Get in Shape: Physical Fitness Tips from the Military


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After making the decision to enlist in the military, you need to start working on getting yourself in shape. Every branch of the military has certain requirements that you much meet for physical fitness, and while you will go through rigorous training in order to prepare you and make you stronger, you will not be accepted if you cannot base the basic requirements.


The best way to prepare yourself is to start training as soon as possible, and the following tips will help keep you on track.


Know your requirements.

Do some research online or talk to your recruiter to learn the requirements you must meet in order to pass your physical fitness testing. Some branches require that you do a minimum number of situps and pushups or run a certain distance in  a certain amount of time. When you know what exactly is expected of you, you can better prepare yourself for success.


Do a pre test.

You won’t know what areas you need to work on the most if you don’t know where you currently stand. Once you find out what the basic requirements are, do a pre-test on yourself to see if you can already pass or if you need improvement. This will help you determine the best plan of action to take to ensure that you pass all areas of the testing. It’s important to note, though, that just because you can already meet the requirements, you should never slack off. Continuing to train for your testing will help ensure you pass and will better prepare you if the basic requirements were to suddenly change.


Make a plan, but be realistic.

Create a detailed fitness plan that focuses on everything. Smartphone apps like My Fitness Coach can help you make a detailed plan and keep track of your progress.  Make sure to work extra hard on the areas that need improvement, but don’t forget to still work on everything, as the more prepared you are for a physical fitness test, the better off you’ll be.


You also need to make sure that your plan is realistic. If you are slightly out of shape, using a fitness plan already made for active members of the military is not going to work. You need to ease your way into more strenuous plans by starting off slow. Once you’ve mastered one plan, make it a bit harder.


Set goals.

Motivation is the hardest part of any training, but setting goals can easily help you stay on track. Make smaller goals and then reward yourself when you reach them. Reaching smaller goals will eventually lead to a bigger goal, and reaching a goal is a great sense of accomplishment. Once you have reached the goals for your training, you can set a goal for your actual fitness test. This will help keep you motivated during testing and push you to do your very best.


Being physically fit is extremely important when it comes to being in the military, and starting a fitness plan before enlisting is a smart way to make sure that you are prepared to meet (and hopefully exceed) all of the basic requirements. The more in shape you can be before testing will better prepare you for the rigorous training you will go through as a soldier.

Steven Peters is in the army and specializes in military parachuting.  He enjoys blogging about his experience getting into the army and often gives advice to people considering joining the military.

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