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Almost done with SS, training for military officer

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Alright, I am nearly done with 6 weeks of starting strength. I should get my squat up to 80kg by next saturday, from then another 2 weeks to establish this foundation of strength (ie: plateau). If everything goes well, I should have progressed to the following:

Bodyweight: 80-82 kg
Squat: 3 x 4 x 80 kg
Deadlift: 1RM 110-120 kg
Bench: 3 x 4 x 65 kg - 70 kg
Overhead: 3 x 4 x 45 kg

Starting in August, I've got about a year to ready myself for the Dutch army officer physical test. According to the website, the physical is about riding a stationary bike with increasing difficulty and then testing sub-maximal strength. I believe the strength exercises tested are squat, bench, overhead and deadlift or deadlift high pull. I fear my current strength doesn't cut it yet, nor would I see myself capable of riding the stationary bike for as long as I need to. Thus, squatting 3x a week just doesn't cut it anymore: I need to change my workouts. A caveat is that from September until February, I will be living in Malaysia (Holland now, gym in my garage) so I don't know what equipment I have available. It would be ideal to get in an olympic lifting gym, but that's something I can't predict right now.

Taking the USMC physical fitness test my primary goal is to get 75 points. This being 10 dead-hang pull-ups, 75 sit-ups in 2 minutes and a 3-mile run in 22:10. It's been a while since I've ran, I don't have a six-pack and if I strain myself I can do 5 pull-ups: so I've got my work cut out for myself. On top of this, I want to increase the main lifts, although that's really something for the second half year.

With all this background info, my plan is as following for the August, September and October and the first 2 weeks of November:


Warming up
Ride stationary bike for 5 minutes in a comfortable tempo to get blood flowing
3 x 10 push-ups + jumping jacks (circuit style)
+lower weights than that of work sets prior to strength training


Day 1
Squat (4x4)
Overhead press (4x4)


Day 2
Run 2 miles


Day 3
Deadlift (2x5)
Bench press (4x4)


Day 2
Run 2 miles


Every workout after primary training:
3 x 2 minutes sit-ups (30 sec pause)
Pull-ups (week 1: 6x2, w2: 5x3 w3: 6x4 w4: 5x5 w6: 5x6 w7: 5x7, etc. until 5x10)


After these first 3 months, I want to incorporate more circuit-style (more kettlebells) training but not before I have established a proper strength and endurance foundation.


What are your opinions?
post #2 of 16
i'm surprised they don't have pushups in there.


with your running, don't just run 3 miles, do some type of interval running. e.g. sprint to one streetlight, jog to the next, sprint one, jog the next etc.

i find this more effective in increasing overall fitness.


I've never seen any military fitness testing of squats or bench or deadlifts or anything. i doubt whether the standard would be too high, so just keep doing what you're doing and increasing your strength as you can.
post #3 of 16
You should determine exactly what will be tested for the Dutch thing. Don't go by what you think they might test. When I read "sub maximal" I do not think of anything using a barbell at all. What little I have heard of basic training in the U.S. is that it is primarily endurance based. In fact, I have read some accounts of strength trainers needing to cut muscle.
post #4 of 16
I think you should continue the linear progression (SS). You're barely squatting your bodyweight as it is, so you probably have a few months more of gains easy. As a comparison I am 68kg squatting 95kg 3x5, and am still on SS. Add pullups to your program if you think you need to.
post #5 of 16
The PT test should be the easiest day of your workout schedule. You should augment swimming, running, road marching and biking for cardio. Muscle strength should be a combination of weights and calisthenics (pull ups, chin ups, push ups, ab work out, etc. Work in climbing rope and if you can-rock climbing at the gym-this is great for building strength and agility. Find out exactly what the test is and make sure you can max the thing out or come as close as possible. Scoring 75 percent is ridiculous. You should be in the 95 percentile or above on the test, if you want to help ensure that you will get selected for OCS.
post #6 of 16
post #7 of 16
SS? Military Officer?
post #8 of 16
Can't say we didn't see that coming.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 


Quote:
You should determine exactly what will be tested for the Dutch thing. Don't go by what you think they might test. When I read "sub maximal" I do not think of anything using a barbell at all. What little I have heard of basic training in the U.S. is that it is primarily endurance based. In fact, I have read some accounts of strength trainers needing to cut muscle.

The website is a little vague about that one as well. From what I gather, it's basically a machine that tests calisthenics; a bar you have to apply force to from various positions to test strength in arms, shoulders, back, chest and legs. The positions tested are similar to those of the squat, bench press, overhead press and deadlift. Again, not much info I can find on this.

Quote:
Find out exactly what the test is and make sure you can max the thing out or come as close as possible. Scoring 75 percent is ridiculous. You should be in the 95 percentile or above on the test, if you want to help ensure that you will get selected for OCS.

The 75% is for the first 3 months. The regimen I posted is also just for the first 3 months. Of course I want to get to 100% (and more) by the end of the year, but getting to 75% in 3 months is plenty ambitious imo.

Switching up running, interval training and marching sounds like a good plan. I'll think about how I'm going to incorporate that.
post #10 of 16
dont understand the concept here
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Herbert View Post
dont understand the concept here

The concept is that I've been training solely for strength for the past couple of weeks (and months before that, although haphazardly) disregarding endurance. My plan for the next 3 months is to invest more time in endurance, sadly but inevitably having to sacrifice time and energy in strength training.
post #12 of 16
oh sorry i was referring to the DUTCH army
post #13 of 16
In most of these cases, it is best to train precisely for what is being tested. Can you talk to a recruiter or someone in the know (surely there are boards on the interwebz for Dutch army veterans) to figure out precisely what is being tested and how best to prepare for it? I know that if I were preparing for a PST for the USMC or Navy SEALs or whatever, I will be doing progressively increasing intensity of precisely the things they are going to test for - pushups, pullups, running, swimming, etc. and supplement that with some bodyweight stuff. Nobody will care about your bench or squat numbers in boot camp (or whatever the equivalent is for the Dutch army).
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kas View Post
The concept is that I've been training solely for strength for the past couple of weeks (and months before that, although haphazardly) disregarding endurance. My plan for the next 3 months is to invest more time in endurance, sadly but inevitably having to sacrifice time and energy in strength training.

Kas, you may want to read this article:
http://startingstrength.com/index.ph..._want_me_weak/
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbaquiran View Post
Kas, you may want to read this article:
http://startingstrength.com/index.ph..._want_me_weak/

Have read it. Most arguments to disregard low intensity training are void (tape measuring? really?) and it was written by someone with a (very) solid foundation in both strength and endurance training. I lack both, but one more than the other. It offers an interesting point of view, but the author is already dismissing 315 deadlifts - I can't do that. But I can't run fast and long enough to meet requirements either.

Nonetheless, I'm hearing very different opinions (posted this on another forum too). Some people say I should continue with SS, others say focusing on circuit training is better. My reasoning is that I'm almost at the level 2 strength requirements so now I should focus on the endurance and circuit-training to meet those level 2 standards and then switch to strength again. But I'm not too sure right now.

There really is not much info on the physical test. The bike test starts at 40% bodyweight and increases by 10% BW every minute. But all info I can find on the strength test is that they are machine tested and focus on arms, legs, abs, chest and lower back. But I'll go ask on one of the forums, good idea.
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