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UK Gear’s training shoes were originally designed in association with the Royal Army Physical Training Corps (RAPTC). These elite fitness professionals were closely involved in the development and tested our products in some of the most inhospitable conditions on Earth. Only when approved by the Military do we consider our products... Built to survive.

Official British Army Fitness Programme

Army PT Logo 80x106The British Army is the fittest in the world, employing tried-and-tested training programmes that are guaranteed to build the levels of stamina, strength and flexibility that every soldier needs.

This exclusive six-part series of booklets (below) has been developed by the Army Physical Training Corps to offer you a comprehensive guide to getting fit, based on the actual exercises and activities the Army uses to train soldiers. Each day, a different aspect of training is covered in detail, including running, upper and lower body strengthening and even improvised Army training.

Whether you're a complete beginner who simply wants to be a bit healthier or a weekend warrior looking for the next challenge, this easy-to-use programme will help take your fitness to the next level.

 PDF's can be downloaded FOR FREE by clicking on the titles.

(Please note: check with your doctor before beginning this or any strenuous exercise regime)

Day 1
  Fitness - Day One

>> Warm-up and flexibility

The warm-up outlined over the next five pages is designed to raise your body temperature, heart rate

and breathing rate, to mobilise your joints and “wake up” the neuromuscular (nerve to muscle) pathways to prime your body for the specific activity it is about to undertake. In military training, the warm-up is usually limited to around 10 minutes, and is broken down into the following stages...

Day 2
 Fitness - Day Two

>> Running

Aerobic fitness is integral to the performance of most physically demanding military tasks - whether it’s marching all night, taking the 1.5-mile running test or shifting heavy boxes of equipment. Good aerobic (or cardiovascular) fitness also reduces the time it takes soldiers to acclimatise to extreme climates and to recover from injury.

Running is one of the Army’s most common forms of aerobic training, and this booklet introduces you to some of the running strategies used to build, improve and maintain soldiers’ cardiovascular fitness. You’ll also find useful information on technique and injury prevention - plus a varied running routine to use when you’ve finished the 16-week basic fitness programme...

Day 3

Fitness - Day Three

>> Upper body 

A fit and strong upper body isn’t just vital for lifting and carrying, it also contributes to sports performance. This booklet is all about improving strength and endurance in your upper body muscles - which will also enhance their appearance.

The main muscle groups in the upper body are the large muscles of the back and chest, the shoulder muscles and those along the front and back of the arms. If you are following the Army’s basic 16-week fitness programme, its combination of press-ups, pull-ups and dips will strengthen all these muscle groups in a balanced way.

But this booklet also includes a strength workout (see page 10) using weights and other equipment that the Army frequently employs when training recruits...

Day 4

Fitness - Day Four

>> Lower body

The muscle groups of the lower body are among the largest of all. They are the foundation for most physical activities, from running and marching to jumping, pivoting and kicking. This booklet shows you how to make these muscles stronger, fitter and more fatigue-resistant.

While some strength training exercises home in on just one or two muscles (“isolation” exercises), others challenge multiple muscle groups at once. The squats and lunges in the 16-week basic fitness programme are good examples of these “compound” exercises. You’ll find both compound and isolation moves explained in this booklet...

Day 5
 Fitness - Day Five

>> The core - back and ab

We’ve looked at how to train the upper and lower body. Now this booklet focuses on the “bit in the middle”, the abdominals and lower back - otherwise known as the core.

Many people think that training their “abs” is all about building a six-pack - but there’s a lot more to it than aesthetics. A strong and well-balanced mid-section is instrumental in practically all sports and physical performance, as well as in maintaining good posture and preventing injury.

Sit-ups are the standard move used to work the six-pack muscle, and the two-minute sit-up test is one of the  principal muscular endurance tests used by the Army - but they shouldn’t be the only ab exercise in your repertoire. The more trunk muscles you work, and the more angles you work them from, the better the results will be...

Day 6
 Fitness - Day Six

>> Improvised Training

As you’d expect, the Army doesn’t do all of its physical training in the confines of the gym ... or even inside. Improvised training - anything that uses unconventional or makeshift equipment or methods - plays a big part in getting military recruits fitter.  

Sessions can involve exercising with anything from ash poles to tyres, barrels to jerry cans, overhanging tree branches, kerbs, railings, stairwells and varying terrain such as sand or mud. Improvised training is fun and wide-ranging, and the inclusion of partner and group work fosters a sense of camaraderie.

As well as offering an insight into some of these innovative Army training methods (some of which you may want to include in your own training), this final booklet features an advanced circuit training routine on pages 10–13 - following on from the one used in the basic 16-week fitness programme. It’s very important to keep stepping up the level of challenge as you get fitter, so that you don’t get stuck in a rut.

To help with this, you’ll find some top tips for staying motivated and tracking your progress, too.

So stick at it - and enjoy!..

You can now purchase The Official British Army Fitness Guide (paperback) in full by clicking one of the following links:

amazon.co.uk (available from Jan 12, 2009)
amazon.com (available from Feb 24, 2009)

Publisher: Guardian Newspapers Ltd (8 Jan 2009)

ISBN-10: 085265118X
ISBN-13: 978-0852651186