The New U.S. Army Basic Combat Training designed to create “Warrior Athletes”

The next generation of U.S. Army soldier will be exposed to a basic Combat Training program that has been radically re-designed to make him/her:

  • Faster
  • Stronger
  • More Powerful
  • More agile/mobile
  • Less likely to suffer from overuse injuries
  • More likely to rebound quicker from acute injuries
  • And more capable of performing the tasks required of a modern soldier

In essence, the new training program is designed to create Warrior Athletes.

No more…

  • long distance runs
  • bayonet drills
  • and high rep sets of chin-ups and push-ups while being screamed at by this guy

Instead, the new BCT program has recruits doing…

  • Interval sprint training
  • Low rep / High Power/Speed sets
  • Timed sets
  • circuit training
  • maximum of 30 minutes of running per session
  • hill sprints
  • shuttle runs
  • hand to hand combat using pugil sticks
  • “core” training
  • anaerobic endurance training
  • while being screamed at by this guy

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Soldiers need to be able to move quickly under load, to be mobile under load, with your body armor, your weapons and your helmet, in a stressful situation,” said Frank Palkoska, head of the Army’s Fitness School at Fort Jackson, which has worked several years on overhauling the regime.

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We geared all of our calisthenics, all of our running movements, all of our warrior skills, so soldiers can become stronger, more powerful and more speed driven,” Palkoska said. The exercises are part of the first major overhaul in Army basic fitness training since men and women began training together in 1980, he said.

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The new training also uses “more calisthenics to build core body power, strength and agility. Over the 10 weeks of basic, a strict schedule of exercises is done on a varied sequence of days so muscles rest, recover and strengthen.

Part of the reason for this program re-design is the current physical fitness level of new Army recruits.

Many recruits didn’t have physical education in elementary, middle or high school and therefore tend to lack bone and muscle strength. When they ditch diets replete with soda and fast food for healthier meals and physical training, they drop excess weight and build stronger muscles and denser bones, Palkoska said.

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Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, the three-star general in charge of revamping all aspects of initial training, said his overall goal is to drop outmoded drills and focus on what soldiers need today and in the future.

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So, does that mean that the chubby 40-somethings doing “bootcamp” in my neighborhood park need to re-design their program as well?

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