By SGT Volkin
I was fortunate enough to be invited to the movie premier of Man of Steel before the rest of the world. I was shocked to see how ripped Henry Cavill (Superman) got. After some research I discovered his secret for packing on massive muscle in such a short time. Let me share with you my findings.
First, let me state that Henry Cavill worked with a top fitness expert named Mark Twight. He owns a gym called Gym Jones in Salt Lake City. Mr. Twight is the same person who worked with the cast of 300. Guys, if you haven’t seen this movie, ask your girlfriend/wives, I guarantee you they remember this movie fondly. The movie 300 had more six packs in it than Animal House.
Ok, let’s go through Henry Cavill workout routine that got him huge for Man of Steel, then we will discuss his meal plan.
Ideally, you should be on a 2 day on-1 day off cycle.
Monday (Upper body, strength)
- Incline dumbbell press – 4 sets x 5 reps
- Flat dumbbell press – 3 sets x 5 reps
- Weighted chin ups – 4 sets x 5 reps
- Dumbbell/Barbell row – 3 sets x 5 reps
Once done, do the 10 card monte with Strength Stack 52. Deal 10 bodyweight cards at random and complete the cards on each exercise. After you complete the exercise on each card, take 8 controlled breaths through your nose. Do nothing else, don’t check your phone, play with the songs on your ipod or check yourself out in the mirror. Get at least 8 hours of sleep. These exercises will be the perfect burnout to pair those muscle fibers to prepare them for growth during your rest period.
Tuesday (Lower body, strength)
- Deadlift – 5 sets x 5 reps
- Squat – 5 sets x 5 reps
- Front lunges – 3 sets x 8 reps per leg
- Calf raise – 5 sets x 12 reps
Once done, do the 10 card monte with Strength Stack 52.
Thurs (Chest and Back, hypertrophy)
- Incline dumbbell press – 3 sets x 8-10 reps
- Cable crossover – 4 sets x 10-12 reps
- Weighted chin ups – 3 sets x 8-10 reps
- Seated cable row – 4 sets x 10-12 reps
Once done, do the 10 card monte with Strength Stack 52.
Friday (Shoulders and arms, hypertrophy)
- Seated dumbbell press – 3 sets x 8-10 reps
- Side lateral raise – 3 sets x 10-12 reps
- Front Lateral raises – 2 sets x 10-12 reps
- Any bicep curl variation – 6 sets x 10-12 reps
- Any tricep extension variation – 6 sets x 10-12 reps
Once done, do the 10 card monte with Strength Stack 52.
Saturday and Sunday (Rest)
Note: You can do some soft tissue work (with foam roller or tennis ball), some stretching, and maybe even some walking but don’t do any high intensity activities.
The Tailpipe meal plan
Consume 5,000 calories a day with as much protein a possible. If you want specific recommendations on meals, check out Jim Stoppani’s meal plan at Bodybuilding.com .
Breakfast: Oatmeal with dried fruit and almond milk. 1 serving of fruit.
Snack: Natural protein bar. Sports recovery drink
Lunch: Salad of your choice but must include chicken breast, 30g avocado and 90g low-fat cheese. Low-fat dressing.
Snack: 60g nuts.
Dinner: 125ml vegetable soup. 180g salmon with lemon sauce, asparagus and wild rice.
Snack: 250ml fat-free cottage cheese. 30g nuts.
Breakfast: Protein shake (blend 1 banana, 50g berries, 1 scoop protein powder, 250ml almond milk).
Snack: Hummus with carrots
Lunch: 250ml vegetable soup. Salad with chopped turkey.
Snack: 1 green apple. 2tbsp almond butter.
Dinner: 180g chicken breast with 2tbsp honey chili sauce, quinoa and snap peas.
Snack: 20g casein protein.
Breakfast: Egg white omelet. Handful of strawberries.
Snack: 225g cottage cheese.
Lunch: Tuna salad with greens. 250ml soup.
Snack: 8 almonds. Carrot, apple, celery and ginger juice drink.
Dinner: 225g swordfish with mango and ginger sauce, wild rice and 1 medium artichoke.
Snack: Fresh pineapple with 225g cottage cheese.
Breakfast: Muesli with almond milk. 1tbsp protein powder. Carrot, apple, celery and ginger juice drink.
Snack: 240ml low-sodium V8 juice. 2tbsp peanut butter.
Lunch: Stir-fry 170g scallops with 250g Chinese vegetables, garlic, onion and ginger in 2tbsp olive oil.
Snack: Protein shake (blend 1 banana, 250ml carrot juice, 1 scoop protein powder).
Dinner: 225g turkey burger with coleslaw (no bun). 250ml gazpacho.
Snack: 20g casein protein.
Breakfast: 250g fat-free plain Greek yoghurt. 1 banana.
Snack: 225g unsalted nuts. Carrot, apple, celery and ginger juice drink.
Lunch: Veggie burger with sautée vegetables and salad. 125ml vegetable soup.
Snack: 20 pistachio nuts.
Dinner: Tuna salad with plenty of greens. 250ml chilled cucumber soup.
Snack: 225g cottage cheese. 30g mixed nuts.
Breakfast: Scrambled egg white or egg white omelette with mushrooms. Handful of strawberries. 170g cottage cheese.
Snack: 1 tomato. 50g fat-free cheese.
Lunch: Soup and salad of your choice (include 2tsp sesame seeds).
Snack: 50g turkey jerky. 280g almonds.
Dinner: 280g halibut with 4tbsp pesto, wild rice and courgette.
Snack: 20g casein protein.
Breakfast: Egg white omelette with spinach. Handful of strawberries.
Snack: Fresh pineapple with 30g cottage cheese. 225g unsalted nuts.
Lunch: 280g steak with salad of your choice (include avocado).
Snack: 1 apple with 2tbsp almond butter.
Dinner: Beef and broccoli stir fry. 250ml miso soup. 1tbsp protein powder.
Snack: 225g cottage cheese. Handful of mixed nuts.
This article was written by military fitness expert Sergeant Michael Volkin.
By SGT Volkin
I have recently received questions from people asking if they can be a vegan and go through basic military training (BMT) successfully. The short answer is yes, but it would be very difficult.
My longer answer is….
A vegan is someone who does not eat any animal products, which includes eggs, milk, or cheese. They must either takes supplements (which are not allowed at BMT), or identify other non-animal substitute foods to make up for the lack of nutrients. Foods such as avocado, beans, legumes, nuts, kale, tahini, are all common ingredients in a vegan diet. However, they are not all very common in a BMT chow hall.
Another consideration is the nutrient content of the vegetables provided at basic training. As a true vegan will tell you, any vegetable that has been processed, such as canned or frozen, does not contain the full amount of nutrients as it does in its raw form. Vegans often closely regulate how much heat is used when cooking their food (if any); knowing that at a certain heat index the vegetable looses much of its nutrients. The vegetables at BMT are processed and often cooked, lessoning their nutritional value. However combined with other foods, such as meats and dairy products they can create a complete nutritional meal. Without meats and dairy, they may not provide the necessary nutrients your body will need.
Because of these considerations BMT is not conducive for a healthy vegan diet.
This is not to say that it cannot be done. The human body is extremely resilient; however you will not feel or perform your best while living in this high stress, highly physical environment. Anyone who has gone through BMT will tell you that physically and mentally you are taxed the entire time. Feeling your best is essential to making BMT as stress free as possible, but if you are adamant about sticking to your vegan diet, just know that it is yet another hurdle you will have to surpass.
SGT Michael Volkin is the author of The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook, which helps recruits ace basic training. He is also the inventor of the new fitness product Strength Stack 52. A deck of bodyweight fitness cards designed to get you in shape for basic training.
By SGT Volkin
I was fortunate enough to interview Dr. Brian Wansink, lead author to over 100 academic articles and books, including his best-seller Mindless Eating. Dr. Wansink spent a lifetime studying the reason for the decisions people make when they eat. Whether you are someone who is interested in losing weight, or even a nutrition expert, you will find this interview interesting and eye-opening.
Sergeant Volkin: Your book mindless eating has opened many people’s eyes into what food they put in their mouth. Which of our senses provides the biggest biased on what foods we choose to eat?
Dr. Wansink: Well, all of our senses affect the way we eat but our eyes affect our eating decisions the most. In one study involving chicken wings, a group of students were invited to an all-you-can-eat Buffalo Wing feast. The students were free to serve themselves from an open buffet of chicken wings and were able to go back for more during the game. There were bowls at each table to hold the wing bones. During the course of the game, waitresses collected the bowls and replaced them with empty bowls – but only at half of the tables. At the other tables, the bowls containing the finished wings were not picked up.
Dr. Wansink: After the game, me and my team weighed the discarded bones from each table. The students who didn’t have the leftover bones as a reminder of how much they had already eaten, ate more – an average of seven wings per person; versus five wings per person of the other group. Although a 2 wing difference (at 100 calories each) doesn’t sound like much; that translates to 200 additional calories per day which equals a weight gain of 20 pounds per year.
Sergeant Volkin: One of your findings suggests that nationality plays a role in our food psychology. For example, the French know they are done with their food when they feel full. When asking Chicago residents, your results show they are done when their plate is empty. Do you think this mindset is the reason for the obesity epidemic in America?
Dr. Wansink: There are many reasons for the obesity epidemic but that reason is only a very small part. In my opinion, the greater contribution to the obesity epidemic in this country is the affordability and availability of food.
Sergeant Volkin: Let’s talk about children. Obviously marketing has got very sophisticated over the years and it is harder than ever to get kids to eat their fruit and vegetables. You did a study and found that by adding fruit to the end of a lunch line, it increases fruit sales 70%. Same with vegetables. You can increase sales 25% just by giving vegetables catchy names. So let’s use the example of a typical mom with a couple of children. This mom is cooking her children dinner, what can she do in her home to get her kids more excited about fruits and vegetables?
Dr. Wansink: It is estimated that 70% of all fruits and vegetables consumed in the home are consumed during dinner. However, only 23% of dinner meals served in the home have a vegetable or fruit option. So always be sure to serve a vegetables or fruit at dinner. Another tip you can do to increase your child’s consumption of fruit and vegetables it to have a bowl of fruit or a vegetable tray within 2 feet of where your child will walk in the house. This will give your child easy access to healthy finger food.
Sergeant Volkin: You’ve made the difficult transition of taking your research and applying it practically to school lunch rooms throughout the country. Can you tell me a bit about the initiatives you are undertaking and where my readers can go for more information?
Dr. Wansink: MindlessEating.org is my main website but smarterlunchrooms.org is an initiative I have with schools across the country. In my new book that will be released in April called Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life, I will introduce groundbreaking solutions for designing our most common spaces like schools, restaurants, grocery stores, home kitchens and more.
Sergeant Volkin: You have found that we all consume more food from big packages, whatever the product is. Is it safe to say you do not have a Costco or BJ’s Wholesale membership card?
Dr. Wansink: I have actually been a member of a wholesale club for years. Just because you buy in bulk doesn’t mean you need to eat in bulk. Let’s say you buy a big bag of pretzels at one of these warehouse stores. I suggest portioning out the pretzels in baggies. This method has proven to effectively reduce the amount of food you consume. Now let’s suppose you buy a bag of chips at one of these warehouse stores but the chips are already in individual bags. My suggestion is to just take a few bags and put them in your pantry, then take the rest and store them in a place where you don’t normally store food (e.g. your garage or basement). This method reduces the chance of you grabbing more bags than you want for a quick snack.
Sergeant Volkin: In a recent interview with the calorie lab you stated “Most of us don’t overeat because we’re hungry. We overeat because of family and friends, packages and plates, names and numbers, labels and lights, colors and candles, shapes and smells, distractions and distances, cupboards and containers.” For someone who hasn’t read your books or your dozens of articles and studies, what one tip can you give them as a takeaway to this interview that will help them instantly make smarter eating decisions?
Dr. Wansink: My tip is people need to be aware of mindless eating, not mindful eating. There are many ways people make mistakes eating, from party binging to mindless snacking. Be conscious of the way you eat then come up with one easy thing you can do to remedy that mistake. Much of the time the correct action is just being conscious that you are making the mistake.
Sergeant Volkin: Dr. Wansink thank you so much for your time today and congratulations on the success of your books. I am looking forward to the release of Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life
Dr. Wansink: Thank you for your time and your service Sergeant Volkin
This interview was conducted by Sergeant Michael Volkin, best-selling author of military basic training books and inventor of Strength Stack 52, a unique way to transform bodyweight exercises into fun and competitive workouts.
By SGT Volkin
Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or just acquired your gym membership you have most likely scoured the internet for effective exercises to get you in shape. As a fitness enthusiast for over 20 years, there isn’t a week that goes by where I don’t try and incorporate something new in my workout routine. Your body has an amazing ability to adapt. If you aren’t constantly challenging yourself with new techniques and exercises you are not maximizing your workout time. So I challenge you to incorporate all three of these below exercises in your next workout.
1) Body Rocks-Lay on your back with your legs in a vertical position and your arms over your head. Use your abs to rock your body up to almost a seated position. Rock back down. Do these for 30 seconds and your abs will feel like they’ve got the workout of a lifetime.
Video link: bit.ly/body-rocks
2) Shoulder Annihilators-Assume the push-up position with your forearms on the ground. Rotate up and out off one arm ending with your chest perpendicular to the ground. Your shoulder muscle should be bearing the weight of the body rotation. Do 10 of these for each arm and your shoulders will definitely feel the burn.
Video link: bit.ly/shou-ann
3) Scorpions- Assume the push-up position. Move your left leg as far as possible past your right leg and rotate your head and body to the left. Repeat with other side. Do 10 of these on each side and your mid-section will wish you didn’t read this article.
Video link: bit.ly/scorp-ss52
All of the above exercises can be found in my new bodyweight fitness cards called Strength Stack 52. Whether you choose to do the exercises above or find some different ones of your own, keep in mind that varying your workout is of utmost importance. I see too many people in the gym, like zombies, doing the same exercises week after week. To maximize your exercise time, spend 15 minutes a week searching the internet for new exercises to do the following week. This is the single easiest thing you can do to increase your workout effectiveness.
This article was written by Sergeant Michael Volkin, best-selling author of military basic training books and inventor of Strength Stack 52, a unique way to transform bodyweight exercises into a fun and competitive workout.
By SGT Volkin
A typical workout for an average person consists of about 30 minutes to 1 hour of lifting weights. If exercises are performed incorrectly, the load on the muscles and stress on the joints of these repeated movements causes both short and long term damage to your body. Most people continue to work out despite a known injury, aching back, or sore muscles because of the improved appearance of their physique as a result of the working out. However, over time, the improved appearance becomes harder to maintain and a “plateau” eventually occurs. A workout plateau is when someone continues to exercise and sees diminishing returns on the improvement of their physique.
Recently, several scientific studies have been conducted which analyzes the optimal duration and intensity for a proper workout. Some experts claim high intensity and fast workouts are the most beneficial, others claim slow meticulous movements with heavy loads is the easiest way to maintain a great physique and optimal health.
Mini workouts have proven to be extremely effective to both the health of the individual and improvement of the physique, yet often if the most underutilized form of working out. Three to five workouts a day varying in duration from 10-15 minutes provides a boost in the metabolic rate of an individual throughout the entire day. Therefore, mini workouts are more effective at burning calories throughout the day rather than working out all in one block. For proper nutrition, an individual will eat 3 meals a day; the same theory should be applied to working out.
A majority of fitness products largely overlook the scientific studies showing the effectiveness of a mini workout because people usually workout in one block hour. This principle has been adopted not because of optimal health of the individual, but rather convenience. Only a small percentage of people for very specific reasons (i.e. competitive bodybuilders) will show consistent gains working out in 1 hour blocks.
Typically, I work out at the gym during my lunch hour with three other coworkers. The three of us decided to give the concept of mini-workouts a try for 2 full months. Before we started, we recorded our weight, body fat percentage and body measurements. We used a fitness product I invented called Strength Stack 52, which concept centers around bodyweight mini-workouts. Instead of doing one 45 minute workout during our lunch hour, we met 15 minutes before and after work and 15 minutes during our lunch hour to complete mini workouts. The three of us were still exercising 45 minutes per day and to keep the results as pure as possible, we did not change our eating habits or lift any weights.
Each of us saw positive results at the end of the two months performing strictly bodyweight exercises in intervals of 15 minutes 3 times per day. The three of us averaged 11 lbs. of weight loss with the highest of us losing 18 lbs. Keep in mind, that weight loss occurred with no change in our diet from already active people. Each of us also experienced muscle gain, reducing our body fat percentage an average of 2.2%. We all agree, the biggest benefit was our mental stamina and attitude. We all feel better throughout the day and our 2 o’clock “is the workday over yet?” feeling has gone away.
Whether our success is a result of breaking a plateau or the result of the effectiveness of mini-workouts can’t be determined in just 2 months. However, the reason doesn’t matter. The results speak for themselves and the mini workouts were fun. Instead of looking forward to one large workout in a day, we looked forward to 3 intense and fun workouts in a day.
Other benefits we experienced as a result of the mini-workouts included:
-Less muscle soreness
-less joint pain
-increased cardiovascular stamina
-more mental stamina and intensity per workout
-more calories burned per day
Although we experienced positive results testing the mini-workouts we all miss throwing a few dumbbells around. We have developed a hybrid program where we now do a mini-workout in the morning and start our lunch hour workout with a mini-workout. After our second mini-workout (during the lunch hour) we perform a weight training program.
Experiencing the mini-workouts was an eye opening experience for us. We all subscribed to the “no pain, no gain” philosophy and we now know that no part of that old adage is true. You can in fact gain muscle and lose weight performing small, fun and challenging workouts three times a day.
This article was authored by Sergeant Michael Volkin, best-selling author and inventor of Strength Stack 52 fitness cards.
By SGT Volkin
The Marines, Army, Air Force and Navy all have badges or ribbons for qualifying as an expert in small arms (rifle and pistol), which can be earned during basic training. The Navy fires shotgun and pistol, and the other branches fire M-16 rifles. The Coast Guard does not fire live weapons at basic training. Regardless of what type of weapon you will be firing at basic training, there are a few simple tips to follow that will help you to qualify as an expert marksman.
-Remember to breathe and breathe normally. There is a tendency to hold your breath when shooting in order to keep your site on target. However, holding your breath actually causes you to shake and skew your aim.
-When squeezing the trigger, slowly pull the trigger back in one continuous motion. Quickly jerking the trigger back will move the weapon enough to miss your target.
-Don’t anticipate the recoil (i.e. the kick). There is a natural tendency to jerk your weapon down slightly in anticipation of the “kick.” This is especially true when firing pistols. The best way to avoid jerking your weapon is to imagine there are no rounds (bullets) in the weapon. You can practice this by actually dry firing (pulling the trigger of an empty weapon), and keeping your hands steady. Before going to the firing range you will spend time getting familiar with your weapon, at which time you will have the opportunity to practice dry fires.
-Squeeze the trigger after you exhale and before you inhale. This is known as the natural respiratory pause. This is the point in your breathing cycle where you’re best able to center the weapon on your target.
This article was written by SrA Nick VanWormer, author of The Ultimate Air Force Basic Training Guidebook. SrA Van Wormer earned the small arms expert marksman ribbon for both the M16 riffle and M9 pistol at basic training.
Be prepared for basic training and pick up a copy of The Ultimate Air Force Basic Training Guidebook.
By SGT Volkin
Tom Hardy’s Bane character, in the new Batman movie, has been making headlines not just for his role, but for his muscles. Hardy stacked 30 pounds of muscle in 4 months for his role as Bane. He has yet to release his workout routine, but I have a good guess that it included what I call the D-C-N of fitness.
The upcoming release of my Strength Stack 52 incorporates an important component of the D-C-N, so let’s briefly discuss what I believe the Bane workout routine consisted of.
D-C-N stands for Diversity -Consistency and -Nutrition, without all of these 3 components, it is impossible to pack on 30 pounds of muscle in 4 months.
Diversity- You must constantly be searching for ways to confuse your muscles and keep your muscle fibers activated. Your body has an amazing ability to adapt. Once your body adapts you hit whats referred to as a plateau. A plateau is when you complete a workout but the effectiveness of the workout is minimal at best. If you find yourself going to the gym and not getting sore the next day, then you are probably in a plateau. To break this plateau, try different exercises, different weights, or even try lifting weights at different speeds. Anything you do to keep your workouts diverse will minimize plateaus. My new fitness product, the Strength Stack 52 was designed for this very purpose, to keep your workouts diverse and prevent plateaus.
Consistency- Ever go to the gym after new years? That’s right, it’s packed. Then, by about mid-February the population of the gym returns back to “normal” levels. This is because most people lack consistency in their workouts. They get inspired about a symbolic date (i.e. new years) or a new fitness product they saw. Once they do a few workouts, they return to their normal lives, just a little bit poorer as their gym membership card collects dust in their wallet. To pack on a lot of muscle in a little amount of time it is crucial that you are consistently going to the gym. My main tip is to schedule time at the gym, if you don’t do this, there will always be something else that takes precedence.
Nutrition- After a good workout your body is craving serious nutrients. Even the day after a workout, during the recovery period, your body needs to absorb thousands of different essential nutrients to foster muscle growth and trim fat. Eating cheesecake, sugar, and white foods (like bread) isn’t going to give your body the nutrients it needs to get the results you want. It’s like buying an expensive car then not being able to afford the gas. Doing a workout without fueling your body with the proper nutrients is a results killer. My recommendation is to always take a daily vitamin and load up on protein. Someone looking to pack on muscle should be eating at least 1.25 grams of protein for every pound they currently weigh.
Sign-up now to be notified when my Strength Stack 52 becomes available and as always, if you’re going to military basic training, check out my best selling Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook.
By SGT Volkin
The last time Americans were drafted to go to war was the Vietnam War (1961-1975). Since then, the military has successfully sustained an all volunteer force. However, the former US commander in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, recently pushed for a reinstatement of the draft to ease the strain of the current volunteers force constant rotation of deployment. In June of 2012, McChrystal stated ”Less than one percent of Americans are touched by this,” referring to military personnel who have been deployed numerous times for long rotations in recent years. McChrystal went on to state how our professionally trained military has never been in extended wars for such a lengthy period of time without a draft.
In Vietnam, draftees represented 25% of the total military force, but accounted for over 30% of combat deaths. Many Americans are passionate about the subject of a draft. Let’s examine the pros and cons of a draft:
-Troops will be representative from all segments of society
-Lower cost, per troop, to train and deploy
-Shorter deployments for current troops
-Professional troops have to fight alongside sparsely trained troops
-Most drafted troops lack motivation
-Drafts are largely unpopular among the civilian population
- Very expensive to provide equipment, food and resources to tens of thousands of extra troops
Is America ready for another draft? Sound off and post your comments below
Michael Volkin is the author of The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook, available at UltimateBasicTraining Until Friday July 20th, you can get Basic Training University for FREE with a $5 donation to help a boy with a rare disease. Learn more here.
By SGT Volkin
Yes, it is possible to fail basic training. You could go through the trouble of leaving your home, job, family and friends and come back a failure. In fact, this happens to about 15 percent of recruits who join the military every year. Too many recruits I speak to think that it is impossible to fail basic training. From someone who has spoken to thousands of recruits over the years, let me tell you the top 3 reasons you could return home without graduating basic training.
1) You’re an egotistical maniac
I get an email like this almost every week. Here is an email I got a week ago:
“SGT Volkin, I work out every day and I get straight A’s in school. My fear about basic training isn’t about my capabilities to fail; my fear is that I will get booted for being too tough. If the drill sergeants try bossing me around, I fear my subconscious fighting skills in karate (I’m a black belt) will take over and I will strike and injure a drill sergeant. How can I control the fighting force that has been instilled in me? Since I have straight A’s and am already a fighting force, can I get a waiver from my recruiter so I don’t have to attend basic training? ”
No, this is not a joke, this is an actual email that I had to read and respond to. My response is below (name withheld to preserve anonymity):
“Dear X, you can’t get a waiver for being such an awesome person. The fact that you would ask that question shows you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. You will get yelled at by your Drill sergeants, and judging by your personality, probably many times a day. Not only will you not strike them, you will probably pee in your pants the first time you get yelled at. My advice to you is to not be over confident; your ego might be your worst enemy. Best of luck”.
2) You’re not joining for the right reasons
Someone might have told you that joining the military is a great source for repaying college loans (which is true). Someone might have also told you to join the military will provide some direction and structure in your life (which is also true). However, if you aren’t joining the military because you genuinely want to be there and serve your country, your chances of failure skyrocket. Mentally, you will have a very difficult time understanding why you are truly there, why you should continue being there, and why you shouldn’t just get up and walk away (i.e. go AWOL). It is perfectly fine to join the military for the aforementioned reasons, however, the underlying reason must be for the love of your country and the true belief that you live in the greatest country in the world.
3) You refuse to be helped
No one, and I mean no one, makes it through basic training without being helped by another recruit. You must be the type of person to offer and accept help when needed. I have seen countless recruits try to act too tough to admit they need help, or are too afraid to ask other recruits when they need help. Either way, you must be a team player to graduate boot camp.
Sergeant Michael Volkin is a U.S. Army veteran and expert on basic training issues. Check out his website at www.UltimateBasicTraining.com and buy his best-selling Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook.
By SGT Volkin
As someone who has coached thousands of military recruits prepare for military basic training, I have found that the hardest part of getting in shape isn’t the actual workout itself; it is finding time to do the workout. Any manager of any gym will tell you that the majority of people who sign up for a gym membership rarely return after 6 weeks. There are many reasons for starting a workout routine then have it fizzle after just a few weeks. Most people will tell you it is a time constraint to go to the gym. I find that to simply be an excuse though. In today’s society we are all busy; most of us have jobs, a family, pets and other responsibilities. There are three main tips I can offer you that, if followed, will guarantee that you will stick to your next fitness regimen.
1) Make it a Priority
The reason you don’t stick to a fitness plan is because it is not a priority for you. What if I told you that every time you go to the gym you extend your life on this planet? What if I told you every time you go to the gym you will feel better, look better and act more confident. Those reasons alone should get you to turn off the latest Jersey Shore episode and drive to the gym. I would recommend writing down your daily priorities and see where the aforementioned benefits rank in importance.
2) Make a Time
This tip is simple and can be hard on your wallet if broken. Simply make a time that you will go to the gym. You shouldn’t do this day-by-day or even week-by-week. Monday through Friday you should commit to being at the gym the same time every day, your weekend times can be different. No, you don’t have to work out every day, but you should schedule a time every single day whether you plan on hitting the gym or not. Why? Because sometimes the unexpected happens and even if you plan on going to the gym, you just can’t make it. So if your current regimen calls for a Monday, Wednesday and Friday workout and you missed Wednesdays workout, don’t worry, you have already scheduled yourself for the gym on Thursday.
3) Have a Plan
Many times I see people at the gym with a notebook and pen, logging every set they perform. This is not only motivational, because it will chart your improvement, but logging your progress via a workout plan has been proven to increase the chances you will see that plan through to the end.
4) Grab a Buddy
Having a workout partner is beneficial on so many levels, especially when trying to stick to a workout regimen. Perhaps a coworker can meet you before or after work, or a spouse or family member has the same fitness goals as you. Whatever the case, working out together will force you to show up for your gym appointments more because you don’t want to let your buddy down.
I hope the above tips will help you be happier and healthier than ever before.
SGT Michael Volkin is the author of The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook, which helps recruits prepare for military basic training. If you, or anyone you know, is about to join the military, check out www.UltimateBasicTraining.com