How to prepare for army basic training

Updated February 21, 2017

Army basic training is tough. The first four weeks are dedicated to breaking you down, physically and mentally, and the next four weeks are spent building you up. If you know this going in, you can spend the entire eight weeks building yourself up physically. This way you can come out of basic in great shape. The way to do this is to prepare yourself for basic training.

Know that basic training involve a lot of running, walking and forced marches. The thing you will want to focus on is your leg muscles, stamina can come later. Run, run and when you are done, run some more.

Improve your stamina. Run, run and when you are done, run some more.

Practice push-ups, sit-ups and chin-ups every day. In basic training, your skills in these three exercises are tested almost daily.

Learn to sleep regularly. Go to bed early and wake yourself early. This can help you to attune your body to the rhythm of basic training. Your body will thank you.

Appreciate everything that you have at home. You will miss it all. Think also of why you are interested in joining the Army. Think of the benefits you will gain from serving, and also think of the things you want to get away from. These thoughts will help you to persevere.

Know what to expect. Talk to others that have been through Army Basic Training. The proper title is BCT: Basic Combat Training. This title in itself lets you know what you are in for.

Prepare yourself mentally. In the first four or five weeks, keep in mind that you will be made to feel that you can't do anything right. In the last few weeks of Army Basic Training , you will be made to feel that you can't do anything wrong.

Bring pictures from home. It may sound childish, but you will miss the people you left at home, and you will want to show your new "buddies" what you left.


Don't lose your temper with any of the cadre. Talking back to a Drill Sergeant is not the smartest thing to do. Remember, in basic training you have few rights. Don't volunteer for anything! If you signed up for training or for a specific job skill, volunteering for anything could jeopardize that. The Army sometimes recruits for special forces and airborne soldiers with a type of presentation. After they do the presentation they ask for volunteers. Don't do it! If you want to change your mind later you can. If you volunteer you are stuck with your decision.

Things You'll Need

  • One basic issue human body
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