Sunday, July 19, 2015

Learning to be a Second Lieutenant - BOLC

Few days for an update.... a month... it's all the same, right?! :|

For the past 5 weeks, I've been at Fort Sam Houston Joint Base San Antonio attending the Basic Officer Leadership Course!
My view from the hotel (at Fort Sam)
The temperature has rarely gone below 90 degrees and my days typically start around 4am and end (usually) by 5:30pm.
Trying to find some shade
I've learned a LOT while being here, but I have to say that the majority of what I learned has been outside of the designated class time and from things like advice from prior service members and reservists and also just from experience.

Some small "nuggets" and tips I've learned thus far:
  • Standing at attention requires a 45 degree angle between feet, with heels touching; scapula is retracted and hands are clasped in a fist (thumbs on the outside) [yes, this is required]
  • Rifle/weapon (never to be called a gun.. oops) is to be carried at "low ready" at all times [and must be carried everywhere with you like a 3rd arm... including the latrines - you could get attacked anywhere!]
  • When firing, jam the M16 into the soft muscular part above the pectoralis muscle - the soft tissue absorbs most of the recoil
  • Tucking in trousers to boots was much easier than trying to use the blousers (these never worked for me!)
  • The gas chamber sucks. Imagine feeling like you really, really want to breathe but your body is absolutely refusing
Me, smiling (somehow) after the gas chamber (not seen are the copious tears and snot covering my face)
  • Putting thick hair into a bun is much easier once it's braided (which was also a learning experience)
First the braid
Then the bun
  • Baby wipes are essential for days where there's no time to shower / the line is too long
  • Having a book to read in the field is CRUCIAL! I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have a book to read during the times we're waiting around for the next assignment
  • Learned to be patient ("hurry up and wait" is big in the Army and with 470 students and generally ~15 cadre, it's tough to get everyone in formation / doing the right thing
Arriving at Camp Bullis for Field Training 
Our tents (30 people in each)
I have not eaten any of the MREs (meals-ready-to-eat) - by choice - a lot of the snacks in them have trans fats but more than that, I just don't find them overly appetizing.
MRE = Meal Ready to Eat. Opening it is like Christmas - you never know what you're going to get!

Instead, I brought beef jerky (yes has lots of sodium but considering I'm mostly replenishing with just water throughout the day, I need those extra electrolytes), roasted almonds and LOTS of chocolate-chip quest bars. Fortunately, we do have hot chow for breakfast and dinner and I've found both quite delicious! For breakfast, there's fruit (apples, bananas and oranges - but you have to be one of the early ones to get this cause they run out), eggs (have looked green/watery on occasion but it tastes just fine), bacon, oatmeal, and "coffee" aka dirty water (I drink it anyways), and for dinner: some form of spaghetti or meatballs or "mystery meat" with canned mixed veggies and a side salad).

Prepping for land navigation!
One thing I've noticed that's surprised me while being at Field Training is that it's hard to do physical training (PT) because the only time designated for it happens to be the same time that cell phone use is permitted, dinner is served, and showers are open. Also, it's at the end of a long day and the temperature is still in the 90s. Instead, I've been doing "mat" workouts using a hotel towel and doing that on the floor of the tent to do "7 minute workouts" (even got some of my cabin mates to join in!) but in terms of running, I've been saving that for when I'm home at Fort Sam on the weekends. 

That's all for now! Hopefully won't be as long before I check in again!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spring, is that you?

Days like today (mind you, I'm here in Columbus, OH, but I know Boston is equally as warm), get me excited about the incoming warm weather and help forget about the past two months of arctic temperatures that we've had to endure. I'm excited not just because it means not having to briskly walk to school with a face mask and layers-on-layers of clothes, but also because it means longer hours of daytime, and more motivation to run outside!

I'm going to be running a half-marathon this Spring (either this one: TARC Half Marathon or one in mid-late May... any suggestions?) because it's nice to have something to train for!

Workout of the week:

Filthy Fifty
For time:
50 Box Jumps (24in box)
50 Jumping pull-ups (use a small box or step to start on)
50 Kettlebell (KB) swings (16kg; swing to parallel with the ground, not above the head)
50 Walking lunges
50 Knees to elbows (See Video - these are HARD so take breaks!)
50 Push press (30lbs)
50 Back extensions
50 Wallballs (14lbs)
50 Burpees
50 Double unders (or 100 normal jump ropes)

*Scaled version of this is "Dirty 30" with 30 reps instead of 50 of each exercise!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

"I'd Rather do Burpees"

Ever think you'd say the words: "I'd rather do burpees"? Well, after the workout we did this morning in UXF Tabata, that was just the case for a few brave souls.

The workout, designed by my fellow Coach, Brooks Dyer, consists of the following:
5 RFT, 24min time cap

  • 20 jump squats
  • 20 push-ups
  • 20 TRX rows
  • 20 power cleans
  • 20 seesaw press

It's heavy on the upper body but such a great workout! I highly recommend it!

Doublet ladder: going from 1 --> 15 burpees while doing 15 --> 1 KB swings
So the sets look like this:
1 burpee, 15 KB swings
2 burpees, 14 KB swings
.... [+1 burpee, -1 KB swing]
14 burpees, 2 KB swings
15 burpees, 1 KB swing

In total, you'll end up doing 120 burpees and 120 KB swings!

Now, along with these awesome workouts above, I also want to take a second to review nutrition. Refueling after an intense workout is crucial!! While a lot of my clients and fellow workout enthusiasts have an individual goal of trying to lose a few pounds or drop a pant size, proper nutrition after stressing your muscles is not only going to HELP you lose weight and be healthy in the end, but it's also going to ensure efficient recovery for your muscles. There will be a variety of "experts" out there telling you that you must have "X number of grams of this-and-that exactly such and such minutes [made-up number...] after finishing your workout" and this isn't some hard-fast rule. Yes, it's important to replenish your muscles and body with water, electrolytes, protein and healthy fat and carbs soon after a workout, but that doesn't mean you need to buy into some ridiculous GNC product and consume it a set-time after. Just get home, make tuna+avocado with an apple on the side or have some greek yogurt (I like Fage 0% Plain because there is NO sugar!) with fresh berries (real sugar) and granola.

The worst thing you can do though? Is not eat because you think that it's going to help you lose weight. You're messing with your metabolism and not helping your fatigued muscles heal, which could lead to feeling overly sore the following day (for your next workout).

Hope everyone has a fabulous week!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Love Your Body

With Valentine's day this weekend, and conveniently, the month of February is National Heart month, this week's workout is dedicated to keeping your body healthy and energized to protect on of the most important organs: your heart!

Make sure you spend enough time with some cardio (elliptical, treadmill, hiking, biking) before you do the weights portion of this workout. Increasing your heart rate while weight-lifting helps raise your resting metabolic rate: so your muscles continue burning fuel even while you're sitting at your office desk or watching TV on the couch at home. In order to achieve the maximum cardiovascular benefits from a workout (to prevent diseases like hypertension), you'll want to calculate the ideal HR (in bpm) range:

First, find your maximum HR (MHR) = 220 - Age
Your optimal cardiovascular range is [85%*MHR] on the low end, and MHR (minus about 5, you want a little buffer). When you're on the treadmill or elliptical, you can check your heart rate by holding on to the metal handles. Alternatively, there are some great fitness watches that not only track your mileage / time on a run but also, in real-time, track your heart rate.

Fitbit Surge $250

21-18-15-12-9 (*must do every exercise listed below 21 times before starting the 18 reps, etc)

KB Clean and Press
Crossfit sit-ups
Box Jumps

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

No more snow!!

So... who's done with winter?

Don't let all this snow and cold weather bring you down though, time for a great workout! And what better day to celebrate the Patriot's amazing Super Bowl win with a Pats-themed workout than the day of the Parade!

4x through (TB12 now has 4 rings):
28 OH Plate (45#, 25#) squats
24 Push-ups

Go for time. Feel free to do an additional 30-minute cardio workout afterwards (run, elliptical, bike, walk)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Blizzard Warning!!

Finally, it's feeling like WINTER! With the upcoming arrival of (hopefully) up to 2-3 feet of snow, surely I'm not the only one excited to build a snowman... I'm especially excited because next weekend I'll be heading up to Killington to ski for the weekend with the rest of the first-year students and judging from the weather forecast, it's looking to be a perfect weekend for it.

This morning's workout was a super tough one, so great job to everyone who got through it! Here it is:

UXF Tabata (1/25/15):

Warm up

"Bring Sally Up" song ("Flower" by Moby) done with push ups
This is what we were re-creating:

Circuits: 1 min of each exercise; 2x through
Rope slams
16# medicine ball slam
Goblet squats w/ 10kg KB
25# plate to OH
Wall sit
Tricep dips on box
10kg KBS

Up the Ladder
10 20 30 40
Burpees, Sit ups, Lunges, Push ups

For the workout for THIS week: lucky number 33 (that's my lucky number)
33 of each exercise:
Sit Ups
Box Jumps
Push Ups
Jump rope

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Short Post: Workout!

Fun fact of the day: Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that “lack of exercise may be responsible for twice as many deaths as obesity.” Investigators “analyzed data from 334,000 men and women across Europe participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Study.” The researchers “estimate that exercise equivalent to a 20-minute brisk walk each day – burning 90 to 110 calories – reduces the risk of premature death by as much as 30 percent when compared with no exercise.”
So unfortunately there won't be a long post this week as I have my final exam in medical neuroanatomy on Tuesday. Don't worry, I'll write again hopefully during the week this week after it's over!
Here's the workout for the week:     
(Similar to "Murph")
1 mile run
100 sit ups
200 push ups
300 squats
1 mile run