Aerobic Activity Goals

LAST UPDATED: April 02, 2021

Aerobic exercise—a foundation for fitness

Aerobic exercise is also called cardiovascular training because it helps build your body’s ability to pump blood and oxygen to your working muscles. This is critical for your endurance as a Soldier. This kind of training provides a foundation for your general health and fitness and is called Endurance in FM 7-22 External Link, Physical Readiness Training.

One hundred fifty minutes of endurance training per week helps:

  • Create staying power. Maintain your physical performance throughout long missions and training events.
  • Build resistance to injury. Soldiers who have greater aerobic fitness are less likely to be injured.
  • Increase the health and strength of your heart, lungs, and blood vessels. This makes fit Soldiers healthier in the long run.
  • Improve children's endurance for those late nights spent studying and long days at school.
Activity Target: The Performance Triad aerobic exercise goal is 150 minutes of moderate or greater intensity exercise per week.

What counts as moderate intensity?

  • About a 40–60% effort level
  • Brisk walking
  • Light jogging, under about 6 mph
  • Hiking or trail walking on easy flat surfaces
  • Light cycling—indoors or out
  • Light recreational swimming
  • Light to moderate weight training or using long rest periods
  • Endurance training machines on a low or light setting, like rowers, elliptical trainers, or step machines. See FM 7-22 External Link Figure 10-12 page 10–21 for more examples.
  • Gardening, grass mowing and light outdoor chores
  • Physical Readiness Training (PRT) Recovery and Prep Drills
  • Setting up/taking down tents and field equipment
  • Loading and unloading gear continuously, about 40lbs or less
  • Skateboarding on an even surface
  • School yard games like tag, swings, monkey bars and slides
Activity Plus Target: Add 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise per week to reach the Performance Triad aerobic activity plus goal.

What counts for my vigorous 75 minutes?

  • Vigorous is about a 60–90% effort level
  • Running or jogging, at about 6 mph or greater
  • Hiking uphill
  • Fast cycling—indoors or out
  • Fast swimming laps
  • Heavy weight training or with short rest periods
  • Endurance training machines on a fast or difficult setting, like rowers, elliptical trainers, or step machines. See FM 7-22 External Link Figure 10-12 page 10–21 for examples.
  • Heavy outdoor work, shoveling or digging, moving higher loads of 40 lbs. or more
  • Competitive sports like soccer, flag football, basketball, wrestling, and combatives training
  • Loading and unloading heavy gear continuously; over about 40 lbs.
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