Preparing Americans to Serve in the Military, Special Ops, Law Enforcement, & Fire Fighting

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Help -- I Need to Lose 40 lbs! 
Some Recruits Need Even More Weight Loss!

I typically receive an email like this week's article subject several times a week. In fact more than HALF of the emails I receive are of this nature!!!

“Help! I need to lose 40 lbs. before I can join the Army. I also need help with running and I cannot do any pushups. How do I get fit and fit into a uniform?”

It is a fact that many (too many) of America's men, women, as well as teenaged youth are overweight. Recent alarming statistics conclude the following:

• Not meeting Height / weight standards is biggest issue the military deals with versus high school education, felony crimes, eye sight, and other medical disqualification among recruits seeking military professions.

•  75% of America is overweight or obese = 250 million people!

•  More than half of the overweight people are obese = 140 million people!

•  These numbers have doubled since the 1970's.

•  70% of diabetes cases are preventable

•  300,000 Americas die EACH year due to complications caused by improper diet and fitness habits

•  50% of teen's exercise consists of nothing or just walking

See for more information/statistics

First of all, I am proud of anyone who wishes to serve in the Armed Forces in any capacity. The goal for the young future soldier is to start moving TODAY. At 40 lbs. overweight, it is not recommended to start a running plan. For the first 1-2 months, you should stretch daily, walk 30-60 minutes a day and watch what you eat. Depending upon your height, weight, and sex, running when significantly overweight can damage your knees, lower back, and other joints. Focus on losing weight first by moving more, eating better and drinking water (up to a gallon a day).

See the Article Archives for more info on the Nutrition/Food Plans to help you. Also see this food plan for more ideas.

As far as adding strength at the same time as losing weight, the good news is that you can do both at the same time. If you cannot do pushups, start doing pushups on your knees. Consider it a lighter weighted bench press -- not a “girl” pushup. Today, women in the military do regular pushups all the time, so they are NOT girl pushups any longer – just “assisted pushups.” See the articles on Pushups and PFT Testing in the Archive for more info and workouts on pushups and situps.

For quick health weight loss - read -

For starters see the 45 Day Plan for Beginners –
free here

And once you have a few weeks or month under your belt of stretching, some weight loss, and lots of walking or biking, try to start running. Run a little and walk a little for the same amount of time that you were walking before. I recommend that you run for a minute, walk for a minute or find a certain number of telephone poles or drive ways to run and walk to catch your breath. Just like doing knee pushups, eventually you will be able to do pushups. It is the same with running non-stop – walk/run workouts work best for beginner runners.

Soon, you will be able to perform pushups and sit-ups, and run. But you have to do it properly, because a fitness beginner – no matter the age – can be easily injured if you start off too fast. See the free running plan once you are able to run 1-2 miles non-stop.

As a nation, our pool of fit youth to serve in the military is decreasing in size every year. We have to encourage our kids to exercise, eat right, and not start smoking for many reasons, including energy level, strength, confidence, health, and even vanity to name a few.

The good news is that a program works!!

 I'm not sure you remember me I emailed you last year about losing over a 100 lbs!  I wanted to join the army but the only way to do that was to lose 100 lbs.....I did a lot of what you said.  I first emailed you when i was 350 as of now I'm 240.....I just want to let you know and to also thank you I will be taking the asvab and joining in February 2009..

There are some great beginner plans that will help you get there!!!

General Fitness and Nutritional Guides for Everyone

The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
Reclaim Your Life - The Erin O'Neill Program

Veteran's Fitness - Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at


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Published Books / DVDs
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness (Book / DVD)
Maximum Fitness

The Special Operations Workout

The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT Team Member
The Combat Swimmer Stroke DVD

The Pre-Habit Workout DVD
Clinic DVD for Navy SEAL PST
The FBI Special Agent Test Clinic DVD

The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:

Fitness for All Levels of Fitness

The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
The Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program

Reclaim Your Life - The Erin O'Neill Program

Veteran's Fitness - Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach

The Busy Executive Workout Routine
The Advanced Weights / PT Workout (Fall / Winter Weight Gain Cycle)
The Perfect Pushup Workout

The TRX Workout
- Circuit Training 101 ebook

NEW Obstacle Course Race Ebook

The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts
 Combat Conditioning Workout

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1  Beginner Weeks 1-9
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3 - Intermediate Weeks 1-12
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT -  Four weeks before Hell Week

Navy SWCC Workout

The Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout 

The Army Air Assault School Workout

The Army Airborne Workout

Air Force PJ / CCT Workout

The Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Workout

The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts

New - Army PRT and CRT
Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard OCS Workout

The USMC IST and PFT Workout
USMC OCS / TBS Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout

The Army OCS and PFT Workout
The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT


The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts

The FBI Academy / PFT Prep Workout

The DEA Prep Workout

The FLETC Prep Workout - Ace the PEB

The State / Local Police Academy Workout

The Fire Fighter Workout

                                Seal Multi Men's Multi-Vitamin Multi-Mineral


TRX Train Like the Pros


Some Titles Above available in Print Softcover Format