Biotest

Reversing the Navy Trend


#1

Here we go.

I’m a junior officer in the Royal Canadian Navy, in the military for six years–including a four year stint at Royal Military College (Canada’s answer to West Point, Annapolis and USAFA, all rolled into one). Not enough quality food, too much stress during courses, and mostly a complete lack of emphasis on physical fitness in the Navy took me from my physical peak (level 9 on the 20m shuttle run, ~55pushups, 75+situps, and able to run a half-marathon almost as fast as my infantry buddies) to where I sit now–barely above the minimum requirements for the PT test.

I played football for five years before I joined the military and did a lot of weightlifting so I do have a decent strength base, but while I did end up with solid endurance/cardio back in the day, right now it’s pretty much crap. One of my secondary duties is as leader of the second wave of the boarding party, so I need to do some tactical stuff and also look the part so when I tell the other somewhat unfit guys on the team that we ought to do some sports or other PT, they don’t tell me to bugger off.

Alongside a typical day is a lot like a normal office worker, but at sea I spend a lot of time standing on the bridge (up to 8 hours a day), walking around the ship, and the near-daily fire exercise where I usually end up playing firefighter.

My ultimate goal is to spend some time in the special forces. I don’t think I’ll want to spend the rest of my career there as I do like driving warships for a living, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and, since I was once almost fit enough to pass the pre-selection test, I figure with some hard work and some better nutrition I’ll be able to get back up there. And I feel like if I don’t try I’ll spend the rest of my life wondering how well I could have done.

Measurements Day 0

Height: 5’10"
Weight: 246lbs
Neck 15.75
Shoulders 51
Chest 45
Waist (at navel) 43
Hips 46
Upper Arm 15
Lower Arm 11.5
Thigh 27.75
Calf 19

I actually don’t have the V-Diet package yet, but FedEx assures me it’ll arrive by end of business tomorrow, and I have Metabolic Drive, HOT-ROX, flaxseed, etc., so I’ll start in the morning and, really, all I’ll miss is a serving of Superfood. I seem to recall Chris saying somewhere that Flameout can either be taken with meals or all at once, so I’ll just spread it out over whatever shakes I have left after picking up the package. I’m starting a week late (compared to when I wanted to start), so I’ll have to finish after going on leave and without the support of a proper gym for a few days, but the only workout I’ll for sure have to do in a living room vice the gym will be the last v-burn. I can deal with that.

I’ll also be sailing for a few days during the diet, but I’ll just bring what I need and do the workoutsâ?¦ and maybe avoid firefighting if I can manage it.

I realize that these aren’t ideal conditions, but I really won’t have time for the V-Diet until the summer–we’ll be doing a lot of heavy sailing this winter/spring, and I want to get in better shape before that happens. Besides, a little challenge never hurt anyone.


#2

Apparently I’m mildly retarded and pasted the same picture three times instead of all three different ones.

Nobody ever accused me of being smart.


#3

hahaha (the last post)

goodluck bro.

I just started last week, its not that bad but watch out for the smells of food: they can drive you crazy sometimes. I am thankful i do not share an office so i don’t have to smell everyone’s lunch.


#4

Got my package this afternoon. OH YEAH!

Not hungry so far. The workout felt really good, though I switched the ab wheel to hand walkouts (I forgot to check if our gym has one, and it doesn’t. I have my own though so I’ll just bring it with me.). I expect the workouts won’t feel as good as the diet goes on, but I can deal with that. Pain is weakness leaving the body, right?


#5

Bleh, aweful day. Woke up feeling fully awake (unusual for me, usually I’m zombie-like practically until I get to work) but the cold I thought I’d gotten rid of is still hanging around. Nothing too bad, and I’ll keep going, it’s just unpleasant.

I ran around all morning at work trying to get stuff done, and it seemed whenever I was close to completion someone needed something else done and I was the only one around to do it.

And then they decided the weather was too bad and we were shutting down for the day so people could get home before traffic got too bad. So I don’t have access to a gym today. I’ll just push the 2nd workout to tomorrow. Not ideal but, as they say in the Army, “adapt and overcome”. I’ll try and go out for my NEPA walk this afternoon but the sidewalks aren’t plowed, so it is for sure going to suck.

In any case, feeling good overall, actually not hungry at all. I have had to chug some of my shakes because I really don’t feel like consuming anything. That’s pretty awesome for a diet program, and it definitely helps morale. Of course I just started, but I’ll just stick with the positive.

On an unrelated note, I put in a memo today to get laser eye surgery and announce my intentions to challenge the ship’s diver course in the spring/summer. I wasn’t really into the idea when I first got out in the fleet, but it’s a demanding course, you get extra pay if you pass (a few hundred a month), it’ll look good on my pers file, and it actually kinda sounds like a fun tertiary job. Mostly it’s for the challenge; the only part I don’t like about my job is that there’s absolutely no emphasis on physical fitness.


#6

hey sir, when do you plan on going for selection? csor or jtf?


#7

Well, I need to get better at running, and I need to be MOC-qualified to apply, so either this summer or this fall. I’ll have to double-check on the cutoff date though; I might have to wait a year, which would give me even more time to get physically and mentally prepared. I’m also going to try to get on a dive course this winter/spring, which will give me an extra skill and help me get fitter.

I’m still debating between the two, really. I was really keen on going JTF (as, I’m sure, 99% of canadians interested in SOF are) but as I put more serious thought into it, I’m starting to think maybe CSOR would be a better fit for me. That said, I feel that I don’t know enough about either to really make an informed decision.

I think the hardest part will be to stay motivated to train when most people onboard don’t train much if at all, and are content to barely pass the EXPRES test. (Not that I can really judge them, considering I was like that for a long time.)


#8

I’m really full on this diet so far (yay!) but today is torture. I went to the wardroom (the officer’s mess) to get some water, and found out that not only is this seafood chowder and poutine* day (as it is every Friday–seafood chowder throughout the RCN and poutine on this ship because we’re the only French unit), but they also had a HUGE mound of sushi. Now, these are two of my favourite foods. I don’t really want to eat them, but at the same time there’s still that twinge of envy of those damned skinny bastards who can eat all that and not get fat.

Also, we had to store the ship manually today (hand-carrying big boxes of frozen food) and my shoulders and biceps are killing me from yesterday’s workout. It’s fine if I’m just sitting around doing nothing, though, so it’s all good–I’m sure Surge helped. I had half a mind to count it as my NEPA for the day, but I’ll still go for a walk after work.

I do have a bit of an issue, though. Next week we’re sailing all week with a fairly busy schedule–I can still make a hole for working out–but we’ll also be without any internet connectivity. I brought enough MD for the week, and I’ll bring Surge and Superfood on Monday before we leave, but I won’t have access to a fridge so I’m a bit worried about the natural nut butter. Will it go bad if I leave it at room temperature for a few days? We have “normal” peanut butter available most of the time, but I’d really rather not eat that.

And the week after, we’re now going to be doing boarding party training. Funny how just as I start to get this done, the schedule changes so it becomes more complicated to get everything done. Oh well. I’ll skip the NEPA walks that week, as we’ll be doing unarmed combat, tactical stuff, rappelling, and a few practice boardings. I don’t think there’ll be an issue with me not eating at lunch (nobody so far has really cared about it) but I might have to push shakes out of the way–have one just before morning training, one at lunch, and probably have to wait until after training is over for the next one.

I’m also trying to figure out what I’m going to do for my HSM. I’m either having it for supper tomorrow, or for lunch Sunday. There’s the Gray Cup happening on Sunday and some of my friends were thinking about getting together to watch it. On the other hand, it might be easier to have the HSM tomorrow, and then just shakes for the game, so I can’t be tempted by crappy food and rationalize it away because it’s an almost-cheat-meal.

*Poutine is the most enjoyable meal ever, but also one of the unhealthiest I can think of.


#9

Oh, one more thing. While I effing love dessert and I really enjoy the idea of sweets for four weeks (banana-strawberry shakes, or adding coconut flavouring to chocolate to make macaroons-flavoured shakes, etc.), I’m really craving salt. It’s pretty much the only recurring desire I have.

Anyone else have that happen?


#10

haha SOF is every soldiers dream. the thing with jtf, is they just changed there selection cycle, it used to be once a year and now its once every 18 months. csor is still every fall.

the minimal pt standard is nowhere near enough for selection. even just passing passing the pre selection fitness test wont have you fit enough. although it saying that selection is alot of mental strength. noone no matter how fit breezes thought selection, every one suffers from day 1. just gotta stay focused and drive teh body

goodluck with training and the dive course. that’ll make you look real good to them


#11

It was my understanding this year’s JTF cycle is changed to 18 months, but it’ll switch back to yearly as they adjust. Not a big deal either way, really. Anyways as far as meeting the standard I intend to get as fit as possible, but for now my goal is to hit the JTF-2 “Standard” level (level 6, with the AFM standard being 3 IIRC).

Another issue that’s been brought up is that I might need to do a Director-level course before I can switch over to SOF. Technically “fully MOC-qualified” for MARS officers is having done our boards, but the system never works the way it’s supposed to. I guess if I have to do it, there’s always the Clearance Diver course, which I’m told is also a good stepping stone to get into SOF. Heh, we’ll see; it seems like every time I talk to the Lt(N)s onboard I learn a new piece of info I didn’t know.


As far as the diet, I had my HSM tonight. I made the West African Stew with spinach mashed fauxtatoes, and it was awesome. I didn’t have jalapenos available (they’re hit and miss at the local grocery store) but I threw in an ethiopian spice mix and that gave it a nice kick. For dessert I had a few small pieces of swiss cheese and grapes.

Next week I think I’ll try that sushi zero recipe. I love smoked salmon.

I’ll weigh in and take measurements/pictures tomorrow morning.


#12

Day 6

Weight: 237lbs (-9)
Neck: 16 (+.25)
Shoulders: 49.75 (-1.25)
Chest: 44 (-1)
Waist: 42.5 (-.5)
Hips: 45.5 (-.5)
Upper Arm: 15 (NC)
Lower Arm: 11.5 (NC)
Thigh: 27.5 (-.25)
Calf: 18.5 (-.5)

I’m decently happy with the numbers so far. I wish more of the inches came from the belly, but I lost 9lbs and a few inches spread out everywhere, so that’s a good start. I didn’t get this fat in one week, so I’m not going to get lean in a week either. Hopefully as my limbs lean out more I’ll start losing fat in the middle.

I’m gonna hope for another 10-ish lbs this week. Usually during a week at sea I’ll lose up to 5lbs (partly from dehydration–lots of sweating and dry recirculated air) so hopefully I can combine that with a decent amount of “extra” fat loss. That said, I won’t be unhappy if I lose less and lose a couple more inches.

VBurn (Intermediate) time was 30:59, though to be fair I failed–couldn’t get all the clap pushups so I ended up doing a lot of normal ones instead. Hopefully I can improve my time AND get the claps. But man did that circuit kick my ass.

Looking forward to my HSM next Saturday, and seeing how things turn out measurements-wise.

Edit: Forgot to mention, working out on the ship made me realize how bad I want my own garage gym someday. The “gym” is smaller than my living room, and has no squat rack for fairly obvious reasons, but I like the fact that it’s cramped, dark, damp, and nobody trains there. I’ll try and snap some pics this week.

Also I’ll put up pics of myself later today.


#13

Almost forgot to upload the pictures…


#14

Well, I stumbled and fell flat on my face. Then I dusted myself off and kept on going.

Wednesday was a really bad day and I spent all day running around with no chance of getting a shake in until almost dinner time. At one point while we were doing a boarding exercise I started feeling a little weak and dizzy which, I can assure you, is not a good feeling while you’re walking around on pitching deck holding a submachine gun. So I had dinner in the wardroom. It wasn’t too bad; sausage, sauerkraut, boiled carrots, cheese, and a few pieces of fresh veggies. I went back on shakes for my next feeding and kept it up since.

Had my HSM tonight, breakfast pizza with leftover spinach fauxtatoes. I only have frozen fruit left so I’ll try and make some kind of smoothie with it for dessert. I thought about skipping the HSM because of the hiccup this week but I decided psychologically it would probably work better if I just keep on schedule and more or less ignore the past.

Anyways this week some people commented that I look like I’ve been working out more (yay!) and I do feel a little “tighter”.

I’ll post pictures and measurements tomorrow.


#15

Day 13 (weekly change) (total)
Weight: 233 (-4) (-13)
Neck: 16 (NC) (+.25)
Shoulders: 50 (+.25) (-1)
Chest: 43.5 (-.5) (-1.5)
Waist: 41 (-1.25) (-1.75)
Hips: 45 (-.5) (-1)
Upper Arm: 15.25 (+.25) (+.25)
Lower Arm: 12 (+.5) (+.5)
Thigh: 27.5 (NC) (-.25)
Calf: 18.75 (+.25) (-.25)
VBurn: 25:22 (-5:39) (still didn’t do all clap pushups, but last set was perfect reps only… could have broken 25min easily otherwise)

So I messed up this week and still managed decent numbers. My belly isn’t changing as much as I’d like but from the pics it does look like it’s improving. My pecs are also starting to look like pecs instead of moobs. I’m not sure what was up with the VBurn last week–it didn’t feel easy this week, but it felt a lot easier, and I don’t think the extra 4lbs made that much of a difference.

I hope I can lose another 5lbs per week for the last two. At my “healthiest” I hovered around 205-210 (in fact I don’t think I’ve gone below 205 since I was 14 and started lifting) so if I can get close to 220 it’ll be pretty awesome. Hopefully I can get under 200 this spring, maybe doing a VDiet Lite or IF… or just eating really clean.

I’m starting to try and decide what I’m going to do after the Christmas holidays. I’m getting three weeks off without access to a gym, (I’ll do pushups, chins, and other BW stuff) and then I have five or six weeks before I sail again. I’m leaning towards 5/3/1 to put on a bit more muscle and build some strength.

We’ll see.


#16

Excellent news: I’m starting to see the veins on my forearms. It’s dumb and not a huge success, but I haven’t seen them in almost three years. Hello, friends!

Good news: I can bench almost as much as I can squat.

Bad news: my squat is crap.


#17

Day 20 (weekly change) (total)
Weight: 231 (-2) (-15)
Neck: 15.75 (-.25) (NC)
Shoulders: 50.75 (.75) (-.25)
Chest: 43 (-.5) (-2)
Waist: 39.75 (-1.5) (-3.25)
Hips: 44.75 (-.25) (-1.25)
Upper Arm: 15.5 (+.25) (+.5)
Lower Arm: 12 (NC) (+.5)
Thigh: 27.5 (NC) (-.25)
Calf: 18.25 (-.5) (-.75)

Last week was crap. It was stressful and busy and I ended up skipping shakes and trying to make up later. I also cut out the HOT-ROX as it was making me feel really weird during exercises and boardings. I’m starting to feel like an idiot for embarking on the VDiet in these conditions–I should have planned for a better time to get it doneâ?¦ ah well, 15lbs and 3 1/4 inches on my waist in 3 less-than-ideal weeks is pretty good.

I also joined a new gym this week. It’s about a five minute’s drive from my place and is actually open at times I want to work out, unlike the base gym. It also has parking space and isn’t all the way across town. It has a swimming pool and sauna, indoors track (important in the winter), a few BB courts, and a decent weight room.

As far as results, I’m not super happy with this week, though as I mentioned over an inch lost around the waist is pretty awesome. I don’t think it came through quite well in the pictures but I feel a lot tighter and leaner. There’s better separation in my muscles, especially in the legs. My forearm veins are popping in and out–some days I see them, some days I don’t–but hopefully as I keep losing fat I’ll see them more and more. I also feel like my face is leaning out.

This week will be a bit less than ideal as well; we’re having a day sail tomorrow, I’m on duty Thursday, and I’m going on leave Friday (driving off pretty much right after I get off duty). I might try and do the three workouts Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday, or do the last workout Friday morning before driving away.

I’ve also found that as I’m losing fat, the semi-joking toxic comments are getting worse. Friday is poutine and battered fish day onboard (you can sometimes get baked fish but they make very little of it) and I decided to be social and have my shake while people were eating, and I got a lot of comments about it, most of them negative or “joking.” Yeah, because drinking a protein-and-superfood shake is so much worse than eating poutine and battered fish and washing it down with a pop.

We’ll see how this week goes, I guess.


#18

Day 30 (weekly change) (total)
Weight: 227 (-4) (-19)
Neck: 15.5 (-.25) (-.25)
Shoulders: 50.75 (NC) (-.25)
Chest: 43 (NC) (-2)
Waist: 39 (-.75) (-4)
Hips: 44.5 (-.25) (-1.5)
Upper Arm: 15.25 (-.25) (+.25)
Lower Arm: 11.75 (-.25) (+.25)
Thigh: 27.5 (NC) (-.25)
Calf: 18 (-.25) (-1)

Didn’t get to take photos/measurements before because I was on the road and had no internet available.

I actually ended a day early, mostly because I can’t count. I did a day of IF while doing the bulk of my travelling (11 hours of driving), went back to the shakes, then sortof went for a transition. I jumped into two HSM a day right away and I’m regretting it (just gotta do the diet as designed, right?) as I feel a bit bloated by all the extra food. I’ll try and keep up the extra shakes this week but I’ll be visiting the girlfriend’s family so it will be extra-hectic and not necessarily worth the aggravation at family parties–of which there will be a lot.

Overall I’m pretty happy with this. I’ve gotten good comments from a lot of people (especially this past week, for some reason) and, well, losing 19lbs in 30 days is pretty damned impressive, especially considering I cheated a few times and almost fell off the wagon. Yeah, I’m bad, but the cheats were things like chicken breast, broccoli and cheese. I still don’t really want junk food, which is great. Funny how what I see as “cheats” now are healthy foods.

I don’t feel like the pictures do justice to how much better I feel. My belly is still there (not for long!) and it annoys me to no end, but my arms and legs just feel leaner and harder.

Anyways, hopefully this is an experience I’ll only go through once. I’ve got a lot of weight left to lose but I think it’ll be easier now that I’ve got some momentum going. My new goal is to get to 199lbs by June. I’ll be going to Florida for a wedding and, having never been anywhere “warm”, I intend to take full advantage of the beaches. I also just want to break through 200lbs.

My plan as it stands now is to relax during the holidays (some BW stuff, mostly clean foods, but no hard training and no orthorexia), then tighten up the diet again and start hard training again. I was thinking about 5/3/1 or another strength-specific program, but instead I’ll go for one of the Army’s pre-SOF plans–they’re broken into convenient 4-week blocks anyways, so it fits just right with the time I have. After that is workups (4 weeks of pain, sleep deprivation, not enough food, and seasickness), which should help strip off some fat. After WUPS I should have 11 or 12 weeks before I fly to Florida, so I’ll probably go back to the Army program (which is 12 weeks, including a taper week).

Here’s to a six-pack in 2012!