Burn Fat & Build Muscle

If you are planning to join the Army you probably want to get into the best possible shape as quickly as you can. For many this may include needing to lose your beer belly, bingo wings or stop your thighs from rubbing together when you walk.

The one thing you don’t want to do though is to lose weight and be left with nothing but a weak and frail bag of bones. I have found the solution to losing the fat you want to get rid of while at the same time building a strong and sturdy muscular frame.

Last year I took part in a 98 day challenge to follow an eating plan and fitness workout called Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle

I was extremely happy with the results. I managed to get my body fat percentage down to 12% which is the lowest it had been since I was 15 years old. The eating plan is simple and isn’t one of these horrible calorie depriving diets either. In fact in order to follow the challenge properly I needed to start eating more so that my efforts in the Gym were rewarded.

The strength training plan was easy to follow but challenging and focused on lifting heavy weights to build strength fast and burn maximum calories.

The book Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle is written by an American Body Builder called Tom Venuto. He is well respected and isn’t promoting any brand or products so the information he gives is unbiased and accurate.

I really encourage anyone who wants a plan to lose weight, build muscle and get into good shape quickly to check his book out. I have read it cover to cover (over 300 pages of information broken down into easy to understand sections) and haven’t found a better resource anywhere.

Don’t be put off by the fact its written by an American either… It´s not all fist pumping and high fiving like some stuff you get from the USA. I recommend it to anyone. Take a look here at the information: Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle

Please be aware that if you decide to buy the book I will receive a small commission for referring you to the website. I tell you this because I don´t want you to think I am trying to trick you into anything when I am not. I 100% believe in this product because I have used it myself and know it works well.

100 Press Up Challenge

The Press Up targets the chest, shoulders and arms and is a fantastic bodyweight exercise that can be performed anywhere with no equipment. The British Army and many other military establishments make their soldiers complete many sets of press ups to maintain peak physical condition.

During British Army Officer Selection tests you will be required to complete as many Press ups as possible in a 2 minute time limit. The pass rate is follows:

Men – 44

Women – 21

Whether you are here because you are planning to join the Army or just want to improve your strength and fitness, we would like to share a great resource and website called One Hundred Pushups.

Ok, so you might have already guessed that by calling it a “push up”, it´s an American site – however there is a fantastic 6 week training program that will enable you to complete 100 Press ups, no matter what level you start at.

There is also an Iphone App and book available that offers the complete training program with useful advice, knowledge and strategy to achieve your goal.

Here at Army Fitness Test, we don´t usually promote or link to other sites but this time we truly believe that this is a great resource and should not be missed.

Get the full App now by following this link!

We have seen many various training plans and challenges but think that the structure and simplicity of this makes it one of the best available. You can start from any level and ability and move through the planned schedule, progressing when you are ready right up until you reach the ultimate goal.

One Hundred Push ups

Here you can see an example of the first week of training. Each session is split into three groups depending on your initial assessment and ability. The App and book provide complete instructions and tell you your target number of press ups for each set.

The book is available here:

We really hope you like this challenge and would like to hear your thoughts below. Let us know if you have already tried this challenge and if you managed 100 Press-ups!

 

 

Full Body Workout – Build Strength Fast

If you are new to lifting weights and want a workout that is simple to follow and won´t leave you gazing around the gym wondering what you are supposed to be doing next, then this is the workout for you.

This workout is designed to build core strength (perfect for those Army exercises) and make you stronger all round. It will also help to prepare your legs for running as it has exercises that directly targets your calf’s and quads.

Another great thing about this particular workout is that you only have two workouts to perform and rotate them each time you visit the gym, hence the name One/Two workout. Simple doesn´t mean easy though!

The One/Two Full Body Workout

  • Level – Beginners – Intermediates
  • Focus – Core Strength and muscle gain
  • Days Per Week – 3 (Mon, Wed, Fri). You will rotate between 2 workouts. Week 1 is 1/2/1, and week 2 is 2/1/2.
Workout One
Workout One
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 4 8-10
Bench Press 4 8-10
Barbell Row 4 8-10
Military Press 4 8-10
Seated Calf Raise 2 10-20
Weighted Sit Up 2 10-20
Workout Two
Workout Two
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift 2 10-15
Leg Press 2 12-15
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 8-10
Dumbbell Shrug 4 8-10
Barbell Curls 4 8-10
Standing Calf Raise 2 10-20
Hanging Knee Raise 2 10-25

Tips:

  • Constantly push for more. Once you are able to complete 10 reps per set for any exercise, increase the weight.
  • Rest. Rest approximately 2 minutes between sets. Allow more time if needed on Squats and Deadlifts to enable you to lift more
  • Warm up properly. Although this workout does not contain warm up Sets, avoid injury by completing a 10 minute complete warm up and stretch routine

 

Have you tried this workout? We would really like to hear about your thoughts and progression.

Recommended Exercises From The British Army

The British Army offer guidance on which Exercises will be of the most benefit in preparing for your ADSC (Army Development and Selection Centre) or AOSB (Army Officer Selection Board)

The exercises are basic and can be performed anywhere. Try each of them and record your best efforts with an aim to improve each week. This way your strength and stamina will develop quickly.

The Exercises

Upper Body

  • Press-Ups
  • Triceps Dip
  • Chin-Ups

Core Strength

  • Sit-Ups
  • Dorsal Raises

Lower Body

  • Squats
  • Heel Raises
  • Lunge

There are many variations of the above exercises and if you perform these in the gym you can easily add weight to Chin-Ups, Squats and Lunges.

 

Remember to warm up before beginning any workout and to warm down properly at the end to avoid injury.

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits and Rules of a Full Body Workout

In the Army, you will need to have a combination of speed and strength. Having the balance between the two is important. If you are built like a brick shed it is likely you will be slow. However, If you have the frame of a long distance runner it is likely you will have great cardio fitness but will lack overall body strength.

If you train in a way that focuses on developing muscles throughout your whole body as well as cardio, you will improve at balanced levels. Unless you are a body builder, full body workouts are a fantastic way to build muscle and improve fitness. They also improve your cardiovascular fitness and require less time to complete.

Main Rules for a Full Body Workout:

  • Train every 2-3 days - Your body needs time to recover after a heavy workout (at least 24 hours as a minimum) but keeping a regular routine is important in order to see consistent improvement.

 

  • Lift Heavy – To maximise the effect of each workout it is important to push your body to the limit when lifting weights. This means that for each exercise, use a weight that will push you to failure or near failure with each set. You will make optimal progress by doing this.

 

  • One hour or less - If you follow the advice of lifting heavy weights, staying in the gym too long can actually have a hindering effect on muscle growth. Intense workouts with lots of compound exercises will increase testosterone production which aids muscle growth. However as you lift, and even more so if you workout too long, a hormone called cortisol is also produced which has a catabolic effect of your muscles.

 

  • One exercise per muscle group – Follow the other steps in this guide and by using basic, heavy exercises you will find that one is enough for each muscle group. For example, do bench press OR incline bench press with the most weight you can manage for one set, but not both. Maximise the effect of this by using a different exercise each workout.

 

  • Change the order of your workout – Rotate the order of exercises so that you start on a different body part first each session. Start with chest one day, back on the next workout and then legs on the third workout. This ensures your whole body gets the maximum attention and you will progress evenly.

 

  • Post-workout Protein – Drink a protein shake or eat a meal high in protein immediately after you complete you workout. This is important for your muscles to develop and to aid recovery.