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Safety during intense exercise with heavy loads

 
 
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 01:54 am
Hi, I am new here. I would like to ask about how I can ensure physical safety when I enlist in the military, which is in about 1 and 1/2 years. I had a chat with several friends who have enlisted/are inside/have already come out and these are the things I am most concerned about:

-Long marches while carrying over 60 kilograms worth of equipment (20++ kg in rucksack, 20 kg missile, 2 kg helmet, in addition to boots, combat vest, 4 kg rifle and other things) during fast marches (14km/h) and long marches (24 km).
-Running at least 2 km every day in under 10 minutes
-How to sustain myself with regular sleep deprivation. I.e we will get 6 hours of sleep or less (there will be middle of the night wake up calls that we will be punished for whether we do or don't answer).
-Continuous pushing during these activities, to failure and beyond, forcibly made to exert body to the point that bad form becomes common

I also understand that there is a culture of 'torture' in which the sergeants are known to lie to recruits about how much exercise is required of them, and then make them re-start from the beginning, effectively making them do double or triple the initial amount because they want to break them mentally and physically, or when the recruits look comfortable with the exercise. As such, I assume must be able to do excess of what is listed above to be safe.

Firstly, what kind of training do I need to do to safeguard my joints and spine? I have read up about squats and other lifting exercises that involve heavy loads and it seems that the joints and spine are the areas of the body most at risk when carrying out these exercises. Also, I have known several people who have sustained permanent injuries in the knees and spinal areas as a result of their physical training in the army. I weigh about 60 kilograms right now, and am deeply concerned with how I am going to manage with these extremely heavy loads and high intensity cardio on a regular basis. Currently, I can barely cope with running at 14 km/h without any weight on my back at all. I tried walking at 3 kmph with 20 kg in my pack a few days ago, I could barely lift it off of the ground (barely avoided twisting my back too) and my back went numb after ten minutes. I assume strengthening back muscles and core are crucial to preventing serious injury, but how do I go about doing this, and at what pace should I increase the weight while maintaining personal safety?

Secondly, how do I train myself towards being able to perform the aforementioned activities on a regular basis? I know what it's like to push hard when exercising, and don't think that that will be constructive to my body as it will impair my ability to exercise in the long run (there have been times at which I have been literally too weak to move the next day despite knowing that I must get back into the gym to work harder). At what pace must I shoot for such that I do not injure my body while training myself to sufficient capacity to carry out the above activities, will not cause myself such exceeding pain and exhaustion that I become unable to continue, and yet still be able to achieve the goal of carrying out the aforementioned activities on a daily basis?

Thank you in advance.
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 07:32 am
I'm mainly bumping this up but my suggestion would be to join a gym and start lifting, but also start running. I think you're pretty well aware of what's entailed with Basic Training. There are hikes and marches, hurdles, lifting and the like. The more you do of all of that beforehand, the less taxing Basic is going to be.

It won't be a picnic (it's not meant to be), but you'll do yourself a helluva lot of good if you are already used to running, say, a mile every morning, rain or shine, and sometimes carrying a pack when you're doing so by the time you start.
Joe Nation
 
  3  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2012 08:11 am
First of all, stop worrying so much, you're young, you've got the time to prepare and, unlike certain people named Joe( Shocked )Nation, you have a really good idea of what's in store. (The night time obstacle course and the survival training in the snows of Eastern Washington are not amongst my fondest memories. I did get through them though.... )

Get fit slowly. Find a trainer, especially one who has been through military training, and be ready for the challenges ahead.

If you can't stop worrying about getting hurt, maybe the military is not the right choice for you.

Think about that for a minute or two.

No Army/Navy/Marine training is designed to break candidates (screw the movies) the training is designed to prepare you for what's worse:

Combat.

Joe(Now think about that for a minute or two)Nation

Bottleman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Aug, 2012 12:51 pm
@Joe Nation,
A few things I must clarify.

The military service in my country is mandatory, it is not a choice. I will be charged for criminal activity, fined and possibly imprisoned for not enlisting. So whether it is the right 'choice' for me or not is completely and utterly irrelevant.

I have spoken to people who have already been through the training, in addition to instructors, and I know for sure that complete emotional, mental and physical 'breaking' takes place because they want recruits to respond to any order yelled at them immediately. I am told that as the end result of it, we will be numb and unthinking and will react instantly on any order that we are told to do. I have never watched any military movies, so I do not know if this experiences resembles that in any respect, I only know that this is information I got directly from the proverbial horses' mouth.

With those things out of the way, thanks for the advice about the trainer.
Bottleman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Aug, 2012 12:58 pm
@jespah,
I have started running for a few months now, but I don't know how to progress. I tried running all week long with weekends off and by Friday I find that I keep failing at it. Instead of improving I deprove.

Say on Monday I sprint 40metres/1.5 min rest/40metres/1.5 min rest/40metres/1.5 min rest/40metres, and continue with this throughout the next four days in addition to pull-ups and military presses, by Friday I can barely manage 40metres/1.5 min rest/30metres/1.5 min rest/30metres. I can't seem to churn out the consistency that will be expected of me. And the following week when I start again I'm not progressing beyond my initial speed. It's infuriating. And sometimes my body just can't move, I have to force it to move, resulting in bad form and knee pain.

And this is without weights. I'm supposed to sprint at this speed with weight equal to my own body weight in the army, for longer distances no less. I feel like I'm screwed.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Aug, 2012 01:07 pm
@Bottleman,
Have you had a recent medical check up to rule out any heart or other problems?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Aug, 2012 02:30 pm
@Bottleman,
Bottleman, your english usage is so excellent that I bet most of us thought you were talking about a military in a primarily english speaking country like the U.S.

I understand your concerns.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Fri 24 Aug, 2012 07:00 am
@Bottleman,
I agree with osso that your English is so fantastic I honestly thought you were going into the US military.

Anyway - maybe the thing to do is try some couch to 5K programs (just Google that phrase). There are a lot out there and I think most are free. Essentially what they do is, you start off with mostly walking and a little running, and keep working on the ratio. I believe the amount of time is a total of 30 minutes, so you start with 29 minutes of walking and 1 of running, then the next day or two days later (depends on the program) it's 28 and 2, etc. Eventually this leads up to 30 minutes of straight running, and it's for 5 kilometers.

I'm honestly unsure as to whether sprinting can be taught. Some people are just better at it than others. As for carrying the weights while running, I would start small. Perhaps you can make that a part of the couch to 5k type of experience, e. g. for the first month, no weights, then 1 kilo, then 2 kilos the next month, etc.

I think your form issues might be core-related. That means working on core exercises. A lot of people think of situps and squats, but there are different kinds of squats like the Bulgarian Skater squat (look it up; when I first started doing those, they really kicked my butt). There are also lunges, and you can probably get some back definition by working your triceps.

It is a progressive thing, and I'm really, really glad that you're doing this now, rather than at the last minute (very, very smart move on your part).

Also - I am no expert (plus I'm a female-type person, so what I do of course has different results than what you would get doing the same things).

May I ask what you're eating? It's generally carbs for aerobic exercise, and protein for lifting. Plus tons of water. You need to replenish even if you don't think you need to.

Good luck. It's obvious you're committed, and you're working hard already. Results don't come overnight, but I bet you'll get there just fine. Smile
harveysmith27
 
  0  
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2012 12:54 am
Safety is must during heavy loads because a little mistake can harm you long time and more. So thanks for sharing with us this info.
It's really good. Good job done.
Bottleman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 03:12 am
@Butrflynet,
Yes, a little over a year ago. I have no heart problems.
0 Replies
 
Bottleman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 03:31 am
@jespah,
Thank you for the input. However, the couch to 5k programs I've found do not state speed/velocity of the jog in any way- is this something I should increase week by week, or is it something I should start at the necessary speed (say 13 km/h) at force myself to stick to, while only increasing the length of the jog?

I also looked up Bulgarian Skater Squats on Google but most of the results that turn up are 'speed skater squats' or 'single leg skater squats'. Are these three the same thing? I did manage to find an article comparing the Bulgarian Split Squats and just 'Skater Squats' Edit [Moderator]: Link removed but I'm not sure which refers to which, and which I should be doing, or if either is the correct one.

I was sticking to a diet that was 20% in the deficit of my TDEE (in other words, I've been eating 1534 calories a day) for a couple of months because I wanted to lose body fat. Is it advisable to continue with this?

Oh, one last thing- I'm currently training on a treadmill because there aren't any large open fields near me. I've heard people mention that treadmill training is not as good as running on dirt, but after a long day at school I have little choice. I understand that it is best to eliminate the air conditioning to better emulate weather conditions outsideļ¼Œbut is there anything else I can do to reduce or eliminate the 'handicaps' that the treadmill offers?
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 06:01 am
@Bottleman,
Hiya! I was wondering how you were doing. Smile

This is a skater squat.
Here is a Bulgarian Split Squat (I was not using the correct name, sorry) -

Here's a guy doing another variant.


Essentially the idea is, get as far down there as you can and make sure to have some weight going on. One thing I found as I started running was that the more I did scissors type working out with my legs, the less my inner thighs hurt after 5K races.

Here is a Couch to 5K Program (I might actually try it myself this winter) from Cool Running -
http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml

The pace is reasonable and their advice is good. Essentially, you start out running for endurance, just to see how long you can sustain a run. You don't work on speed at all, really, until you're done with the program. But I suspect that Boot Camp cares less about speed and more about endurance. They want you up and out at 5 AM (or whatever), carrying an enormous pack and they want to make sure that after a half an hour you don't drop from exhaustion. But you aren't running any races. At least, I don't think you are (correct me if I'm wrong).

As for your diet, I suspect you're undereating. How tall are you? How old? How fit? I recommend SparkPeople.com because they look at the whole picture and also give some very good support to their users. You'll get a better handle on how much fat, protein, etc. you need to be ingesting. I also checked and there is a team for people getting ready for the military. While I'm sure that group is about 99% Americans, I think it could still prove useful for support. I also go by jespah on that site and I've lost over 100 pounds with them. They are also free (I'm not a spammer and I have no interest in that site other than the fact that I like them and I think they work).

PS Treadmill - one main advantage is that you can speed it up or slow it down in conjunction with the C25K program, whereas someone like me has to estimate times by listening to my iPod and going faster for a 3 minute song and slower for a 2 minute song or whatever. Is there an incline option, or a program option for "hilly"? Try those. But you're right; you may need to get out there, somewhere, and run in the outside world. Is there a park you could go to? Even for a short work out it could be helpful and it would break things up.
Bottleman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 10 Sep, 2012 09:37 pm
@jespah,
I'm all right, and despite not having gotten enough sleep these past few days, I'm actually feeling pretty pumped right now; about an hour ago I did the first workout of the first week of the couch to 5k program you recommended. It was good. I didn't get the usual bludgeoning headache I get from my own workouts, was able to concentrate on form as a result, and didn't feel miserably exhausted- I felt alive after the 25 minutes, not dead (like I usually do).

However it may be too early to get excited because I don't know how steeply the program ramps up the difficulty in later weeks, or if I'm running too slowly; the speed reading was 12 during the jogging phase and 5.9 during the walking phase. (not sure what units my gym's Life Fitness treadmill denominates speed in, I'll have to look it up)

As for my height and weight, I'm currently 168 cm, 62kg and 19 years old. I'm not sure how to describe fitness level though, so I'll have to apologize about that. >_< I also registered on SparkPeople.com earlier last week, haven't gotten around to looking around the site yet though.

Regarding that last bit, the only other viable thing I can think of at the moment are the long stretches of concrete pavements along the road.
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2012 06:42 am
@Bottleman,
Bottleman wrote:

I'm all right, and despite not having gotten enough sleep these past few days, I'm actually feeling pretty pumped right now; about an hour ago I did the first workout of the first week of the couch to 5k program you recommended. It was good. I didn't get the usual bludgeoning headache I get from my own workouts, was able to concentrate on form as a result, and didn't feel miserably exhausted- I felt alive after the 25 minutes, not dead (like I usually do).

However it may be too early to get excited because I don't know how steeply the program ramps up the difficulty in later weeks, or if I'm running too slowly; the speed reading was 12 during the jogging phase and 5.9 during the walking phase. (not sure what units my gym's Life Fitness treadmill denominates speed in, I'll have to look it up)

As for my height and weight, I'm currently 168 cm, 62kg and 19 years old. I'm not sure how to describe fitness level though, so I'll have to apologize about that. >_< I also registered on SparkPeople.com earlier last week, haven't gotten around to looking around the site yet though.

Regarding that last bit, the only other viable thing I can think of at the moment are the long stretches of concrete pavements along the road.


Your BMI is 22.0 (see: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/bmi-m.htm). That puts you in the middle, at neither overweight nor underweight. I also just did a conversion on your height (I speak English measurements) and I think you're pretty close in height to me. You weigh considerably less, but you're also 31 years younger than I am, you're male, you've probably never been severely overweight and you definitely are working harder on your fitness than I did at your age (I was busy going to college and attending parties, as I recall. Ah, youth).

I wonder if the Life Fitness machine is calibrated to English speeds. I seem to remember the machines at the Y being at about 4+ for a brisk walk (and your brisk walk is probably brisker than mine is) and then running is 10+ or so. The measurement may very well be something like the # of miles you would walk in an hour if you maintained that pace for the entire 60 minutes.

I'm glad that at least for now you're feeling better. I'd hate for you to be doing this and just dreading it all the time.
Bottleman
 
  0  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2012 09:20 am
@jespah,
Hi Jespah, I'm pretty sure the machines are at km/h (I tried another machine that denominated speed in km/h out, and the speeds seemed to match).

I'm currently on week 4 of the Ct5k program and I'm getting a bit confused with the timespan/distances that the graph states. My gym's treadmill doesn't show distance, so I've been doing it based on timing (like if it states Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes) then I'll do 3 minutes of jogging at 10.0 speed, which is the best jogging speed I can currently manage without getting a brutal headache- I know, I'm terrible). I was a bit curious to see what the intended speeds for running in that program were, so I did a bit of calculations for the week 4 outline and came to a puzzling result.

This is what it says for each of week 4's sessions:
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

In metres, it's:
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
Jog 400 m (or 3 minutes)
Walk 200 m(or 90 seconds)
Jog 800 m (or 5 minutes)
Walk 400 m (or 2-1/2 minutes)
Jog 400 m (or 3 minutes)
Walk 200 m (or 90 seconds)
Jog 800 m (or 5 minutes)

Multiplied by matching factors to denominate in mph,
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
Jog at 8000 mph (for 3 minutes)
Walk at 8000 mph (for 90 seconds)
Jog at 9600 mph (for 5 minutes)
Walk at 9600 mph (for 2-1/2 minutes)
Jog at 8000 mph (for 3 minutes)
Walk at 8000 mph (for 90 seconds)
Jog at 9600 mph (for 5 minutes)

Why is there even a distinction between 'jog at 8000 mph' and 'Walk at 8000 mph'? (also, the other components with identical speeds)
They are essentially the same speed, so am I supposed to adopt a difference in form while maintaining the same speed? Or am I interpreting this wrongly?

I am afraid whether I might have ruined my progress by doing too little. Although my running speed is barely above the minimum, my walking speed is 5.9 kmph, which is much lower than many of the above advised walking speeds.

I thought 'walk' signified a lower speed 'rest period' in between jogs, is this not the case?
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2012 10:11 am
@Bottleman,
I'm guessing that the intention is for walks to be a brisk walk whereas jogging is more of - you lift your feet more (does that make sense?). and egad, 10.0 speed is bad? Then I must be dreadful. I ran a 5K last weekend and came in at a little over 48 minutes. Smile

I think you're doing fine - the idea, I believe, is to ease you into running as people have a tendency to really overdo it, particularly at the outset, and then they can injure themselves.
0 Replies
 
danielhayward
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 21 Feb, 2014 01:43 am
@harveysmith27,
I am totally agree,,,
safety is must for a person while exercise and without having any stress..
Keep it up!!!
0 Replies
 
 

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