Before you can serve in the military, you need to survive basic training. You also need to pass a Physical Fitness Test (PFT). Can you do it? It’s much harder than you might think, so here are some tips to help you prepare for boot camp and pass the PFT.
It is never too early to start preparing for boot camp. As soon as you enlist, start getting ready for what will be the most grueling physical challenge of your life thus far. Preparation is absolutely essential and will give you an important edge. If you’re unprepared for the rigors of boot camp, you will have a much more difficult time making it through and passing the PFT. Do not procrastinate, and take preparation seriously.
Follow a Routine
Boot camp and military life in general is all about routine and protocol. A great way to prepare is to create a workout routine for yourself now and strictly follow it. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day – and make it early. You may be getting up at 5:00 am or earlier in boot camp. Workout consistently.
Find out what the PFT for your branch entails and what scores you’ll need to receive in order to pass. Then test your current abilities in all aspects of the test. This will help you gauge your current fitness level, identify specific areas that need the most improvement, and determine how much you’ve improved by the time you leave for the real thing.
Especially if your current physical fitness level is on the low side, you should start slowly with your workouts. Workout regularly, but gradually increase your expectations and intensity. The website Military.com has some great suggested workout schedules you can follow. For example, you’ll start out alternating one minute of walking with one minute of jogging. Each week you’ll increase the time you spend jogging, until eventually you’re running for an extended period of time.
Learn Proper Form
Every PFT will include timed push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. Knowing the proper form for these exercises will dramatically increase the number you’re able to do within the allotted time frame. Military.com also describes in detail how what exactly the proper form is. Begin practicing it now.
Take Care of Yourself
As you prepare your body for boot camp by exercising, make sure you’re taking proper care of it in other ways, too. All that working out will require more calories, so make sure you are eating enough and that your diet is balanced and healthy with plenty of protein and carbs. Get enough sleep at night so you’re well-rested. Boot camp isn’t just a physical challenge, so make sure you’re caring for yourself mentally and emotionally, too.
Talk to Your Recruiter
Don’t forget to discuss boot camp in detail with your recruiter, as well as anyone else you know who’s been through it. They can help you get a better idea of what it will be like, what to expect, and give you more tips on how to prepare.
Arnold Jefferson is a former military serviceman, freelance writer, and fitness expert who loves to blog about everything from tips for young military recruits to new robotics technology.
Photo Credit: Hilton Sedona