This is a guest post from one of our members Roger G.I. Joe (his real name has been changed to protect his identity). Roger G.I. Joe recently went on an army training camp for a few weeks, when he got back to the gym he looked a new man at 10kg’s lighter. I asked Roger G.I. Joe to do a write up about his experience, and some of the learnings he can share. Enjoy.
Being a former Regular Force soldier and now a Territorial Soldier and Uni student, I had always adopted the army ethos “Fit to Fight”. After just returning from the 5 week Army Aumangea Assessment course which tested candidates physical and mental toughness, in order to provide candidates with confidence and learning experience to WIN. Having put my body and mind through hell and back, I was not just mentally stronger, I also managed to lose 10kgs in the process. Here are eight conditions I experienced which aided me in my weight loss.
1. Reduced food intake.
Normally in the Army, soldiers are feed very well due to the physical activities we have to endure. But during this course we were trained to push on and beyond, with only a couple of handfuls of food (if that) per day. During our survival phase of seven days we didn’t consume anything for 36 hours.
2. Increase water intake.
Water was our ultimate resource. When there were instances of having no food, water was our only substitute, therefore we were consuming a lot more than normal.
3. Walk. Everywhere. With a Pack.
The total weight of the NZ Army Full Service Marching Orders (Pack) with Steyr rifle was 35kgs. We covered approximately 200km over five weeks over various terrain, roads, track, goat tracks, hills, mud slides, inclines, also in all types weather rain and hail! 60km being covered on the last leg taking approxmitely 15 hours, 12 of which in total darkness over gravel roads. “If it aint raining, its not training”
4. Vary your activity
By having different activities or excercises to perform keeps you motivated and enthusiastic. Our longest day consisted of a Medical stand, which included carry to ‘injured’ persons over 1km of swampland. An Pack floatation, having to make a buoyancy aid with your pack , webbing and rifle and ‘float’ across a 300m pond and back (4 degrees) and retrieve three 10kgs weights and a 60min session of intense unarmed combat. Then onto trucks, to be dropped off and made to walk 3.5 hours covering 15 kms over a long and straight beach, fun!
5. Carry your mate (One up from working out with your mate).
Carry your pack plus someone else can add a little more challenge to your daily walk, during the medical stand we had to carry our ‘injured’ over a distance. During the final walk there were guys who were ‘crawling’ there way to the finish, so with a bit of verbal encouragement they were able to pick their pace up and right to the end.
6. Only eat what you can catch.
During the survival stage on the course we had to source our own food and water. We managed to catch a couple of goats, sheep and yes, opossum! Catching these types of food sources do require a lot of energy and definitely with the opossum exerted more energy than to catch it.
Our sleep varied on the course, at times limited to only 5 hours per night. Other times we got a plentiful 12 hours, especially when we knew there was big task ahead.
8. Be on time.
Timings are essential for the Army, it ensures everything runs smoothly, if they are not made there are dire consequences. By doing an activity quicker meant we got more time to rest and prepare for the next task. We missed a timing for a truck pick up and it left without us, a 5 km walk lay ahead!