Does boot camp get you in shape? It doesn’t matter if you are talking fitness bootcamp or the real military boot camp – the answer is yes. Try this military boot camp workout below for a couple weeks and tell me it ain’t so.
Developing strength for the army will mostly come down to the ability to be able to use your body easily on any plain of movement. Occasionally you will need to lift heavy objects like motor base plates, ammo boxes, different calibers of machines guns and of course in the worst case scenario, people. Seldom do exercises like bench presses serve a purpose. Bodyweight movements like chins and dips or better yet muscle ups that will help you lift yourself up over something are more what you need.
When we’d go on exercise out in the field there was always something that would come up where strength played a key roll in getting the job done. It could be as simple as having enough grip and back strength to free a stuck cocking handle on your C6 GPMG. You never know when you will need to help re-track a M113 or move some tires for a LAV and that’s just to start. Computer-generated scenarios of an invasion of Western Europe have had artillerymen loading from 300 to 500, 155mm-howitzer rounds at 95-lb pounds a piece while moving from 6 to 10 times each day over 8 to 12 days.
So how do you build up to carrying loads exceeding 100 pounds over great distances? Because it’s one thing to be strong so you can do the job, it is a completely different thing when the results of your physical training could be the determining factor in if you survive a situation or not.
Five traditional weight training exercises that you will find handy in multiple real life scenarios are Lunges, Clean and presses, Dips, Chin ups and Deadlifts.
Lunges. You’ll find yourself stepping over and stumbling with more than bodyweight quite frequently. The lunges will prepare you for this. Most people just starting to gear up in fitness level will do just fine with bodyweight. Once you can do 3 sets of 12 with your bodyweight you are ready for more advance stuff.
Clean And Presses – These are a wicked weight training exercise but what do you do if you do not have access to heavy enough weights for it? Combine a headstand leg raise with a head stand shoulder press. Hard yes. Awesome, totally.
Deadlifts. These are basically the bottom of the clean and press except usually done a lot heavier because you do not have to get it to your shoulders and then over head. You’re basically picking it off the floor and standing up. That’s all. All rep ranges should be covered with this exercise in training so that everything from loading 50 ammo cans to picking up the 50 cal will be within you ability level.
What do you do if you do not have 300 pounds of weights? Lift the back end of a car if it has a metal bumper. If not then it’s back to bodyweight. Just like with clean and presses, you can do the head stand leg raise. To make it heavier, you can strap a light weight to your feet. With the huge lever of your legs, it gets heavy very quick.
Dips and Chin Ups – These two together will cover 90% of upper body pushing and pulling. When you can easily do 5 sets of 5 reps or 4 sets of 6 reps (another favorite of mine) then its time to either pick a more challenging variation like one arm chins or to add more weight. Traditionally people added weight with a dipping/chinning belt that goes around the waist. For myself, I don’t like the weight around my waist because it pulls you out of the groove. Because of this I prefer heavy chain if it’s around or using rope with plates tied to each end. Then I can just pick it up and put it around my neck. Now I can jump up to the bar as well.
What Is A Good Home Workout Routine Using Calisthenics (bodyweight) To Get Ready For Military Basic Training
DO THIS WORKOUT:
ALSO – Here is a full playlist of military fitness workouts and instructions for civilians – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZppH7dxpuM&list=PLaBbYrNhyiesBsD43S5rSr9cwDnA1FpYB
Using Calisthenics to get ready for military basic training is a great topic that is close to my heart, let me tell you. It doesn’t seem too long ago that I was super strapped for cash and couldn’t afford a gym membership. I had the call and knew I was going in for my APFT in a couple of months and really wanted to be ready though. All I had to go off at that time were some muscle magazines and didn’t really put together that a big bench press wouldn’t do me a lick of good in boot camp anyway.
So how do you workout at home using only bodyweight exercises so you’ll be ready for military Basic Training? It easy enough actually. There is lots of information about Calisthenics online and I’ll lay out my basic daily Calisthenics workout routine for you here as well.
I said everyday but if something ever got exceptionally sore because I went for a personal best or I was feeling really drained, then I would skip a workout day or go a little easier. When you get into military basic training, then you’ll never get a break. For a couple weeks any way, but for now, treat your body nice so it gets faster, leaner and stronger.
Most important part of your home workout is going to be cardio. It doesn’t matter if that is the truth about the job or what. The fact is you have to be able to run a certain distance in a certain amount of time or you don’t get into the military and you fail the APFT.
To cover the running, go running. What about bad weather? Really? You’re going into the Army. You’re going to be getting plenty of bad, cold, wet, weather. Get out in it and run your guts out. Do some short 2-3 mile runs mixed with some longer 5-10 mile runs every once in a while. You’ll be tested short distance but the longer runs will come in useful and really chip away at any excess weight you have.
After your run, do a 3 round Calisthenics exercises circuit of maximum repetitions on the pushup, situp and chinups. On the chinups use whatever grip you want initially. Pull up or chin up just to get started and then start using the one you will either be tested on or the one you are worst at if you are already doing well on the tested version.
If initially you are very weak on the pushups, situps and chinups then use easier versions (you can find them online) and put more rest into the circuit between exercises so that you are working the muscles for strength and not bombing out because of lung failure.
So as you can see, that’s a super simple at home workout that doesn’t keep you at home but opens up anywhere as a viable workout location. That’s exactly why the military uses Calisthenics in both their testing and daily routine. It’s flexible to the extreme, always available and it works.
People want fancy but what counts is work done. Don’t look for anything more fancy because you think it will be more effective. Go out running. Do your dips, chins, pushups and lunges. Do this for a couple months and you’ll have no trouble passing boot camp. If you are just someone wanting to get fit, there is no cheaper and more effective way to get fit than using your own body and moving it around frequently like I just described.