BCT Physical Preparation


New Member
Apr 18, 2017
Good evening all,

I have an appointment and am stoked for June 29th. I consider myself to be in good physical condition; however, I understand that BCT is extremely exhausting.

What should my pre-BCT workout regimen look like?
**I'm not looking for "run more, push yourself" type of answers. Something quantitative please.**

There's a section inside your "Instructions to Appointees" document that tells you what you're workouts should look like. It even has an 8 week running program to follow!
When it comes to work outs, I personally stick to listening to the pros, and that is what I recommend to others as well. BodyBuilding.com helped me build up strength and get much better at weightlifting, and they have plenty of free workout plans available. For running, Nike has some good stuff on their website to include training plans and help to improve your form. There's also great stuff out there for a cost if that is an option for you.
These are just a couple of options out there. Figure out what you need to work on, establish goals, and meet them. Keep in mind, however, two months is not a lot of time. A lot of people want overnight results, but that just isn't a thing when it comes to establishing fitness. It takes daily effort and dedication. Enjoy your freedom leading up the BCT, and I wish you the best in your USAFA career!
I would say, be able to run 4-5mi at a 7-8min pace. Knock out a 100+ 4-count flutter kicks, 70ish push-ups, 100+ sit=ups, and 50+ 8-count body builders, all at a good clip.
My DS ran daily including some hill work. He ran at least twice a week in his boots. His runs ranged from 3 to 6 miles. Looking back he said focusing on areas where he is weaker might have helped some. Exercises mentioned here like flutter kicks, grenades (burpie), pull-ups and push-ups are a few that come to mind.

Also, my DS said most Cadets learn quickly to handle the physical part of BCT.
This may not be what you are looking for, but through experience, I have found it to be true..

For background, I am former military and in a very physically demanding position..
We had men come through in varied shapes and sizes..

I remember looking at some of them and thinking how out of shape I was, based on the body builders physics that some of them had.. Some could run like gazelles, and some could do push-ups all day long.. I was in great shape, and felt like I was inferior.

In the end, I made it, and most of them didn't..

It's heart!

If you want to be ready, SURPRISE yourself.. When you go out for 3 mile run and are approaching the finish area, challenge yourself to keep going and do the loop again!! But, you cannot plan it.. You must decide right near the end..

When you plan a workout at the gym and are finished, turn around and go over the circuit training area, and do another 30 minutes of hard work, until you feel like you are sick to your stomach..

You can prepare physically all you want.. What it going to get you through, is your heart and mental state!! The idea of BCT, is not to be ready physically, but to be able to maintain a high level of mental status, while your body is breaking down.. Until you push beyond that point, you won't be completely ready..

I was fortunate to learn early on, that my heart was bigger than my muscles! Good luck!!
Run to develop aerobic conditioning and any activities that develop core strength, especially workouts that will allow you to lift your own body weight (i.e. push ups, pull ups, dips, etc.)
I think the reason why it's hard to get a "numbers" answer to this question is because there isn't a "right answer", per se. Especially during 1st BCT, the amount and types of PT you will perform may depend significantly on which flight/squad you are in and your cadre's training mentality. What I can say definitively is that there is no such thing as coming in "too well physically prepared". In other words, there is no "upper limit" to how fit you should be coming in. BCT is a grind and even the most fit people will start to get tired sooner or later. The longer you can hold up physically under pressure and the quicker you can recover afterwards, the more you will be able to help your teammates.

As far as "qualitative", though, I would agree with the suggestion to follow the workout plan in the appointee handbook. You can always add more to it once you finish the plan. Just remember that it's not just a quest for more reps--it's the mental fortitude you are building up that ultimately counts.

Good luck to you!
I would advise following the recommendations given in the handbook for sure.
I will add that, depending on where you live now, the altitude could be an issue in the first week while your body adjusts so really try to get some cardio in each day. I personally recommend alternating swimming and running if possible.

My son had a soccer tournament in Denver last summer and that conditioning really made a difference for him. Some very good athletes struggled with their endurance at that altitude. Good luck!