Old Forum Training a soldier

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I'm continuing the soldier's "special populations" ie fat people, training. As I mentioned in my post, he's lost significant weight here, but with it, he lost what little strength he started with. The cure? Old School barbell and kettlebell training.  The challenge is keeping his body fat low enough to stay in the army. He hovers at 22%--exactly meeting regulation requirement, but his retention in the army is a unit commander decision, and the commander states that he wants this soldier at 21% before he can reenlist.

The program's core is now 5x5 squat and bench press, with hi-rep kettlebell swings.  He's continuing to lose weight and his strength is improving every workout, especially on squats and swings. His schedule is every other day, but I'm not dogmatic about this; recently he failed to progress on bench, so he took two days off. When he returned he was stronger than ever.

Looking back, his biggest problem was not his weight, but his lack of strength. His feeble strength made every training session more difficult than it needed to be.

Yesterday, he was able to complete 200 kb swings, sets of 25 with a 53 lb kb, averaging 1 min 30 secs rest between sets. Kettlebells have increased his work capacity by vast amounts and in a very short time.

I'm hoping the squats force his body into the adaption it needs. I'm waiting for that cascade.  The interesting factor will be how this affects his body fat levels. We weighed him and measured body fat again last week. He'd lost 5 additional pounds, but was still at 22%.


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If I may ask just what is he eating? Is he eating a number of MRE's? I ask because what he is eating could be a factor. For example MRE's have soy in them. Despite what has been said about soy over the years don't be fooled soy is NOT a healthy food at all. It is actually very harmful to men and women. It slows down your metabolism among a few other things.

I'm just throwing out ideas here.


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Comrades, progress.

As I noted previously on this thread, my intent with this soldier was to provide him with a significantly better strength base, something the running and calisthenics did not do to a sufficient level.

He'd passed his PT test, and lost some weight. But he needed more physical capability and muscle. This soldier is not genetically gifted, but I remembered what Pavel said on one post: The term, Hardgainer, does not contribute to a helpful mindset.  So I trusted the process. Commit to A as action, and B will follow.  5x5 barbell with linear weight increases and kettlebell work would make him stronger, fitter and torch the fat from his body.

We were still in a race againt his enlistment clock.  he either lost the weight and increased his fitness, or would be barred from reenlistment. But the dilemma. Running to make him burn calories, or weight training to preserve muscle and change his body's composition. We'd done the running and cals. It helped him pass the PT test--barely. But he was weak as a moth.  I had to trust the iron and old fashion dietary common sense were enough. Who wanted a soldier that was skinny-fat and barely passed his run test? Strength is the foundation of any athletic endeavor and no soldier--no real soldier-- can do without it.

We began his strength routine July 1st, every other day.  At first it was the three big lifts, with a few 20 rep KB swings thrown in.

His squat (5x5) weight has gone up in every workout. In order to accelerate the fat loss, we upped the kettlebell volume. The last three days of training this month, he achieved the highest level of physical ability he's ever had.  He weighs less than he's ever weighed in the Army, including just out of Basic Training. He is stronger than he's ever been.  And his fitness? Two days ago I put him through a kettlebell complex that most people could not finish, especially at 7000 ft above sea level.   Here it is--give it a try.

Do this complex 5 times, 1-2 minutes rest between each exercise and each interval.

53 lb KB swing x25 reps

35 lb 1 hand KB swing, 20 per arm

35 lb KB Clean and Jerk, 10 per arm

53 lb KB High Pull, 10 per arm

And our command has decided to allow him to reenlist. He says he feels great, and his new confidence is apparent.

Kettlebells work, and faster than anything else, without the loss of strength associated with lots of running. Have faith in the process.

Do A, expect B.
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