How to Get in Shape for the Navy

Man doing push-up outdoors
Focus on running, pushups and sit-ups to prep for the Navy. (Image: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

As part of the world's finest military, the United States Navy hold its sailors to very high standards of physical fitness. Getting in shape for the Navy will take time, dedication and hard work. Training in advance will make Navy basic training much less stressful and ease your transition into military life. Talk to your physician before beginning a fitness program, particularly if you are new to exercise or have a history of health problems.

Step 1

Familiarize yourself with the Navy's physical fitness standards. Every branch of the military has their own base requirements. The Navy Physical Readiness Test involves pushups, sit-ups and either a 1.5 mile run or a swim. In order to pass basic training, you'll have to run and swim. Ask your recruiter to suggest fitness goals which will prepare you for basic training.

Step 2

Lose weight. The physical strain of basic training will be a lot less if you start out at a healthy weight. Talk to your physician and recruiter to determine a healthy goal weight. Then use a combination of regular exercise and a healthy diet to reach your goal. Weight loss is a slow process, so give yourself plenty of time. You can expect to lose one to two pounds per week.

Step 3

Do pushup and sit-up supersets. Former Navy SEAL, Stew Smith, considers supersets the best way to improve your physical fitness scores. Begin with a warm-up consisting of three to five sets of 10 jumping jacks and 10 pushups. Then do five to 10 sets of 10 regular pushups and crunches, 10 wide pushups, 10 reverse crunches, 10 triceps pushups and 10 right/left crunches

Step 4

Time yourself. One of the most stressful parts of PT tests for many sailors is the time constraint. Get in the habit of doing as many pushups and sit-ups in two minutes as possible. See how fast you can run 1.5 miles.

Step 5

Make a schedule. In order to get in shape for the Navy, you'll have to commit to regular, vigorous workouts. Clear time in your schedule for a workout every day or at least five days of the week. Running, swimming, pushups and sit-ups should be the focus of your workouts, but you don't have to neglect other forms of exercise. Activities that strengthen your arms, core and legs -- such as cycling, rock climbing or rowing -- will all help to get you ready for battle.

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