Fitness prior to joining


Active member
I have read a few of the topics and my advice to a new recruit is if you eat a normal diet and play a sport, dont smoke and if you are of the correct age for drinking and enjoy the odd few beers with mates then getting in the Armed Services of your choice should not be a problem. As we all know when you get in they will get you up to the required standard you can be sure of that. Having said that the fitter you are at the start the better you will go. But there is a fine line between being fit and on the verge of burn out. But if you remain active in your life style then special diets and a trainer will not be required unless you like to spend your money then go right ahead. The military will get you fit for FREE and pay you to stay that way. And thats all good.

Any thoughts on the above??

Scott Moore.
If you work out a lot and run all the time then obviously bootcamp is going to be ****ing easier. if you are in really good shape then bootcamp may not have done **** to make you more physically tough.
i was always told to run at least 2 miles every other day and in between do cardio (push-ups, sit-ups,pull-ups, ect)
Cardio is running ^^.

Marinecorps0321, I was always told by my recruiter that boot camp is 80% mental and 20% physical, so I'm not sure about what you said....
The relationship between mental and physical is that the less physical you have, the more mental you'll need and the more physical you have the less mental you'll need.

The mental part that deals with the stress of a new environment, a new set of rules etc., however, is same for everyone regardless of fitness level.

What do I recommend?
Well, make sure you're good at the stuff that they ask you and test you for (runs, sit ups, pull ups, push ups).
Also my recommendation is as follows:

Make sure these parts are given a lot of priority in work outs.
Abs (upper and lower).
Back (do back raisers)

Those are the ones I find the most essential. The rest are supplimentary.
I don't know what your age is, but here's my requirements to pass the Navy's PT tests.

1.5 Mile Run - 13 minutes, 15 Seconds
2 Minute Max Curl Ups - 47
2 Minute Max Push Ups - 42

Those are just the minimum though, our RDC's "beat" us if we couldn't do 60 push ups minimum at our second PFA in week... 3? I think that's when we did it. Honestly though, with how the PT schedule is structured, if you go in to (Navy) boot camp in really good shape, you will digress a little, if you go in as a couch potato you will pass the final PFA. I thought it was kind of a joke, but then again I was working out regularly before leaving so the only thing I struggled with was the pushup portion because of a bum left shoulder, but I still managed to get well over the 60 pushups needed to avoid being ITE'd.

That having been said, it would be a bad idea not to run and workout regularly just because you will probably move backwards a little bit in basic if you arrive in good form. At A school we do PT three days a week (real PT, not the 5 minute "sustained" runs at RTC) but I like to start the weekends off with a three mile run every morning, assuming I don't have duty. Here's what I would do if I had to do it all over again (assuming approx. three months of DEP time):

Start off with the abs, arms and back. Crunches, curl ups, leg lifts, flutter kicks, push ups, diamond grip push ups, wide grip push ups are a good start do jumping jacks at the beginning to get the blood flowing (20 or so should be enough). Go for a two mile run at least three times a week, bump it up to three miles after three weeks to a month. Do not forget to stretch before and after your workout, after the run do a cool down walk, it helps the muscles relax and avoid cramps.

I don't know how it goes for other branches though. As far as I know the Navy is the only branch that doesn't offer some sort of basic combat training at boot camp, but then again the environment we work in is rather unique. The muscle groups used most for other branches are probably a bit different. That's my two cents for this topic though.
The biggest point I would make to somebody joining combat arms is to run and ruck.

Start off small rucking. Maybe 10 or 20 pounds and do 2 miles. Keep building up as much as you can but take it slow. If you throw too much weight on too quick you will injure yourself.

I was doing 2ish hours of PT every morning at OSUT. As long as you don't come in there as a slob you will be fine.
There really is no need to run with packs on before you join. Odds are you'll just get injured. Going on mountain hikes with a 20-30kg load is a good way to prepare yourself without messing yourself up before you even get there.
let me clarify, run as in jog on a PT test. And also practice on rucking. Don't do them both at the same time.
Last edited:
Not so much you specifically but I've seen people give the "run with a heavy pack" advice to people trying to join. It's fairly commonly given as advice but I think it's completely unnecessary.
Don't even work on your pack marching ability. You will to go buy a pack which will costs you hundreds of dollars and if you just use an ordinary back pack with all that weight in it you will do an injury. The pack marching should be pretty piss weak seeing as you have pogues and women going through with you.
I suppose so.
Though I don't think injury is likely by walking with a bag with a few large text books in it.
But yeah, avoiding injury is number one so just running a bit and doing some weights would be the best option.
Stretch a lot, try to get flexible.
in Australia haven't they made it sound all nice and rosy when u go to join up due to the fact we are low on numbers
and they let u in as long as they can bring you up to their fitness level
Last edited:
Just saying, the best thing you can do is get into reasonable shape without injuring yourself before you even begin.