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Tape Test - Lose the Body Fat / Inches Around the Waist


This week, a few people were curious how quickly they could lose weight and inches around their waistline.  It appears the body composition / circumference tape test is coming soon.  All services use the body composition test. It requires all military personnel to weigh in and have their height measured.  When out of height/weight standards, body fat is measured using the circumference test – measuring the neck and waist.  The body composition test is only part of the Air Force PFT that requires all personnel to run 1.5 miles, pushups, and crunches.  This is the same test as the Navy and Coast Guard.  The VO2 Max bicycle ergometer test is still available to those members who cannot run due to leg injuries.  The stationary cycle test is designed to measure how efficiently the heart and lungs work to transfer oxygen through the body.  The test uses heart rate to estimate aerobic capacity (VO2max).

The question I received from a member of the Air Force is:  What exercises will reduce my waist at least 8 inches in 2 months and what exercises will increase my neck size?

The WHOLE plan is needed in this case - not just some exercises.  Honestly, I do not know if it can be done in eight weeks - but here is how I would attempt it.  For starters if you want to reduce inches that quickly – drink more water.  Water retention maybe one of the culprits to your waist size.  If you think you may be retaining water, try adding up to a gallon of water a day and you could lose about five to ten pounds of retained water in a few short days. I have seen people lose up to twenty in a week by ONLY adding water to their diet.  But once that is done you need to focus on the principles of healthy weight loss below that will help you with your goal:

1) Eating plan - see most recent articles on Diet - Summer Lean Down Plan

This eating plan will help your body keep the metabolism high and burn calories throughout the day.  Limiting fat and processed carbs, adding fiber, and protein will lean you out quickly and in a healthy manner.

2) Cardio workouts - 4-5 times a week of 45-60 minutes of cardio exercises -elliptical gliding, walking, jogging, swimming, rowing, or biking are great examples of how to burn calories.  If you are overweight and need to lose over 50 lbs I do not recommend running.  Select a non-impact form of the aerobics listed above.  Better ideas to incorporate these into your day can be seen on the Fitness eBook store and Article Archive.

3) Ab exercises - READ the Articles - Rest with Crunches, Lose the Love-handles, and Washboard abs - do crunches without holding your hand behind your head and build your neck muscles too.  All of these articles are listed in the Article Archive.

4) Muscle training - weights or PT program - Lift weights or PT (pushups, situps, pullups, squats, lunges, crunches) every other day 3 times a week.  Also add some neck exercises into your day by simply lying on the floor and raise your head until your chin touches your collarbones – repeat 20-30 times.  Then lift your head off the floor and shake your head as if you were nodding “no” – repeat 20-30 times.  This will help you add some girth to your neck in a relatively short period of time.

5) See the programs - I have a list of programs that can help you, but it all depends on your fitness level:  see below:

This is the way you lose weight and inches in the proper manner.  As you can see, it is a lot more than a few exercises as requested.  True fitness is a lifestyle change that can easily fit into your schedule.  Because, “if it is not in your schedule – it does not exist!”  Good luck and thanks for your continued service to our country.

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

The Special Operations Workout

The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT Team Member
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Fitness for All Levels of Fitness

The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
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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
NEW - Circuit Training 101 ebook
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Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1  Beginner Weeks 1-9
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3 - Intermediate Weeks 1-12
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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

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Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard OCS Workout
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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 NEW Army PRT and Combat Readiness Test Workout
The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT


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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

Why a 52 Week Workout Cycle?

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