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Getting fit for the Army

Discussion in 'Sports Arena' started by Kamerad, 21 Oct 2009.

  1. Kamerad

    Mobster

    Joined: 6 Jul 2003

    Posts: 2,543

    I passed Army selection three weeks ago and I'm now waiting for a start date which could be April/May next year unless a vacancy comes up. After selection I developed a cold which I used as an excuse not to do much exercise and after only running for four minutes today I was absolutely shattered, however my fitness wasn't that great before and the fastest I've been able to run 1.5 miles (which the Army use to measure fitness) is 11 minutes.

    Could anyone help me develop a training programme to help me get fit. Obviously I need to be doing lots of running but what other exercises should I be doing and how often? I've been doing the 3 day split in GordyR's beginners guide to bodybuilding but find some of the exercises just leave my legs feeling really cramped when running. I want to take up swimming too, something I haven't done for nearly ten years but don't know how often I should be doing things and on what days to mix weight lifting with running to avoid destroying my body.
     
  2. Von Smallhausen

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 1 Aug 2004

    Posts: 12,626

    Location: Tyneside

  3. BennyC

    Capodecina

    Joined: 25 Sep 2006

    Posts: 13,918

    Stretching is essential after exercise and should help the cramps/tightness you're probaly experiencing. Freefaller is clued up on stretches more than myself so I'll leave it to him.

    I'd recommend compound exercises like squats, military press, bench press, rows and deadlifts if you're confident enough with form. To slap on as much mass as possible.

    In regards to fitness and running try just adding 30 seconds on each time. Don't just run though get on the rower, bike and x-trainer too. Mix it up. Do some short sprints/bursts. Run on an incline etc.
     
  4. Freefaller

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 5 Jun 2003

    Posts: 87,181

    Location: Falling...

    Stretching is important before certain activities like sports and long bouts of cardio/fitness work - however for strength and mass building stretching before will be detramental to it. However I agree with Benny in terms of compound lifts to stimulate your CNS and also overall body condition and strength - mixed with the high intensity fitness training the army are likely to put you through, running, rowing, skipping and swimming are good activities you can do.
     
  5. chrisd

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 20 May 2004

    Posts: 1,740

    If you're not going in until April of next year then you have enough time to reach a much higher level of fitness than is required for entry; you're only 30 seconds off the required time now. Having said that, the most important thing is to gradually increase the amount of exercise you do - it's more important that you avoid injury.

    Make sure you're stretching adequately (the Army have posters available that show a few different ones), warming up and down, and that you have proper footwear.

    You need to ensure you keep exercising regularly. The worst thing is to leave it until the new year and then try to cram everything into a short space of time - that's when you pick up injuries.

    You need to be doing some distance running to improve stamina. Swimming or cycling is good as well, but don't use them as a replacement. Doing some sprint training/HIIT can also be a big help, particularly with learning to deal with lactic acid.
     
    Last edited: 22 Oct 2009
  6. Kamerad

    Mobster

    Joined: 6 Jul 2003

    Posts: 2,543

    Thanks for the advice all. I've been running since April but I've never really developed any speed. I managed to run 5 miles without stopping but at a terrible pace. Is it ok to do weights on the same day as running or should I alternate days?
     
  7. Zefan

    Don

    Joined: 15 Jan 2006

    Posts: 30,524

    Location: Tosche Station

    Haven't you passed the fitness test already? By that I don't mean to say that you should stop exercising, merely that you should have an idea of what you need to do.
     
  8. Kamerad

    Mobster

    Joined: 6 Jul 2003

    Posts: 2,543

    Yes but I found the run a real struggle. I completed the run well under the cutoff for my trade although thats not saying much as I only had to do it in under 14 minutes. Most of the other guys there were a lot faster than me and claimed they hadnt done much training lol. I dont want to be tagging along at the back all the time during training. I guess there is only one way to get fit and thats hard work :)
     
  9. sastusbulbas

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 26 May 2008

    Posts: 1,721

    I would not recommend cycling, it shortens certain muscle groups. I myself suffered a torn glut and hamstring due to my "cycling fitness" hampering my training. That backsquaded me and affected my running times. We used to aim for 2 miles under 9min 30 sec as we knew the "1.5mile" course was longer.

    I found running off road to be good, as well as sprints (but stay jogging on the spot at each end), timed sit ups holding weight, and pull ups with a weighted rucksack can be beneficial too and general circuit training, sprints and running while being able to talk (take a friend or have someone go along with you on a bike with a cycle computer for distance). Pay attention to your breathing, keep it smooth and steady and watch how your arms behave.
    I also used to run for an hour at a comfortable pace and have a 100 yard sprint at the end, then stretching and say around 50 press ups and 50 sit ups (you can get carried away with these last two with competetive friends). This is something to build up to, you start off with a 10 minute run and say ten of each excercise after a shorter sprint, and build up from there adding some miutes each time but keeping it below any intensity which may leave you achy or stiff later, you are looking to build up on times with no pain or stiffness, with a quick recovery time without water or such during the actiivity.

    Make sure you use shoes with good arch support, and watch out for shin pain.

    I would not worry about weights, well you can alternate with light but high reps, but the general circuit training, squats, press ups, sit ups, isometric excersise swimming and such will do you much better, increase your cardio and stamina. Climbing indoors and up ropes can be fun too.

    This should provide you with a good base level all round fitness which will grow and support you better through your basic training. Bulked up muscle and mass will not serve you too well at this time, particularly if running is what you want to improve.

    PS the SA80 rifle 5.56 weighs just shy of 5 kilo loaded, during training it can seem a bit heavier when in the arms for a time so maybe holding that sort of weight at arms length may make that a little less cumbersome. I don't think any recruit takes the weight of kit and webbing and such into consideration and for some it can come as a bit of a shock.
     
  10. lemonkettaz

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Nov 2005

    Posts: 12,018

    Forget weight lifting.

    Running
    Press ups
    Sit ups
    Heaves
    Running Running and more Running.

    We were told you build up your strength during basic so you don't need to be mr universe going into Basic.

    I was told that if I can get to basic and be able to run 6 mile with ease then It will be ok.

    I'm just focusing on my distance running, I'm aiming to be able to run 6 and 10milers without hassle

    I'll do the press ups sit ups and heaves as well.

    Building your body up won't help when you do the run with all the kit on i wouldn't of thought.

    Well done on passing selection anyway, where were you at? What you going in for?
     
  11. BennyC

    Capodecina

    Joined: 25 Sep 2006

    Posts: 13,918

    Put you've recommended him some reistance work after telling him to forget it?

    I, personally, wouldn't neglect weight training. I wouldn't do it to such extremes as I do now, because your aims are different. Running with a pack on, long marches etc will be quite tough on your core, back and legs.

    Yes press ups and sit ups have their place, but you'll get a stronger more stable core from big compound movements and overall a stronger body.
     
  12. lemonkettaz

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Nov 2005

    Posts: 12,018

    Its pointless to do heavy weightlifting.

    Press ups situps etc are good for building core strength and obviously the cheapest way of doing.
     
  13. BennyC

    Capodecina

    Joined: 25 Sep 2006

    Posts: 13,918

    I never said they needed to be heavy ;)

    He can squat for free too.
     
  14. lemonkettaz

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Nov 2005

    Posts: 12,018

    The army keep fit booklet has squats done as one legged with your arms out to balance but no weight?

    Is this worth it?
     
  15. Kamerad

    Mobster

    Joined: 6 Jul 2003

    Posts: 2,543

    I was at Glencourse, passed with a B grade and I'm going into the REME as a recovery mechanic. How about you?
     
  16. dun

    Mobster

    Joined: 5 Nov 2004

    Posts: 4,617

    Location: West Midlands

    Definitely yes. Took a fair amount of practice and flexibility, but the coordination and "functional" (shudder) strength is great.

    I don't know anything about running so can't help you there. But lifts wise I wouldn't worry about the gym or bodybuilder style lifts. Get some weight in a backpack and do some high rep squats, weighted pullups, weighted situps/ crunches, single leg squats, get a couple of sacks of dirt and move them from one pile to the other, anything you can think of that might be required you can do at home.
     
  17. lemonkettaz

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Nov 2005

    Posts: 12,018

    I was at Glencorse as well, when did you go? Got a B grade myself.

    Going in the Royal Engineers as Design Draughtsman.

    Just waiting for a phase 1 date now...
     
  18. firthy15

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 Dec 2004

    Posts: 1,168

    Location: Paderborn DE / TeessideUK

    Glencorse, B, Reme, Armourer here ^_^

    I've been doing alot of weight lifting and cycling should really get back into running for my start date of march / april.
     
  19. Kamerad

    Mobster

    Joined: 6 Jul 2003

    Posts: 2,543

    Well done on your grades lads. I went on the 29th September. We had a Scottish ginger corporal in charge of us who was really sound. Most of the staff were fine. One of the corporals said on the second day after the run when we had changed into smart clothes "I just thought I'd let you know that three quarters of you have failed" lol, but only 3 or 4 people failed in the end which were all on the team tasks.

    I've already been offered a start date for my second job choice which is vehicle mechanic for November but I'd rather wait and take my first choice so I turned it down. I must be mad as I really hate the job I'm doing at the moment.
     
  20. lemonkettaz

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Nov 2005

    Posts: 12,018

    Ginge aye, he was sound, was proper grumpy the first night but was canny the 2nd morning.

    Although he got us to do a shed load of warming up before our run.

    Only 3 or 4 lads were deffered in our group.

    Nobody failed outright.

    I havent got a starting date yet, can't wait til I know when I go for sure.