behemoth does not neccessarily make the best tactical athlete. Honestly, the Army PT setup is increasingly accepting Crossfit and there are ridiculously well outfitted Crossfit gyms at the last three posts I have been to. I hate it, not because I hate Crossfit but because units are not being specific enough in their training. I was with a dude who could smoke “Fran” at the gym. However, during a 8hr infil with 130lb rucks in semi-mountainous terrain he was sucking bad. Units are not training for the specific tasks that will be required of them. Not trying to pick a fight but wanted to throw my experience in. THanks so much for the site and BTW, I can do an awesome 70sbig face.

    I definitely understand. I wasn’t implying that guys in the military need to weigh more. If I had to tactically maneuver around while still carrying a pack, I’d want to be at a bodyweight that would be conducive to doing so. I’m not of the opinion that all guys in the military need to be bigger. Most would probably benefit from weighing over 185 though. This is where necessary functionality trumps absolute strength.


    What type of unit are you in? Do you guys not ruck? My suggestion is to do two days a week in the style of Brooks Kubik’s Dinosaur Training. As the former Marine said, focus on intensity. And suggest to your NCOs that you do some rucks.
    Good Luck.

  10. I have just moved to a new rifle company in an infantry battalion. The new company I have joined just happens to be overweight. The platoon command has the old idea that running+pushups+situps make a fit soldier so Ive been lumped in with the rest of them for remedial PT. I normally wouldnt have an issue recomending a PT plan to my command but I am new to the company and am trying to stay grey for a while. Oh well, the road to 250 may take longer then expected.

  11. Justin-
    Absolutely. In my community, where 100lb+ rucks are the name of the game, I find myself telling young guys that they need to do good mornings and get some Heavyweight Gainer 900. We suffer a lot of injuries because initially running ability is used to assess soldiers and then they get in and get crushed by the rucks. Anyway, thanks again. An Army buddy turned me on to your site and I love it, even though I am not on the linear progression.

    You must be in the deuce!!! Here’s my advice…there’s an SFAS class every month.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.