T Nation

Getting Ready for Meps.


Short story, I've lost 50 lbs in the last 3 months. I have about a month before I want to start the process of joining the army. My neck is 17 inches with relatively low fat deposits and my stomach is at 43 1/2 at the biggest point.

To qualify I have to lose about 3 inches according to the recruiter, so I have to A. Increase my neck size if possible, B. Not put on enough muscle mass in my abs to cause my measurements to actually go up.

For some of you more experienced people what I want to know is what types and intensities of exercises should I do to try and accomplishing these goals?

FYI, 5 10" 225 lbs, id guess around 29% body fat as the limit is 26% and im not far from it.


You don't sound ready for MEPS at all. Maybe in a year. You are pretty much obese. I am a little worried your first thought was increase the size of your neck as if the large waist was the lesser issue.

I mean, the goal isn't to just get through MEPS. You won't survive basic training in that kind of shape.


Not really my first thought, just something they said could help. But honestly I think if I can lose 50 lbs in 3 months mostly on diet I can drop atleast 20 more, I have a pretty large frame, I'm not as fat as it sounds.

Note: One month isnt a set date, that is MY goal. It can easily be pushed back if necesarry.


My advice would be to take a extra year and get into the best shape you can, it will make the training easier and reduce your chance of injury once you are in.


I'm not in as bad of shape as it sounds, really I'm not. I can pass the PT test, I just carry nearly all of my fat in my love handle area. I will never be able to get low enough to meet their weight requirements because my build is just too large. If I could get below 200 with exercise I would be surprised.


I know you will take this the wrong way, but you do seem to have a distorted view of your current shape if those numbers are correct. You can probably expect to have to lose 30-40lbs just to get your waist to 40". It is going to be very difficult to get through basic if for no other reason than how depleted you would already be from trying to drop that much more weight right before.

But hey, what do I know.

Post a picture. My guess is your "build" isn't too large. Your waist is...and that means you are carrying too much fat all over.


I thought the same thing when I joined the army I got in (just) I ended up with stress fractures in my feet and ankles I still passed basic but spent the next 6 months in a rehab platoon and that injury lead to my major injuries 4 or so years later that forced me out of the army.


I understand the concern. I mean my navel though, not my waist where your pants would go, thats only about 36 inches. Like I said though, Im willing to adjust the timeframe. I just want help making the most effect out of my workouts.


What does your training and diet look like now? What were your practice PFT numbers?

I'd say you should DEFINITELY push back your goal date but AT LEAST 6 months, if not more. Probably more like Prof X said, a year.


Training isn't terribly set, mostly cardio 2-3 times a week for an hour or more. Diet is about 1800-2000 calories, subsisting of mostly chicken for protein, then vegetable and fruit. No caloried liquids at all, I only drink water. The only part of the Pt test I have issues with is the running, and its just a time issue. Something that I can repair in a few months.

Lots of people keep saying a year, but my body seems to adapt pretty fast...I mean like I said I've lost 50 lbs in three months, if I waited even six months I'd be in more than decent shape for basic. Keep in mind im not sedentary in the least, I have a very active job that involved regularly lifting up to 55 lbs and constantly moving.

My understanding of the process as it is now is that in one month I will begin to enlist (Of course that can change, nothing is final yet.) Then at that point it would be atleast another month, possibly 2 before I actually go to basic. I might be rushing a bit, but my first goal is to make the requirements.


Don't rush it, man. The Army is downsizing, so you don't want to come in expecting them to let you slip by if there's a line of fitter recruits behind you.

This is my advice: If you are satisfied with simply passing the PT test then you need to reevaluate your fitness standards. Why aren't you trying to max the PT test? First of all, I guarantee you that your sergeants aren't going to see eye-to-eye with you on pushup form, and secondly, if you're barely passing, or anywhere near the edge, basic training will likely push you into failure.

In basic you will be sick (possibly very sick, and unable to do much about it), you will feel underfed, you will be stressed, and you will either be very cold or very hot. These are the conditions under which you will be expected to pass a PT test. If it sounds like failure is at all possible, then that will become just another source of stress in your life.

I stopped making weight when I started squatting and deadlifting. The weight standards are designed to target the fat soldiers, but quite a few gym rats end up getting taped as well. Get better at the PT test; you will lose weight in the process and you will be a more valued asset.


Thanks Ambugaton, Thats kind of the plan at the moment anyway, the thread is mostly asking for advice on losing the weight and getting stronger, instead everyone seems to want to insult my choices though.


i don't think anybody intended to insult you or your choices
but based on your posts i think you are not faceing reality in what u are doing
29% body fat you are fat
26% body fat you are fat

if you have trouble with the run you are not fit
the more conditioned you are the stronger you are the easier basic and your school will be
this site has alot of good info for training and fat loss
step back look at yourself and be honest with your self
get up get out and -------train!!!!!


No problem man. I'll try to be a bit more specific. What has worked the best for me, as far as training for the PT test, is the following:

2-mile run: 30/60 intervals. Run faster than race pace for 30 seconds, then walk 60. When you can do this about 12 times without difficulty, knock the rest time down to 45 seconds.

Sit-ups: This is the hardest of the three events for me to max, which is frustrating because I see fat kids who can't pass the run do it without breaking a sweat. I just can't flop up and down that fast. Again, I practice with a 30/60 method, working on speed of contraction more than anything else.

Push-ups: Do push-ups.

Seriously man, if you can work your ass off and get to the point where you're maxing the PT test, it's well worth it. A lot of units have exemption programs, so if you do score a 300 you won't have to do Army PT, which I think is responsible for the gyno-like symptoms in a lot of the soldiers.


Im well aware that im not in great shape. I am just looking for help making it to my goals, and right now my goal is to pass the basic requirements. Once I can do that, I can worry about exceding those requirements, but for now I just want to make the requirements.


Like I said, your perception is off. If doing the absolute minimum to pass is your goal, you are NOT ready for this.


Aiming to max your PFT was going to be my recommendation. Every school and/or training I have ever been to with any sort of physical entry requirements, I aimed to surpass the minimum by a pretty good amount. That way, like stated above, you have a lot of wiggle room incase you have an honory NCO who chooses to make an example of you for any reason.

ESPECIALLY if you're the chunky kid. Believe me when I tell you no one is going to be as lenient as your recruiter and You have to ensure you can surpass the standard. That's just a basic rule of thumb anyway. Aiming to just meet the minimum will get you into trouble. Just my opinion, though.


Have you ever heard of short term goals working into bigger goals? I dont think just suddenly becoming ripped is a realistic goal. I think it is entirely realistic to start small and make whatever adjustments I need to get the basic requirements.


Yet, you plan to do all of this in months. You are not being realistic. I was a captain in the US Air Force. Go ahead and keep thinking I'm the one who is clueless.


Im not sure what you mean by all this, all I need to do is lose 3 inches and get my run time down by a few minutes. And I never said you were clueless, but what you are doing is not helping.