bearded man doing pull ups on bar wearing a weighted vest

Service members love a room full of jerks. The more the better. Add snatches, push-ups, wall-balls and power cleans and it’s a good day for CrossFit, a favorite flavor of workouts among the military.

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces must remain “mission-ready,” whether running in full gear across the desert, or supporting a cold-weather training mission in the Arctic Circle. Training doesn’t end with boot camp; that’s just the beginning. It’s an integral part of military culture.

Sailors, soldiers, airmen and Marines must pass annual or semiannual fitness requirements to be eligible for promotion, transfer, or to attend training schools. Failure to do so may result in probation or separation from the military.

Fortunately, service members have plenty of options to stay ship-shape, to include tracking devices and online apps that enable them to compete with buddies on any ocean or continent.

Crossfit optimizes individual fitness potential through varied, functional repetitions at high intensity. Many of the moves are identical to those required to pass military fitness testing. A significant number of veterans-to include Navy SEALS and Army Rangers-have created a second career by leading military CrossFit initiatives all over the world.

TRX® is another popular workout requiring simple straps with handles, using body weight as resistance. Because it’s portable, compact and lightweight, this system can be secured to any beam or even an armored vehicle, providing an instant gym setting with challenging options for every muscle.

“Rucking” is a term used for working out while wearing a weighted backpack, or “rucksack.” Simply add 25-50 pounds without compromising knees, back or shoulders. Now walk, run, hike and jump. This builds strength and endurance, significantly increasing the burn.

The takeaways? In the military, accountability is key and jerks are welcome.



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