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How to Get In Shape for Military Bootcamp

Updated on December 28, 2014

People all over the U.S. are joining the military. Wether its for financial opportunity, education, a caeer, or simply to give life some direction. The decision to join can be a big tough one. Once you have made the decision to join one of our countries fine military branches, the next step is to get ready. After I enlisted in the navy in 2012, my main concern was making it through boot camp. Many of us have heard the horror stories of boot camp, or maybe even know people who didn't make it through. Military boot camp is both a mental and physical challenge and you should do everything you can in order to not only survive bootcamp, but also excell in it. Each branch has different mental and physical expectations. Its best to prepare yourself for the physical aspect of basic training so that when you get there, you have one less thing to worry about. Get ready for basic Training with these simple steps.

Know Your Branches Requirements

Each branch has its own physical fitness standards. These standards have to be met, and maintained throughout your military career. The standards vary, depending on what branch you join, the Marines have the highest standards as they are actual fighters, while the Air Force has the lowest since they are more on the intelligent side. Its important to know what your branches standards are, so that you can ensure that you are ready for basic training when the time comes. I do not have any experience in any of the branches, except for the Navy. With them, they do not expect you to come in at the required fitness level, but they work you out six days a week so that by the end of your training you can meet the requirements. The thing to remember about basic training is that it is designed to help you succeed in the military. I suggest researching the requirements for your specific branch so that you can know what is expected of you.

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Can you currently meet your branches PFT requirements?

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Make a Plan

So now you know what you are expected to do, and you may not be able to do it at this point in your life, but with some hard work and dedication you can get to where you need to be. You may be wondering "Where do I start?". In order to get in shape for military bootcamp you will need a work out plan. One of my favorite quotes is "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." which was originally said by Benjamin Franklin. This quote is very true, and something to keep in mind when your preparing for basic training or military bootcamp. In order to get the best results possible you need to set a good plan. The best way to form a workout plan to prepare for bootcamp or basic training is to follow these three steps. First, you need to set goals for yourself using the requirements for your military branch, these goals should include an end date. Your end date indicates when you need to achieve these goals by. make sure that you give yourself sufficient time to achieve your goals. Its unlikely that you can go from 0 to 100 push ups overnight. Second, choose what days and times you will work out. I prefer Monday Wednesday and Friday mornings for strength training, then cardio on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday nights. Find what days and times work best for your schedule, the better they fit into your daily life the better. Choosing difficult time slots for working out, can make it hard to stick to your routine. The third and final step is to write out your plan. I find that writing your plan out makes it more real. Just thinking what your going to do in your head, isn't the same as having a physical plan that you can look at everyday. I like to write out my goals, then how Im going to achieve them with my workouts. Then I mark on my calendar what days i will be working out and what I will be doing. Having a visual plan will get you on your way to being prepared for military bootcamp.

I used pictures for my motivation.
I used pictures for my motivation. | Source

Find Your Motivation

Fear was my first motivation for getting ready for bootcamp. I was afraid of failing, of not being in good enough shape to succeed. But fear is not always enough of, my fear quickly wore of as i found I wasn't in as bad of shape as i thought. And i quickly began to lose interest in my work out plan. It was easier to be lazy and not work out than to make a real effort. My slacker mentality kept me from getting the best results possible from my work out plan. Find something that motivates you, something to keep you going when you want to give up. You need motivation that makes you push through that last pushup, or run that last mile. I found that looking at picturs helped me a lot, I looked at tons of pictures of women with six pack abs, and imagined what they would look like on me. I took before pics of my body, and tracked my progress in how many inches or weight I lost. I also found that telling people, such as family and friends what i was trying to do helped as well. having people ask me how my workout was going, really pushed me to continue to achieve my goals. Even if it was just to avoid having to say that I had given up. I also found people to work out with. I started to run with my sister, running with her helped me to push myself and try harder. Working out with othersis great motivation, especially if your competitive like I am. having some one there with me, kept me from giving up because I didn't want to "lose". Find what motivates you and use it to keep you working out and working towards your fitness goals.

Your Recruiters are a good go-to to get any questions answered
Your Recruiters are a good go-to to get any questions answered | Source

Get Advice

No one really knows what military boot camp is like, except for people who have already been. While you are preparing yourself, ask as many questions as possible to someone who can give you good advice. If you don't know anyone in the military, ask your recruiter. There are also a great many resources online that can give you an idea of what basic training is like. First hand experiances are the best, but if that isn't available to you don't be afraid to search through blogs, forums, and discussions to find your answers. Once you have enlisted and are in the DEP program, waiting to leave for basic, take advantage of any opportunities that your recruiter tells you about. For example, my DEP program met once a month for a meeting, where they told us any Navy news, taught us skills, and had people come and visit like A-school graduates and people who were new to the fleet. This gave us the opportunity to have our questions answered and get a little more mentally prepared for bootcamp.

As a Basic Training graduate, and current A school student, I have first hand experience as to what bootcamp is like. I can tell you as well as anyone else who has been through it that it can be challenging. Waking up before the crack of dawn, exercising everyday, running on little to no sleep, marching, learning, testing. Being motivated through yelling, swearing, and hard workouts. Bootcamp is quite an experience, one that I'm glad that I lived through. If you have any questions about what military life is like, or what mental and physical challenges its made up of feel free to ask me.

Its your decision to join the Armed Forces, and its your responsibility to make sure that your ready for it. In the end, the only thing pushing you forward or holding you back is you. While you are in basic, you will constantly have people motivating you to better yourself, but once you are out to your duty station, or even your technical training, all of that is gone and you have to depend on yourself for motivation. Don't sit around and wait for your superiors in basic training to whip you into shape, and get you ready for the military. Take it upon yourself to be the be st that you can be. If you really want to be a sailor, airman, or soildier take it upon yourself to do whatever it takes to get there. Going through military training is a challenge, but its well worth it in the end when you finally graduate basic and are officially a sailor/airman/soldier. The physical requirements are not unattainable, and if you want it bad enough you can work up to achieving them. I hope these simple steps help you to achieve your goal of serving in the military, and i hope to see some of you in the fleet!


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