Physical Requirements for the Military
Physical requirements for the Navy are set in stone. Every six months I had to perform a physical requirements test. This test consisted of a sit reach, sit-ups, push-ups and a 1 1/2 mile run. If we were deployed and out to sea the test was waved. If we were in port, we’d do the test. Doing the test took quite awhile to complete. The entire division would go out and complete this test. It wasn’t like boot camp where we performed the test as a company.
We’d all perform the sit reach. This was done by sitting on the ground, our legs out stretched (no bending the knees) and touching our toes.
We’d then either sit-ups or push-ups. We’d perform as many as we could in two minutes.
We would then do the 1 1/2 mile run. Looking back, many would try to squeak out the minimum amount of everything. The run for most was the most difficult part. At least for me that was most difficult.
We had numerous drills on the ship so we were always strong with push-ups and sit-ups. We would run to the drills and casualties but only some would be able to achieve really great running scores.
We were sleep deprived and would work 12-18 hour days so only a few took the time to lift weights on there off time.
Several times in my Navy career I took the time to work out. I was probably in the best shape of my life while working out with my friend on the USS America. I was recently separated from my ex-wife and a friend of mine told me that the time lifting weights would take my mind off of the impending divorce.
He was right. I felt great and he was such a motivating factor in my life, I’m still friends with him to this day.
The second time I was in really great shape was when I was on the USS Emory S. Land. I’d wake up a 0400 and go lift weights and run on an elliptical machine. I lost a lot of extra weight right before I pulled back into port after we were away from our home port for over 250 days!
Food on the ship was good but not the best nutritionally. It was full of carbohydrates. Lots of rice and potatoes. We always had chicken. Vegetables weren’t the freshest available. The freshest food we ate was right before we left port and when we had an underway replenishment.
I did my best to eat correctly the best that I knew how. Most of my diet at that time was carbs since we were always needing energy to respond to casualties. Which happened at any odd time of the day or night.
Next week: A huge set back.