Thinking about all the physical demands of Air Force bmt pt can be daunting. Especially if you are just starting to go through the enlistment process. You’re left with so many questions, and wonder if you are even physically ready for bmt yet.

This simple overview will answer some of the questions you have regarding basic military training physical training, with some exercises to help prepare yourself.

Air Force BMT PT Overview

There are two types of workouts when it comes to Air Force bmt pt, bodyweight workouts, and running workouts. These workouts rotate during the morning pt sessions which take place 6 days a week. Duration of workout lengths vary, but in general, they can be completed in 45 minutes to an hour. 

Before workouts begin, warmups take place whether you are running or doing bodyweight exercises. So that means stretching and doing dynamic warmups like jumping jacks. Then after the main workout, you’ll cool down and stretch again.

And know, just cause you did pt in the morning does not mean there won’t be any more pt throughout the rest of the day. There is always the chance you’ll be going for a flight run or your instructor has everyone on the ground doing push-ups and flutter kicks.

Some of the bodyweight workouts done in basic training consist of push-ups, sit-ups, and planks. There are many more exercises performed beyond that. Though, if you are wondering, there is no weight lifting in Air Force bmt. You won’t find a bench press or dumbbells for bmt trainees to use. Everything is done using your own body weight. Using your own body weight is an effective way to still build strength, endurance, and stamina.

For bmt running pt sessions, you’ll be doing a few different run types throughout Air Force basic training. There is a timed or mock timed 1.5 mile to 2 miles run depending on the week. Other times you’ll perform a self-paced run with intervals of walking/sprinting towards the end of the run. The self-paced run usually equates to running for 30 to 40 minutes altogether. Throughout the weeks at bmt, you will be progressed to run faster and for longer.

During your duration at bmt, there will be points where practice pt tests or “mock pt tests” as they are called, will be performed to help prepare yourself to pass the final timed pt test. Air Force basic training can’t be completed without passing the final pt test. All of the exercises done in bmt help prepare and lead you to this final test consisting of running, push-up, and sit-up exercises.

Related article: How hard is Air Force basic training?

Can You Fail BMT?

If you are just starting or hadn’t even started to get in shape, you might be nervous about Air Force basic training. You might even be wondering, “Is it possible to fail Air Force bmt?” and “What happens if you do?”.

First off, don’t be fearful of failing, simply come physically prepared. Secondly, yes you can fail Air Force bmt. Here is what happens in the event someone does fail.

Let’s say in the unlikely event you didn’t come prepared for basic training and you couldn’t pass the pt test at the end of your training. Instead of getting “recycled” as its called into a new flight a week or more behind your current flight like you would for not passing other aspects of basic military training. When it comes to failing the final pt test, you’ll get sent to the get fit program which is a part of the 737 Training Support Squadron. 

You would get integrated into the get fit program to get another chance to pass the final pt test. Having a maximum of 30 days in the program to do so. If only a portion of the final pt test is failed, for instance, the 1 minute timed push-ups. You could quickly redo that section in the get fit program and still graduate with your flight.

However, if that’s not the case and your physical training requires more extensive training methods, the get fit program provides them. Training would be assisted by both a nationally certified personal trainer and a certified military instructor. You’ll continue to exercise 6 days a week. Three of those days will be spent going to the Lackland Air Force Base gym doing cardiovascular exercises. 

If you don’t show progress during the get fit program then you would be recommended for separation from the Air Force. Even if your 30 days in the program hasn’t completed. Having a basic training workout plan is a must. So you don’t find yourself in this program, on the edge of failing bmt.

Workouts To Prepare For Basic Training

So don’t expect to haphazardly arrive at basic training without being in shape. You must have a baseline fitness level before you step foot on Lackland Air Force Base.

Some of the fundamental exercises done in basic training are push-ups, sit-ups, planks, squats, burpees w/push-ups, and running.

It’s important to have a grasp on these exercises and how to properly perform them. Especially push-ups and sit-ups cause these two exercises are a part of the Air Force pt test. There are specific methods to perform in order for your push-ups and sit-ups to be counted during the test as well.

Here is how to perform some of these fundamental movements.


In order to do a push-up that is counted during the Air Force pt test, you must (1) Get into a push-up position with your elbows towards your body at a 45-degree angle. (2) Keep your core tight and body straight. Don’t let your hips sag to the ground or shoot out in the air. (3) Use a full range of motion, lowering your chest to the ground then pushing back up to the starting position. Don’t do a half rep cause it won’t count.


Doing sit-ups in bmt requires a partner to hold or stand on your feet. Start by (1) Getting into a sit-up position with your legs positioned at around a 45-degree angle. (2) Cross your arms and place your hands on the opposite shoulder or collar bone. If your hands move from this position the rep doesn’t count. (3) Use your core muscles to lift your upper body up so your elbows touch your knees or thighs. (4) Return to the starting position, that is one rep.


Planks are a simple movement, holding them is the challenge. Start by (1) Lowering your body to the ground so your feet and elbows are touching the ground. (2) Tighten your core and keep your body straight. Don’t let your hips sag or shoot up. (3) Maintain this position for 15 to 30 second durations.


If you’re not used to squats, maintaining balance is the tricky part. Start by (1) Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. You can extend your arms forward to help balance yourself. (2) Push your hips back to lower your body, while keeping your core tight. (3) Stop when your legs break a 90-degree angle (4) At that 90-degree angle push through the ground with your legs and back to a standing position.

Burpees w/push-up

These are a full-body exercise, so multiple muscle groups are used in the movement. Start by (1) Being in a standing position, quickly lower yourself into a pushup position in one fluid motion. (2) perform a push-up and after the movement quickly position yourself on your feet. (3) Jump as high as you can into the air, that is one rep.

These exercises should be just the start of your bmt fitness prep. If you don’t have a basic training workout plan, start one. Add more exercises to these fundamental movements to have a full and well-rounded action plan to get you in shape.

Basic Training Workout Plan

Why is it important to have a basic training workout plan?

Well, if you’re like many people just starting out you might not even know where to begin. So you’d do some push-ups, sit-ups, and running a little to prepare. By the time basic training rolls around and you’re in the thick on it, you realize how unprepared you are. So the next handful of weeks throughout bmt are gonna be a terrible suckfest and in the end, you’ll regret being so ill-prepared.

The Air Force stresses the importance of exercising prior to coming to bmt. To the point of having minimum pt recommendations prior to even leaving home. Basic training currently has 44 physical training sessions aside from any other physical activity your military instructor has your flight perform. So it’s important to have a plan of action for both bodyweight training and running.

To Wrap It Up

Come prepared to Air Force bmt. Be ready for the early morning pt session full of bodyweight exercises and running for up to 30 to 40 minutes at a time. Start by incorporating the above exercises into your basic training workout plan. If you don’t have a plan, put one together.

Do you feel you’re physically ready to crush bmt?

Corey Porter

Corey Porter

Air Force Veteran

Corey is an Air Force veteran and the lead writer at Basic to Blues. He refueled fighter jets as a young airman and deployed twice to the Middle East. Now Corey can be found hiking in the Pacific Northwest.

Who the hell… POL!

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