Keeping the US Navy Updated on the Physical Readiness Program


Navy Body Composition Assessment

By Thomas Glare

The Navy employs only the best people for the job, after all, it’s important for national security. Part of being the best is having correct physique and body composition so that one can approach any physical challenges and be able to overcome them to ultimately fulfill any goals. The Navy has a physical fitness assessment which is comprised of a Body Composition Assessment (BCA) and also a Physical Readiness Test (PRT). Both parts of this examination are carried out twice a year for any reserve sailors and active sailors carrying out their duties. These tests are also given to boot camp enlistees when they arrive and join the Navy.

So what is body composition and how is it measured? A body composition definition can be used to describe a percentage of bone, fat, water and muscle in humans.

 The Body Composition Assessment is based on some physical characteristics such as a person’s weight, height, fat and much more. An estimate of fat is based on a measurement of circumference and there are various charts used for initial screenings. 

Because of factors such as muscle mass, if one exceeds a certain weight that is indicated on official charts, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re overweight per se. This just means that they don’t fit in with the strict standards that the Navy has on fat measurement. The Navy do carry out a rigorous body composition analysis and take things seriously, yet the results of this analysis aren’t indicative of poor health. 

There are some specific Navy fat standards which are as follows:

Male – 17-40 years old = 22% 

Male – 40 years old = 23% 

Female – 17-39 years old = 33% 

Female – 40 years old = 34% 

Any potential applicants that don’t meet the Navy’s standards for weight will then also be measured for their fat % using body composition scales. Here are the following requirements as of 2019:

Height (inches)Navy Weight Standard in PoundsNavy Weight Standard in pounds

Body composition and signing up

We hope that this article has provided you with all the info needed about strict standards that need to be reached. It’s possible to do some work and get in shape, so never lose sight of your goals and always do your best to apply. It is recommended that one should never strive to do the bare minimum and just pass the physical standards tests when seeking a position in the Navy because fitness is a massive part of their job. One needs to be fit to save their life or the lives of others in combat or during desperate situations. Whether you feel you’re a mile away from achieving the standards or are pretty close, check with a doctor before attempting fitness programs to get in shape. Best of luck!

Thomas Glare used to work for the army and before that worked as a fitness coach for 10+ years. He is a fully certified strength training and conditioning specialist with the NSCA. Nowadays, he is retired and works part-time writing articles on Navy topics, his experiences, and fitness. If you find him in his local bar in New York, buy him a gin and tonic!

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