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How to prepare for boot camp?

Updated on March 7, 2013

How to prepare for boot camp?

Although this site is about how to prepare for boot camp, let me make one thing clear!

Boot camp is not a camp for boot makers and enthusiasts, but a training camp where recruits, officers learn basic military procedures. The aspects success are numerous. One has to:

- be physically fit

- be mentally and emotionally strong

- have the will and desire to succeed

Since you are here you probably have the desire to succeed all worked out. Let us look at the other aspects you needed

to cover. Now lets see how to prepare for boot camp!

All images on the site are public domain and property of the US government.

A few stories to warm up

I would like to share my experience, before we start preparing for boot camp

Two stories from my experience have remained in my memory.

About the will to succeed

Will is a tricky thing for some. It is what makes your desires, wishes come true.

When i was in my third week of training, we had to carry all our equipment and weaponry with us to a distant location. Does not look too hard, does it? Well the sad and for me delightful part of the story is, that not all of us made it. No one died of course, but some gave up. I was a scrawny little thing, weighing about as much as a woman of my age. But i made it. So did the women. All of them!

Who did not make it? The loud mouths who talked big and had little to back it up. Confidence is great, but backing your talk up is even better.

I remind myself of that delightful moment when the loudest and most hardcore bad ass in our group gave up. Such poetic justice! I must say that moment brings back fond memories.

Remember, you can accomplish your goals, but with effort.

About being ready

Have you ever done circuit training? It is basically one exercise after another. Or maybe have you done martial arts endurance training (again one exercise after another)? Well the experience will teach you that you will always be tired. You can not prepare for anything in the military because you will always be in situations you did not train for.

Need an example?

Say you can do 100 push ups. But what about doing 25 sit ups, 25 push ups, 25 burpees? Not the same thing is it. Even if you trained those exercises to perfection the stress on your body is not controlled like in exercises. Therefore never say i am ready! Say, i have trained!

I hope you got the point. Some go in unprepared physically, but succeed. I would not recommend that. The safest bet is preparing the best you can and compensating the rest with willpower.

Now stop reading my boring stories and lets see how to prepare for boot camp.



Preparing for boot camp by getting stronger physically and mentally.

When practicing, doing exercises you are at the same time training your mental endurance. So lets see what are the recommended exercises needed in preparing for boot camp:

  • push ups
  • sit ups
  • running
  • resistance training- weights, body weight exercises

As you can probably tell, the most important part of sit ups, push ups and running is building endurance. Endurance comes in getting used to the acid in your muscles so they do not ache. It means getting a higher lung capacity. It means being able to repeat exercises with no effort.

When i started training push ups i did it in a way that enabled me to do over a hundred. I did thousands of push ups every day. I don't think that was needed, it did not help me win any contests.

See the following sections for a description of various boot camps for the US armed forces and how to prepare for them!

A question for the readers! - Answer this question about boot camps!

Are you shipping off in the future?

preparing for boot camp
preparing for boot camp

US army boot camp guide

How to prepare for the boot camp in the Army.

How to prepare for the US army boot camp

United States Army basic training is composed of two parts:

- BCT, basic combat training performed as a group- 10 weeks

- AIT, advanced individual training- from 6-52 weeks depending on the MOS (chosen career path, speciality)

BCT and AIT can and are in some cases joined together in OSUT (one station unit training).

The US Army physical fitness test

The tested exercises are push ups, sit ups and a two mile run.

The minimum for passing a PFT is 180 points (60 points in each of the categories), the maximum is 300. To get a physical fitness badge you need to accomplish 270 or more points (90 in all three categories). The test takes age and gender into consideration (when running or doing push ups).

Male PFT standards:

- 71 push ups for 100 points, 42 to pass

- 78 sit ups for 100 points, 53 to pass

- 13 min for a 2 mile run for 100 points, 15 min 54 seconds to pass

Female PFT standards:

- 42 push ups for 100 points, 19 to pass

- 78 sit ups for 100 points, 53 to pass

- 15 min 34 seconds for a 2 mile run for 100 points, 18 min 54 seconds to pass

Rangers have a slightly higher standard and do at least 6 chin ups and a five mile run as well.

how to prepare for boot camp
how to prepare for boot camp

US navy boot camp guide

How to prepare for boot camp in the navy?

How to prepare for the US navy boot camp

The navy boot camp takes place at an RTC (recruit training center).

The boot camp consists of eight weeks of training, at the end of which you are tested in the Battle stations exercise. After graduating you are sent off for further education and service on board.

The US Navy physical readiness test

The test includes:

- push ups

- sit ups

- sit and reach

- 1.5 mile run

The sit and reach is not as important and usually does not mean someone will fail because of it.

The scoring for the navy PRT is quite different than the PFT the Army uses:

Outstanding- top 10 percent

Excellent- under 90 and above 75 percent

Good- under 75 percent and above 50 percent

Satisfactory- under 50 percent and above 25 percent

Failure- bottom 10 percent

As you can see, the last 10 percent get a fail, no matter their performance, unlike the PFT of the Army where every soldier could theoretically pass. There are some exceptions that allow a partial pass.

usaf boot camp guide
usaf boot camp guide

US air force boot camp guide

Preparing for boot camp in the USAF.

How to prepare for the Air force boot camp

The boot camp for the air force is called a BMT (basic military training). It takes place over 8 weeks and a half. At graduation you get the title airman and can attend a technical school.

United States Air Force fitness assessment

The FA (fitness assessment) has the following scoring system:

You can achieve 100 points. You need 75 to pass, 90 to have the highest rating of excellent. The scoring goes as follows:

- 1.5 mile run, up to 60 points

- waist composition, up to 20 points

- push ups, up to 10 points

- crunches, up to 10 points

Male standards:

To pass you need to have a run time below 13 min 36 seconds, do 42 sit ups and 33 push ups. Waist composition below: 39.0 inches.

Female standards:

Run time below 16 min 22 seconds, 38 sit ups and 18 push ups. Waist composition below 35.5 inches.

US Marine corps guide

Preparing for boot camp in the USMC.

How to prepare for the Marine corps boot camp

13 weeks of Marine corps recruit training is deemed to be the most demanding of the boot camps. The boot camp is long lasting, very demanding (especially compared to the others) and requires decent marksmanship knowledge and skills as well.

The US Marine core physical fitness test

The test itself is different for each gender, women do flexed arm hangs while the men do pull ups. Maximum score is 300. 285 qualifies for honors.

PFT scores for males:

Pull ups- each is worth 5 points, 20 pull ups give the maximum of 100 points. Minimum is three pull ups.

Crunches- 100 under 2 minutes. Minimum is 44.

3 mile run in under 18 minutes. Maximum is 28 minutes.

PFT scores for females:

Flexed arm hang- 70 seconds. Minimum is15 seconds of hanging.

Crunches- 100 under 2 minutes. Minimum is 44 in 2 minutes.

3 mile run in under 21 minutes. Maximum of 31 minutes to pass.

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User comments - Comments on boot camp preparations

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    • CaztyBon profile image

      CaztyBon 4 years ago

      Nice lens, very cut and dried. You also need to be ready mentally and emotionally.