Body Composition Tests

Military Body Composition Test

All services use the body composition test. It requires all military personnel to weigh in and have their height measured. When out of height/weight standards, body fat is measured using the circumference test - measuring the neck and waist.

The body composition test is the only part of the Air Force BMT that requires all personnel to run 1.5 miles, pushups, and crunches. This is the same test as the Navy and Coast Guard. The VO2 Max bicycle ergometer test is still available to those members who cannot run due to leg injuries. The stationary cycle test is designed to measure how efficiently the heart and lungs work to transfer oxygen through the body. The test uses heart rate to estimate aerobic capacity (VO2 max).

Here is a question I received from a member of the Air Force:

"What exercises will reduce my waist at least eight inches in two months, and what exercises will increase my neck size?"

The WHOLE plan is needed in this case - not just some exercises. Honestly, I don\'t know if it can be done in eight weeks - but here's how I would attempt it. For starters, if you want to reduce inches that quickly - drink more water. Water retention maybe one of the culprits to your waist size. If you think you may be retaining water, try adding up to a gallon of water a day, and you could lose about five to ten pounds of retained water in a few short days. I have seen people lose up to twenty in a week by ONLY adding water to their diet. But once that is done you need to focus on the principles of healthy weight loss below that will help you with your goal:

1) Eating Plan

The eating plans below will help your body keep the metabolism high and burn calories throughout the day. Limiting fat and processed carbs, and adding fiber and protein will lean you out quickly and in a healthy manner.

- The "Get Lean" Diet - The "Three-Hour" Diet

2) Cardio Workouts

Four to five times a week of 45-60 minutes of cardio exercises - elliptical gliding, walking, jogging, swimming, rowing, or biking are great examples of how to burn calories. If you're overweight and need to lose over 50 lbs., I do not recommend running. Select a non-impact form of the aerobics listed above.

3) Ab Exercises

Read the suggested articles below. Do crunches without holding your hand behind your head and build your neck muscles too.

- Rest With Crunches - Lose the Love-Handles - Washboard Abs

4) Muscle Training

Weights or PT program - Lift weights or PT (pushups, sit-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, crunches) every other day 3 times a week. Also add some neck exercises into your day by simply lying on the floor and raise your head until your chin touches your collarbones - repeat 20-30 times. Then lift your head off the floor and shake your head as if you were nodding "no" - repeat 20-30 times. This will help you add some girth to your neck in a relatively short period of time.

5) See the Programs

I have a list of programs that can help you, but it all depends on your fitness level: see below:

The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:

- The Military Physical Fitness Workouts - New - Combat Conditioning Workout - Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1 - Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - Navy SEAL Workout Phase 3 - Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4 - Navy SWCC Workout - Navy OCS Workout - The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy) - The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout - The Army OCS and PFT Workout - The Army Air Assault School Workout - The Army Airborne Workout - The Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout - Phase 1 & 2 - USMC RECON Workout Phase 1 & 2 - USMC OCS / TBS Workout - Air Force PJ / CCT Workout - NEW - The Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Workout - NEW

The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts

- The FBI Academy Workout - The FBI SWAT Team Workout - The DEA Workout - The FLETC Workout - Ace the PEB - The State / Local Police Academy Workout - The Public Safety Diver Workout - Coming Soon - Border Patrol Agent Workout

General Fitness and Nutritional Guides for Everyone

- The 45 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness - The 45 Day Intermediate Guide to Fitness - The Diabetic Prevention Workout / Diet - The Athlete Workout - Rugby, Soccer, Lacrosse & Football - The Busy Executive Workout Routine - The Six Week Advanced Weight Training / PT Guide - Beer and Barbells USBDT Workout

This is the way you lose weight and inches in the proper manner. As you can see, it is a lot more than a few exercises as requested. True fitness is a lifestyle change that can easily fit into your schedule. Because, "If it is not in your schedule - it does not exist!" Good luck and thanks for your continued service to our country.

More on Body Composition Test Prep: - Army Weight Control Program - Navy Body Composition Assessment - Air Force Weight Charts - USMC Body Composition Program - Coast Guard Physical Fitness Assessment

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at

Show Full Article