Now hear this! Do you think most people coming out of Basic or AIT (Advanced Infantry Training) are pudgy and weak? Hell no! And can you imagine why it might be in the military’s best interests to make sure that its people pass their Physical Training requirements every year (even if the soldier in question is a 60-something general)? It’s simple: a high degree of physical fitness is a mandatory prerequisite for laying a proper ass kicking on any enemy.
And while civilians do not need to be in “combat ready” condition if they don’t want to be, the option to work toward that goal is a freedom a lot of people have given their lives to keep alive for you and me. So let’s talk about a few key components of getting yourself in shape… whether you’re about to ship out, want to remember the thrill of your first tour, or just want to get yourself into better shape. After all, you’ve got the right to be fit and strong.
What would the military be without pushups? It’d be a bunch of runners with good abs, who could not hoist an injured comrade or hump a ruck (which means carry a heavy bag of survival gear) to save its life – and that pun isn’t too funny when you think about it. Keep in mind that any serviceman who intends to even stay in the Army had better rock at least 40 pushups. Otherwise, you can be denied even the remote chance of a promotion, and even suffer further disciplinary action. So try this pushup workout:
Start in pushup position, with hands wide and feet 6 inches apart. Now do as many pushups as you can, as if the free world itself depended on your muscles. That is your base number – and it probably sucks. So mix it up by doing several sets of 50-70% of that number, with different hand and foot placements. Your goal should be 74, which is considered 100% for a young man in the Army. And if you can do more, go for it!
This is a boot camp exercise that nearly every recruit ends up dreading (and often the only one the drill instructors do not do alongside the recruits). It’s simple… but it’s anything but easy.
Start in a standing position, and hop three times. The first two hops should be small, while the third should be an “all out” hop using just the power of your calves. Easy, right?
Continue doing that, with NO rest, for 30 minutes. Still easy, maggot?
3. One hour run.
Start running. Keep going for an hour, going as far as you can. After an hour, you can stop. Not complicated.
Without situps, you might not even be able to get up in the morning. Consider that pushups and situps are critical, just to get to your feet. Keep in mind that your goal should be 80 (which is an excellent score for any age group), and you should only take one minute to get there.
So try “situp sprints.” Do as many situps as you can, as quickly as you can, for 30 seconds. Then rest one minute, and repeat. Do ten sets like that… and see if you can get up.