If you take part in any sport, your fitness is what creates your foundation. As soon as fitness starts to flag, even the masters of the most perfect technique in their sport will start to make mistakes.

The Armed Forces are notorious for their insane engines, honed by intense physical training. We take you through the six essential military moves in our Armed Forces workout that must be mastered to be fitter and perform better in every sport.


Why practice makes perfect

We spoke about fitness being the foundation for a good performance in the world of sports but it also works in reverse. Talent and fitness will only get you so far, because to be the best in your chosen area you need to repeat – a lot. Repetitive movements can alter the area of your brain responsible for movement, and help you keep these motor skills as you age, found research at Hiroshima University, Japan. This means you can learn just about any skill if you practice it enough, and relentless repetition can be used to develop training programs for people who have already mastered a skill.


The Armed Forces workout – fitter anywhere

Do the following moves in the order shown to create an elite fully-body workout you can do anywhere that doesn’t cost you a cent


Having a strong core is the foundation to all strength in fitness, so military personnel need to demonstrate exceptional core strength.

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Do a combination, one after the other, of sit-ups, planks and V-sits for 30 seconds on each exercise respectively, so each set lasts 90 seconds. Repeat this four times



Being able to do well more than 50 press-ups should be a breeze when going through regular army training. Again, negative reps can help you to improve your press-ups if you can barely do one. However, regularly smashing as many as you can before getting into the shower will see results.

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Deploy negative reps by taking 4-6 seconds to lower yourself to the start position.



This compound movement offers the staple test to see if you have the upper-body strength to participate in training. It separates the men from the boys.

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Do 6 x 8 reps of negative pull-ups where you step up to the top of the movement and take 4-6 seconds to lower yourself to the end position.



As well as being the ultimate total-body exercise that demands all your muscles show up at the front line, the burpee is also great for your cardio.

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Set a two-minute timer, smash as many as you can within that time and then beat that total the next time.



The most reliable mode of travel in the military is on foot so everyone needs to have stamina where running’s concerned.

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Running a good 1.5-mile time is a minimum requirement to enter the military. To improve your time, run 400m as quick as you can and walk 200m. Repeat four times to shave those vital seconds off your PBs and get fitter.


Load carries

The military carry a lot of weight in terms of equipment, and the body needs to be able to take these demands. While training to improve your overall fitness and running, try a variation of weighted runs and leg workouts to improve your load carries.

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Adding weight to your back, you will do intervals where you’ll run for two minutes and then walk for one minute. As you progress, you’ll either increase your weight or decrease your walking time.


Final note: When exercise gets unhealthy

It’s wise to be enthusiastic about fitness – but there’s a line you shouldn’t cross. High levels of intense exercise can become toxic for your ticker and predispose you to abnormal heart rhythm, even if you were born with normal heart function, found research in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. So even if you’re fit enough to boast a super-low resting heart rate, always get it checked when visiting the doctor to make sure you’re not training yourself into the ground.


We hope you put the Armed Forces Workout to good use…and the workout does the same for you. For more workouts, nutrition, fat loss and muscle building articles, you can subscribe to our newsletter to get TRAIN magazine for free. You’ll get each issue dropped into your inbox as soon as it’s released.