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Template for People Too Fat/Weak to Do BW Template?

My little cousin is getting in shape for the military and is going to do the four day wendler routine swell as 3 days a week conditioning.

He wants to do the bodyweight template but he can do about 3 press ups and 1 half of a pull-up.

What template would he be best using to build up to the bodyweight template?

This should be guided by the specific PFT metrics that his branch tests (Physical Fitness Test). I would work towards the tests, but also develop a general level of conditioning and competence with BW exercises. I recommend doing the following:

  1. Look up the actual PFT for his branch. Have him perform the actual test once per week, always trying to better his times or scores.

  2. He probably will never touch a barbell in Basic Training. There is plenty of time after Basic to bulk up and get strong. Boot Camp prep should be focused on acing the exercises they’ll actually make him do and getting through injury-free. That said, I’d keep some barbell exercises as outline below.

  3. Focus on timed road running (and possibly rucking depending on branch). Most of the running revolves around distances greater than a couple miles. I’d run 3-5 miles several times per week.

  4. Focus on mastering BW exercises. Some recommend doing pushups, dips and pullups daily. But I’d personally do something like this:

DAY 1: Pushups SS Ring Rows 5xMax ea.

DAY 2: Deadlift SS Incline Situps 5x10each

DAY 3: Dips SS Pullups 5xMax ea. (use banded pullups if necessary)

DAY 4: Back Squats SS Leg Raises 5x10 ea.

DAY 5: Perform the entire PFT and record score.

And run almost every day. Skinny people who can run make it through Boot Camp all the time. Get jacked afterwards…

I’ll just add there are many ways to assist body weight exercises like pull-ups and push-ups. He can use bands like GraniteJack said. Other options include negatives, the assisted pull-up machine some gyms have, and you manually assisting him. Another good exercise to build up to the pull-up is the inverted row.

Push-ups can also be done from the knees. He could try drop sets: do 3 regular push-ups then do more from his knees.

Finally if he is hitting the condition hard and losing weight these body weight exercises should increase quickly.

But most-importantly, put him in touch with someone who has graduated from Boot Camp in the branch he will be serving. Get their opinion on what he should be doing. It’s easy for me to sit here and tell you to do bodyweight exercises and running, but someone in the branch can elaborate on specific exercises performed during PT that go above and beyond training for the PFT.