The #1 Reason Why People Cannot Serve
- Failure to Meet the Height & Weight Standards -
The number one reason why people are not meeting the standards to serve our country and communities is that they do not meet the height / weight standards (over bodyfat limits) as well as the failure to meet the entry level fitness standards. A generation ago, the main reason for not being able to join and serve was education level and criminal records. Those are still an issue as well, but failure to meet the height / weight standards has since surpassed as the number one challenge for recruits.
New Podcast with Police Officer Who Lost 100lbs. at Age 43
For those who are deciding to start this weight loss journey, be patient. It will take several months to reach your goal but you will see monthly goals and feel better progressively throughout. Just know that it is not impossible.
But First, Learn from These Mistakes - And Do This...
Do not do old workouts you used to do 100 lbs ago - Do not run either. When you are heavy, the last thing a beginner to fitness needs is to cause injury by doing workouts from high school or going for runs. Your knees, shins, and back will thank you for it. TREAT YOURSELF LIKE A BEGINNER.
Do not change too much all at once. A sure fire way to get discouraged is to start a diet, add exercise to your life, drop bad habits like sodas, smoking, and stop drinking empty calories (alcohol). Take the advice of adding something new every month. For instance:
Month One - Add walking DAILY for 20-30 minutes and drinking water. If you want to add anything else something easy would be either another form of cardio equipment like bike, elliptical, stair stepper and of course stretching. A good month one looks like more walking, more water, more stretching. That is it. MOST IMPORTANT - set a time to train every day or break it up throughout the day if needed, but set the habit in stone. For most people the early morning workout has fewer daily conflicts but find what works best for you and make it part of your day. If you need a day off take it, but this is an easy month of DAILY movement - set a goal of 7 days a week of walking and drinking more water than you do now.
IF IT IS NOT ON THE SCHEDULE - IT DOES NOT EXIST!
Month Two - You may have started to feel better by now with more energy. Check your calorie intake each day and see where the holes in your diet are. Portions sizes too big? Too many snacks? End of the day alcoholic drinks? Sodas? etc... Make a food diary of EVERYTHING that goes in your mouth from a single M&M to full meals, snacks, and drinks. Drinks are a camouflaged calories for most people with extra creams, sugars that are easy to miss on daily calorie counts.
Month Three - Add resistance training. Mix in rubber bands, dumbbells, circuit training in a gym, use a TRX, calisthenics and join a fitness class. Having partners will help tremendously as you progress each month.
Month Four - By Month Four, most people are seeing huge results with weight and inches losses, more energy, and are ready to maybe go back to some of the classic workouts you did when you were younger. It is still not recommended to run yet if you are 50-100lbs overweight though you can walk fast.
Fitness for Beginners
Get Started for Free!
Everyone starts off as a beginner at some point. You might as well make today Day One! This week, a question comes from a gentleman who was once fairly active, former military, but has not done anything in about five years other than an occasional weight lifting session at his gym. The question is, "How do I get back into working out again without killing myself after a five year hiatus?"
However, the same answer can apply to this very common question from teenagers who are wanting to serve as well: "I am interested in serving in the military, but overweight, out of shape, and need to learn how to train. Where do I start?
What I recommend for situations like these is to start off easy and actually treat yourself like a beginner. That means, start with the basic of walking / biking / and drinking a gallon of water a day. Then build a foundation of strength and muscle stamina with calisthenics and dumbbells.
Add ONLY stretching to your fitness routine. Walking and biking is fine too, but do not run or lift weights during Week 1 IF you are a beginner. Stretching should be done twice daily for about 10-15 minutes each session. Warm up your body and joints with a fast walk, jumping jacks, and jump rope for about 2-3 minutes. Once warm and just about to break a sweat, start stretching your arms, legs, lower back and abdominal region.
Just Add Water -- This week of hydrating will help you prepare for a week of additional caloric burning and keep you cooler during your first exercise day in Week 2. For every 100 lbs of body weight drink a half gallon of water a day. I weigh 200 lbs roughly and I drink at least a gallon a day. This helps curb hunger, but also helps the body burn fat more efficiently. In fact, it takes two things to burn fat as your energy source: WATER + OXYGEN = FAT BURNING. The oxygen comes from either the aerobic exercise of walking or running or anaerobic exercise of calisthenics and weight lifting.
Do pushups, crunches, lower back exercises, or try some pullups or assisted pullups. You can add lightweight dumbbells of bicep curls, triceps extensions, and military press with repetitions up to 10-15 times. For your legs, do not do weight squats or half squats if your knees are previously injured. This easy-paced week will help alleviate the pain of working joints and large muscle groups for the first time in several years.
FREE 45 Day Plan EBOOK
These exercises are all pictured in the FREE 45 Day Beginner Plan eBook (link below) and will help you go from zero to sixty in a easy progression that will more than likely keep you free from injury.
- Free 45 Day Beginner Plan
- Lean Down Food Plan
Good luck and keep the questions coming. Hope the ideas come in handy. For more ideas check out the Article Section of my StewSmithFitness.com Website.
Stew Smith CSCS - If you have any questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
List of Beginner, Intermediate, and Basic Military & PT Test Prep Guides
Beginner / Intermediate Fitness Guides
The Beginner / Intermediate Guide to Fitness
Reclaim Your Life Erin O'Neill Story (beginner / intermediate)
Veterans Fitness Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach
Circuit Training 101 Beginner / Intermediate Guide to the Gym
The Busy Executive Workout Routine
NEW: Calisthenics and Cardio (only) (Spring / Summer Cycle)
Tactical Fitness (40+) Phase 1, Phase 2
Army PFT Workout (Prep For Rucking, OPAT, ACFT)
USMC IST and PFT
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Boot Camp Workout
The PFT Bible: Pushups, Sit-ups, 1.5 Mile Run (Army, Navy, AF, CG PFT)
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