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A major part of Air Force Basic Training and the military in general is physical fitness. You will be expected to maintain certain standards not only to complete basic training but also throughout your entire Air Force career.
In basic training you will workout six days per week, alternating between running days and strength days.
On running days you will stretch out, then do “last runner up” for 15 minutes, which is basically where you run in a single-file line with 6 – 10 trainees. The person in front keeps the pace, then the person in second place raises their hand and yells something (my squadron yelled “AEF”) and then the person in last place sprints up to the position behind the pacer, then it repeats. After that you will walk for a couple of minutes, then do a self-paced run for 15 minutes. Then two more minutes of walking, and finally 1 minute sprints. On your running days, be prepared to run for about 45 minutes straight.
You are not allowed to stop running unless you are on one of the two minute walking sections. The MTIs (military training instructors) will be out there with you yelling at you and forcing you to stay moving. Frequently trainees will have to stop running and throw up, but don’t expect any sympathy from the MTIs. They will be right up in your face telling you to keep moving.
On strength training days you will do a variety of body-weight exercises including push-ups, pyramid push-ups, sit-ups, leg lifts, jumping jacks, etc.
Basic Training Fitness standards
(Updated 23 April, 2015)
|Liberator (minimum)||11:57 min.||45||50||0|
|Thunderbolt (honor)||9:30 min.||55||60||5|
|Warhawk (highest standard)||8:55 min.||65||70||10|
|Liberator (minimum)||14:12 min.||27||50||0|
|Thunderbolt (honor grad)||12:00 min.||32||55||2|
|Warhawk (highest standard)||10:55 min.||40||60||5|
There are a few online resources that seem tailor made for getting in shape for basic training.
One such program is 100 push-ups which is a six-week plan to be able to do 100 push-ups at a time. You can start the program barely being able to do a single push-up and over time will increase your abilities greatly. There is an online tracker available to track your progress, as well as an iPhone application to track your progress and time your rest periods, which I find very handy.
There is a similar program for doing sit-ups with its own online tracker and iPhone application.
Finally for your running there is the Couch to 5k program which is designed to take you from being a novice runner to being able to complete a 5k (3.2 mile) race. There are iPhone applications to help you with the program, podcasts that you can download with pre-selected music and audio cues to tell you when to run and walk, forums for support, etc.