Archive for: military training

Are You a Captain America?

Captain America1

I consider my sister-​​in-​​law, Dana, a real sister to me.  She is kind, compassionate, fun, wonderfully opinionated and loves me unconditionally.  I always welcome her advice and recommendations and she has never steered me wrongly.  Last summer she said I must watch The Avengers movie.  What a fun ride!  It was cool to see so many of my favorite characters like Thor, Ironman, and the Hulk joining forces to fight evil.  The only challenge was that I knew nothing about Captain America.  Friday night, I finally watched the first Captain America movie and can’t wait to see the sequel that apparently was a blockbuster at this past weekend’s opener. What caught my attention was the desire this scrawny little guy had to serve his country and sacrifice for the greater good of mankind.  Fortunately, you don’t have to look too far to find those willing to raise their shields to protect our country.  From our incredible service men and women to every day difference-​​makers, we all have a little bit of Captain America in us.

Plyometrics and Vertical Jumps

Plyometrics became popular for Olympic-​​bound athletes. And many professional and elite athletes are familiar with workouts that include vertical jump training to improve their performance on the track or on the court. But you’re a soldier. Is it possible that plyometric training can provide some value for the military?

The short answer is yes. Let’s talk about what plyometrics is, and isn’t, and how you can use it to improve your performance on the battle field.

The Key to Avoiding Back Pain: It’s not What You Think

They key to the best workout plan is balance. You need just the right amount of push and pull and you need to protect your back. Avoiding back pain while working out is all about balancing the muscle groups your strengthening and stretching, and how often you are rotating those exercises.

The goal is to keep the muscles that support your back strong and flexible. And while most of us work our core, we either do too many of one type of exercise and not enough of the other (causing an imbalance that leads to back pain), or we think we are working one muscle group when we are actually working another and thus NOT getting the results we really want.

The ABC’s of Getting Ripped

building muscle

Here’s a question: Is there a supplement you can take to get ripped and get better results from your workouts?

Anyone who has spent time researching fitness and athletic performance has heard about nutritional supplementation. By providing your body with additional amounts of certain natural nutrients you can promote performance, boost your immune system, and aid muscle recovery. This combo allows the body to function at a higher level. It also leads to improved workouts and muscle growth. However, it can be difficult to determine which supplements are effective. Here are some of the most popular supplements to get ripped.

Can Vegan Bodybuilders Win Competitions?

benefit of a vegan diet

Are Vegan Bodybuilders at a disadvantage?

Many bodybuilders may avoid vegan diets because they believe that it will prevent them from winning any bodybuilding competitions. After all, how can you possibly compete against a bunch of meat-​​eating “meat heads?” However, vegan bodybuilders say that their vegetable-​​based diet actually enhances their training program because going vegan improves their overall health and decreases fatigue. This has all sorts of beneficial side affects when you’re training!

Building Muscle without Meat or Milk

weight training

What’s up with a Vegan Bodybuilding Diet? Many people worldwide have a vegan diet. However, in other places (such as the States) becoming vegan is something new. It’s also something becoming more common, especially as specialty grocery stores pop up like Whole Foods. Even so, there are still lots of misconceptions about this diet and lifestyle.

Primarily…where’s the protein?

Boot Camp Workouts — Misunderstood Term

nutrition for runners

An interesting reply to a recent article on PFT Failures in the military, particularly the women and pullups story about the USMC standards, provoked some thought and a realization that maybe the term BOOT CAMP has been redefined over the years.  Here is a great question that discusses preparation prior to basic military training:

My nephew has recently joined the USMC and I saw that even before he went to boot camp, his recruiter worked with the kids regularly to physically prepare/​condition them even before actual boot camp.  My question is, are these women being tested before or right at basic training, or are they failing even after some sort of pre-​​conditioning +/​or remedial boot camp program?  Was my nephew’s recruiter unique in his pre-​​conditioning program? 

Nothing unique, as far as my experience shows, with recruiters (especially USMC recruiters) pre-​​training their candidates prior to basic training /​ boot camp.  The USMC is pretty good at it comparatively.  But it is a mix of society — mostly out of shape people in our society join each year. The military gets its share of these unfit recruits who attend Boot Camp like it is going to get them in shape /​ normal weight again.  Typically for men as well — you will have only 40–45% you are really exceeding the standards before training. Others are just meeting the minimums or below the standard.  Usually by the end of training, you will have 90 percent or more who are meeting the standards physically.  The problem is many of them are borderline pass /​ fail graduates which can be (and often is) a problem for that recruit /​ military member for the rest of their career.

I see the statistics that 40–45% of the women are passing or exceeding the standards with regard to pullups,  not that over half failed the standards at the END of basic.  Granted, that number should be higher in the passing zone and if given more time prior to Boot Camp they could have exceeded those minimum standards.  Women can do pullups — they just have to practice them.  Same for men.  I have seen many recruits (men) start off not being able to perform pullups too.  It is a time and practice issue more than anything.

I think the big problem with most people (men and women) who go to basic training think it will get them in shape. The term “boot camp” itself has become misinterpreted in society as a fitness class you take at a gym in order to get into shape.  In military training you need to be in shape PRIOR to going or you really do not stand much of a chance of completing near the preferred standards OR you risk getting injured.  Arriving in shape to military training (already meeting the standards) will allow you to use the workouts as a stress reliever.  This will enable you to learn your new job better too (shooting, moving, teamwork, sparring and other war fighting skills).

If you are thinking about serving this country. Do yourself a favor and show up having taken several fitness tests.  Prove to yourself that you can ace the standards in front of you.  You will be glad you did.

 

Myth: Vegan Diets Lack Muscle-​​Building Protein

vegan bodybuilding

A common myth is that Vegans don’t get enough protein. For a bodybuilder and athlete, lack of protein could make all the difference in the world! So, does that mean that you have to resort to eating animal based products in order to achieve the results you want in Previewthe gym, on the sports field and even on the field of battle?

Not at all! The reality is that plant-​​based products possess an abundance of proteins. You just have to know which ones will give you the most bang for your buck.

Endurance Supplements: Natural Energy from Mother Nature

natural supplements

Endurance training and endurance sports can be tough on your body. They challenge you beyond what you think you’re capable of. They also allow you to reach levels of fitness so you can experience peak performance and health. That’s why many people try to improve their endurance by using endurance supplements.

When herbs and supplements are paired with proper diet and exercise, you can see amazing results. Endurance Supplements can play a KEY role in helping you reach your fitness goals by improving your body’s endurance.

If you’re interested in improving your endurance, look for products made with these endurance boosting supplements.

Cordyceps: The mushroom that will keep you going!

The slow transfer of oxygen from red blood cells to mitochondria is one of the biggest problems people exercising to improve their endurance face. The obvious solution is to improve that transfer, right? Cordyceps is a Tibetan mushroom which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for lung protection and to balance Qi. In clinical studies the mushroom has been shown to cause significant improvements in feelings of fatigue, oxygen uptake, and endurance exercise performance.

Rhodiola: Improved Oxygen Transfer, Energy and Endurance

This natural energy booster comes to you from the rugged altitude of the Himalayan Mountains.

Rhodiola has been shown to help improve oxygen transfer from lungs to red blood cells. The root’s anti-​​fatigue effects are a result of an enhancement of oxygen efficiency.

When the root has being studied on people living in high altitudes, they saw that the root had beneficial effects on blood oxygen levels, time to exhaustion, VO2 peak, and pulmonary ventilation during endurance exercises. Himalayan Sherpas were the first people to discover the health benefits of this Himalayan root. They would chew on the root for an energy and endurance boost when they would climb high mountains.

Quercetin: The Nutritional Supplement that Improves Blood Flow

Quercetin is an antioxidant that improves blood flow by dilating blood vessels. This antioxidant has been used to improve blood flow in individuals with high blood pressure and heart disease. On the sports training front, research has shown that taking 500 mg of quercetin twice a day for 3 weeks before, and during 3 days of long and intense cycling sessions, reduces the number of upper respiratory infections in the 14 days following heavy exercise.

Siberian and Indian Ginseng: Centuries-​​old Natural Energy Boosters

People have been using ginseng, a natural energy booster., for thousands of years. However, there are two particular species of the ginseng plant that can help you improve your endurance. Siberian ginseng (also known as Eleuthero) and Indian ginseng (known as Ashwagandha) can provide resistance to physical stress and also help boost your energy levels. They used in traditional medicine as “adaptogens”, herbs that can help the body adapt to stressful situations. Some people claim that Eleuthero tends to have more of a noticeable affect on energy than Ashwagandha. High-​​quality supplements that use Siberian Ginseng as part of their formula offer someone working in extreme climates and in high-​​stress situations an advantage. Adapt is the name of the game, right? NS Formula.

Resources for Endurance Supplements:

Keep it Running: Nutrition Tips for Endurance

nutrition for runners

What Do Runner’s Eat? Whether you’re new to running or a competitive marathon athlete; endurance –based exercises like running require you to pay attention to your extra nutritional needs. If you don’t, you’ll notice changes in your body structure that may not be what you hoped for (like getting way too thin) or even worse, you’ll experience a lack of energy after your workout.

Although running may not seem as physically intense as weightlifting or martial arts; runners of all levels need to be pay close attention to vitamins and minerals as well as caloric intake. Your quality of nutrition will ensure optimal performance and help you avoid over training.

Army Bootcamp: Training before the Training

military training

Training for Army Bootcamp requires mental preparation and physical preparation.

Even though most people don’t think about physical exercise providing any mental benefits…it does. Why? Because exercise allows you be physically prepared for your Army Bootcamp training. And, the more physically prepared you feel, the less mental stress you will experience. The less mental stress, the better you will be able to engage and focus in the “classroom” style learning as well as the “field” adaptations and problem solving you will encounter physically and mentally.

Hell Week Training: 3 Things to Remember!

military nutrition

What’s Hell Week Training?

Five days and nights in maximum overdrive. It’s wet. It’s cold. It’s tough. And for most it’s their first real test of endurance. And, most don’t think they are ready. Or they do, until the boots hit the mud and a part of them just wants to cry to mama. Can you survive? Can you adapt? Can you reach the peak and push back against your minds natural resistance? Will you become a Marine?

The body has a way of adapting to physical stress but only when you give it what it requires to deal with that stress in the most healthy and positive way. You need the right food combinations and nutritional fortification. And that fortification of your body’s vital systems needs to begin long before Hell week. Long before the buzz cut. And long before your first inspection. That fortification, that Hell Week Training Diet needs to start the moment to get the urge to wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor.

Eating on the Run: Diet for Marathon

diet for marathon

Every year runners all over the country look forward to participating in Marine Marathon training with the hopes of crossing the line at our nation’s capital. This event, with it’s undertones for patriotism and celebration of America also does a great job of promoting physical fitness and highlighting the skills of the Corps. This marathon is the third largest in the country and usually attracts at least 30,000 athletes famous, infamous, and just hoping to cross the finish line before the sun rises on a new day!

What do you need, besides a pair of running shoes and little bit of determination to meet your goals?

Diet for marathon is a critical part of the training process. Food is the fuel that helps you build endurance and enhance your workouts. Consider some expert tips that will maximize your performance in October at the Marine Corps Marathon.

What are the Top Supplements for Muscle Recovery?

supplements for building muscle

Want to be the best? Then master the basics.

A strong foundation of nutrition and training is vital. Most of you already know that, right? But where people tend to mess up is what they do beyond the plate and beyond the gym. You also need muscle recovery. Hard training takes a heavy toll on the body, so we’re going to talk a little about rest, about real food, and about how you can use science to give you the edge for your training, results and overall performance.

What’s a Vitamin Doing in BCAA?

bcaa

You’ve seen BCAA supplements on the health food shelf; you’ve read about the benefits of BCAA when training and you want the results these supplements claim to deliver. But how do you know which are the best BCAA supplements? They contain different ingredients so which option is the best for a highly active lifestyle?

Great questions! And you’ll get your answer here because not all supplements are created equal.

BCAA supplements (branch chain amino acids) can be combined in a power formula that includes Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Biotin, Zinc, L-​​Leucine, L-​​Isoleucine, L-​​Valine, L-​​Glutamine. While each of these ingredients are beneficial to the body on its own, when combined in the proper dosage, they become a highly effective component in a fitness regimen, the world of body building, and the military training.

Bone Health: Not Just a Girl Thing

how to keep bones strong

Bone Health is Not Just a Girl Thing

Your bones are always rebuilding. That’s good news because at any stage of cell regeneration, what you eat, and dietary supplements you take (or don’t take) can affect the strength and integrity of your bones.

Military training and a military lifestyle has it’s own challenges and bone health can be one of them if you’re not aware of how what you do and what you eat affect your skeletal system. While an active lifestyle is generally healthy, it can work against you if you don’t get proper nutrition. And by nutrition I mean macronutrients (Carbs, Protein, and Fats) as well as the micronutrients (everything else).

Post Workout Muscle Building like the Champions

Benefits of peanut butter

Walking through Whole Foods, what would you expect a Cross-​​Fit Champion would load up on?

Eggs? Wheaties? Raw Meat?

How about…Peanut Butter and Chocolate Milk?

Yep…turns out getting ripped and winning championships involves little nuts and big udders.

More than Moo to Boost Your Protein Intake

The Great Protein Lie

Protein: Much More than Cow

Eating enough foods high in protein is critical for building muscle. Protein not only promotes muscle growth, it also ensures muscle recovery and allows you to manage your weight by allowing you to feel fuller, longer. Now, when most people think protein, they think bovine. But…don’t limit yourself to the dairy! There are so many more protein-​​rich foods to enjoy!

Eating protein rich meals after working out is required for gaining muscle mass. The quality protein you consume after that workout helps to repair the damage. Most people grab a whey protein drink, chocolate milk, and take BCAA supplements. It’s quick, easy and it works. As you read this article, you’ll learn which other foods are high in protein and help build muscle.

Libido Help On the Way: Benefits of Saw Palmetto!

Benefits_of_saw_palmetto

What’s so Special about Saw Palmetto?

You may have heard about the benefits of Saw Palmetto, a plant native to the southeast. It’s nothing special to look at yet has a long history of medicinal uses which include preventing urinary disorders in men and boosting libido.

Native Americans are the first know users of this plant by including the nutrient rich berries in their diet. Men should consider using saw palmetto as a preventative measure for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), otherwise known as enlargement of the prostate gland.

Healthy Sport Diet for Military and More

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Want More from Your Workouts?

What you get out of your body and the level of your health and physical performance is directly related to what you put into your body. You can’t blame your mama or bad genes forever. Sooner or later you’ll realize that you and you alone are responsible for your health. Sure, your gene pool may “load the gun” so to speak, but your lifestyle choices pull the trigger.

You want better performance? Skip the junk food diet and opt for a healthy sports diet …even if you’re not an athlete! Why? Because in order to fuel your body with the nutrients it needs you have to do better than the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) . To get into shape and stay fit, you should analyze your diet plan—no matter what workout plans you are following. Maximize your performance and create an ideal muscular system using these helpful tips.