Gain Lean Mass while Deployed


Hello, I'm a 72" tall, 179 pound guy with 10% body fat at the moment.

I am deployed in Afghanistan right now and have been working out pretty frequently since I have been here, but I am having a lot of trouble gaining the lean mass I want to.

In the mornings I do light Crossfit and sometimes just sprints, except Saturdays and Sundays. I work out at the gym between 5 and 6 days a week doing two muscle groups a day and ABs every other day.

I eat as much protein as I can and a limited amount of fats, calories, and carbs when possible, because of the food the army serves us here .lol.

I use optimum whey protein 2 to 3 times a day and casein protein before I go to sleep, along with animal packs in the mornings. For pre workout I either use N.O. shotgun, or Super pump.

Can you help me? What should I change? Can you give me a great workout schedule? 

I really want to gain at least 10lbs of muscle before I get home. We have a few machines in our gym but most everything is free weights.

The machines include one for leg extensions, the leg press, shoulder press, and a calve raise machine among a few others, but like I said we do have a lot of free weights.


Answered by:
Dan Tatro, NSCA-CPT

Dan Tatro Online Personal Training



Sounds like you have a good backbone of knowledge with fitness and exercise.  You say you are having a lot of trouble gaining lean mass? 

I'm guessing being in the army you are doing a lot of running for PT, perhaps daily? 

You should do 3 -4 exercises per body part, 4 sets per exercise, and do 6-8 reps per set.  You need to work hard. 

A 6-8 rep max.  3 -4 exercises per body part.   I would try focuses on one body part daily, we alternate days from a "PUSH-PULL" perspective. 

I suggest stay away from the machines if you can and focus on hitting the free weights hard. 

I then suggest you alternate core and abs throughout the week.

For example:

Monday - chest , core

Tuesday - back, abs

Wednesday - triceps, core

Thursday - biceps , abs

Friday - shoulders , core

Sat - Legs, abs


I suggest you research the following products as I have used them myself and seen amazing results in a short period of time:

  • Nutek Pro 5 - Protein

  • NOC - Nitric Oxide Complex

  • Kre-Alkalyn

  • Nutek - Natures Fuel - Powdered Vitamin

  • Fuzion k AKG

  • GL6 Advanced Glutamine Complex

Be sure to consult with a supplement specialist if you are unsure of the correct usage of these products. 


As far as chow goes, I know Kandahar and Bagram have a good selection of meals with protein (tuna, chicken, fish etc...)  If you are at a firebase , try and get tuna mailed to you and be sure to ask for a can opener! 

I know some of the firebases over there are kind of weak on the protein for chow, but there are ways to work around it. 

Stay safe....

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