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How to Prepare for Military Basic Training? – 4 Starting Tips

Written by Everett Bledsoe / Fact checked by Brain Bartell

how to prepare for military basic training

Basic training, sometimes referred to as boot camp training, is one of the first military preparations you should worry about if you are a soon-to-be service member. During this period, you will be proving your worth and competency. So, it has to be taken seriously.

To pass and leave a good impression, it is essential that you learn how to prepare for military basic training.

This article will take you through everything you need to do to be ready for said training:

  • Expect to prepare both your body and mind
  • Expect to start early
  • Expect to change your lifestyle and bad habits
  • Expect to train physically, emotionally, mentally, and intellectually

In addition, we offer a range of other pieces of advice that you can follow to ace your basic training. Continue reading to find out!

4 Starting Tips to Prepare for Military Basic Training


First, let’s get one thing straight: you will have to prepare BOTH your body and mind for basic training. It is best to balance your preparations between physical and mental health. Do not just focus on one and expect to ace your basic training that way.

Second, it is important that you start preparing for army basic training as soon as possible. You will not do well if you wait until the last day to start pumping. With that said, you should not overdo your preparations. If you engage in rough training every single day until you hit basic training, there is a high chance you will get injured or drain yourself from doing well.

Third, when it comes to preparing your body, aside from physical exercises, you will have to make changes to your lifestyle, including your habits and vices. This means cutting out: smoking, drinking, unhealthy snacking, and partying. Make sure you maintain a rich diet and stay dehydrated. Also, get enough sleep—pulling all-nighters to work out will do you no good. Taking care of yourself this way will set the stage for a perfectly executed boot camp.

With these three tips in mind, proceed to the next sections.

Prepare Yourself Physically

Know what you need to master

In all branches, you will have to take a physical fitness test. However, the expectations that you must meet depend on your chosen military branch. So, it is important that you know what you need to prepare for before jumping into any action.

For example, in Army boot camp, you will be tested on push-ups and sit-ups. In the Navy and Marine Corps, however, you must also be a strong swimmer.

Craft a tailored workout plan

Therefore, develop and tailor a workout routine that focuses on the requirements you know you will have to meet. Select your workouts carefully and make sure that it is specific to you. Also, do not forget to take into account equipment and frequency.

After completing your plans, consult a doctor. He or she will be able to give valuable input, especially in regards to minimizing injuries.

Practice properly and consistently

Another important aspect to keep in mind is that practice is only effective if done properly and consistently. Be critical of yourself—5 correct push-ups and sit-ups a day is much better than 15 incorrect ones every other week.

If you are struggling with form, try to seek help from a friend or personal trainer. There are also many Youtube workout tutorials that you can find online. For instance:

Check out this one on push-ups:


Meet all the basics

Despite differences between branches, however, having upper body strength and being able to run are two common requirements that you must be able to satisfy. Do not leave them out of your workout sessions.

Working out strengthens your physical capabilities by allowing your body to familiarize itself. It is important to shield against possible injuries and be ready to tackle certain exercises when the time comes.

Other tips for working up a sweat

To work out effectively, follow these tips:

  • Do not bull-head your way into the most challenging routines. It is better to start slow and gradually build up the intensity.
  • Always warm-up and cool down. Your body needs to transition into and out of rigorous training properly. Anything done too abruptly can leave nasty consequences.
  • Set realistic and measurable goals. This allows you to track your progress, which doubles as a means of motivation for you to continue preparing.
  • Know the details of when, where, and how you will be working out. This will ensure that you stay on top of things.

Do not forget about the initial body requirements

Remember when you were tested during applications for body requirements? During basic training, the body fat standards still apply! You get not let loose just because you have been accepted and are about to move onto the next phase with boot camp training. There are no waivers that you can rely on if you exceed the predetermined range. So, be careful not to exceed the predetermined range for weight and body fat by regulating your diet and continuing to exercise.

Prepare Yourself Emotionally


As mentioned earlier, you will also have to work on your mind to prep for basic training. Drill sergeants and instructors are harsh. They are not going to go easy on you and will not pamper you with sweet words. You will most likely be scolded and criticized, but do not let it weigh you down. Instead, embrace and use it as a motivation to do better.

Prepare Yourself Mentally

Know that you will be confronted by stress and pressure, and adopt a tough mentality.

As with your body, exercise to improve your capabilities. In particular, work on quick-thinking, improvising, problem-solving, and decision-making. This will sharpen your brain to handle even the most difficult and mind-boggling situations—which are more than likely to occur in the military realm.

Prepare Yourself Intellectually

Additionally, you will have to take a paper vocational test to see if you are fit for the military. For this, muscles will not help you. You must study ahead to do well.

As surprising as it may be, you will spend just as much time in the classroom as you do outside under the hot sun for basic training. There are written academic tests focusing on theories, such as first-aid procedures, protocols, customs and courtesies, weapon handlings, etc. Plus, you must be aware of the military’s core values, history, and marksmanship. So, while getting ready for basic training in the Army, do not forget to strengthen yourself intellectually.


With that, you have reached the end of this article on how to prepare for military basic training. Hopefully, it has been helpful. To recap, there is a lot to do for both your body and mind. Thus, it is important that you start early. Invest time and effort—and know that you will be rewarded. Focus on consistency and never forget why you started.

We have given you several pieces of advice, which may be difficult to remember all at once. Hence, bookmark this article so you can refer back to it whenever you need it.

Share this with other soon-to-be service members and help them prepare for basic training as well!

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