During initial training, recruits perform specific calisthenics, but are not limited to Camp's dozen.
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Developed by Walter Camp in 1920, the "daily dozen" originally consisted of 12 simple exercises that took about 15 minutes to complete. Both the Army and Navy incorporated this training regimen into their programs for recruits, as it proved effective regardless of starting weight or fitness level. Almost a century later, the term refers to a commitment to maintaining a certain fitness level, but the phrase no longer appears in Army handbooks.
The "daily dozen" originated as 12 simple exercises, but Army training has morphed into three primary conditioning drills, focusing on strength, endurance and flexibility.
Camp's Daily Dozen
Camp divided his routine into four groups of three exercises. He did not design each exercise to be strenuous in and of itself, but rather to target rarely used muscle groups. The full set of exercises consisted of moves that he labeled "hands, hips, head, grind, grate, grasp, crawl, curl, crouch, wave, weave and wing." According to Camp, the effect of these exercises would be felt most on the muscles of the neck, back and stomach.
Conditioning Drill 1
Much like the original daily dozen, calisthenics feature prominently in modern Army training. Conditioning Drill 1 is designed to develop motor skills while incrementally building strength, endurance and flexibility, and is always conducted during the warm-up. The Army Pocket Physical Training guide lists and describes 10 exercises to be completed in sequence: bend and reach, rear lunges, high jumpers, rowers, squat benders, windmills, forward lunges, prone rows, bent-leg body twists and pushups.
Conditioning Drill 2
Conditioning Drill 2 consists of three calisthenic exercises, performed in the given sequence: pushups, sit ups and pullups. When incorporated into the training regimen, it enhances upper body strength, endurance and mobility. The Army Pocket Physical Training Guide recommends a partner to assist with the pullups.
Conditioning Drill 3
Conditioning Drill 3 increases the intensity of the workout by introducing five higher-level calisthenics designed to develop more complex motor skills. Unlike the first two, these exercises - power jumps, V-ups, mountain climbers, leg tucks and twists and single-leg pushups - must be performed to cadence for five four-count repetitions, progressing to 10 repetitions over time. However, precise execution cannot be sacrificed for speed, making this a workout more suitable for trainees in the later stages of the regimen.
How Often Should You Workout?
While the "daily dozen" hints that you should perform the exercises daily, it's actually better to allow for adequate rest between workouts. Strength training exercise creates microscopic tears in your muscle tissue, and resting in between your workouts gives your body time to repair them so the muscles grow back stronger. Working the same muscle groups day after day can eventually wear down your muscle tissue - not to mention feel uncomfortable, since you're not left with enough time for recovery - limiting your gains. Keep your workout safe by taking a day off between each workout.