Shape Up: Military Style!

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With boot-camps and similar style workouts being all the rage we decided to delve into training the military employs. The idea is to mimic actual training our Armed Forces uses to keep soldier in shape. This routine is a great idea for anyone from people thinking of joining the military to people who just want to get in shape and enjoy the outdoor weather.

Now a lot of the basic military training is centered on the idea of utilizing your body weight and movements similar to calisthenics. Part of the ideology is being strong and in shape to handle repetitive motions that require moving your entire body weight over obstacles. There is also a cardiovascular aspect involved. Combine those two things together and you get a pretty brutal workout.

Basicsshape up military style

The workouts will take about an hour and you can workout Monday to Friday with the weekends off. This actually mimics typical military training quite well. Strength training is done to muscle failure sometimes or a specifc rep count. Cardiovascular training will vary between interval training (sprinting or running hills) and steady work (over longer distances). One of the biggest keys is constant changes and pushing yourself to the limit at all times. Soldiers need to be in peak physical condition and cannot settle for ‘working harder tomorrow’.

Each workout will involve a 5-10 minute warm-up of light jogging (jumping jacks or jump rope as well) and stretching and a 5-10 minute cool down of stretching.

The Workout

Monday – Interval Running

This interval will be fairly basic. It will start with 5 minutes of moderate running followed by 2 minutes of fast running. You will do 4 full intervals of 5 and 2 followed by a final 5 minute moderate run for 33 total minutes of running.

Tuesday – Strength Training

You will perform a circuit of exercises. Each exercise is done to failure (unless reps are given) with no rest between each exercise.

  • Pushups (feet set wide apart)
  • 20 Squat-thrusts
  • 50 Jumping jacks
  • 30 Jackknife Crunches
  • Pullups (on any available bar, fence, etc)
  • 30 Up-downs (standing position, fall down flat on the ground, stand up quickly)
  • 50 Jumping jacks
  • 30 Bicycle crunches
  • Close hand pushups (thumbs touching under chest)
  • 50 Jumping Jacks

Wednesday – Athletics

For this day you will do 30 to 60 minutes of some sporting activity. This can be running, cycling, fast hiking, basketball, aerobics, or virtually any other sport that is fast-paced and will work on dexterity and cardiovascular conditioning.

Thursday – Cardio/Strength Combo

This is a brutal workout that mixes strength and conditioning.

  • 1 mile jog
  • Push-ups for 2 minutes (rest 1 minute)
  • Crunches for 2 minutes (rest 1 minute)
  • Push-ups with feet raised for 2 minutes (rest 2 minutes)
  • Leg raises for 2 minutes (rest 2 minutes)
  • 1 mile jog

Friday – Hike

Now you can pretend you are in the military! Load up a pack with anywhere from 40 to 70 pounds of stuff. Dress in good hiking clothes with good boots. Set out on a 1 hour hike (or 4-5 miles) on terrain that includes some hills. Make sure to push your pace much like a soldier would march. Bring plenty of water and stay hydrated.

Do You Have What it Takes?

This is a watered down version of serious military training mainly because it is up to you to push yourself. But if you want a brutal regimen that will test you then give this workout a try.

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