Although you do not have to be physically fit to join the Army, getting in shape before your basic training will make the intense ten-week process a little less daunting.
Push-ups, sit-ups and runs. . . .
In order to figure out what you are getting into, and the progress you need to make, familiarize yourself with the Army Physical Fitness Test Standards, which you can conveniently find on the APFT Standards page.. As you can see, APFT consists of three main criteria: push-ups, sit-ups and running. The best way to find out where you fall into these standards, is to self-assess yourself by taking the APFT.
Got some work to do?
Perfect your push ups by practicing proper technique. Be sure that your hands are placed directly under your shoulders—this will distribute your muscle-use more evenly, enabling you to perform better and injury free!
You will be required to perform sit-ups with someone holding down your feet—so be sure to train this way, as it adds a new level of difficulty to this seemingly easy exercise. Army sit-ups are done with hands interlocked behind your head and bringing your body into an upright position. Be sure to let gravity do the work on the way back down—don’t waste time and energy by lowering yourself. It is also important to pace yourself, so that you do not burn out within the first 30 seconds. Set sit-up goals, and practice keeping a steady pace for one and two-minute periods.
In order to get your running up to the APFT standards you will need to incorporate running two miles into your training at a minimum of three days a week. To improve your performance be sure to focus on you breathing, taking deep breaths in and out. Also, focus on your form—always running heel to toe with straight arms.
To decrease your risk of injury while you are preparing for your basic training, always remember to warm up and cool down before and after your workout. The last thing you need is an injury slowing you down once you start. Your warm up should take 10-15 minutes and include light stretching and exercises like jumping jacks. Similarly, your cool down should take 10-15 minutes, of slower movements to bring your heart rate down gradually and prevent injury.
Don’t sweat it
If you still don’t feel prepared you can always check out this free PT Improvement Plan. Also, if you still don’t feel ready, rest assured that your training drill sergeant will get you where you need to be in no time!