If you are considering serving in the military and doing research, thank you for considering serving your country and your community in something bigger than yourself. As a military recruit, the first hurdles for many are meeting fitness and height/weight standards just to qualify.

The fitness standards to serve are not insurmountable. In fact, the basics of military service are quite doable if you’re physically active. However, if you are sedentary or haven’t trained in a while, the physical and height/weight standards of military service may seem impossible in your condition. This thought couldn’t be further from the truth. Many people have lost over 100 pounds and achieved physical fitness above average enough to serve in physically demanding jobs in the military, such as infantry and even special operations programs.

Unfortunately, many military recruits make common mistakes in tactical physical training that can have serious consequences. To make sure you get the most out of your tactical fitness routine, here are some of the biggest mistakes you should avoid.


Not giving yourself enough time to prepare is the #1 mistake and usually leads to failure or injury (see latest stats). My recommendation is to not even talk to a recruiter until you can meet and exceed the physical standards. If you want a recruiter to take you seriously, show up to your “job interview” ready to go and knowing what you want to do in the department. You should aim to give yourself at least six months of specific training to prepare for the physical demands of military service if you wish to be selected for training and complete basic training and beyond. Learn more about the phases of Tactical Fitness: • Phase 1 — Access training by completing the fitness test requirements. • Phase 2 – Complete the training preparing to meet and exceed the standards set for your future basic training and follow-on schools such as Airborne/Ranger, EOD/Dive School, Infantry or other Special Operations schools physically demanding.

2. Lack of knowledge

Not knowing the military requirements and expectations or the job you want to do in the military is a big red flag in a recruiter’s office. You may not get the job best suited to your tastes and more to what the military needs if you show up at the recruiter’s office unprepared. Each branch of the military has specific fitness requirements you must meet and hundreds of jobs to offer in each. Familiarizing yourself with the requirements and opportunities before you begin your training program will ensure that you are working towards the right goals and can accurately measure your progress. Not only do you need to know these standards, but you need to score well above the minimum standards if you want to do well in basic training or boot camp. It’s not just the physical standards you should know before joining. You should also be well aware of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests, medical exams, and other requirements that may require more effort to study, waiver processes, or simply to put in some time. order in your affairs. Failing to do well at ASVAB can prevent you from doing a job that interests you.

3. Preparation of equipment

It refers to not having the right gear or at least being resourceful with what you have. Proper equipment is essential when it comes to tactical physical training, but you don’t need a lot. Having the right equipment like weighted backpacks or vests, running shoes, pull-up bars, adjustable dumbbells, and suspension trainers can help you get the most out of your workout and hit fitness standards. physique you need without having to join a gym. However, joining a gym and having access to strength-training equipment and non-impact cardio options are all very helpful in helping you with your preparation workout.

4. Training plans

Another mistake is not having a plan. Going into tactical fitness training without a plan can be disastrous. Make sure you have a plan that outlines the drills you will need to perform during testing and daily tactical training events. Remember that you need time to train in order to prepare for both phases of Tactical Fitness (For And through Training). Many military recruits make the mistake of focusing too much on strength training. Although strength training is important for physical performance, it is only one component of a balanced tactical fitness routine. You should also be sure to incorporate endurance (running, ruck, or swimming), muscular endurance (calisthenics), agility drills, flexibility/mobility, and grip training. It will help you build a complete “tactical athlete” who can be an asset in any situation.

5. Don’t Skip Stretching and Mobility Training

Stretching and mobility exercises are overlooked by many military recruits, but they can help you stay flexible, reduce risk of injury, and improve overall performance, especially during events involving running, sprinting, obstacles, swimming, walking and throwing. Be sure to stretch before and after each workout and incorporate mobility exercises into your routine.

6. Push yourself: one day, your physical condition can save your life (or that of your friend)

Finally, one of the biggest mistakes military recruits make is not pushing themselves hard enough. Your tactical physical training should challenge you to your perceived limits without pushing yourself too hard or hurting yourself. There is a fine line between building mental and physical strength and stupidity. Listen to your body and use common sense, so you don’t hurt yourself and can’t train for weeks because you lifted too much, ran too far, or did too many reps. However, if you’re going to push hard, make sure you have enough fuel in your body: protein, carbs, healthy fats, and water. If you want to get stronger, build muscle, fuel your workouts, avoid dehydration or heat loss, and recover well after a hard day’s work, learn to eat and drink properly. Keep in mind that you will likely be subjected to all types of climates, depending on when and where you train and deploy. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your tactical fitness routine is effective and helps prepare you for the rigors of military life. Military recruits who adopt a comprehensive tactical fitness routine are proven to improve their physical and mental performance. So remember to take the time to do it right.

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. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you’re looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to [email protected].

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