How to Prepare for Basic Training
One of the most important things related to basic training is actually being prepared for basic training. That doesn’t mean having your priorities straight, although that is definitely a plus. It’s also not making peace with whatever demons you have in your closet before heading out.
It means being in shape. One of the worst things you could do for both yourself and others is being physically unprepared for basic combat training.
Prepare Yourself: Don’t Be a Burden
The ones known as tubbies are those who lack the physical condition needed at basic training. That doesn’t mean they don’t just look good. What that means is they simply can’t keep up with the rest of the herd.
This doesn’t just hurt the individual because the military is based on teamwork. The others will have to pull the extra weight to keep things moving smoothly. So it will hurt the entire team in the end if you’re not prepared.
This means carrying the slacker’s weight on rucks due to their complaints, slowing down to push them, and ensuring them they can make it to the finish line. And if it so happens they do something wrong or cause any problems with PT (physical training), one may suffer being smoked, also known as drop-and-give-me-twenty.
As a result, even though popularity isn’t a main focus, those who have to make up for the ones who lack physical shape surely won’t be happy with them. But the tubbies will surely have to do extra PT at night to crack down on their flaws.
Avoid Being the Tubby
So how may one prepare for basic training and avoid the treacherous stigma of being a tubby?
Simply, do some PT beforehand. That means months and months of practice to ensure you’ll endure the lightest amount of suffering possible when training to become an All-American Warrior. This means three main things:
- Pushing hard
While most PT is comprised of push-ups, sit-ups, and a run there are deviations that exist between the five branches of the military. For example, some branches incorporate swimming and pull-ups. So, why not get good and proficient in all of them?
As a genius once said, “practice makes perfect,” and with such practice, one should have a general idea of what the PT standards are for the branch they intend on joining.
The Minimum of What’s Expected in the Army
For example, the minimum standards for Army PT for ages 17-21, the male recruit must complete:
- 35 push-ups
- 47 sit-ups
- Run 2 miles in 16 minutes and 36 seconds
A female recruit in the same age group must be able to complete:
- 13 push-ups
- 47 sit-ups
- Run 2 miles in 19 minutes and 42 seconds
PT is scored and measured with a total of 300 points. There are 100 points per category and an Army Physical Fitness badge may be rewarded if a recruit scores 270 and above.
Do not shoot for the minimum standards if you want to be successful in basic training. Push for the best and reach your maximum potential to prove you’re ready to fight for the greatest country on Earth.
The More You Can Do
Now, if you can bolster solid PT scores, and you think you’re ready, you can start preparing for more by doing just a few other things to ensure your readiness. First thing’s first, go to sleep early and wake up even earlier. In other words, 2130 (9:30 p.m.) is lights out and Zero Dark Thirty (0430 or 4:30 a.m.) is time to get up. You know what they say, “the early bird gets the worm.”
Another important task to master is learning to ruck march. You should be ready to walk long and far with a heavy load on your back, and this does take preparation. As easy as it sounds, it’s not just walking, and it’s really not that simple. A simple routine would be to work up the stamina and endurance to be able to walk, in boots, up to 12 miles (on hills and flat terrain) while carrying at least 40 pounds on your back.
Again, practice makes perfect, but you should work your way up to master this routine. Don’t just head out the door and think you’ll be able to make it across the entire Appalachian trail without breaking a sweat and having a few blisters on your feet.
Lastly, stop eating so much. The military is going to feed you but they’re not going to give you a full belly of steak and potatoes and leave you with a smile on your face. The best way to adjust to this deficit is to do exactly what they will do to you. Cut your calories and stay away from any liquids other than water.
Also, forget sweets and other snacks. As a standard, it may best be accomplished by removing approximately 500-750 calories from your diet to ensure that you won’t feel like you’re starving the whole time during basic training.
Ultimately, basic training isn’t all that difficult, unless you make it difficult. One way to make it painstakingly difficult is by being unprepared. So, if you’re planning on joining, start eating cleaner while eating a little less. Also, get a solid, but short, sleep cycle. And lastly, train hard. Push yourself and prove to yourself that your body is so much tougher than your mind.
By all means though, the sacrifices will come with great reward and you’ll surely enjoy the end result, and so will your cadre.