What Are Some Easy Ways to Get in Shape for the Navy?


Basic training for any branch of the military is a difficult activity. You’ll spend weeks engaging in a process that transforms you from civilian to sailor, and the physical training aspects can be exceptionally arduous. Get prepared for Navy boot camp as early as possible, so that you can more easily integrate into the program and don’t risk being disqualified for failing the Navy Physical Standards Test. Getting ready for basic training won’t be easy physically, but the process is simple to understand, and you don’t need a gym membership to do it.

Entrance Requirements

  • The minimum threshold for getting into Navy basic training is to score a 60 on the initial assessment test, along with meeting height/weight requirements similar to the Body Mass Index. The pre-screening test consists of three activities: pushups, situps – which the Navy calls “curlups” – and a timed running or swimming event. Plan to do the running event, because the final PT test to graduate basic training will only be a timed 1.5-mile run. The results of all three events are averaged together to arrive at the final score.


  • The endurance portion of basic training will focus on running and swimming for both time and distance. Even though the minimum requirements for the final PT test involve a mere 1.5-mile run, boot camp itself will involve numerous runs of multiple miles. Boost your endurance with runs of at least 2 miles. If you can’t run 2 full miles, concentrate on reaching the 1.5 milestone through continuous running. Run at least four days each week leading up to boot camp. Break up your distance runs with shorter interval training to boost your heart rate and improve cardiovascular performance.

Strength Training

  • You won’t need free weights to prepare for the strength requirements of basic training. The exercises you need to prepare are easy and straightforward, like the PT test itself. Pushups, situps and pullups will form the core of your strength training, which will place an emphasis on developing muscular endurance rather than mass and power. Other exercises include bodyweight squats and walking lunges. For the PT test, pushups and situps will be timed, and however many you can do in two minutes for each portion will determine your success. Work toward triple digits of pushups and situps in two-minute windows, and push yourself to improve your totals for each session. To prevent injuries due to overtraining, limit the number of days you do each exercise to four per week.


  • Although it’s not a condition of any Navy PT test before or during basic training, you’ll need to possess a high level of total-body flexibility and agility to perform well during boot camp. Even though your workouts are simple and can be performed anywhere, you need a proper warmup and cooldown routine to bookend every session. This increases circulation, reduces the risk of strains and injuries and improves overall performance. Butterfly stretches, calf stretches, chest stretches and triceps stretches all help limber you up before your cardio or bodyweight workouts.

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