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Exercises During 3 Day Military Diet: How to Increase Efficiency of Your Diet Regimen

Exercise during military diet
Angie Moore
Written by Angie Moore

The Military Diet is a new diet plan that is spreading like wildfire across the internet. Even though the name might suggest it, the diet is not connected in any way to the military service; it is just a strict regimen of calorie intake control and maintenance. The food combinations listed in the Military Diet manual is said to be a combination of fat burning foods and vegetables that keep you feeling full.

There are two basic guidelines for this diet:

  1. Follow the meal plan for the first three days. The total calorie intake should be 1200 calories for women and 1300 for men per each day.
  2. Do maintenance for the next four days. The average calorie consumption for maintenance should be about 1500 calories daily for both men and women.

The menu may seem strict at first, but because it allows you to change it with alternative foods that might be more attractive to your taste buds, you might actually enjoy it. But we’re not here to discuss the diet; we are here to check out the type of exercises we should be doing.

The exercise

Even though the diet doesn’t require any exercise and is based only on the fact that the body is absorbing less calories that it normally would, if you want faster and better results you will have to think about it. If you are already following a fitness regimen, you can continue it. However, sometimes there will be a need to customize the exercises in order to adjust reps or weights to your body’s capacity.

Exercise during 3 day military diet

Remember that for any exercise, it is important to do warm ups before the workout and you also need a cool down session right after.

The warm up

This allows your muscles to prepare for a heavier load and helps prevent injury. It warms everything up, hence the name, and loosens the muscles while mentally preparing you for the workout ahead. Optimal performance is also achieved right after a warm-up session.

Warm Up

Some warm up exercises include some light jogging, cycling or rowing. This slowly increases the heart rate and prepares it for a more strenuous exercise. Dynamic stretching can follow right after. You can also do some practice runs of the exercises you are about to do. Breathing exercises are also a great warm-up especially for cardiovascular exercises.

The cool down

Like warm-ups, cool down exercises prepare your muscles for the transition between active to resting state. It reduces the strain on your heart muscle as it cools down and allows you to breathe more easily. It also makes your muscles feel better after an intense workout.

Woman Stretching Her Legs After Workout

Some cool down exercises include breathing exercises like yoga and tai chi. Stretching exercises allow the muscles to loosen some more. Athletes also consider having a massage or taking a cold shower right after the workout.

Where to exercise?

Exercises can be done anywhere; you can do them at home or you can do them at the gym. It really depends on your comfort level.

At home

If you don’t have the time or the money to go to a gym, you can do your exercises at home. All you need is a fitness mattress and a set of exercises that work with your own weight. If you have a WII or another type of gaming console, you can load up games that are specially designed for a quick workout. Also, there are plenty of YouTube channels that will be of great help.

Exercise at home or at gym

Dancing anther exercise you can do at home, just plug in an instructional video and follow the leader. With the proper equipment, you can also do some circuit and interval training.

At the gym

The gym offers the perfect environment for more advanced exercises, and also offer you access to a series of equipment you won’t find at home. Even more, working out with a group of people increases the desire to do more and makes you feel inspired to go beyond your limits as compared to working out alone.

Gym exercises can be high intensity interval trainings or weight circuits, even dance classes, like zumba and aerobics.  Gyms also allow you to socialize and trade tips and tricks with other members.

Excercising in gym

At the end of the day, all that matters is that you will be moving and boosting that calorie burn. Regardless of where you make them, exercises are important in any diet.

Types of workouts

#1: Cardiovascular exercises

Cardiovascular exercises are always good to include in any workout plan. They get your heart rate up and the energy consumption is pretty high. It is also advisable to limit the number of minutes spent doing cardio exercises, especially during a dietary plan like the military one. 20-30 minutes of cardio exercises should be enough to achieve results.

Cardiovascular exercises

Cardio exercises can include running, jogging, cycling, rowing and aerobics. Dancing and exercise gaming can be considered as dynamic cardio exercises since they provide a full range of motions.

The benefits:

  • Stronger lungs and heart muscle
  • Reduced stress
  • More energy afterwards
  • Easy way to keep active
  • Reduces risk of heart disease

#2: Circuit training

A circuit is a series of exercises done consecutively. Each exercise takes about 30 – 60 seconds and you are allowed a few seconds of rest in between. This type of workout can be done for 30 minutes or more without feeling tired as the few seconds of rest allow your muscles to relax before moving to the next set of movements.

Circuit training

Circuit training can be made up of body weight movements or with a pair of dumbbells to develop more muscle and burn more fat.

The benefits:

  • Stronger lungs and heart muscle
  • Increased fitness level
  • Increased metabolism
  • It eliminates boredom as the intensity can be adjusted
  • Good mix of cardio and weight training

Body weight circuits

Body weight circuits burn more calories than steady cardio and it requires no special equipment. As the name states, body weight circuits uses your own body weight as the source of resistance making this exercise something you can do at home or at the gym.

This circuit is a basic set of exercises that help you get the feel of what a circuit is all about.

  • 20 body weight squats – place your legs shoulder width apart and slowly bend your knees forward until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Slowly raise your body up to complete one set.
  • 10 push-ups – lie down with your belly on the floor, place your hands palm down on the floor and slowly raise yourself up using your toes as the focal point to complete one set.
  • 20 walking lunges – take a step forward with your right leg and bend your left leg as if kneeling down. Slowly stand up and repeat this with each leg.
  • 10 dumbbell rows (using a gallon milk jug) – Choose a flat bench and place your right leg on top of the end of the bench, bend your body forward from the waist and place the other hand on the bench for support. Use the other hand to lift the weight off the floor and bring it to your chest. Lower it down to go back to the starting position.
  • 15 second plank – assume a push-up position and raise your body almost parallel to the floor, contract your abdominal area and hold for 15 seconds.
  • 30 Jumping Jacks – stand straight and relax your muscles. Jump up while spreading your legs in the air and clapping your hands over the head at the same time.

Weight circuits

Weight circuits help build more muscle and makes sure that fat is continually burned even after the workout is done.

Weight circuits

All exercises will require at least one dumbbell and no rest is permitted until the entire circuit is complete. Always start with light weights and add more if you feel you can lift more.

You can try this at home using improvised weights or you can also invest in a good pair of dumbbells with adjustable weights.

  • 10 repetitions of push-up rows – this is a modification of the basic push up. Start with a standing position, dumbbells on the side. Slowly lower your back with the dumbbells almost touching the floor, bring them back to your chest and then back to the floor before doing one push up. Return to the starting position.
  • 15 repetitions of goblet squats – do a basic squat but this time hold a dumbbell near your chest like a goblet.
  • 12 repetitions of crunch & press –lie down on the floor with one dumbbell on each hand, bend your knees and then slowly contract your abdominals to bring your upper body up to your knees. Once you’ve peaked, do a press with the dumbbells by stretching your hands out.
  • 10 repetitions of curl & press – stand up with legs shoulder width apart, dumbbells on the side. Bring the dumbbells to your chest and then bring them up overhead. Slowly go back to the starting position.
  • 12 repetitions of lunge & twist – do a walking lunge with a dumbbell pressed on your chest. Perform a twisting motion from left to right before going back to the starting position.

#3: Interval training

Intervals are a series of exercises that are performed in short, intense bursts. A usual set consists of 20 seconds intense intervals followed by a 10 second rest repeated four times. You tend to burn more calories using interval workouts than circuits as the short bursts allow for more muscle development.

Interval training

Your metabolism is also higher after an intense interval workout. Most interval workouts do not involve special equipment so you can try these either at home or at the gym.

The benefits:

  • Stronger lungs and heart muscle
  • Increased fitness level
  • Lose weight faster
  • It eliminates boredom as the intensity can be adjusted
  • Reduced time spent on exercise

Here are some of the more popular interval training workouts:

High intensity interval training (HIIT)

Given that the calorie is lower than usual, this workout is a low-impact cardio workout that uses body weight instead of special equipment. This follows the usual interval format of 20 seconds work followed by 10 seconds of rest.

The entire set is repeated four times. It is important to note that you can opt to keep moving while resting, this is called active rest.

  • Walk down push-ups – place your hands palms down on the floor and slowly “crawl” towards the push up position. Do one push up and “walk back” as you stand up.
  • Squat-kicks – start with a basic squat and kick out one leg as you go back up.
  • Lateral step pulls – assume a standing position and slowly place one leg behind you while doing a rowing motion with your arms. Repeat this for each arm.
  • 3 punch + 2 high knee pulls – from a standing position, pull your knees up while bringing your arms down. Repeat with the other leg and then do some air punches.

Tabata interval training

Tabata intervals are the next level of high intensity interval training workout. These workouts often use just two kinds of exercise, usually the ones that use a full range of motion and use more muscle groups at once.

Tabata interval training

For this work-out, the exercises used are squat jumps and the crowd favorite, burpees.

  • Squat jumps – start with your feet shoulder width apart, do a basic squat and instead of standing up, jump as high as you can using your core. Lower your back again to the squat position upon landing.
  • Burpees – start with your feet shoulder width apart, crouch with your palms on the floor. Extend your legs backward until you are in a push up position. Do one push-up and then retract your legs before standing up. A modified burpee includes a jump after the push before landing on the crouching position.

Consult with a fitness expert which exercises you can do to add to your Military Diet results.

They can also help you determine your level of fitness. A well planned exercise regimen can definitely help you shed those unwanted pounds, especially when combined with a diet plan.

About the author
Angie Moore
Angie Moore

Angie brings a mix of knowledge and experience in diet creation and fitness best practices. With Kansas State University‘s bachelor’s degree in dietetics and over 7 years of experience working with thousands of clients to better their life, Angie is passionate about your health and well-being. She is also a well-known foodie, having published a few books about diets that work. For most of the time, you can find her in the gym working out with friends and clients, pushing them for top results and fulfilled life.

  • Jamey Bronn

    I usually practice at home with my own weights. You just need to pick the exercise that suit you.

    • That’s right Jamey, there’s so many options available today. When you don’ have the time to go to the gym, working out in your own home is just great. There are a lot of apps and videos that can help you a lot.

  • Seth Weaseley

    Instead of cardio and weights, would it be okay to just run and follow the diet closely?

    • Cardio/aerobic exercise, coupled with diet and weight training works wonder in helping you lose that excess weight. Samples of these cardio exercises include walking and running. If you want to lose weight safely and fast, a combination of cardio and strength training with healthy eating is the way to go.

  • Mary Ong

    I actually thought going through a diet and daily exercises at the same time will be hard. But I actually tried the video samples and it turned out great! Those exercises gave me a good sweat and it feels so good! I felt like those stored fats are shaken off and soon will be removed from my body. 🙂

    • I’m glad to hear that the exercise has benefited you Mary! It’s a total workout that you can easily do – all in 10 minutes. As we always say; “Move that body!” You’ll see fantastic results in no time. Just be consistent and determined.

  • Sophia Smith

    More exercise means more calories burnt, but when you are in a diet it’s advisable that it’s always proportional. Exercise makes us feel a lot better physically and mentally.

  • Olivia Johnson

    It really takes a lot of discipline to do this. Exercises done with consistency will really produce visible results.

  • Samantha Taylor

    I guess having a workout buddy would help you stick with your fitness or diet goals. In this way, you have someone who could encourage you and vice versa.

  • Aubrey Moore

    How often do I need to workout alongside diet? I think it would help to not over do it especially when you are dieting.

  • Josi Lopez

    Diet with exercise is a must. Diet could help us lose weight while exercise makes us fit and healthy. It all begins and ends with calorie management.

  • Losing weight takes commitment, there’s no shortcuts for this. While the military diet espouses portion control and calorie counting, it also encourages us to stay active for a more balance outlook.

  • Light cardiovascular exercise is fine when doing the military diet. This means, a short brisk walk or light dancing would be beneficial and will help. Definitely, lifting heavy weights or doing a mile-long run can be done after your 3 day diet. The key is to stay moderately active.

  • Thanks for dropping by Samantha! You’re absolutely right in your view – a diet and fitness partner is most welcome when you’re losing weight. You can choose a close pal or family member as your fitness buddy. They must have the same health goals as you have to make it more effective. Having an accountability partner is a great help. You can both encourage each other and keep each others’ spirits up when there are tough moments in your fitness journey.

  • As they say Olivia, “no pain, no gain!” Think long term and focus on your fitness goals. Sometimes, you have to visualize your end goal which can be a number of things such as being fit, having more energy, being in tip-top change or having clothes that fit well. Eating right and exercising consistently are part of lifestyle choices that you have to make if you want to stay in your ideal weight range.

  • That’s correct. Exercise and diet must go hand in hand if you want to shed more pounds in the long run. Always think of the end results, keep your eyes on the prize and be disciplined in your diet and exercise regimen. When you’re on the military diet, be sure to drink lots of water to stay hydrated and do some light physical activities such as walking to keep fit.

  • Mark Davis

    I do cycling daily every morning going to my work. Could this be a stand alone alternative for the needed exercises for this diet?

  • Andy Miller

    I don’t know if you guys heard about a 25 minute workout with different sets of exercises. It has exercises for cardio, endurance, flexibility, and total body circuit. If your aim is not only to lose weight but to get fit, this might help a lot.

  • Do you mean that cycling can be your exercise of choice when doing the military diet? A definite yes! It’s a cardiovascular exercise that you can safely do, along with walking or dancing.

  • That seemed a great 25 minute workout. You can even opt for just simple cardiovascular exercises such as brisk walking, dancing or a few laps around the pool.

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