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Making Fitness a Lifestyle

man holding a weight above his head

Daniel Markert

My name is LTC Daniel Markert and I am an infantry officer in the California Army National Guard. I have watched as the years passed, the kids grew, and the war dragged on. On again, off again alerts for mobilization, and a tour as a rear detachment commander for an infantry battalion that saw heavy combat, built on the stress of not going and the family stress of disrupted lives. I was getting fatter and less fit each year. Fitness and nutrition “reboots” never lasted more than six to eight weeks, derailed by injury, illness, or an added stressor to the schedule.

In 2010, I volunteered to go to Afghanistan as an advisor to the Afghanistan National Army. Two months into post-mobilization training I was doing much better fitness wise, but was still very over fat. All that lovely fried food at Camp Shelby! I found a tactical fitness program that solved the injury and illness problems by incorporating active recovery in joint mobility restoration and compensatory stretching in a body weight-conditioning program that progressed in movement sophistication.

While deployed, I changed my nutrition away from sugar and grains to more raw food from the salad bar and lean meats. At 5 feet 10 inches I started at 216 pounds with a 41-inch waist, about 33 percent body fat (which is non-compliant!). Twelve months later, I came home at 193 pounds, had a 36-inch waist, and 20 percent body fat. Six months later, tightening my nutrition discipline, I was down to 181 at 18 percent body fat and a 34-inch waist.

Three years later after starting training and eating simple real food, I weighed in at 183 pounds, 17 percent body fat, and a 34-inch waist. In 2013, my last three APFT scores were 298, 300, and 300. At 44 years old I was more fit now than I was at 24. Training protocols allow me to work out every day—cycling in no-intensity joint mobility drills, low-intensity yoga compensation, and medium- and high-intensity bodyweight, and kettlebell and clubbell conditioning.

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