Quick Start Guide
Updates as of 04 May 2009
The first 100 days of fitness in theater
Bare Bones Option-Under $35-$62 and some download time for you cheap bastards(and those that have no access to anything except what you bring on your back)
First 4 weeks- Minimum essentials prior to deployment. Bodyweight Exercise Revolution E-Book from www.bodyweightexerciserevolution.com and a tabata timer.
Couple options on the timer. First is head over to www.speedbagforums.com and download the free timer for your computer, but I haven’t figured out how to sync the audio with the timer when offline yet. It works perfect online, but unless you can figure that out, it may not be a viable option unless you’re working out near wireless.
Option 2 is a Gymboss Timer. These are perfect. I’ve used them for everything. They’re even small enough to run with for your sprint intervals and a good loud timer. I use this for almost all my interval workouts.
Third option is this set of free Tabata interval music tracks from WorkoutMuse.com. These are the country version which unfortunately was the only one I could get to load on here. I’m not much for country, but for intervals they work pretty good. Just put them on your iPod or MP3 and you’re set.
Prior to leaving ensure you download all the video’s from the e-book’s General Athleticism program. There will be 4 total video’s, moderate intensity day workout, high intensity day workout, prasara compensation and the intu-flow/joint mobility video. Make sure and watch ALL the video’s prior to departure and print out the exercise format. That way if for some reason your computer takes a dump, you’re not out. And after the first high intensity day you’ll wish it had, everybody I know has a personal love/hate relationship with this workout. Love it for the benefits and effects, hate it for the lung scorching, inner soul searching power of four Tabata’s in a row.
Nutrition- Since this is for you cheap bastards, you’re probably not going to buy anything or maybe you just won’t get mail or PX run anytime soon. Before you leave bring a jar of powdered Gatorade just in case you are stuck in some lonely outpost. If you then have access to other electrolyte drinks, by all means use what you have or like. Take a 10-12oz serving immediately post workout. If there is chocolate milk and you can handle it, drink that instead. You want the quickest absorbing 2/3 carbs, 1/3 protein drink you can find. Fruit snacks will work if there is no electrolyte drink or chocolate milk. Candy from an MRE will do if nothing else. Fresh fruit isn’t ideal, but you need more anyways, eat it if you have nothing else.
Equipment- Other than the timer and e-book, the only thing you may want is some sort of padding for your elbows on the screwups and your spine on the spinal rocks. Cutting a couple feet from your poly mat will work and unless you’re actually going to use it, you don’t need the whole thing for this. Also a couple towels folded over several times will work, just beware the laundry load if you don’t have many.
Follow on- The remaining 70 or so days for you cheap or out in the middle of no where bastards is maintain the above, while exploring the other bodyweight workouts depending upon your needs. Fat loss if you need it, strength if you need more of that, hypertrophy if you need some beef, etc. Also be sure to check out the Equipment section to expand your workout parameters. But if all else fails and you have nothing to work with, this will not just maintain but dramatically improve your fitness levels.
A Little Bit More +roughly $70 and monthly supplement costs(depends upon use)
The next thing I would reccomend after austere equipment has been built is a kettlebell. The kettlebell serves two primary functions: Conditioning and easily portable. For the price you can either get an 8kg kettlebell or a AOS U-Fill It. I think the U-Fill It’s have a couple advantages. First being weight empty is only 2 pounds. You can strap that almost anywhere and have your personal gym always with you, most deployed AO’s aren’t lacking in sand and small rocks, fill it up and go to work. With sand you’ll get to about the 8kg level, steel shot will bring you to 49 pounds, but that’s not very practical for our purposes. I tried water and couldn’t get them to not leak. It’s not a huge leak, just dribbles when sloshed around. I would experiment with wet sand, just make sure to clean it out every so often, but it’ll get you heavier. Outside of this option, have some stored away in a conex or order them online. They’ve always made it to me no problem, and you’re mail clerk will know exactly which package it is when you come looking for it
On the nutrition side of things advance that post-workout meal to a designed recovery drink. I prefer Biotest Surge and have used it for years with success. Easy Mac if you have microwave access will work in a pinch and is and excellent post-workout fix(no seriously, it is just chase it with 20g fast absorbing protein). Pro-Grade Workout will serve you well if you like Vanilla or making your own flavors from the vanilla base. Save yourself some money and only use these on moderate and high intensity days. Get something else for your meal replacement, but the Workout is designed to be used as either.
Workouts for ‘A Little Bit More’
First four weeks will be the exact same as the Bare-Bones plan. This will give you time to transition from home station to General AO(ie Kuwait) to who knows how many moves in the first couple weeks. The other advantage is these workouts last just 20 min plus a good joint warmup under 10 min. When you’re in transition most people say screw it I’ll start working out when we get settled. Big mistake if you start running missions right away, especially in high altitude enviroments you need to maintain your conditioning. The short workouts will help in these hectic and sometimes lots of sleep filled days.
After you get settled in, start building your austere gym. Even if you have a gym right down the road a pullup bar right outside your tent/room will make life much more flexible. Other equipment can be built, but something to do pullups on will be essential for full flexibility in your local area. Make sure it’s high enough that if you put some rings on it, you can still get a decent range of motion. It’s hard to balance when there isn’t a whole lot of options for hanging it off of. The alternative of course is to have someone actually build some pullup bars with wood and piping.