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Baghdad Workout

MarinR00

Monkey
Aug 27, 2007
175
0
Iraq
So, here is a question.

I’m stuck in Iraq for 15 months, and my workout options are limited.

Because of my job, I can only workout from 0515-0630 every day. I have access to a little gym, a hill of about 100m and unlimited roads for running.

I want to gain strength (not get big, get lean). Long distance endurance is not so important. I think I have an idea of what to do, I just wanted to see what other people thought.

Thanks.
 

jacksonpt

Turbo Monkey
Jul 22, 2002
6,762
0
Vestal, NY
I'm no tan expert on this, so wait for more opinions, but my thought would be to hit the gym 3-4 days a week and do lots of reps with lighter weight (vs fewer reps and more weight). The other days run, shoot for 30-45 minutes per run and see where that gets you.

Also, do lots of stretching.
 
when I was there i had a problem with nutrition and the weather. since it is hard to get protien and enough food and the weather is always to hot to max out i had to work on small target areas instead of overall workouts. Iraq may be different now and have alot better fitness facilityies but a few years ago we didnt have a damn thing.

if you can get whey, or muscle milk from home have it sent over. get a bike from home (shipped) of buy a cheapie from the PX ( I am sure you have one by now) and use that for lower body when out of the gym. It seemed to keep me cooler and a little more mobile. for upper body I used alot iso metrics combined with static small weights in my own area. I stayed away from the gym tent we had since there was only a few macines and the were covered in sweat all the time.
 

ire

Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
6,199
4
Will you be working on base or are you a grunt? If you are going to be doing walking patrols everyday I wouldn't even worry about working out. What will your work schedule look like? I had a friend in the Navy and they worked four hours on four off, makes it hard to workout and sleep. I say hit the gym 4 days a week and you can effectively lift and run in one hour, half hour for both. I target specific muscle groups on each day and then run after lifting.

Good luck, be safe, kick ass and write here about your experience. I watch a lot of docus about the war but I would like to hear it first hand from someone....you maybe able to educate us on how things are actually going.

<edit> my bad, just saw the time restrictions. I saw split it, lift, run.
 

MarinR00

Monkey
Aug 27, 2007
175
0
Iraq
Thank you all. Yeah, all your assessments were spot on, especially the part about the gym equipment being covered in sweat! And the really bad food we have. Everything is fried.

I think I am going to lift 5 days a week, but light 3x sets of 12 reps and maybe some drop sets. Throw in some cross-fit and some sprinting of hills and I think I can make this work for the next 467 days. *sigh* I was actually thinking of buying a bike here, but the ones they have are so cheap&#8230; Jeep models, etc.

On my first deployment I was an infantry platoon leader, running all around, jumping over walls, hopping roofs and getting shot at. Now, I am on staff, so I sit in the headquarters and type orders on a computer all day.

I&#8217;d be happy to answer anyone&#8217;s questions about it here. A little bit better than a few years ago &#8216;gonefirefightin&#8217; but its still&#8230;. Well&#8230;. Iraq.
 

ire

Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
6,199
4
What area of the country are you based in? I know the surge has helped on the security situation, but do you think the Iraqis will actually be able to step up and keep the security after we draw down?
 

MarinR00

Monkey
Aug 27, 2007
175
0
Iraq
I&#8217;m in the Baghdad area.

I have to be very careful what I post here, because the Army reads everything. But I can tell you this (and this is my area of expertise). We are engaged in a counterinsurgency (CI). The SHORTEST successful counterinsurgency was 13 years long.

In the age before instant-media coverage, the center of gravity for these wars was the population that was being engaged. However, now-a-days, the center of gravity has shifted to the population of the country that is conducting the operations. Will it matter what the Iraqis do, if the American people are fed up with the war and associated costs?

America (and Britain) wrote the book on CI during the late 1800&#8217;s and early 1900&#8217;s and have had plenty of experience and success. Some principles remain constant:

1) You need a certain ratio of troops to population (something we have never done)
2) CI are not tracked by months, but by years&#8230;. Even decades.

We will have to see what happens.
 

ultraNoob

Yoshinoya Destroyer
Jan 20, 2007
4,515
1
Hills of Paradise
I was in a different CI back then. As far as field work outs, I used anything and everything I could find. Chairs, tables, bricks, ammo cans filled with sand for dumb bells, squats with a loaded ruck sack or sand bags, lister bags as a punching bag (just don't let TOP catch you). Did power squats with front side of an empty water buffalo (serious workout) Hell, I even did Rifle PT for fun... yea my squad looked at me like I was crazy but I was desperate for a change of pace out there. You know (or you're gonna know) what I'm talking about.
 

ire

Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
6,199
4
I’m in the Baghdad area.

I have to be very careful what I post here, because the Army reads everything. But I can tell you this (and this is my area of expertise). We are engaged in a counterinsurgency (CI). The SHORTEST successful counterinsurgency was 13 years long.

In the age before instant-media coverage, the center of gravity for these wars was the population that was being engaged. However, now-a-days, the center of gravity has shifted to the population of the country that is conducting the operations. Will it matter what the Iraqis do, if the American people are fed up with the war and associated costs?

America (and Britain) wrote the book on CI during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and have had plenty of experience and success. Some principles remain constant:

1) You need a certain ratio of troops to population (something we have never done)
2) CI are not tracked by months, but by years…. Even decades.

We will have to see what happens.
I know they watch, but I appreciate your response immensely. I would have thought the book would been written in the Roman era with the holy land (maybe they didn't get it right). I know it takes a long time to overcome, but I guess my driving question is (and if you don't respond I will understand), would we be better pulling back and letting them fight their own war and come out with a government? I guess I kinda feel like some countries need to sort their own situations out, ie Samalia.

I personally think you can't impose democracy, people have to want it and I think our nation is the picture of this....people gave up most of their identity to become a part of THIS nation.

I will say that I opposed the war in the beginning, but what does that matter now? I'm not going to bicker over who said what, I just want to work towards the best solution...and if the best solution is for us to be there ten years then so be it....at least let the government give us an honest assessment. I appreciate what you have done and continue to do, gods speed.
 

MarinR00

Monkey
Aug 27, 2007
175
0
Iraq
Actually, &#8220;the book&#8221; is called &#8220;The Small War Manual&#8221; and was written by the Marine Corps back in the day. While it is a little bit dated, it is still used as the Bible of Counterinsurgency.

In the world of international relations and development, democratization of a country is known to be, probably the most difficult political process. There are numerous works out there on it, about how to successfully do it. If someone had read those books, they wouldn&#8217;t have been surprised that the &#8220;welcome&#8221; we got as &#8220;liberators&#8221; was so short lived.

As for your question, the United States, nor any power for that matter, can hope to really affect the conflict between Shia and Sunni sects. The best we can hope for (based on historic examples of very different people living together under various conditions) is a lose confederation of power. Does this mean we are doomed to failure?? Absolutely not! Remember that America started out as a Confederation (Articles of Confederation), so who knows. Unfortunately, I can&#8217;t really go into my own personal opinions, but I wish I could. You might be working for CNN or the NYTs!

Lets be honest, the main problem isn&#8217;t what happens to the people once we pull out, but what happens to the oil. My stance is that if the Middle East had no natural resources, we would be as engaged there as we are in Africa, the genocide capital of the world. While individuals may care, we, as a nation, don&#8217;t really care. The one thing shorter than me (5&#8217;5&#8221;) is America&#8217;s attention span.

Unfortunately, I don&#8217;t think you, or anyone else, will get an honest assessment. Even my assessment here is skewed because I just see my small piece of the fight. But I will say that I would lean toward a more pessimistic outlook than some of the reports I&#8217;ve heard.

If only I was home on a non-government server, I could tell you what I REALLY feel! It would SHOCK you.

We have to move this thread over to the politics forum!
 

ire

Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
6,199
4
Actually, &#8220;the book&#8221; is called &#8220;The Small War Manual&#8221; and was written by the Marine Corps back in the day. While it is a little bit dated, it is still used as the Bible of Counterinsurgency.

In the world of international relations and development, democratization of a country is known to be, probably the most difficult political process. There are numerous works out there on it, about how to successfully do it. If someone had read those books, they wouldn&#8217;t have been surprised that the &#8220;welcome&#8221; we got as &#8220;liberators&#8221; was so short lived.

As for your question, the United States, nor any power for that matter, can hope to really affect the conflict between Shia and Sunni sects. The best we can hope for (based on historic examples of very different people living together under various conditions) is a lose confederation of power. Does this mean we are doomed to failure?? Absolutely not! Remember that America started out as a Confederation (Articles of Confederation), so who knows. Unfortunately, I can&#8217;t really go into my own personal opinions, but I wish I could. You might be working for CNN or the NYTs!

Lets be honest, the main problem isn&#8217;t what happens to the people once we pull out, but what happens to the oil. My stance is that if the Middle East had no natural resources, we would be as engaged there as we are in Africa, the genocide capital of the world. While individuals may care, we, as a nation, don&#8217;t really care. The one thing shorter than me (5&#8217;5&#8221;) is America&#8217;s attention span.

Unfortunately, I don&#8217;t think you, or anyone else, will get an honest assessment. Even my assessment here is skewed because I just see my small piece of the fight. But I will say that I would lean toward a more pessimistic outlook than some of the reports I&#8217;ve heard.

If only I was home on a non-government server, I could tell you what I REALLY feel! It would SHOCK you.

We have to move this thread over to the politics forum!
I wish I could hear your opinion, but alas, that won't happen (at least until your back home). I appreciate the honesty. I've watched a bunch of documentaries, everything from third person to first by the troops and I feel they have helped me understand the war better. Some of them talk about the bad things that have happened, witnessed or being a party too, and I think it sucks. I won't judge them one way or another becuase they were stuck in this situation and are trying to deal with it.

I can't say enough bad things about the administration and I can point to a bunch of historical precedence that they ignored when going in. BUT, it happened and we need to deal with it. I know you can't answer, either by censor, or lack of knowledge of the other areas of Iraq....but I would like to see a big picture with an honest, uncensored opinion on what needed to be done. I know we won't get it, but I think if Bush came out and said "Look, its been a mess but in five years we can have this thing fixed" and he showed figures and strategies to back it up, he would gain a ton of respect and the people's opinion. Instead they focus on censoring to try and sway public opinion (which hasn't worked). I've seen some seriously horrible things (and I'm sure you have as well) on these troop documentaries. I feel its my duty to watch these, too many people think of this war as an ideology and not the facts of death, both soldiers, men, women, children.

I won't post again in this thread since I've made it waaaaay too political. I appreciate the response though, I wish you well and hope that you get a good workout, and make it back in good health. rant off.
 

reflux

Turbo Monkey
Mar 18, 2002
4,622
2
G14 Classified
For a GREAT lower body and back workout, PUSH a weighted sled. In my case, I don't own or have access to a weighted sled. Rather, I just push my truck. Pulling won't offer the same gains, as pushing involves the arms and shoulders, and it will challenge your back. Whatever you do, keep your back straight.
 
Sep 25, 2007
14
0
I think switching up your workout would probably be the best idea..use all the try to use all the options that are available to you instead of just doing the same workout over and over again.. check out http://www.findyourdetour.com/ they have some really grea workout tips there..