T Nation

Preparing for Navy BMT


Hello everyone. I'm new to the site (Although I've read a few articles already, very good reads!) and I was wondering if I could get some advice on a training program for the Navy basic training. I realize that it's not nearly as difficult as special forces or even marine basic training, but I still want to be as prepared as possible.

First, a little background information on me. I'm 18 years old and I'm finishing up high school, I'll be done June 15. I leave for basic on July 25th, so that gives me roughly 10 weeks if I start a new program Monday. I'm currently weighing in at around 180 down from 310 in March of last year and then up from 174 the past couple months.

I've been lifting for a few months (Doing the 5x5 program which I just finished up) but I've decided to put my future powerlifting goals out of site now until my military life is either settled or over.

Basically I want to improve my run time (1.5 mile) and endurance, my push-ups, and my sit-ups. I also want to improve my chin-ups as I can barely do 5x5 with body weight (Can only do 1 pull-up so I've been doing chin-ups). Could you guys recommend a training plan?

My current plan has been, starting Monday, to do some sort of weight lifting Mon/Wed/Fri in addition to sprinting/HIIT on Tues/Sat and distance/endurance running on Thurs/Sun. However, I'm sort of clueless on what I should do. I don't think benching would be a good idea as I've noticed my max push-ups going down from 46 to 25ish ever since I started focusing solely on bench/military press for my chest/tricep exercises.

As for diet, I'm going to keep it at around 3000 calories a day, with a whey/dextrose shake on lifting days to make it 3300 on those days. This has more or less been my maintenance level. I don't want to lose what little muscle I have and I'd really like to stay around the same weight, or possibly lose some fat but it's really not a main concern. My main goal is to improve my running, push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups. Can this be done?

Sorry for the long paragraphs and rambling, I wanted to make sure you guys had all the information possible. Thanks in advance for any help/responses!


I can't really remember much about my training and I haven't got a clue what the yank navy entrance tests are. But before I went through royal marine training, in Lympstone, there was a three day ordeal called PRMC (Potential Royal Marine Course). Prior to this I had been training 2 times a day, 6 days a week for a year. I could get to level 15 on the bleep test and had a resting heart rate of 47bpm. Most of my training was CV based although a proportion of it was strength based. The training I found most benificial, I have to say, was fartlek training, which is a none stop sprint/jog excercise, and it goes something like this:

10 min slow warm up jog.
2 min 100% sprint.
1 min slow jog (to get breath back).
1.5 min 80% effort.
30 secs slow jog.
30 sec sprint.
1 min 80% effort.
2 mins fast walk.
10 min warm down jog.
You get the idea.

Do this for no longer than 30 mins to start with, as it may kill you. Before I under took basic training, I was doing this for an hour and a half, but when I first started I was almost dying afterwards, I think I could only do it for 20 mins max. Trust me, if you want to make fast VO2 improvements this is the excercise for you. It is a pain in the arse to keep timing the sprints etc, so if it's hilly near where you live - sprint up hills, 80% on the flat, slow jog down hills. Or use lampost/block spacing to sprint/job between. But don't cheat yourself, alot of people just pussy out, and throw in a few sprints and go home. You should be a quivering wreck after one of these if you did it right. The first few times will be hard (like anything), but with practise you'll become a CV ninja.

Also I found if they ask you to do press ups, don't start doing weights, just do press ups. Train for what they are asking you to do e.i. I was running 6 miles, 3 times a week, before I got to PRMC, when I got there it was only a 3 mile run (1.5 mile run, 1.5 sprint), so I had trained for something I didn't really need to. So I could have cut it down and probably got a better time. Also beware of the 'cheeky little warm ups' they may carry out before any phys, usually they are pretty gay, and are there to make you ache before you undertake the phys.

Also if they do some sort of boot camp style circuit training at some gym near you, it's all good. Or you could set one up for yourself.

Along the same line as fartlek is good old sprints.

8 x 100 meter week 1
6 x 200 meter week 2
4 x 400 meter week 3
2 x 800 meter week 4

Get used to not stoppping, and getting your breath back whilst running, as it's a good skill to have. Try sprinting 100meters then jogging back to where you started, then doing it again untill you've done 10. I used to do a 800 meter sprint straight into a 5 mile fell run, getting my breath back for the first 0.5 miles into the run.

Do one of those a week with a fartlek session a week, and a 3 mile run for CV.

Mon - fartlek
Wed - 8 x 100 sprints
fri - 3 miles

Always increase lengths and mileage, as your CV will stagnate and will become less fit (like lifting).

Also I'm not sure if US navy PTIs are as up tight about style of press ups, pull ups etc as RM PTIs. if you do a press up that's not 'right' it may not be counted. So you'll need to find out what style of excercises they do. On PRMC we had to do 60 tricep press ups after the VO2 max test (bleep test), 80 full sit ups (back of head touching floor, then forhead touching knees), and 10 wide grip pull ups to a beep (3 second pause between lowering and pulling, chin over bar), all within 2mins each. I actually didn't do as well as i could have done, due to nerves and them really thrashing us on the warm ups.

Good luck and remember pain is only temporary.


Also I just thought - stress positions, the military love stress positions.

Holding the press up position (body straight facing forwards not looking at the floor).
Sitting against a wall with a weight on your lap.
Holding rifles in weird positions (shoot to kill I think it was called).
leopard crawls (not so much stress positions, but try leopard crawling 1 mile).


Sorry to keep adding shit, but as your joining the navy, I'm assuming you'll need to be able to swim. So I'd advise to swim once/twice a week, it's a good stress free CV workout too.

I can remember reading this book a few years back, and it being quite usefull to a mate who joined the paras. Although aimed at UK elite forces (SAS, Marine Commandos, paras), it'll set you in good sted for navy training. It has all about fartlek, sprints and it'll guide you through a progressive program and nutritional instructions to.


I am a Marine, you know once a Marine always a Marine. And I can tell you training for swimming is a waste of time. I was a competative swimmer and swam up to the day I left for boot camp and I still wasn't prepared for the swim training we recieved. Ever swim fully clothed? Yeah, have fun, now do that with a mock rubber M-16 and a 25lb pack, even more fun. Now do that with about a dozen Drill Instructors yelling at you, even more fun. Now take off your pants and trap air in them, tie them around your neck and float for 10 mins, adding more air as necessary, even more fun. YOu can see where I'm going with this right????? Don't waste your time swimming unless you don't know how, learn before you go or you'll be suckin water till you vomit, I've seen it.

I'm not in any shape to tell you what to do but I would recommend doing the basics. From the people that I knew in the Navy they said boot camp wasn't as physical as they thought it was going to be. I would say eat good and follow one of the great programs laid out here until you get to boot camp. Make sure you can finish the PT with a top score, that's what I did, and we did a 3 mile run 2 mins max sit ups and max dead hang pull ups. I would also cut back on how much you are eating as you will not consume that many calories in boot camp and since your body is use to that you will feel hungry all the time and not beable to focus on what you are supposed to be doing. Also get used to drinking tons of water, I mean tons. Are you going to Great Lakes for basic? Sorry to ramble, too much caffine this evening.

Semper Fi


Yeah Great Lakes is where all Navy Recruits receive their basic training. I do need to start a running program and I'm actually thinking about the "Hit the Deck" program for improving my push-ups. My sit-ups are at around 80 but I was thinking I could do the same program with my sit-ups via crunches (Since it'd be hard to find something to put my feet under). I'm sure it wouldn't improve them as much as my push-ups, but should get them over 100 at least.

I'm just wondering if I should drop lifting altogether. I was thinking maybe I could squat Monday, deadlift Wednesday, and front squat Friday. Maybe something like HST that wouldn't be super taxing as the 5x5? What do you guys think?

Thanks so far for the replies.


im going to the navy in August 16 I weigh 230 and 6 foot(thank god for there body percent fat scale) i have friends who went and i wouldnt stop benching and stuff like that it helps me keep my pushups at a good level. my friend who was a long distance runner in track wasnt good at all 6 mintue mile didnt really have a hard time at boot camp with the running or physicall part just make sure you memorize all the stuff required for end of boot camp and it should be a not bad at all.


I'd also echo the basics. Just a simple general fitness program will work to help you do well. I'm sure your recruiter gave you one of those little guide books. That's actually a decent set up. Two or three full body workouts a week, throw in some running 2-3 times a week and you're golden. Keep your diet simple (enough protein, some efa,) and you should be ok. The navy has a ht/wt standard as well, but I don't know if it's the same as ours (Marine Corps).


for the height weight i had to be 201 pounds im 32 pounds over that lol
its easier to get in the marines when your over weight bc they except people in the basic training for marines to lose more weight then any other branch


YOU NEED to take time off you cant exercise every day, 2 days, do nothing, otherwise you are not letting your muscles fully heal

call your recruiter, im sure he works out daily, work out with him and ask him,


HAHAHAHA!! A Navy Recruiter work out daily! I almost choked laughing! That was a good one......


my recruiter works out but not like me he once asked me why would i want to bench more then 300 pounds and just smiled and said why wouldnt you.

im just glad they measure your body precent fat to so i was able to join


Do not worry about body fat percentages, the ht/wt in the military is geared toward skinny dudes.

Ive been taped for body fat every single pt test Ive ever taken in the Army.

good luck


I did Navy boot camp almost 5 years ago. I went there in terrible shape and came out fine. If you know how to swim (you need to be able to tread water for 5 minutes) and can run at a decent speed (an 8 minute mile or 12 minute 1 and a half is passing), you'll be fine. I could barely do 20 push-ups when I went in (I was a little chubby weakling!) and had no problems passing the test by the end. Your test scores in boot camp mean nothing once you get out to the fleet, so I wouldn't sweat the physical readiness portion unless you have legitimate concerns that you won't be able to pass them.

Navy boot camp is more classroom oriented then the other services. One thing I wish I had done before shipping out was memorizing the sailor's creed, the core values and the rank/rate structure. If you already have those memorized when you go in you'll be way ahead of the pack.


Oh, and don't worry about pull-ups. Pull-ups are not part of the Navy physical readiness test.


i can do 14 pull up ive done 65 pushup in two mintues and run a 7 30 mile right now im not worried about pt

im annoyed that i cant gain any more weight for weight lifting bc if i do my body precent might be slighlty off and they wont let me in. i scored a 88 on my asvabs a good score from what i hear and since i was sucking weight to make the body percent thing and was only thinking about food i hear thats not bad. sadly how ever im color blind so that limited my on my job selections.


Well looks like you can't be an Air Traffic Controler or an MP . And the Armed forces way of measuring body fat is not the most accurate.


You should check out www.stewsmith.com

Also go to google and type Navy Seal Workout. If you can do that, then the Navy entrance will be a breeze.


yeah ive seen navy seal training not many people in this world who can make it through that.

sad thing is that once you go in you never come out the same from the navy seals