What Exercises Do You Do in the Navy Basic Training?

If you’re scared of water, think twice before joining the Navy.
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Starting the day you walk into boot camp and throughout your career, the U.S. Navy will conduct an assessment of your physical fitness twice a year. You’re required to meet a certain standard of fitness, which also demands that you participate in a general fitness regimen and weekly workouts. In basic training, you’ll be doing one-hour workouts six days a week to help you meet the requirements of the Navy’s first phase of fitness.

Preparation for Fitness Testing

By week two of basic training, you’ll have to take the Navy’s Physical Readiness Test for the first time. At this stage, think of it as more of practice test. You’ll be given another chance to pass the official fitness evaluation. This test consists of situps, pushups and a 1.5-mile run. You’ll have two minutes to perform as many pushups as possible, and another two minutes for situps. Your recruit division commander will lead your weekly six-day fitness routine, in which you’ll alternate between aerobic conditioning, such as running, and strengthening exercises, such as situps and pushups.

Swim Qualification

Because the Navy functions in or around water, it’s considered an amphibious force. In the early phase of basic training, you’ll have to pass a swim qualification. In this test, you’ll be required to leap off a 10-foot platform into the deep end of the pool and then swim the pool’s length, or 50 feet. At the end of the swim, you have to float on your back for at least five minutes. While the Navy will teach you how to swim, it’s an advantage during basic training if you already know how to swim well.

Physical Readiness Test

According to the Navy’s website on fitness, the Physical Readiness Test has expanded to include alternatives to running with regard to cardiorespiratory fitness. Focused on testing your aerobic fitness, or the ability of your lungs and heart to delivery oxygen to your muscles, the Navy also includes performing cardio exercise on an elliptical machine, stationary cycle or treadmill for 12 minutes as an alternative to the 1.5 mile run. By week five, you’re expected to pass the Navy’s assessment of your cardiovascular fitness as well as your strength and endurance. Your weekly workouts will use exercises that prepare you to pass this evaluation.

Other Exercises

In addition to your hour-long workouts, you’ll be running a confidence course. This exercise is an obstacle course designed to simulate the types of obstacles you’ll encounter during a crisis while aboard a ship. You’ll be required to wear oxygen breathing apparatuses, which are the same types of equipment used for firefighting. You’ll learn the fundamentals of military drill, or marching in formation. You will also participate in a program called B.A.S.E.S., which stands for balance, agility, strength, explosion and stamina. This program prepares you for the physical challenges of shipboard jobs. Exercises associated with this program are interwoven into your weekly training regimen.

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