What Can We Learn About Physical Capability from the US Army?

The US Army is one of the most capable fighting forces in the world, and that’s partly because the Army trains its individuals both mentally and physically. 

If you’re looking to get into shape, or if you don’t think you’ll ever be able to do more than a few push-ups... You need to take some lessons about physical capability from the US Army’s playbook: 

We Can All Go Farther Than We Imagine

The US Army takes overweight, out of shape, and neurotic people every year and whips them into a fighting force that is recognized and respected around the world.

They do this through a general training regimen that prioritizes:

Cardiovascular Health

Intense Muscle-Building Exercises

Practical Strength

As a result, thousands of people every year learn that their physical capabilities are far beyond what they originally thought.

They may have thought that they’d never be able to get muscles to be proud of or enough strength to lift more than 100 pounds, but they do!  

The U.S. Army shows that physical capability is, in large part, determined by attitude and motivation.

We’re all less limited by our physical bodies than we expect.

All Humans Can Meet Some Standards of Fitness

The US Army also shows that physical capability can mean slightly different things for different people.

While holistic physical goals like good cardiovascular health and the ability to lift certain items or pieces of machinery are important; physical capability can be emphasized or relaxed for certain individuals as opposed to others.

Take men and women, for example. Men dominate when it comes to physical strength, and especially upper body strength.

However, that doesn’t mean women can’t become comparatively fit to their male counterparts– since women physiologically have smaller muscles, fitness for them means performing fewer push-ups in a session.

Fitness means, in effect, going as far as you can, yet not necessarily as far as everyone else can.

Furthermore, women are more physically capable than men when it comes to flexibility and, at times, core strength (with certain exercises).

All this goes to show that everyone can meet at least some standards of fitness – not everyone should try to become a bulky Navy SEAL, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach your maximum physical capabilities!

Physical Capability is More Than Just Pushup Counts

In the US Army, physical fitness is measured in a variety of ways, especially because both men and women are allowed to serve our great country. 

Because of this, managing to parse a high number of push-ups doesn’t necessarily mean you are physically capable.

Instead, the military prioritizes practical strength – getting huge muscles isn’t the point.

The Army’s training guarantees that every one of its service members has enough strength to do the job, which usually means carrying lots of heavy gear or being able to drag a comrade out of the mud during a combat situation.

In this way, physical capability really means practical strength, not how much you can bench at the gym. We can use this lesson in our own workouts, or as you work outdoors and develop a quiet strength that isn’t as flashy as the stuff you see on TV.

All in all, most of us can learn a lot from the U.S. Army, especially when it comes to physical fitness. Go for personal goals and aim at becoming physically capable, whatever that means for your unique abilities!

Thanks for reading,  


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