As a member of the military, staying physically fit is not just a matter of looking good or keeping up with the latest fitness trends. It's crucial for your job performance and overall well-being and in many cases, especially if you serve in combat arms branches, your life and the lives of others depends on your fitness level.
With intense training and demanding duties, it can be challenging to find time for traditional gym workouts while also trying to maintain a social life and take care of personal responsibilities. That's why we've put together this list of three military workouts that are specifically designed to keep you in tip-top shape while fitting into your busy schedule. These workouts will not only keep you physically strong but mentally prepared for any challenges that come your way on duty.
Benefits of military workouts
The key to military workouts is the focus on functional movements that mimic those required in real-life combat situations. This means you are not only burning calories but also building strength and endurance that can translate into everyday activities. Military workouts incorporate a mixture of high-intensity interval training, bodyweight exercises, and traditional weight training to create a comprehensive fitness program.
Mental toughness and discipline are essential qualities that are highly valued in various fields, including the military. To develop and maintain these qualities, military workouts are designed to push soldiers to their limits physically and mentally. These routines are challenging and intense, and often require extreme focus, determination, and perseverance to complete.
Aside from the physical benefits of military workouts, soldiers also gain mental fortitude and discipline, enabling them to handle stress, adapt to changing situations, and make quick decisions in high-pressure scenarios. The discipline and mental toughness developed through military workouts can also be applied to other aspects of life, ultimately leading to increased resilience and success.
Warm-up and stretching
Proper warm-up and stretching are crucial components of any workout, especially military workouts where physical fitness is essential. By activating your muscles beforehand, you increase blood flow throughout your body, providing more oxygen, and nutrients to your muscles. This helps prepare your body for the upcoming workout and reduces the risk of injury.
A good warm-up also gets your mind in the right headspace, helping you focus on the task at hand. Remember, stretching cold muscles can cause more harm than good, so make sure you build sufficient time into your workout routine for a proper warm-up and stretching session.
Workout 1: Basic Training Circuit
Military workouts have long been known for their intensity and effectiveness, and the Basic Training Circuit is no exception. Consisting of a series of exercises including push-ups, squats, lunges, and sit-ups, this circuit can be modified to suit any fitness level.
Push-ups work the chest, triceps, and shoulders while also engaging the core and lower back muscles. Sit-ups target the abs and obliques, strengthening the core and improving posture. Squats, on the other hand, focus on the lower body, working the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. By incorporating these exercises into their training regimen, military personnel build strength, endurance, and overall fitness.
When it comes to military workouts, reps and sets are crucial components of an effective fitness routine. It's important to approach these exercises with a plan in mind, aiming for the right number of reps and sets for your desired results. Generally, it's recommended to perform 3-4 sets of each exercise with 8-12 reps per set.
Military workouts are only as good as their execution. It's important to have a clear understanding of your goals and tailor your workout accordingly. This can involve creating a specific routine that targets areas you'd like to improve. Additionally, maintaining consistency is key to achieving your desired results. Consistency not only helps you build endurance but also helps build muscle memory, allowing your body to adapt and perform at a higher level. Finally, make sure to fuel your body with proper nutrition and rest to aid in recovery and overall performance.
Workout 2: The Ruck March
One of the best military workouts to build strength, endurance, and mental toughness is the Ruck March. This workout involves carrying a weighted backpack for an extended period of time while moving quickly over varying terrain. Not only does the ruck march help build physical fitness, but it also replicates the demands of carrying heavy gear during military operations. Not in the infantry? No problem, you don’t have to be. This workout brings out the best physical you without regard for profession.
Pushing through the discomfort and fatigue is essential to building resilience and mental toughness. Incorporating the ruck march into your fitness routine is a great way to challenge yourself and prepare for any physical demands that come your way.
Carrying weight during these military workouts is an essential aspect of military training. Not only does carrying weight challenge and strengthen your muscles, it can also help you burn more calories and build bone density.
It's important to track your distance and time in order to progress and reach your fitness goals. For beginners, it's recommended to start with shorter distances and gradually increase over time. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity each day, and gradually increase to 60 minutes based on your fitness level. As you become more advanced, you can push yourself with higher intensity workouts that challenge your endurance and speed. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to any fitness routine.
Workout 3: The Sandbag Challenge
This military workout involves using a sandbag to perform a variety of exercises that will challenge your strength and endurance. The sandbag allows for a unique and versatile workout that targets multiple muscle groups, making it an efficient and effective workout.
Sandbags have long been incorporated into military workouts for their ability to simulate real-life physical demands. Unlike traditional weights, sandbags shift as you move, creating an unstable and challenging load for your muscles. This engages more muscle fibers and can promote a greater overall muscle response.
Military workouts demand physical strength and endurance to support service members in battle and tough terrain. Incorporating exercises like shoulder press, lunges, and carries can significantly impact a soldier's physical fitness.
The shoulder press is an effective way to strengthen the upper body and enhance the shoulder muscles' stability. Meanwhile, lunges focus on the lower body, improving muscle balance and stability. Carries, on the other hand, help develop grip strength, which is vital for soldiers carrying heavy loads and equipment.
Incorporating military workouts into your fitness routine can be a challenging and rewarding experience. By following a regimented workout plan inspired by military training, you can push yourself to new limits and achieve physical milestones you never thought possible. However, it's important to approach these workouts with caution and prioritize proper form and technique over sheer intensity.
While military workouts can be a great addition to your fitness routine, they may not be suitable for everyone and it's very important to consult with a trainer or physician before embarking on this type of training.