How easy is it to gain weight during BCT?

js536792

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Jun 30, 2021
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I am currently 130 lbs at 5' 3''. I understand that I am below the 141 lb weight standard, but I still want to be somewhere in the 115-120 range (while still keeping muscle mass, of course.) A part of me thinks I'm too worried about whether I'll be in any danger of going over 141 lbs. I want to be able to eat a lot to fuel myself for the rigorous basic training, but at the same time, I don't want to have my weight being one more thing to think about during BCT? With that being said, if I enter BCT at 120~ lbs, would it be easy to gain twenty pounds during BCT and at USAFA in general?
 

cluelesscandidateparents

Proud Parents of USNA and USAFA Candidate
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Jan 14, 2022
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You will most likely lose weight. I would not drop passed the 125

My DS is in the opposite side bc his sport. He will put weight before BCT w a few pounds to spare just in case
 

hopefulmom182

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Apr 22, 2017
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My 6'1 160 lb DS actually managed to gain weight during BCT. Not a ton, but a few pounds. He's always been a bit of a picky eater, so we were terribly afraid he'd lose a ton of weight. Because of this fear he worked hard to eat as much as he could. He had fellow squad mates who were IC athletes with access to protein drinks that he'd covet. He did not gain 20 lbs, and the weight gain subsided pretty quickly after BCT.
 

mach01

NWP '19, USAFA '24
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Jun 11, 2018
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I lost a significant amount of weight during BCT. Gaining 20 lbs would be unrealistic IMHO, but losing 20 lbs is not unheard of. I ate every meal and was on the protein drink program and the shear stress and physical activity was brutal. I'd suggest trying to get as close to your minimum weight as possible by building some lean muscle mass in the coming months.
 

TigerMomNot

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Oct 7, 2020
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My DD (who also lost weight during BCT) told me that one of the things she was not prepared for was the short amount of time they gave her to eat. So if you are used to leisurely eating, perhaps practice eating within 10 min.
 

skyfox

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Apr 30, 2022
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Most basics will lose weight while at BCT - the training day doesn't stop at the table and mealtime shenanigans make eating sufficiently a difficult thing to do. If you lose too much weight during training - like my BCT roommate did - they will issue protein and high calorie shakes for you for the remainder of training and they do make a big difference in keeping weight on.
 

Pepper11

Proud Mom USAFA '26
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Feb 20, 2022
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Most basics will lose weight while at BCT - the training day doesn't stop at the table and mealtime shenanigans make eating sufficiently a difficult thing to do. If you lose too much weight during training - like my BCT roommate did - they will issue protein and high calorie shakes for you for the remainder of training and they do make a big difference in keeping weight on.
Silly question but is there some kind of weigh-in throughout BCT? My DS is on the very light side as well.
 

raimius

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Jun 9, 2006
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Silly question but is there some kind of weigh-in throughout BCT? My DS is on the very light side as well.
Yes. They keep tabs on basic's weight to make sure they are staying healthy. I lost 10lbs during the first week or two, and immediately got put on the supplement shakes.
 

HCopter

Parent USAFA DD 2024
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The bright side is it will only help when you figure out how to appropriately fill out paperwork for healthy or to avoid unhealthy weight gain, loss, or maintenance when you apply for a refrigerator before junior year. Good luck on your way through squadron chain of command!
 

99Gold

USAFA '99
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Apr 19, 2021
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I'm interested to see what happens with my very light ds during BCT. I have a feeling he'll be a candidate for those shakes.

When I went through BCT, our entire flight was put on notice for weight loss during 2nd BCT. It wasn't because of lack of eating but because our flight commander LOVED PT. Our cadre easily corrected the problem by making sure we ate more during meals. We did have to have a few extra weigh-ins to make sure.
 

AA787DRIVER

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Nov 18, 2021
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I gain almost 15lbs in Army basic training because when we got a meal, I ate everything thinking I would be eating MRE's for the next few days. Weird situation and dropped all the weight once I got back to normal eating times. Still ran the 2 miles on the PT Test in under 10 minutes as a fattie.
 
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