Complete Guide to Military Strength Training

Today, the military force represents more of a dissuasive force than a striking force. However, the soldier in the field must always be ready for any eventuality.

This is why the EPMS (Military Physical and Sports Training) remains a preponderant part of the preparation of our soldiers.

Physical performance is not the absolute goal of our soldiers, but following a sport training allows them to meet certain requirements.

Here is a zoom on the muscular training of the military, its objectives and methods.

Objectives of Military Physical Training and Sports

When they are on a military external operation (OPEX), soldiers have to face difficult and sometimes extreme conditions and are required to react quickly. The EPMS is a major element in the success of missions.

It intervenes from the initial training and accompanies the recruits throughout their career. To do this, they have an arsenal of advanced training resources. The infantryman must be able to sustain an effort over time during field operations.

The objectives of the EPMS are multiple and must, according to the Army Chief of Staff, allow the creation of a "warrior spirit".

Becoming real combatants

As geopolitics and the commitment of armies have evolved, each soldier must be able to face combat situations both physically and morally. The EPMS is there to help them. The warrior spirit thus sought is developed around 4 axes:

  • Boldness: to allow for innovation and the deployment of new tactical schemes.
  • Fearlessness: for its ability to take the ascendancy over the opponent.
  • Resilience: to avoid feeling sorry for oneself when physical and material losses occur.
  • Hardiness: to learn to move out of one's comfort zone.

Love the effort

The EPMS represents 30% of the training time of non-commissioned officers. These men, when they manage units, must be capable of doing, transmitting and setting an example. This is why training is sometimes done in uniform and loaded.

These "military" oriented sports activities allow them to acquire a winning mentality. The EPMS encourages group emulation and helps to surpass oneself. It is essential to be prepared for the realities of the field.

Training in the regiment

The purpose of regimental training is to test and increase the resistance of soldiers, but also to adapt to the specificity of each corps. Regular training in the morning allows to reinforce the group cohesion in the effort, but also to rule on the physical condition of each one.

The level is not the same for everyone and the officers can thus evaluate the reaction of the soldiers in front of the difficulties. Running in fatigues/basketball, carrying heavy loads, muscular strengthening...


Obtaining a vision of the operational purpose

Today, the operational needs and the specificities of the missions guide the training of the defense sports centers.

The evolution and feedback of missions are at the heart of the ministerial policy in order to adapt the training courses as well as possible. The aim is to be as close as possible to the situations that soldiers are confronted with.

Staying active in OPEX

When soldiers are in OPEX, it is essential that they maintain their physical condition. This allows them to keep all their operational capacities and contributes to their well-being.

Indeed, what could be better than a sport session to break the monotony of the camp on mission, to evacuate the overflow of stress or to integrate more quickly upon arrival?

Muscle training in the military does not necessarily rhyme with muscle mass gain

As we have seen, the EPMS is mainly focused on the functional needs of army soldiers on mission. Since they must be able to endure and wear their equipment and gear under all circumstances, muscle mass gain is not the number one objective of their training.

Indeed, in some cases, gaining muscle quickly could even be penalizing (speed, flexibility...). In addition, the main exercises performed, namely: push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and runs, do not allow for significant muscle mass development. However, these activities ensure that military men and women burn excess fat and achieve a dry muscular physique.

At the same time, military men and women are rarely able to follow a specific diet that would allow them to gain volume and muscle mass. And last but not least, sleep must be complete and restful. This is far from always being the case for the military.

Sports program to prepare for the army in 10 exercises

If you want to become a soldier in the French army, it's best to forget about "bulking up" which would penalize you. You can still carry out a training program that will help you reach your goal and will teach you little by little to surpass yourself.

Let's take a look at 10 simple workout exercises:

Do lunges: to strengthen your legs and balance.
Do sit-ups: for upper body balance and to manage all positions.
Squats: for lower back protection and power.
Run: to develop your endurance.
Do burpees: to work on cardio and strengthen your muscles.
Split training: to develop your cardio.
Bench press: to get comfortable pushing and pulling with your arms.
Swimming: to strengthen all the muscles of the body and be ready for any situation.
Do push-ups: for upper body power and is the standard exercise in the military.
Develop your mind: to be able to push yourself.

Remember, the key to success in any military occupation is discipline and motivation.