Tactical Fitness with Stew Smith: Wisdom for Young Teens

Stew Smith in the woods.

Hey Mr. Smith,

I am a 13 year old boy, about 5'2", 100 lbs, and I can do 70 pushups without stopping. I can also do about 50 sit ups in two minutes and run a mile in 6:30.

How I can prove my endurance and strength overall? Are there any exercises I can perform daily, or any specific activates that will help prepare me for boot camp? Other than fitness, I really want to focus on leadership skills. I'm currently in a leadership class at my school which helps me with communication, but I really would like to learn how to lead in a more tactical way. 

Thanks for any advice I receive.

At your age, I think it is great that you want to start preparing for future military service. Thanks for considering the service. Personally, I would focus on being a kid. Play sports, work hard to get good at sports, become a leader on the team through hard work and leading by example. Learning to be a team player is a critical skill to joining the military. Any tactical and leadership skills can be learned through Boy Scouts, Young Marines, or Sea Cadets if you want to get involved in those groups.

Working out with calisthenics and running is fine, and as you get into high school, under the supervision of coaches, learn how to lift weights to build a stronger frame. This will help you in the future with sports, boot camp, and advanced military training. Preparing for the USMC PFT is fine too. Do pull-ups, crunches, pushups, and run every other day for starters.

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Stay in school. Work hard on your grades, graduate, and you will have more options available to you. How well you do can determine college scholarships with direct commissions into the USMC if you so choose.

NOTE – Do I even need to say stay away from drugs and alcohol? It has no purpose in this training. Do not get a criminal record or DUI/DWI!

I have seen many kids not get accepted into the military because they have a record. Currently, due to the large amount of applicants and a military downsizing, the U.S. military can be very selective.

Stew Smith works as a presenter / editorial board with the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).  There are also over 800 articles on Military.com Fitness Forum focusing on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

Latest Fitness Books: Navy SEAL Weight Training and Tactical Fitness

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