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The following information is provided for individuals preparing for the physical demands of Cadet Basic Training (CBT). The staff within the Department of Physical Education (DPE) created this in order to assist cadets in preparing for their initial experience at the United States Military Academy (USMA).

In order for this program to be safe and effective, it must be followed as written. Exercise must be conducted regularly at the proper intensity to bring about the desired changes in the body. However, changes in the body occur gradually; so be patient and adhere to the program. If you miss a session for some reason, just pick up where you left off with the next day’s session. However, if you miss a whole week of sessions, you will have to start the week over. In addition, follow the nutritional guidance  as indicated here and ensure adequate rest and recovery to optimize health, improve physical fitness, and control injuries.

DO NOT begin this physical exercise program before passing a routine physical examination by your physician.

Safety Considerations

The  CBT Individualized Sample Training Program is a safe and effective way to improve your physical fitness. To achieve these results, it must be followed as written.

  • ALWAYS perform a warm–up and cool–down before and after the training activity.
  • Perform ONLY the prescribed number of sets and repetitions on the training schedule.
  • Proper form (precision) is more important than the sloppy execution of more repetitions.
  • Perform ALL the exercises in the order listed for each drill.
  • If you miss a day of training, pick up with the next day of the training schedule.
  • Exercise with a training partner whenever possible.

Although a little muscle soreness is to be expected when beginning a new physical training program, do not aggravate injuries by continuing to exercise when you are feeling pain or discomfort.

Injury Control

The most common running injuries occur in the feet, ankles, knees and legs. Although they are hard to eliminate, much can be done to keep them to a minimum. Preventive measures include proper warm–up and cool–down. Failure to allow recovery between hard bouts of running can lead to overtraining and can also be a major cause of injuries. If you experience continuing or acute pain, see your doctor.


Proper footwear may play a role in injury prevention. Choosing a running shoe that is suitable for your particular type of foot can help you avoid some common running–related injuries. It can also make running more enjoyable and help you get more mileage out of your shoes.

  • Always tie and untie shoes when putting them on and taking them off.
  • Expect shoes to be comfortable when you try them on. If they are not, then do not buy them.
  • How a shoe looks is not as important as proper fit or comfort.
  • Replace running shoes when they begin to show visible wear or after 500 miles of use, whichever occurs first.
  • The best shoe for you may not be the most expensive. Always try on both shoes and walk around the store to ensure they fit before purchasing.
  • If possible, shop for shoes at the end of the day instead of in the morning. Your feet swell from being in shoes and moving around all day.


Proper clothing can also help prevent injuries.

  • Ensure that you are wearing some sort of reflective material if exercising during hours of low visibility.
  • Clothes should be comfortable, light in color, and fit loosely in warm weather.
  • Clothing may be layered according to personal preference in cold weather and gloves or mittens and ear–protecting caps should be worn to prevent frostbite.
  • Rubberized or plastic suits should NEVER be worn during exercise or the physical assessments.

Environmental Conditions

  • Do not exercise in extremely hot or cold weather; try to find an alternate indoor location to reduce the risk of heat or cold injuries.
  • Avoid exercising near heavily traveled streets and highways during peak traffic hours.
  • Avoid exposure to pollutants before and during exercise, if possible (including tobacco).
  • In areas of high smog concentrations, train early in the day or later in the evening.
  • Use a waterproof or sweat proof sun block when exercising in warm weather to avoid sunburn. Follow the instructions on the bottle for proper use.


Water is the preferred hydration fluid before, during and after physical training activities.

  • Drink 13 to 20 ounces of cool water at least 30-60 minutes before beginning exercise (approximately 2 glasses of water).
  • After the activity, drink to satisfy thirst, then drink a little more.
  • After exercise, avoid alcoholic beverages and soft drinks because they are not suitable for proper hydration and recovery. Sports drinks may be consumed, but are not required and contain a considerable number of additional calories.
  • It is also possible to drink too much water. Be sure to limit intake to NO MORE THAN 1 1/2 quarts per hour (48 oz.) during heavy exertion.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Injuries

If you experience any of the below symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heatstroke, immediately stop your physical activity.

Heat Cramps

  • Muscular Twitching
  • Cramping
  • Muscular Spasms in Arms, Legs or Abdomen

Heat Exhaustion (Requires Medical Attention)

  • Excessive Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of Coordination Increased Sweating Cool/Wet Skin
  • Dizziness and/or Confusion


  • No Sweating Hot/Dry Skin Rapid Pulse Rapid Breathing Coma
  • Seizure
  • Dizziness and/or Confusion
  • Loss of Consciousness

Signs and Symptoms of Cold Weather Injuries

During exercise in the cold, your body usually produces enough heat to maintain its normal temperature. As you get fatigued, however, you slow down and your body produces less heat. Hypothermia develops when the body cannot produce heat as fast as it is losing it.


  • Shivering
  • Loss of Judgment Slurred Speech Drowsiness
  • Muscle Weakness


  • A white or grayish–yellow skin area
  • Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
  • Numbness in body parts exposed to the cold such as the nose, ears, feet, hands, and skin