Ask Stew: Preparation Tips For Army BCT


Joining the military and having to lose 25 pounds or more prior to Basic Training is very common these days. It is wise to prepare at least 4-6 months out from your ship date and build a foundation of fitness that will help you lose weight at the same time, keep you from injuring yourself during training, and make the physical activity of basic training less stressful both mentally and physically. Here is an emailed question from a young man giving himself adequate time to prepare for Basic Combat Training (BCT), given his current fitness level.

Hello Stew, 

I am a future soldier and I am preparing for my BCT for US Army. I am overweight by 25 pounds and I am facing a hard time losing my weight. I have a very bad running time. I still have 4-5 months to ship. Could you please guide me regarding which ebook I should follow so that I can pass BCT and AIT?

Looking forward for your reply. Thanks BV

BV - First of all, it is very smart to give yourself 4-5 months to get in better conditioning for Army Basic and beyond. People often email me the same questions with less than a month to go before they lose their slot to go to BCT. You have to get moving today. Usually, with a moderately healthy diet and at your age, you can just add daily fitness to your world and you will be good to go. However, if you eat a lot of sugary foods, snacks, and over-eat at each meal, you may have to also alter your diet. You will likely find yourself losing as up to or even over 10-15 pounds in your first month of weight loss, with just exercise, no soda, and by drinking nearly a gallon of water a day.

I would suggest taking it one step at a time. Focus on adding Army style fitness training to your day by mixing in calisthenics, running, and walking with a back pack 4-5 times a week. Build up to 5-6 days a week of activity. On the days you are not working out hard, you should focus on recovery, stretching, and foam rolling any aches and pains associated with adding new exercises to your weekly schedule.

Here are some sample Army PT Workout articles to start with:

15 Day PT Plan - Try this for your first two weeks. Alter reps and distances if needed.

PT Pyramid Workouts

As You Advance With Running

But since you have some time, you can check out the Beginner / Intermediate Workouts and Army Fitness Programs designed to help you lose weight and build a foundation of fitness first, then help you max the PT test and follow-on training.

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