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GET FIT FOR THE ARMY

The Army needs its soldiers and officers to be fighting fit. Follow this exercise programme to prepare for initial training

STRETCHES

BEFORE YOU START

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Test your physical ability before you start your


training programme so you will be able to see
how much you have improved after several
weeks. After completing a warm-up, carry
out the following tests with a two-minute
break between each exercise:

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CHEST

MID-BACK

Stand with your arms


behind your body, one
hand over the other
Keeping your chest out and
arms straight, lift your
palms up until you feel
the stretch in your chest
Hold for 10-20 seconds

Do as many press-ups as you can in one


minute. This is your press-ups maximum
Then do as many sit-ups as you can in one
minute. This is your sit-ups maximum
Time yourself running 1.5 miles. This is six
times around an athletics track, or you can ask
a family member to measure the route in a car.
Dont worry if it is not exact, as long as you
use the same route when re-testing later

Hold your arms above


your head, holding your
left hand with your right
Gently lean to your left,
pulling your right arm
across and down until
you feel the stretch in
the muscle along the
sides of your back
Roll slightly towards the
floor to improve the stretch
Hold for 10-20 seconds,
then switch sides

190

190

145

70-79%
MODER
ATE EF
FORT

130

60-69%
LIGHT
EFFOR
T

115

WARM-UP

Do the following routine before each session. If you are


in a swimming pool, swim slowly at first and stretch at
the shallow end of the pool.
Walk/jog for 2-3 minutes
Controlled rotation of shoulders and hips for two minutes
Increased-pace jogging or skipping for 2-3 minutes
Light stretching for 4-5 seconds on each stretch

175
160
145

EXERCISES

130
115
100

100
15

30

25

20

35

40

AGE

EFFORT

A strong upper body is vital for


general fitness and the ability to
take on any physical challenge

These powerful muscles carry you


around and are the foundation of
any strong and physically fit body

CHIN-UP

SQUAT

Start with arms straight and thighs level


Keep your back to the block as you lower
Keep your elbows pointing back
Stop before your upper arms are parallel
with the floor, then press back up again
before repeating the exercise

SOLDIER

When you attend an Assessment Centre (AC), you will be expected


to complete the following:
1
 .5-mile run within a set time limit (different regiments
and corps have their own requirements, ranging from
9 minutes 40 seconds to 14 minutes 30 seconds)
T
 wo exercises assessing your strength, including the
upper body and lower back

ASSISTED SIT-UP

Keep your feet together and elbows in


Your body should form a straight line
Brace the muscles in your abdomen
Bend your elbows to lower your body and inhale
Press back up, exhaling as you go

You will have to complete a multi-stage fitness test (beep


test) at the Army Officer Selection Board (AOSB) Briefing,
and again at the AOSB Main Board:

Lie on your front with hands by your temples


Use your lower back muscles to lift your
shoulders and chest off the floor
Lift slowly; do not bounce off the floor

C
 ircuit training:
2 x 12 of each
exercise

LEVEL 2

E
S
 teady run
25-30 mins

4 x max
press-ups

4 x 12 squats
4 x max
sit-ups
4 x 12 dorsal raises

E
S

1 0 mins
warm-up

R
 un hard for 1
min, recover for
1 min; continue
for 14 mins
(75-80% effort)

C
 ircuit training:
3 x 15 of each
exercise

1 0 mins
cool-down

2 x 45 secs max
press-ups
4 x 15 squats
2 x 45 secs max
sit-ups
4 x 15 dorsal raises

RG/LEA/359 March 2013

1 0 mins
cool-down

A
1 0-15 mins
warm-up
A
 lternate running
hard then
recovering for
intervals of
1, 2 and 3 mins
(75-80% effort)
1 0 mins
cool-down

Produced for the Ministry of Defence by Army Recruiting Group


Crown Copyright March 2013

1 0-15 mins
warm-up

1 0 mins
warm-up

3 x max
press-ups

R
 un hard for 1
min, recover for
1 min; continue
for 10 mins
(75-80% effort)

C
 ircuit training:
2 x 12 of each
exercise

3 x 10 lunges
3 x max
sit-ups
3 x 10 dorsal raises

S
 teady run
25-30 mins

4 x max
press-ups

4 x 14 lunges
4 x max
sit-ups
4 x 14 dorsal raises

C
 ircuit training:
4 x 15-20 of each
exercise
1 0 mins
cool-down

1 0 mins
cool-down

B
 risk walk/run
30-40 mins,
or swimming
25-35 mins

S
 teady run
30-40 mins
2 x 45 secs max
press-ups
4 x 15 lunges
2 x 45 secs max
sit-ups
4 x 15 dorsal raises

1 0 mins
cool-down

DAY 7
B
 risk walk
30-40 mins,
or swimming
20-25 mins

The most intense sessions

10 mins
warm-up

R
 un hard for 1
min, recover for
1 min; continue
for 14 mins
(75-80% effort)

C
 ircuit training:
3 x 15 of each
exercise

1 0 mins
cool-down

1 0 mins
cool-down

A
1 0-15 mins
warm-up
A
 lternate running
hard then
recovering for
intervals of
1, 2 and 3 mins
(75-80% effort)
1 0 mins
cool-down

DAY 1

Sessions requiring medium effort

General health-boosting sessions

B
 risk walk/jog
30-40 mins,
or swimming
25-30 mins

C
 ircuit training:
4 x 15-20 of each
exercise
1 0 mins
cool-down

R
 un hard for 1
min, recover for
1 min; continue
for 12 mins
(75-80% effort)
1 0 mins
cool-down

S
 teady run
25-30 mins
(60-70% effort)
4 x max
chin-ups
4 x 16 squats
4 x max sit-ups
4 x 16 dorsal raises

S
T

D
A

B
 risk walk/run
30-40 mins,
or swimming
30-35 mins

S
 teady run
30-40 mins
(60-70% effort)
2 x 1 min max
press-ups
4 x 20 squats
2 x 1 min max
sit-ups
4 x 20 dorsal raises
4 x 12 triceps dips

1 0 mins
cool-down

R
 un hard for 1
min, recover for
1 min; continue
for 16 mins
(75-80% effort)

A
 lternate running
hard then
recovering for
intervals of 1, 2, 3,
2 and 1 min
(75-80% effort)
1 0 mins
cool-down

B
 risk walk
30-40 mins,
or swimming
20-25 mins

C
 ircuit training:
3 x 12 of each
exercise

1 0-15 mins
warm-up

DAY 7

10 mins warm-up

1 0-15 mins
warm-up

1 0 mins
cool-down

WEEK 4
DAY 5

1 0-15 mins
warm-up

A
1 0 mins
warm-up

DAY 3

S teady run 20 mins


(60-70% effort)
3 x max
press-ups
3 x 12 squats
3 x max sit-ups
3 x 12 dorsal
R
raises

1 0-15 mins
warm-up

A
1 0 mins
warm-up

R
E

B
 risk walk/jog
30-40 mins,
or swimming
20-25 mins

DAY 5

S
 teady run
20 mins

1 0-15 mins
warm-up

A
S
 teady run
30-40 mins

LEVEL 2

1 0 mins
cool-down

1 0 mins
cool-down

DAY 3

LEVEL 1

R
 un hard for 1
min, recover for
1 min; continue
for 10 mins
(75-80% effort)

B
 risk walk
30-40 mins,
or swimming
15-20 mins

DAY 1

LEVEL 2

3 x max
press-ups

on your progress, move on to Level 2 and then to Level 3. Once you have completed Level 3, continue doing it until you start your initial Army training.

WEEK 3

LEVEL 3

10 mins
warm-up

DAY 7

LEVEL 1

1 0-15 mins
warm-up

3 x 8 dorsal raises

LEVEL 3

DAY 5

LEVEL 3

LEVEL 1

DAY 3

Finish all sessions with


the following:
Reduced-pace jogging
or walking for 2-3 minutes
Hold stretches for 10-20
seconds (see stretch
routine above)

You should have a rest day every other day to give your body time to recover. Start with the four-week Level 1 programme. After testing yourself to check

WEEK 2

S
 teady run
20 mins

3 x max
sit-ups

COOL-DOWN

FEMALES
Beep test level 8.1
50 sit-ups in two minutes
21 press-ups in two minutes

WEEK 1

3 x 8 squats

Place feet shoulder-width apart


D
 raw back shoulders and
brace abdomen
S
 tep forward, bending your
front leg and back knee
Drive back upright with front leg

DORSAL RAISE

YOUR WEEK-BY-WEEK STEPS TO FITNESS


DAY 1

LUNGE

Hold your arms across your chest


Keep your shoulders, back and neck straight
Brace your abdomen and sit all the way up
Lower yourself under control
Do not allow your shoulders to touch the floor

PRESS-UP

OFFICER

P
 lace feet just wider than shoulderwidth apart, toes pointing slightly out
B
 end your knees and lower
yourself down
K
 eep knees above toes and push
your hips back
Do not arch or round your lower
back; stop when your thighs are
parallel with the floor

The cores vital muscles stabilise


and transmit strength between
your upper and lower body

TRICEPS DIP

ARMY FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

LOWER BODY

CORE

Hold bar with your palms facing you


Brace your abdomen, pull up with your arms
Keep your legs together and straight
Pull your chest up to the bar to clear chin
Lower down until your arms are straight

You should be able to talk comfortably (60-69% effort) when jogging,


talk in short sentences (70-79% effort) at a steady effort, and when
running hard your breathing should be heavy and it should be very
difficult to talk (80-100% effort).

MALES
Beep test level 10.2
50 sit-ups in two minutes
44 press-ups in two minutes

UPPER BODY

Put your left leg out in front


of you and bend at the hips,
bending your right knee
Rest your hands on your
right thigh and slowly lean
forwards until you feel
the stretch in the back
of your left thigh
Hold for 10-20
seconds, then
switch sides

10 mins warm-up
C
 ircuit training:
3 x 20 of each
exercise

S
T

10 mins warm-up
C
 ircuit training:
4 x 15-20 of each
exercise
1 0 mins
cool-down

DAY 3

S
 teady run
20 mins
(60-70% effort)

3 x 14 lunges
3 x max sit-ups

R
 un hard for 1
min, recover for
1 min; continue
for 12 mins
(75-80% effort)
1 0 mins
cool-down

E
B
 risk walk/jog
30-40 mins,
or swimming
25-30 mins

S
 teady run
25-30 mins
(60-70% effort)
4 x max
press-ups

4 x 18 dorsal raises

B
 risk walk/run
30-40 mins,
or swimming
30-40 mins

R
 un hard for 1
min, recover for
1 min; continue
for 16 mins
(75-80% effort)

4 x 12 triceps dips

S
 teady run
30-40 mins
(60-70% effort)
2 x 1 min max
press-ups
4 x 20 lunges
2 x 1 min max
sit-ups
4 x 20 dorsal raises
4 x max chin-ups

1 0 mins
cool-down

1 0 mins
cool-down

A
 lternate running
hard then
recovering for
intervals of 1, 2, 3,
2 and 1 min
(75-80% effort)
1 0 mins
cool-down

1 min max
press-ups
1 min max sit-ups
1.5-mile run

R
E

10 mins warm-up
B
 risk walk/run
30-40 mins, or
swimming
30-40 mins
1 0 mins
cool-down

A
1 0-15 mins
warm-up

FITNESS
ASSESSMENT

B
 risk walk/run
30-40 mins, or
swimming
30-40 mins

1 0-15 mins
warm-up

DAY 7

10 mins warm-up

4 x 18 lunges
4 x max sit-ups

DAY 5

1 0-15 mins
warm-up

3 x max
press-ups

3 x 14 dorsal raises

1 0 mins
cool-down

DAY 1

LEVEL 1

160

Stand with your left leg


forwards, bent at the knee,
and your right leg straight
out behind you with your
foot flat on the floor
Lean forwards slightly
until you feel the stretch
in your left calf
Hold for 10-20 seconds,
then switch sides
Repeat the stretch but with
your left knee bent very
slightly so that you feel
the stretch in a different
part of the calf

Take your right elbow in your


left hand then guide your
right arm down above your
head to the centre of the back
Reach down with your
fingers to stretch out the
back of your upper arms
Hold for 10-20 seconds,
then switch sides

LEVEL 2

175

HAMSTRINGS

LEVEL 3

HEART RATE BEATS PER MINUTE (BPM)

205

CALVES

TRICEPS

Stand in a squat position


with feet slightly wider
than shoulder-width apart
Slowly rotate your
shoulders to the left
until you feel the stretch
in your lower back on
the right-hand side
Hold for 10-20 seconds,
then switch sides

205

90-100
% MAX
IMUM E
FFORT
80-89%
HEAVY
EFFOR
T

Stand with your arms


straight out in front of you,
one hand over the other
Push your arms out until
you feel the stretch in
your upper back, without
bending at the waist
Hold for 10-20 seconds,
then switch sides

LOWER BACK

As you get fitter you will be able to exercise faster with your heart
rate staying the same, so you can use your heart rate to ensure
you are training at the correct intensity. Your warm-ups should
be in the LIGHT EFFORT training zone, and hard interval sessions
should push you into the MAXIMUM EFFORT zone. Your heart
rate changes as you get older so you will need to find your own
maximum heart rate. To do this, deduct your age from 220 to give
you a maximum rate for exercising at 100%. Once you have a
number, find the corresponding figure on the left-hand axis (below)
and look along the graph for your heart rate training zones. Wear
a heart rate monitor to refer to when training to keep tabs on how
hard youre working.

Stand with feet together and shift


your weight onto your right leg
Bend your left leg, bringing your
left foot up to your backside
Grab hold of your left ankle,
keep your hips facing forwards
and gently pull your ankle into
your body
Hold for 10-20 seconds,
then switch sides

UPPER BACK

Write these results down, because you will need to


repeat this assessment at the end of each training
period for comparison. You will also use half of your
maximum press-up and sit-up scores to give you
the number of repetitions for some sessions in your
training programme (see table at foot of poster).

MAXIMUM HEART RATE TABLE

QUADS

FITNESS
ASSESSMENT

1 min max
press-ups
1 min max sit-ups
1.5-mile run

D
A

10 mins warm-up
B
 risk walk/run
30-40 mins, or
swimming
30-40 mins
1 0 mins
cool-down

FITNESS
ASSESSMENT
1 min max
press-ups
1 min max sit-ups
1.5-mile run