Building Military Muscle – The 3 Most Vital Fitness Training Exercises

If you want to build serious muscle, have unmatched stamina and be impressively fit, you need to consider adopting military training techniques in your workout regime. The reason behind this is simple. Soldiers are incredibly fit and masculine. Their bodies look great although they hardly ever train in the gym. They focus on a number of exercises which can be adopted by anyone willing to build military muscle.

This article will focus on the three main military training exercises you can do to get the same aesthetic and health benefits enjoyed by soldiers. Combat ready soldiers have impressive physiques regardless of the branch of the military they serve in. They must be in great physical and mental shape because war is very dangerous and survival depends largely on one’s physical and mental strength.

Military leaders train their soldiers with unparalleled intensity to enable them to perform under immense battle stress. You can enjoy the same benefits of military training without having to sign up for a life and death situation. You can adopt the same principles of military fitness training to your workout and become “fit to fight” by doing military cardio, calisthenic and rucking exercises. Below is an outline of the main military fitness training exercises to help you train as effectively as any soldier scheduled for a boot camp.

1. Cardio
When most people think about military fitness training, they think of countless miles of running and signing. Since combat troops are expected to perform optimally for a prolonged period of time under immense pressure, the importance of cardiovascular training can’t be overlooked. During cardio training, soldiers run for miles up and down paved as well as earth roads/trails with limited traction.

To make the training more challenging, they train while signing “jodies” loudly which is a torturous task when breathing heavily. Marines and sailors are also expected to perform optimally in water. Cardiovascular prowess is also paramount in such instances.

You can do cardio like the military by running. This is by far the simplest and cheapest exercise to do when you want to do cardio like the military and build military muscle. You can choose to run as far as possible for a definite period of time or run a predetermined distance as fast as possible. As a beginner, start by “pounding the pavement” or simply, running around the neighborhood.

You can then challenge yourself further by running on sand or nature trails with time as you become a better runner. Running is great for boosting your cardiovascular efficiency and muscle endurance. Running also improves your core endurance and bone density.

Swimming is also a great cardiovascular exercise although it’s not as great as running in regards to impact. Swimming, however, has a steeper learning curve since it boosts the performance of the lungs and the heart and also boosts the upper as well as the lower body stamina while placing very little stress on the joints. Swimming is a great workout when done in a safe environment.

2. Calisthenics
Calisthenic exercises or calisthenics are body weight exercises like push ups which are a well known staple military exercise. Push ups have been used for a long time to discipline misbehaving troop as well as motivate sluggish platoons. Push ups are also used to mark special occasions in the military. Other notable calisthenics include; pull ups, chin ups, sit ups, dips, and mountain climbers. All these exercises are performed to increase muscular endurance.

It’s worth noting that being a cardio ”king” doesn’t mean much if you don’t have military muscle. Although soldiers do body weight exercises to boost their endurance and stamina, these exercises also boost muscle growth when they are done with the right intensity. Like running, it’s easy to perform calisthenics. It’s also cheap because you just need is your body weight to do them. It is possible to have a workout program revolving around these two exercises only without spending a dime.

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There are countless ways of incorporating calisthenics into your workout regime. Some people like circuits i.e. performing one exercise movement for a specified number of repetitions followed by a short rest and then proceeding to do a different movement and so on while others prefer mixing up the exercises i.e. doing twenty push-ups and/or twenty sit-ups after every lap and twenty chin ups after every two or three laps.

The possibilities are endless, however, to get the best out of these movements, you will need to focus more on dips and pull-ups since these exercises exert the most stress on the muscles they exercise. It’s also advisable to add weight and progressively increase intensity by performing the exercises explosively to facilitate muscle growth. This is the fastest and most effective way of building military muscle.

3. Rucking
Rucking is by far the most underappreciated, misunderstood and hated facet of military fitness. Rucking is simply humping or forced marching. It’s the only military fitness activity that requires some initial financial investment.

Rucking is simply hiking in military vernacular. It involves briskly walking or light jogging over rough terrain for a prolonged period of time while carrying a weighted backpack known as a rucksack. Rucksacks are usually filled with rations, water, extra uniforms, radios among other field essentials to simulate actual combat load. Soldiers usually march or jog lightly for 2 to 20 miles at approximately 4mph while carrying their rucksacks.

Rucking is rudimentary but extremely effective for boosting physical strength as well as mental stamina. The exercise weighs you down while you are performing basic movements. This makes rucking the core of resistance training. Before you begin rucking, it’s important to understand that the exercise is extremely intense which increases injury risks. It’s also worth noting that rucking is not extremely necessary because it is possible to become fit and build military muscle without rucking.

You should also consider getting a good pair of combat or walking boots to perform this exercise effectively. Furthermore, rucking isn’t recommendable to people with joint (knees/ankles) or back problems. Last but not least, you should never carry more than 20 to 30% of your body weight. Beginners are advised to carry approximately 10% of their body weight before they consider adding more weight.

Getting Started
To get started with rucking, you need to find a rucksack. A rucksack is better than a backpack because it has a metal frame for added strength as other features i.e. belts and clips that help the wearer stabilize the load. As mentioned above, beginners should start by carrying 10% of their body weight preferably over a short distance to prepare the body for the challenge. It’s also important to practice while maintaining a good posture so that you avoid injuring your back.

Once you are sure rucking is for you, you can proceed and add more weight as well as increase the hiking distance. You should, however, be aware of the fact that you may start experiencing chafing in your armpits and/or thighs. Your feet may also start getting blisters. To ensure these problems don’t interfere with your progress, use moleskin and body glide to prevent blisters and chafing respectively.

Rucking is a great inclusion to any serious workout regime if you want to push your body to the limits and enjoy the full benefits of doing so. Rucking is great for building leg and shoulder muscles as well as strengthening your core. Rucking also has amazing cardio benefits. Furthermore, it is fun and a great alternative to running if you love weight lifting. As long as you adhere to the precautions and consider rucking utmost twice a week, you shouldn’t expect to face any problems.

Soldiers must be in great physical shape at all times. Mimic their training and achieve similar fitness results. When you follow the above information to the letter, you shouldn’t have a problem building military muscle while having fun and saving money in the process. You don’t need to spend anything to incorporate military cardio exercises and calisthenics to your workout. Rucking may require some investment, however, you only incur expenses once and it’s not as expensive as having gym membership. Consider making the whole experience more interesting by inviting your friends to workout and build military muscle with you.

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