In the upcoming July 2014 issue of TACTICAL WEAPONS, R. Lee Ermey, popularly known simply as “The Gunny,” talks about staying in shape and offers some of his lean Marine techniques.

The Gunny writes, “When Gunnery Sergeant Hartman caught Private Pyle with a jelly doughnut in Full Metal Jacket, the air in the barracks was rent with the Drill Instructor’s screams. Jelly doughnuts and Marines in fighting shape don’t go together.

“Actor Vince D’Onofrio, who played Private Pyle, was actually a slim young man who got fat because he was an actor going to work. If you get that fat, you may not be able to get any work. And you may not be able to do the work properly once you have the job.

“When I turned 70 the other day, I hopped on the scale and smiled with great satisfaction at what I saw: 185. I had lost 35 pounds in the past year. That’s right. Before my diet, The Gunny had let fat sneak up on him. Here’s how it happened.

“Back when I turned 65, I wasn’t the railroad-spike, lean-and-hard, Devil Dog Marine I once was. Nevertheless, I was in decent shape, able to hump it up the hills hunting, stand all day at conventions, and play golf in the 80s—with my drives just as long as they were in my 50s, about 250 yards.

“Then I began doing what a lot of seniors do: relaxing a little about fitness and diet, slacking off on my exercise routines, helping myself to more grub than I needed. Pretty soon, I realized that my slowing metabolism was turning me into a fat-body, a condition I despise.

“Now I have fought back—with diet and exercise and determination. Particularly exercise. I’m in good shape again as I write these words, walking 18 holes, doing everything I want physically, and feeling fit and energetic. And I’m here to tell you that as your metabolism slows in your senior years, unless you stay physically active and maintain a sensible diet, you are going to become a fat-body.”

To learn more, check out the July 2014 issue of TACTICAL WEAPONS, available on newsstands and digitally May 20, 2014. To subscribe, go to

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