T Nation

Military Physical

I had my military physical today for Army OCS and I came in at 5’8 and 178 lbs. I had to be body fat tested because I am 4 lbs over the max weight for my height. However, the max bodyfat you can be if you are overweight is 25%, and I measured out to be at 11%. It was clear that I was one of the more fit people there, with one other guy outdoing everyone with some insanely low bodyfat and pretty decent size.

Anyway…178 lbs is overweight at 5’8? Who do they want in the Army???

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The thing about the army is your own weight can be a liability. Odds are you won’t be fighting the enemy with your bare hands or brute strength, you’re an endurance athlete. And the heavier you are, the harder it makes it on your body to go those 10/20/30 miles especially carrying all your gear.

Plus you’re weight can be a liability, if you’re stuck with a leg injury and your buddy has to help carry you back to safety, would you rather carry 178 or 150lbs?

That said, members of the armed forces have some of the best “strength density” or strength to bodyweight ratios out there. Don’t they have you doing a lot of bodyweight exercises for PTs?

-My Two cents

That weight guideline goes for ALL branches of service. I had to drop over 25lbs in two weeks to make it into the AirForce and I wasn’t fat to begin with.

Those guidelines are based on decades old standards…as are a lot of things in the military.

You asked who they want. Well, according to those guidelines, someone without much muscle mass at all…even though many guys bulk up right after they get done with basic.

Contrary to what you may believe, there are some pretty big guys in the military. Those guidelines are mostly to get you in the door. As long as you pass your tests after you get in, the exact weight isn’t an issue.

Those guidelines are just that, guidelines. They help in the sense that once a person goes above the mark, they are to be taped and their bodyfat measured in order to see how much of that person’s body is lean body mass, as opposed to him/her potentially just being a chunky slob. Therefore, “overweight” is a very subjective word.

You’re making it sound as if they gave you a nasty stare because you didn’t come in looking like Marilyn Manson after a week-long cocaine binge. I came in at your exact height, and 2lb heavier at 15% BF over 6 years ago.

And I don’t know why people seem to think the military only wants skinny people. Perhaps some branches do, but troops in combat arms prefer a more muscular physique. Hell, it’s an unwritten law that you should be hitting the gym after work.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Contrary to what you may believe, there are some pretty big guys in the military. Those guidelines are mostly to get you in the door. As long as you pass your tests after you get in, the exact weight isn’t an issue.[/quote]

Unfortunately, as far as the AF goes, height/weight do play a factor in your PT score now. It’s on a sliding scale and the more “overweight” you are for your height the less points you get for your certain PT Test activities.

They don’t do body caliper measurements, they do height/weight and then the BMI formula to calculate it from that.

The formula is:
(Weight in LBS * 703) / (height in inches ^2)

eg.
I’m 180 and 5’11’’.
(180 * 703) / (71^2)
…126540 / 5041
…25.1 BMI

The Metric model is more simple:
Weight in KG / Height in Meters ^2

The Marine who dealt with me was laughing about it because it was obvious that I am in shape and my weight is not something anyone would ever question. You would see me and think, “he lifts weights” not “he needs to lose about 4 lbs.” haha

It’s fine though, I passed…by the time I get to OCS, I’ll be down at least 5-6 lbs anyway…

However, the last time I went to OCS (I’m going back, I broke my foot this past Summer) I was 158 lbs and a running machine. After getting out of OCS, I bulked up to 195 and wasn’t even all that fat. But I knew I couldn’t get away with that, so I trimmed off 17 lbs in about 3 months. Opra-like, huh? haha

At this point, the Army isn’t being too picky. I’ve tried to send a few fat and dumpy slobs home because they were hopeless and had no inclination to stay away from the Doritos display at Wal Mart. I see a lot of people walking around in uniforms that appear to be made of Spandex. Initially the standards were designed to not only prevent fatness, but also to prevent the appearance of fatness.

I’ve looked at those screening charts and thought that being at that low of a bodyweight would strip all my muscle away. I have pulled off some impressive PT test scores at 230 lbs., and threw it in everyone’s face when I had to be tested for my bodyfat. I was told that I was 45 lbs. overweight and had to run more often. Of course, I said “Fuck you! I ran faster than the skinniest guys, and faster than you ever will, dickhead!”.
Yeah, I’m such a model soldier, aren’t I?

[quote]Asgardian wrote:

Plus you’re weight can be a liability, if you’re stuck with a leg injury and your buddy has to help carry you back to safety, would you rather carry 178 or 150lbs?
…[/quote]

If I was wounded I would rather have the bigger guy carry me. And 178 isn’t really very big. The argument can be made both ways.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Asgardian wrote:

Plus you’re weight can be a liability, if you’re stuck with a leg injury and your buddy has to help carry you back to safety, would you rather carry 178 or 150lbs?

If I was wounded I would rather have the bigger guy carry me. And 178 isn’t really very big. The argument can be made both ways.[/quote]

Aah, not that argument again!

I’d rather be bigger and stronger and able to carry him at either weight.

When I was in Florida phase I had to firemen carry a 6’6 dude for about 500 meters. He must have weighed about 250 pounds as he was solid and had not wasted away like most us had. It was pure misery.

Thankfully he was not wearing any kit as I do not think I would have been able to. While deployed I would say with body armor and full kit I weighed in over 300 lbs. Not to many people would have been able to carry me very far.

I have a real life story of one of the hardest dudes I ever met I would never have thought capable of heroics. He was around 5’9 and pudgy. A friend was shot twice about 300 meters away. This other friend of mine stripped off all his gear and crawled during the fight over to him. Gave him aid to stabilize and stop bleeding then drug him back the 300 meters while under fire. For all of which he only received a silver star. Dude deserved MOH in my opinion but what do I know.

I routinely come in at 31-36 pounds OVER what I’m “supposed” to weigh, and it’s horseshit, plain and simple. I have to be taped every time, yet there’s kids that are one hostess cup cake away from wearing trash bags with suspenders serving next to me and they pass their height/weight standards. the ARMY doesn’t take into account muscle mass or bone density at all. My guess is they base their standards on starving Rangers just in from a 9 week desert cycle with limited food.

to the OP: did you pass the Chapter 2 physical? I took mine back in january and “ommitted” quite a few things so that I could pass mine without delaying any longer.

Chapter 2 physical?

[quote]djoh615893 wrote:
At this point, the Army isn’t being too picky. I’ve tried to send a few fat and dumpy slobs home because they were hopeless and had no inclination to stay away from the Doritos display at Wal Mart. I see a lot of people walking around in uniforms that appear to be made of Spandex. Initially the standards were designed to not only prevent fatness, but also to prevent the appearance of fatness.

I’ve looked at those screening charts and thought that being at that low of a bodyweight would strip all my muscle away. I have pulled off some impressive PT test scores at 230 lbs., and threw it in everyone’s face when I had to be tested for my bodyfat. I was told that I was 45 lbs. overweight and had to run more often. Of course, I said “Fuck you! I ran faster than the skinniest guys, and faster than you ever will, dickhead!”.
Yeah, I’m such a model soldier, aren’t I?[/quote]

I like your attitude.

My opinion is that height/weight ratio or body-fat % or muscle mass or whatever shouldnt matter.
What should matter for a soldier is performance…running times,pull-ups,shooting skills,swimming,climbing,etc.

Abilities.

The problem with that, BALBO, is that in he Military appearance plays a large role.

Height/weight ratios are very random, just like the tape measure the Navy uses for bodyfat. If you weigh in overweight, they measure your neck and waist, and plug into a table, which gives them your ‘bodyfat.’ In reality, all it does is show the ratio from your waist to your neck, so you could be a fat slob with no neck, and still tape out at a low BF%.

The height/weight thing is supposed to keep service members looking presentable in uniform. Most law enforcement/federal agencies call it ‘weight proportionate to height’, but the military actually lays out guidelines-don’t believe the LE/FA side does(anyone know for sure?).

At 6’, the max weight used to be 202, not sure what it is now, they raised it. I used to fail body weight on purpose so they would have to tape me(6’, 205, 9-10%BF). Stupid, but I thought I was making a statement. I usually had to eat like a horse for two weeks prior to make that weight due to metabolism.

I actually knew a guy who was fat and overweight, but always passed the tape. He would wear one of those solar belts(supposed to melt fat off your waist) to bed, and not take it off until right before they taped him. The neoprene would compress everything in, and it would take a while after he took it off before everything would settle back out…so he would tape 3-4 inches smaller than before the belt. Then he would shrug his shoulders up and claim that was normal, so his neck would tape larger. Passed everytime.

[quote]deadleg wrote:

I have a real life story of one of the hardest dudes I ever met I would never have thought capable of heroics. He was around 5’9 and pudgy. A friend was shot twice about 300 meters away. This other friend of mine stripped off all his gear and crawled during the fight over to him. Gave him aid to stabilize and stop bleeding then drug him back the 300 meters while under fire. For all of which he only received a silver star. Dude deserved MOH in my opinion but what do I know.[/quote]

That’s a great story and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with “only” a Silver Star (not implying that you meant it that way). Pretty much the only way you’ll ever get an MOH for saving a single life is if it’s the CIC.

DB

[quote]boatguy wrote:
I actually knew a guy who was fat and overweight, but always passed the tape. He would wear one of those solar belts(supposed to melt fat off your waist) to bed, and not take it off until right before they taped him. The neoprene would compress everything in, and it would take a while after he took it off before everything would settle back out…so he would tape 3-4 inches smaller than before the belt. Then he would shrug his shoulders up and claim that was normal, so his neck would tape larger. Passed everytime.[/quote]

Ha ha ha!!!
Genius!