The boot camp question.

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    The boot camp question.


    I was thinking about today, as I've been getting ready for OCS: How do soldiers/marines/sailors build strength and muscle in boot camp when their diet is mostly carbs and they don't get any time off?

    They do the same movements everyday for months. How does the body get beyond what we here would endear as massive overtraining?

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    its endurance work for the most part
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    Endurance doesn't account for muscle gain, though.
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    unless its muscle you've never used. my basic training was a lot of running, push ups, rifle PT, etc. i didn't really bulk up in basic though - 2.5k calories doesn't do much for me.

    i don't think anyone gets bigger in basic except for the marines - and that's because they are allowed to hit the gym in basic



    EDIT : now that we're a kinder, gentler army, maybe the rules have changed since i was in.
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    I was a marine (enlisted) and I sure never saw the inside of a gym in boot camp. I also did not gain any muscle, too much cardio and exercises with too little fuel.
    When are you going to OCS Rugger, I'm keeping it open as an option when I graduate in December.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ward0351 View Post
    I was a marine (enlisted) and I sure never saw the inside of a gym in boot camp. I also did not gain any muscle, too much cardio and exercises with too little fuel.
    When are you going to OCS Rugger, I'm keeping it open as an option when I graduate in December.
    really? i always thought that's what they did. are you telling me the marines didn't encourage using the gym before you arrived at your permanent station?
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    OCS is much more of a mental preparation for combat than physical. They tear you down and try to defeat you to quit. It has around a 10% drop out rate over the course at least around here, due to some guys getting singled out as weak and picking on them more. Some can take it, some can't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by suncloud View Post
    really? i always thought that's what they did. are you telling me the marines didn't encourage using the gym before you arrived at your permanent station?
    I thought you were strictly speaking about boot camp, once you have graduated boot camp everyone heads to SOI (School Of Infantry), then their duty station OR further training depending on their MOS. After the boot camp part you can go to the gym whenever you have the free time, and, of course, it is encouraged.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ward0351 View Post
    I thought you were strictly speaking about boot camp, once you have graduated boot camp everyone heads to SOI (School Of Infantry), then their duty station OR further training depending on their MOS. After the boot camp part you can go to the gym whenever you have the free time, and, of course, it is encouraged.
    ahh... ok. so not encouraged in basic (which was my thought), but it is encouraged once you get out of basic. in the army, it was just focusing on the PT test, and the gym was optional, but only in spare time, and never encouraged (not discouraged either) - of course, i wasn't combat arms, so i may be speaking beyond my knowledge
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    I was in the Army for 3 years, and I have lived around the military my entire life because my father is still in sense 1982. But I dont know of any branch that allows soldiers to lift weights while in BCT. Its more about endurance, and getting you prepared in every aspect of the basic military requirements and knowledge you need to know to be a suitable soldier. Most of the time its high reps of cardio, and breaking you completely down to build you back into what they want. Now OCS is pretty much BCT all over again, but with alot more plus. But I doubt you'll have the oppurtunity to lift in a gym. The Air Force I do know allow to ride bikes, and I think they may work out in gyms sometimes
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMAFighter717 View Post
    The Air Force I do know allow to ride bikes
    Ha, no offense to Airmen but that is pretty funny.
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    Quote Originally Posted by suncloud View Post
    unless its muscle you've never used. my basic training was a lot of running, push ups, rifle PT, etc. i didn't really bulk up in basic though - 2.5k calories doesn't do much for me.

    i don't think anyone gets bigger in basic except for the marines - and that's because they are allowed to hit the gym in basic



    EDIT : now that we're a kinder, gentler army, maybe the rules have changed since i was in.
    This is not true. We had a few dumbells lying around the squad bay that we couldn't even touch till the very end of boot camp. I personally went from 212 to 187 in the three months of boot camp. I had to GORGE myself to keep from losing more weight than that. The amount of PT you do is less running and more HIIT than anything. Push ups, situps, then run in place, then leg lifts...it sucks but you lean out quickly. You WILL lose muscle. Thats just how it is.
    Last edited by kjkriston; 02-09-2009 at 01:30 PM.
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    Unless things changed in the past several yrs the airforce does not allow you to ride bikes lol. When i went to boot camp in 2002 we did a lot of cardio and calisthenics no weight lifting. I actually gained muscle but i was very skinny when i joined. Basically if your into working out/bodybuilding you will most likely loose muscle while your in basic training.
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    What the others have said about Marine Corps recruit training is true. I went in at just under 200 lbs with a decent muscle base and came out scrawny as fxck. Its all about endurance at boot and while getting 3 solid meals a day was great, the calories burnt for the day was just way too much I have a feeling. Even the guide of my platoon was a competitive bodybuilder when he got there in great shape and you could tell you softened up back by the end

    Even after boot when we went to school of infantry, well some of us went to SOI, alot of others go to MCT (Marine Combat training) which is where everyone except infantry go. Anyways when I was in SOI we never touched a gym either... probably because after being sheltered from the world 13 weeks we just wanted to get drunk every weekend in san diego hahaha. However once i got to my unit it was highly encourage and you will definitely see some big ass Marines
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    I gained in basic but I was only about 135-140 when I got there and I ate as much as I could
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    Quote Originally Posted by suncloud View Post
    unless its muscle you've never used. my basic training was a lot of running, push ups, rifle PT, etc. i didn't really bulk up in basic though - 2.5k calories doesn't do much for me.

    i don't think anyone gets bigger in basic except for the marines - and that's because they are allowed to hit the gym in basic



    EDIT : now that we're a kinder, gentler army, maybe the rules have changed since i was in.
    I gained 19 lbs in basic. That was over 3 years ago. I also got to eat more than I had been before going.
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    Yea the food they give you in BCT isnt bad, and its a sufficient amount to survive off of. But all the training causes it to burn off. Most likely BCT will just tone you out if your not fat, and if you are; most likely you'll be the one to see the most results. Plus if you end up at Ft. Benning like me, where it is hot as hell, that always plays a factor in losing weight. You pretty much sweat it off at times. The Air Force does allow alot of different training then all the other branches. Honestly alot easier. I know this because my sister is in the Air Force, and my grandfather was aswell.
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    Now AIT, in the Army you are allowed to use weights. I'm sure almost every branch allows that.
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    I beleive the simple answer is, you don't - you'll be running, running, doing some push-ups, and sit-ups, and running some more. You will for sure loose muscle, just think of it as a great way to cut!

    Out of curiosity what specifically will you be joining?
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    I'm in the Air Force and while I wouldn't never be so ignorant as to consider our Basic as hard as Marine Boot or Marine OCS, the principles are the same. Like others have mentioned, expect military style exercises for endurance purposes. Pushups, Situps/Crunches, Pullups, Running, Running and more Running etc.
    I lost 30lbs in AF basic, and that's when AF basic was still only 6.5 weeks long.

    No the AF does not ride bikes for PT. You can take a cycle ergonometry test which uses your heartrate/VO2/workload to determine your potential cardiovascular fitness level if, and only if you are on some sort of medical profile. For example, you have knee problems to the extent you cannot run or walk the 1.5 anymore.

    That said, our physical standards are not as easy as you might think for Basic. To get the fitness award (Warhawk) in basic, you must:
    Run 1.5 in 8:08
    Pushups: 75
    Situps: 85
    Pullups:10

    Basic minimum standard is 11:57, 45, and 50

    Again, we are not to be confused with Marines by any measure, but we are certainly PT'd more than your common person thinks.
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    I went through Navy boot camp in 2000 and was stationed at MCRD West (Marine boot camp) in 2008.

    Fact is, if you are a solid guy who lifts and eats appropriately you will loose some muscle mass and if you are a scrawny underweight dude, then you will gain weight. Navy boot camp wasn't as physical as Marine boot camp is, but OCS will be. It will consist of tons of running, calisthenics, some circuit training etc. At Marine boot camp the guys who are under weight standards are given double rations, fat body's given half rations etc. It's funny, by the end of a platoon's training you see a sort of homeostasis as far a people's weight goes. I can't claim to know if in OCS you are allowed to go to the gym, but in Navy and Marine Corps boot camp you can not. As far as over training goes, there are some overuse injuries particularly for those whom are not accustomed to that level of exercise, but I wouldn't say anyone experience over training. Particularly since the training is orientated to stamina, endurance, and core strength as apposed to bodybuilding.

    - I'll post later the amount of calories on average expended during boot camp, OCS, BUD/s (Seal training) and a few others. I have them at work.
    - Best of luck man, Go Navy!
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    The only time one could get to the gym in Navy OCS is on weekend libo after about 8 weeks(depending). If I had libo opportunity after 8 weeks of hell I would spend it beating off, sleeping and eating junk food, not in the gym LOL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugger View Post
    The only time one could get to the gym in Navy OCS is on weekend libo after about 8 weeks(depending). If I had libo opportunity after 8 weeks of hell I would spend it beating off, sleeping and eating junk food, not in the gym LOL
    And that's exactly how it goes just about every time.
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    Can u use supps In basic? For any branch of the military? Jw if I would need to break caffeine addiction and get in "unassisted" shape...

    Thinking about signing up once I finish my degree since I reall want to be a cop and have had no luck for 3 years now...
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    Quote Originally Posted by chedapalooza
    Can u use supps In basic? For any branch of the military? Jw if I would need to break caffeine addiction and get in "unassisted" shape...

    Thinking about signing up once I finish my degree since I reall want to be a cop and have had no luck for 3 years now...
    No supps at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbuick

    No supps at all.
    Damn.. What about if I'm on TRT patches
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    Quote Originally Posted by chedapalooza

    Damn.. What about if I'm on TRT patches
    I doubt that'll fly. You'll have to talk to a recruiter about that, you could probably check with the branches website, they should have some kind of Q&A program.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbuick

    I doubt that'll fly. You'll have to talk to a recruiter about that, you could probably check with the branches website, they should have some kind of Q&A program.
    Thanks
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    Quote Originally Posted by chedapalooza

    Damn.. What about if I'm on TRT patches
    They basically want you to be independent of any kind of medication if at all possible. What if your doing FTX's and they are not accessible or if you're deployed? See what im saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thegodfather

    They basically want you to be independent of any kind of medication if at all possible. What if your doing FTX's and they are not accessible or if you're deployed? See what im saying.

    Sent from my iPhone
    Absolutely I know that the reason, but it sucks lol!
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    I'm active duty myself and when I went to basic 5 years ago I lost almost 30 pounds most of it muscle. Yeah get 3 meals a day with little to know time to eat and ur so active u burn everything off. My advice to u is when ur preparing for basic do somethin cardio based such as p90x or insanity, or just some distance runnin, all bodybuilding aspects go out the window in basic due to the lack of food and sleep. When I got out of basic I just ate like crazy and lifted hard just like I did before I left, and my muscle memory brought it back pretty fast. Military Is a great lifestyle bro with great benefits, ima military cop myself and I love it. If you got any questions hit me up
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rush8780
    I'm active duty myself and when I went to basic 5 years ago I lost almost 30 pounds most of it muscle. Yeah get 3 meals a day with little to know time to eat and ur so active u burn everything off. My advice to u is when ur preparing for basic do somethin cardio based such as p90x or insanity, or just some distance runnin, all bodybuilding aspects go out the window in basic due to the lack of food and sleep. When I got out of basic I just ate like crazy and lifted hard just like I did before I left, and my muscle memory brought it back pretty fast. Military Is a great lifestyle bro with great benefits, ima military cop myself and I love it. If you got any questions hit me up
    Nice. I already run a lot.. My 1.5 mile is at 10 flat since u get tested for police exams .. It's just so competitive where I live.. I graduate college soon n need benefits n a full time job.. I don't wanna work in my degree field (journalism) that much at all
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rush8780 View Post
    I'm active duty myself and when I went to basic 5 years ago I lost almost 30 pounds most of it muscle. Yeah get 3 meals a day with little to know time to eat and ur so active u burn everything off. My advice to u is when ur preparing for basic do somethin cardio based such as p90x or insanity, or just some distance runnin, all bodybuilding aspects go out the window in basic due to the lack of food and sleep. When I got out of basic I just ate like crazy and lifted hard just like I did before I left, and my muscle memory brought it back pretty fast. Military Is a great lifestyle bro with great benefits, ima military cop myself and I love it. If you got any questions hit me up
    I went to basic much more recently than you (OSUT actually) and could not disagree more. I gained about 20lbs, most of it fat. We weren't nearly as active as they would have us believe and spent more time standing around doing concurrent training than anything else.

    Sleep wasn't terrible ~6 hours a night and if you can't eat what they give you in under 5 minutes you aren't trying very hard.

    I leaned back out easily enough and got back in shape during airborne and worldwide assignment when I could hit the gym on my own after work.

    And the benefits aren't nearly good enough to deal with how ****ty this life is. We mow lawns, sweep and mop floors, and occasionally shoot something for somewhere around $2 an hour (rank dependant).

    I also did Insanity and P90X before going and can say all I got from it was knee problems (specifically insanity with all of the jumping).

    If you truly need to prepare (which is a waste IME because its all about wanting to be there mentally and BCT is a joke) then just start throwing in long distance running a couple of times a week and you'll be fine.

    BCT really couldn't be easier.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chedapalooza View Post

    Nice. I already run a lot.. My 1.5 mile is at 10 flat since u get tested for police exams .. It's just so competitive where I live.. I graduate college soon n need benefits n a full time job.. I don't wanna work in my degree field (journalism) that much at all
    Honestly bro, everyone I know regrets enlisting. Most people did it just for education and unless you have loans you want the army to pay off or you plan on using the GI bill for another degree it probably isn't worth it.

    The pay isn't very good (I made way more right out of high school) and for most people the benefits aren't that great either, especially considering the talk about lower funding which would very likely lower benefits (the marines already cut their education benefits significantly).
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbuick

    Honestly bro, everyone I know regrets enlisting. Most people did it just for education and unless you have loans you want the army to pay off or you plan on using the GI bill for another degree it probably isn't worth it.

    The pay isn't very good (I made way more right out of high school) and for most people the benefits aren't that great either, especially considering the talk about lower funding which would very likely lower benefits (the marines already cut their education benefits significantly).
    Gotcha.. Even as an officer?? Since I'd have a degree I could go to OCS, no? I'm thinking about coAst guard or navy bc I love the water.. Anything else depresses me lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by chedapalooza View Post

    Gotcha.. Even as an officer?? Since I'd have a degree I could go to OCS, no? I'm thinking about coAst guard or navy bc I love the water.. Anything else depresses me lol
    Officers get paid well and don't have to sweep but all I ever see them doing is paperwork.

    I don't know a lot about OCS for the Navy but I would assume being an officer is better, it certainly looks better. You'll just have longer days usually because I always see my PL and CO doing paperwork and crap when I finally get released.

    For what its worth it looked enticing enough (in comparison) for me to think about Green to Gold, I just don't wanna be in the military for that long.

    Honestly I don't know how commissioning works, I thought you needed the ROTC in college to commission otherwise you just come in as an E-4. Not sure about that tbh.
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    Thanks a lot
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    not gonna happen, your muscles will thin out over a long period of time doing that style endurance training.

    eat like a beast when ya get a chance.

    I weighed 171lbs my first few yrs in, got up to 190 over 8 years due to my units being running units
    we ran a lot, and in group runs I was in A, so we went further and faster. Really kept me lean and did not allow for mass gain
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