T Nation

Upper Body Strength for Boot Camp


Hey T NATION and additional viewers -

My name is Pete. Im 20 and destined for boot camp in the next month or two depending on when my contract comes through. I've been dieting successfully and have lost 50 lbs since christmas. My problem is that I'm not sure my upper body strength is where it needs to be, so I was inquiring to see some simple body weight exercises not requiring equipment to help me get to a point where I can bang out as many push ups and crunches as possible.

Any input on this situation, either from experience in boot camp or fitness in general is greatly appreciated!


If you want to be able to do push ups and crunches, do push ups and crunches.

Also pull-ups.


Understood. I meant from the obvious, is there anything I can do to make my gains from doing body weight exercises better then normal?


look into the whole neural charge section (basically alot of plyometrics),, gives you the ability to train everyday, and most beginner stuff is BW only. good luck


It depends on what bootcamp you're going to.

Marines: Get out there and run a lot, pushups and pull ups
Army: Run a lot, Push ups and chin ups
Navy: Practice folding laundry as small as possible as often as possible.
Air Force: Just practice sitting in a chair and typing.


<3 greg


Definitely would help if we knew what branch you were going into, but two methods that worked pretty good for me and got my all time best to 83 in 2 minutes:

Train for the test will depend on which branch you are going into

Do as many pushups as you can in the time limit working on speed and explosiveness for the 1st set, rest 2 minutes, then repeat two more times for 3 sets going to max each time. Do this for situps too.
Then do diamond/wide pushups to failure afterward.

Or do a low rep set of about 20-30 pushups/situps numerous times throughout the day until it becomes easy then, if you started with 20, go to 25 and when that becomes easy to do multiple sets of 25 go to 30 and so on, just get the reps in and shoot for double or even triple the most you need to pass.

When we were in basic we made sure we had a certain amount of reps per day and when that got easy we increased it, also look for anything you can to do pullups on, we would do pullups in the bathroom stalls in the barracks or between the double bunks or door frames. Best of luck guy, you get what you put into it.


learn to do these exercises exhausted too, like run then cycle exercises without stoppping or something.

Depending on how fit you already are, you could try the navy seals thing


here is a link for it



<3 H-Mac

When I was at Benning for jump school I was surprised by the chin ups. I thought the military was all pull ups.