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What are Some Best Military-Style Workouts To Improve Physical Fitness

With a responsibility to protect the nation and its citizens from external harm, threat, and aggression, the armed forces or military prepares its soldiers for every circumstance. This sense validates the severe nature of the defence force's physical fitness exam and training period. Every year, thousands of aspiring candidates undergo stringent physical fitness training to qualify for the exam and earn the coveted title of a soldier. They train hard day and night to enhance their physical and mental capabilities to meet the rigorous demands of their roles.  

Inspired by the military routine, many fitness enthusiasts incorporate military-style workouts into their fitness routine, as these workouts combine a variety of exercises that allow people to work on diverse muscle groups and improve both endurance and strength in a time-efficient manner. Moreover, military-style workouts focus on functional movements that mimic real-life activities and tasks, empowering people to improve their overall fitness and become more capable in their daily lives. The best part about these workouts is the minimal requirement of equipment. These can be done even with bodyweight exercises, making them accessible to a wide range of people.  

Military-style workouts to improve physical fitness 

The efficiency of military-style workouts is no hidden fact. They are known for their effectiveness in improving physical fitness, as they often involve a combination of strength, endurance, and functional training. Although these workouts are designed to prepare individuals for the physical demands of military service, these can be performed by defence enthusiasts and civilians who wish to improve their overall physical fitness.    

1. Calisthenics Circuit 

This set of exercises proves that it does not take a massive apparatus to create a significant impact on one's fitness and physique. As a result of its minimal equipment requirements, it is highly adaptable to various settings, including remote environments with limited access to gym equipment.  

a. Push-Ups 

    Beginners: 4 sets of 6-8 reps 

    Advanced: 4 sets of 20-25 reps 

b. Bodyweight Squats 

    Beginners: 3 sets of 10-12 reps 

    Advanced: 4 sets of 25-30 reps 

c. Plank 

    Beginners: 3 sets of 20-30 seconds 

    Advanced: 4 sets of 60 seconds or more 

d. Lunges (each leg) 

    Beginners: 3 sets of 8-10 reps per leg 

    Advanced: 4 sets of 16-20 reps per leg 

e. Bicycle Crunches 

    Beginners: 3 sets of 10-12 reps per side 

    Advanced: 4 sets of 25-30 reps per side 

2. Interval Running 

It enhances anaerobic fitness, allowing individuals to perform better during brief but intense moments. In addition to improving speed and agility, it challenges the cardiovascular system, ultimately improving endurance. 

a. Sprint Interval Run 

This focuses on achieving maximum speed during high-intensity intervals, and lasts from 40 seconds to 2-3 minutes, depending on specific fitness objectives. You can also measure sprints by covering a set distance, such as 100 meters, 200 meters, or 400 meters on a track. 

b. Recovery Interval Run 

This active recovery interval run is a low-intensity segment when you reduce your running pace to a slower jog or walking. They may last anywhere from 20 seconds to 1 minute.  

3. Strength Training  

This set of exercises targets diverse groups of muscles, builds lean muscle mass, increases bone density, boosts metabolism, and delays the onset of muscle fatigue. In addition, it also improves posture, enhances insulin sensitivity, and reduces the risk of heart disease.  

a. Upper Body  


  • Beginners: Aim for 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps per set.  
  • Advanced: Incorporate higher reps and more sets - 4-5 sets of 15-25 reps per set. 

Pull- Ups

  • Beginners: Start with 2-3 sets of 3-6 reps per set. 
  • Advanced: Incorporate higher reps and more sets - 5-6 sets of 10-15 reps per set. 

 b. Lower Body 


  • Beginners: Aim for 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps per set. 
  • Advanced: People who have consistently done squats as a part of their fitness regimen can include heavier weights and lower reps - 4-5 sets of 4-8 reps per set.  


  • Beginners: Start with 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps per leg per set. 
  • Advanced: Incorporate higher reps and more sets - 4-5 sets of 12-16 reps per leg per set. 

c. Core 


  • Beginners: Start with 20-30 seconds of plank hold per repetition. Complete 2-3 sets with a short rest in between. 
  • Advanced: Challenge yourself with longer plank durations, such as 60 seconds or more per repetition. Ideally, perform 4-5 sets with short rests between planks. 

Russian Twists 

  • Beginners: Start with 10-15 twists per set for beginners.  
  • Advanced: Perform 20-30 twists per set or more. 

Note: Perform 2-4 sets (beginners and Advanced) depending on your fitness level and workout intensity. 

Ending Note 

Military-style workouts are an effective way to keep yourself active and have a healthy body. They provide a holistic approach to fitness that enhances endurance, strength, agility, and mental resilience. Incorporating military workouts into your daily life makes you fit and capable of performing your best in various physical scenarios. While military-style workouts are effective for enhancing the strength- stamina, endurance, and flexibility of people, it is also advisable to consult your health professional to check for any underlying medical condition. Once everything is good, you can commence your fitness journey with these customized military-style workouts. 

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