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Deployed Fitness: How To Get Ripped In The Field

Shaping up while deployed isn’t easy, but with a little creativity and a do-it-anywhere program, it’s far from impossible. Here's how to get ripped in the field.

Getting ripped while deployed is difficult. People might aim their weapons your way. You don't always have control over your diet, schedule or equipment. Of course, physical fitness is a priority across all military branches, especially the Marine Corps, but most service members aren't huge or lean. Instead, they possess a functional blend of strength, speed and endurance.

For members who specifically want to build more muscle or drop fat, things can get tricky.

I'm not an expert on deployed operations or bodybuilding, but I have experienced a variety of operating environments during my time in the Corps. I hope some of the lessons I learned can help you in your quest for fitness, especially if you're facing your first deployment.

What follows are merely suggestions. Only you know the physical standards required by your unit/occupation. This is not a replacement for unit PT (physical training) or the periodic fitness test. In no way should you ignore your operational/mission requirements in favor of the following items. However, these tips can help you get ripped while fulfilling your duties.

Welcome to the Boondocks

You just hit the field, son. Oorah! Spending the day under the sun and the night under the stars - ahh, now that's roughing it! That's the kind of stuff your recruiter always promised you, right?

Though some consider the field to be the pinnacle of the military lifestyle, it is also the most difficult environment to eat and train in. You don't have an infinite supply of water or food and you usually don't sleep for more than a few hours at a time.

There's no escaping the elements and you never truly have time off from work. Showers and laundry may even be discouraged! Let's get to work!

Field Guide To Fat Loss

Field Guide To Fat Loss

You're not going to achieve three percent body fat while sleeping under a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle. The best you can reasonably hope to do is maintain what you have. Above all else, stay hydrated!
Muscle On A Mission

Muscle On A Mission

You have to make adjustments to your training routine, but creativity can save you. Slow-tempo and plyometric bodyweight exercises may not be ideal for bulking, but can still offer enough stimulus to prevent catabolism for a few weeks.