Bootcamp Prep

Military Bootcamp Preparation

bootcamp prep

This is a crash eight week workout program to whip you into shape as fast as humanly possible.  This is a great program for those who have enlisted in the armed services and need to get in shape to make it thru bootcamp. This workout program is also great for civilians who want to jumpstart their fitness programs.

Who this pre-bootcamp is appropriate for

  1. Those who can’t run two miles without walking or stopping
  2. Those who can’t do 10 pullups
  3. Those who can’t do 20 pushups

If you are in good enough shape that you can do the above things then move along, this program is not for you – for you people who are already quite advanced in your fitness program please see how to find the best workout program for you.

Military Physical Fitness Tests (PTF)

Virtually every branch of the military in every country has their version of a Physical Fitness Test (PFT).  This is a test that recruits are required to pass to graduate from bootcamp and also to pass on a recurring basis once they are in the military.  The test varies a lot from country to country and branch to branch but all the PFTs are quite similar, they all virtually all require running tests, pullup tests, pushup tests, and situps.  If you show up to bootcamp fat and out of shape, not only will bootcamp be a miserable experience for you but there is a good chance that you will not graduate either.  The PFTs are quite complicated but here is a very rough idea of a minimum passing score and a perfect score:

 

Perfect Score Minimum Requirement
pullups  20 pullups  3 pullups
pushups in 2 minutes  92 pushups  42 pushups
3 mile run  18 minutes  28 minutes
situps  109 situps  50 situps

 

Getting Ready For Bootcamp

So you have enlisted and you look at the above requirements for the PFT and you are a bit aprehensive.  Your goal should be to get a perfect score on the PFT *before* you show up at bootcamp.  Bootcamp is stressful enough without having every day be a physical struggle.  First some general words of warning are in order.  If you wait to the last minute you are doomed.  If you are 100 pounds overweight and have never done anything athletic in your life and are trying to get ready for bootcamp that starts in 3 weeks, you are doomed – period.  Getting in shape takes time and the worse shape you are in the longer it takes.  There is only so much you can exercise in a day.  You cant wait till the last minute then workout 8hrs a day to make up for it!  “Nine women can’t make a baby in a month” as I always say.  The below workout program pushes the overtraining limits to the maximum.  Working out more than these very aggressive schedules will get you injured, not in better shape.  Similarly, if you are really fat, losing weight takes time.  If you wait till the last minute and have to do a crash diet then you are going to lose as much muscle as fat and that muscle loss will hurt you rather than help your PFT scores.  Dont wait till the last minute unless you want to be drill-sargent fodder!!!

#1 easiest way to improve your PFT score

When it comes to PFT scores, bodyfat is enemy number one.  When you are doing pullups, that bodyfat is a useless anchor yanking you towards the floor.  For many people, lowering their bodyfat from 30% down to 10% can make the difference between only being able to do one pullup and being able to do 20.  Bodyfat kills your running times as well.  The rule of thumb runners use is that for every 10 pounds of fat you lose, your 3 mile time improves by 1 minute.  If you are 30 pounds overweight, thats 3 minutes you can improve your 3 mile run without a single lap around the track!!!  You get the idea, losing weight is your #1 task.  Start early.

Losing Bodyfat

As mentioned, losing bodyfat is the #1 best way to improve your PFT scores.  You will be getting plenty of exercise with this pre-bootcamp workout program but you need to set your caloric intake properly or your efforts will be wasted.  Eat too little and you wont gain the strength you need to do the pullups and pushups.  Eat too much and you wont lose the weight necessary to run fast and make pullups easier.  This is going to be the hardest part of the program for many of you, for at least two days you need to count calories.  Every single thing you eat or drink needs to be tallied to make sure you intake is on track. Using an application like loseit.com or myfitnesspall makes totalling your calories easy.   My calorie calculator will tell you how many calories to consume, in step 6 set your goal to be “20% calorie reduction” and in step 5 set your activity level to be “3-5 hours of moderate exercise”.  Remember more exercise is not better and starving yourself is not better either.  What to eat?  Without getting complicated, eat lean meats, nonfat dairy products, lots of vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and some fruit.  Be very sparing of sweets, fried foods, chips, fries, cakes, cookies, and all alcohol including beer.   After the first week of calorie counting you should have a very good idea of how much to eat so you can stop the calorie counting.  Every time you lose another 10 pounds, use my calculator to re-calculate your target calories and count calories again for two days to make sure your eating has been re-calibrated properly.

8 week pre-bootcamp program – weeks 1&2

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
 Workouts A & C B  A & C  B A & C  B  rest

A Workout: Running

B Workout:  Low impact cardio and sit-ups

C Workout: Pullups and pushups

8 week pre-bootcamp program – weeks 3&4

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
 Workouts A & C B  A & C  B A & C  B  rest

A Workout: Running

B Workout:  Low impact cardio and sit-ups

C Workout: Pullups and pushups

8 week pre-bootcamp program – weeks 5&6

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
 Workouts A & C B  A & C  B A & C  B  rest

A Workout: Running

B Workout:  Low impact cardio and sit-ups

C Workout: Pullups and pushups

 

8 week pre-bootcamp program – weeks 7&8

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
 Workouts A & C B  B  B A & C  B  rest

A Workout: Running

B Workout:  Low impact cardio and sit-ups

C Workout: Pullups and pushups

 

WARNING:  This is a very aggressive, accelerated program.    If you notice any joint pain or any signs of overuse injuries – STOP and take a few days off.  The last thing you want is to get overuse injuries!  Make sure you consult your physician before starting this exercise program.