The Five Day Pre-Boot Camp

The Five Day Pre-Boot Camp

Every year, I have the honor of exercising with America's Heroes of Tomorrow bright and early at the Naval Academy during a one week course called Summer Seminar. At 0530, Tuesday morning I exercised with over 700 motivated High School seniors who are more than likely to become Midshipmen in the Class of 2009! The goal of the workout is to show the future Midshipmen that PT can be a stress reliever NOT a stress increaser IF they arrive prepared for the daily grind of military/boot camp style of physical training.

Military PT is the one stress you can control simply by being prepared. The daily military indoctrination, being away from home your first time (for many), and the constant verbal challenging by your trainers is stress enough - WHY SHOW UP OUT OF SHAPE? Every year too many young men and women attend boot camp, military service academies, and police academies across the United States ill-prepared for the physical training. When this occurs, the course is adapted to unfortunately have many of these young men and women who defend our freedom and safety striving for the minimum standards. This ALL can easily be avoided if there were a bigger effort to help recruits learn how to train properly prior to attending a military / law enforcement training course. For most of the students, it was a great workout. For some, they soon realized the need to work a little harder prior to arriving next year.

That is why I am dedicated to teaching the way to ace the PFT and get into fighting shape. This is the program we did at the USNA this week which helps the students learn whether or not they are in shape or not. Anyone can get into shape - all it takes is practice.

Warm up - 5:00 with slow run / stretch arms and legs

Repeat 10 times: - Jumping jacks 10 - Pushups - 10 (rotate thru each type: - Regular Pushups, Wide Pushups, Close Tricep Pushups, 8 Count Body Builder Pushups) (Total pushups = 100)

Ever warmed up with 100 pushups before? This is a great way to get the body started in just 5:00!

Repeat 3 times: - Sit ups - 1:00 - (Rest one minute while you hold your partners feet) - Pushups 50 straight non-stop

When it come to sit ups - you can pace yourself and score higher - too many times people start off too fast and burn out within the first minute. Try to set your pace at 20 reps in 30 seconds which will equal 80 in 2:00. This is 15 reps above the minimum standard.

Super Set for pushups/sit ups

Repeat 2-3 times in 2:30 each set: - Pushups - 10 - Crunches - 20 - Wide pushups- 10 - Reverse crunches - 20 - Close Pushups - 10 - Double crunches - 20

The above superset is a great way to build a foundation in respect to adding pushups to your PFT score. Mixing in maximum rep sets is another great way to increase your scores.

- Stretch 5:00 - Run 1-2 miles

If you REALLY need help on running, it is recommended to use the 2 mile option for 2 months before picking up the mileage to 3 miles track workout as seen on the "Interval Training for the PFT Run" article.

Any questions?

You can e-mail Stew Smith at Your questions will be answered either by email or as a feature in his fitness column. There is also a free 6 week program online at for you to download titled, "USNA Workout." The scores below are the goals to score above average on the PFT.

Above Average Scores Men Women
Pushups 80-90 50-60
Situps 80-90 80-90
1.5 mile run 9:00-9:30 11:00-11:30

Check out the "Ace the PFT" article at

Other Related Boot Camp Articles:

- Are You Fit to Serve? - Prepare Yourself for Boot Camp - No Weights at Boot Camp - Getting Prepared for Boot Camp - Physical Fitness Test Anxiety

Next Step: If you are considering joining the military, your next step should be to speak to a recruiter from the service of your choice.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at

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