Back at the end of December, a guy contacted me asking for some help with a training program. I normally don’t work with people online as I’ve mentioned before, I just don’t have the time. But the cool thing about this guy was he’s in Afghanistan and fighting for our freedom (and fixing to start P90X…). So I made an exception and decided to hook him up.
I had him email me the equipment he had available and his current nutritional habits. He actually had access to everything he needed equipment wise, he just had to travel – and his nutrition wasn’t horrible, but needed some work.
I wrote up a program to work towards his training goals, but that still allowed him to meet the requirements for the military since they were doing physical testing pretty soon. I also made some nutritional suggestions based on what was available to him overseas.
5 Weeks into the Program
Below is his actual program:
*Note: I normally don’t recommend training 5 days a week back to back. However, he specifically asked to train this way because training is one thing that’s enjoyable while overseas. I kept a close eye on his progress and feedback to make sure it wasn’t too much.
A. Deadlift – work up to a 5RM – One back off set of 5 @ 90% of 5RM
B1. Barbell Push Press 3 x 5
B2. Chin Ups 3 x 8-10
C1. Barbell Curl 3 x 8-10
C2. Close Grip Bench Press 3 x 8-10
D. Hanging Leg Raises 3 x 6-10
Hill Sprints (30-60 yards) – Build up to 12 Sprints total over a 8 week period
Distance Run for Military PT
A. Split Squats 3×10 each leg – Start with bodyweight – slowly add a little resistance with DBs
B1. Barbell Bench Press 3 x 5-8
B2. Inverted Row 3 x 8-12
C1. Dumbbell Hammer Curl 3 x 8-10
C2. Skull Crushers 3 x 8-10
D. Barbell Rollouts 3 x 6-10
Barbell Complex – Start at 2 rounds working up to 5 rounds. Once you can complete 5 rounds increase weight. Start light. This is for cardio/conditioning and shouldn’t be super heavy.
A. Back Squat – Work up to a 5RM – One back off set of AMAP @ 90% 5RM
B1. Dumbbell Military Press 3 x 8-10
B2. 1-Arm Dumbbell Row 3 x 8-12
C1. Close Grip Push Ups 3 x AMAP
C2. Drag Curl 3 x 8-12
D. Plank 3 x 30s – 90s building up over time
Saturday & Sunday:
As for his nutrition, we were limited on what we could do. We discussed this back and forth between a series of emails. Below is what he told me about his current nutrition:
“I’ve been staying away from fried food and junk food. I stopped drinking cokes a few weeks ago and usually drink fruit juice, Gatorade, milk or water instead. It’s really hard to get good food here because we have no way of keeping or cooking it. I can get tuna packs though. For breakfast I drink a shake and have a bowl of cereal or granola bar or pack of peanut butter crackers. Lunch and Supper vary, depends on what they have cooked for us. I usually have a snack between meals ie: peanut butter cracker, pack of tuna, granola bars… I’ve been trying to eat smaller meals instead of the three big ones.”
Since he doesn’t have a lot of control over his food I just made the following suggestions:
“Diet looks pretty good for the circumstances – Ditch the fruit juice and gatorade though. These are no different than cokes (just sugar). Milk is great source of protein for you right now. I’m also a big fan of chocolate milk post workout for recovery. The muscle milk you mentioned would be good in the mornings and before bed to get your protein intake up. Just make smart food choices and focus on getting enough protein.”
As you can see from the photos above he’s made some huge changes in 5 weeks. The kicker here is he is in a less than perfect situation. He has an ok gym that he has to travel to, he doesn’t have a lot of great options for food, oh and the biggest one – he’s in Afghanistan fighting a war. But he didn’t let any of these factors discourage him from kicking ass in the gym, did he? He set his mind to it and has busted his ass so far. This is a prime example of why everything doesn’t have to be perfect to get results. Make the best of every situation. What’s your excuse?
Any questions? Any comments for the Solider above? (I’ll make sure he reads this)
Let us know in the comments!