Preparing for Basic Training: Calisthenics and Other Tips

Preparing for basic training is not something you should take lightly. In the months leading up to basic training, you want to begin preparing yourself – mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Basic training is meant to prepare you to serve in the military, so it is no wonder that it is so intense. Careful preparation beforehand can allow you to be as successful as possible.

You will want to start preparing for training at least three months in advance. To help you get started, here are six tips you will want to keep in mind. 

Take Care of Personal Matters

While you are in basic training, you will not have the same level of access to your personal life as you currently do. To prepare for your time away, you will want to make arrangements for your banking, house, pets, and any other obligations.

Most of the time, this is as simple as sitting down with a friend or family member and asking them to help you for several months. If you have upcoming bills, try to pay them off in advance of going to basic training or give a friend the money so they can pay for you.

Train with Calisthenics

To start preparing yourself physically for basic training, you’re going to want to incorporate daily exercise into your routine. This includes a daily run, some sort of military calisthenics, and weight lifting. Also, remember to include a warm-up and cool-down period in your routine. Create several workout routines that you can do at home and the gym.

If you are currently not physically active, you will want to start slow and build up your stamina. Preparing physically now will make getting through basic training easier and prevent burnout. If needed, consider working with a local trainer to prepare.

Get used to Drinking Water

If you are currently relying on soda and energy drinks to get through the day, you are going to need to start incorporating more water into your routine. It is easy to become dehydrated while attending basic training. Many recruits are not used to drinking an appropriate amount of water and end up making themselves get sick.

Get phasing sugary drinks out of your diet and replacing them with water. Not only will this get you in the habit of drinking enough water during the day, but it also helps keep you hydrated as you physically prepare for basic training.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Along with drinking enough water, you are going to want to eat a nutritious, balanced diet in the weeks leading up to basic training. Avoid packing on extra pounds before leaving. Some recruits make the mistake of only eating fast food or eating a lot of sugary treats before going, which could harm your health.

Instead, make sure you are eating a balanced diet that contains food from all the major food groups. This includes plenty of veggies, lean meats, and other proteins. Avoid eating a lot of fatty, sugary, or fried food before you go.

Soldier carrying heavy load

Pack Accordingly

Start packing your bags accordingly. Many items are banned during basic training, including cigarettes, pornographic materials, expensive electronics, books, and food. You will not be able to keep any banned items with you.

When it comes to packing, you are going to want any necessary paperwork (you will receive a list before training), extra cash, toiletry items, and a change of clothes. You do not need to pack too many clothes – just enough to change into when your uniform is in the wash. You will also want a pair of comfortable shoes.

Check with your recruiter

Remember – if you have questions about preparing for basic training, check with your recruiter! They are there to help you prepare. If you have questions about what type of daily training you should be completing or what to pack, check-in with them.

Most recruiters will give you detailed instructions on how to prepare for basic training. Take their advice seriously. Some recruiters may even hold workout sessions before basic training, so make sure to check with yours to see what they are offering. Recruits that fail to take advice from their recruiter will likely find themselves under-prepared for basic training.

Final Thoughts

Getting ready for basic training is intense, but it is well worth the effort. If you do not want to find yourself vastly under-prepared for basic training, start developing a workout routine, eating a healthy diet, and drinking enough water. Also, familiarise yourself with what type of activities you will be doing in basic training so that you have an idea of what to expect.


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