Physical fitness becomes extremely important from the day you decide to enlist in the military. Your job—and sometimes your life—depends on you being able to overcome certain physical challenges.
For active-duty personnel and veterans, staying in shape can have a big impact on your overall health and your quality of life. A military-style workout is a great way to achieve your goals.
How to Get Started with Your Military Workout Routine
It’s important to ease into your new workout routine—even if you’re already in great shape. Doing too much too fast is a good way to get injured. And once that happens, you can kiss your daily workouts goodbye until you’re healed. You’ll also want to make sure you have the knowledge and the tools you need to start off right.
Get the Right Clothing
Before you start your military workout, it’s important to make sure you have the right clothes. Sure, you could wear any old pair of shorts, but specially designed workout clothes will help keep you comfortable and reduce the risk of heat or cold induced injuries. Plus, when your workouts are challenging, the last thing you need is to be worried about your clothes. You should look for clothes that are:
- Moisture wicking
- Reflective (if you’re exercising outside)
Make sure you’re drinking before you start working out. About two cups of water an hour before your workout will help you stay hydrated throughout the workout. After you’re done, continue to drink water until you feel satisfied.
Make a Nutrition Plan
It’s garbage in, garbage out when it comes to physical fitness. You can’t expect to fuel regular military workouts with chocolate and soda. Make a plan to get proper nutrition, take in enough calories to support your workout routine, and get a good balance of your macro and micronutrients.
Your Military Workout Plan
Whether you’re training to pass your physical assessment, working to stay in shape, or just looking to get stronger, it’s important to have a plan and focus on both strength and cardio. Here’s what we suggest you do.
There are two types of stretches you want to do in every workout. Before you start, you should do a few dynamic stretches (stretches while moving) to help loosen your muscles and get your blood flowing. Once you’re done with your workout, don’t forget to cool down and loosen up with some static stretches, or a stretch you do while stationary.
We recommend starting and ending every workout with a stretch session to prevent injuries and improve flexibility.
Running is an awesome way to stay in shape—and it’s also something you’ll required in physical assessments.
- Speed: sprinting is not only going to make you faster overall—it’ll also improve your overall stamina. Sprint workouts typically involve a warmup, short distance repeats, and a cool down.
- Distance: Distance running workouts are a great military workout because they double as a way to develop mental toughness.
Running is a sure way to work up a sweat—especially in the summer. You should look for shirts that are made from synthetic materials and are designed to be moisture wicking. The Soffe US Army New APFU Short Sleeve PT Shirt is a good example.
Your shorts should be comfortable and not so long that they’ll get in the way of your stride. The Soffe Infantry Performance Shorts for men and the Soffe Authentic Ranger Panty for women are good examples of the right length for a running short.
Strength and Functional Movements
Strength training seems like a no brainer as far as military workouts go. In addition to some standard weight training, you’ll also want to focus specifically on pushups, sit ups, and pull ups. Many military physical assessments include a speed push up and sit up component, so you’ll want to be sure you can do a lot, maintain form, and complete them quickly.
These exercises are about more than just passing the physical assessment, they’re also about being able to do your job effectively. That’s why we also suggest adding some functional movements, like deadlifts.
Here are the six exercises you should focus on:
You’d be surprised with the large range of motion you need to perform some of these exercises, so make sure your clothes aren’t working against you. You should dress in clothes that are comfortable, non-restrictive, and moisture wicking – like the Soffe 100% Cotton Moisture Wicking T-shirt and the Soffe US Army New APFU PT Shorts.
There are lots of ways to stay in shape, but a good military workout will help you focus on total body fitness. Combine that with the right nutrition and hydration and you’re on your way to success.