Army FIT-P: Fitness Improvement Training Program

In the Army National Guard you will find the Fitness Improvement Training Program, also known as FIT-P.  This is a program designed to help Soldiers who are overweight and/or cannot pass the APFT get back in shape.  The program offers a comprehensive approach to fitness, teaching Soldiers about proper nutrition, dieting, and exercise.  The FIT-P Course is normally taught by a Master Fitness Trainer.  In many cases, there is also a dietitian or nutritionist on site to assist with the training.

Normally, when a Soldier fails an APFT or weigh-in they are sent to FIT-P.  It is up to the Company Commander to refer Soldiers to the FIT-P program when they choose to.  In most states, the course is offered at the Regional Training Institute. In rare cases the course is instructed at the unit level, depending upon the mission, staffing, time available and funding available.

The course was formerly known as “Warrior Spirit” and is sometimes referred to by other Soldiers as “Fat Camp.”  The course is a six day course, normally taught during three drill weekends.  Soldiers attend FIT-P in lieu of attending drill weekend with their assigned unit.  During the course, the Soldiers conduct an APFT, get one-on-one fitness counseling and get personalized training to help them make lifestyle changes.

I’ve personally sent several Soldiers to FIT-P. In many cases, the Soldiers did lose weight and improve their APFT Score, but eventually reverted back to their old ways. And in a few rare cases, FIT-P was a real wake up call for some of my Soldiers who decided to take their health and fitness seriously.

Overall, I believe the program does have its merits. The major downside I see is that you lose your Soldier for three IDT weekends while they attend the training. Depending upon what you have on your unit training schedule, this can create some real problems.

If you personally have ever attended the ARNG FIT-P Class, I would love to hear from you. Please tell us about your experience and how it helped you out. Just leave a comment to share your thoughts. Also, if you have any questions about the FIT-P program, just leave them below and I will do my best to provide an answer.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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12 thoughts on “Army FIT-P: Fitness Improvement Training Program”

  1. My state, PA, has a FIT-P program which I will be attending here starting May 13 to May 28. The daily events they have, and have no idea why, is PMI, AWALP, IWQ, and other classes. I have no idea why we would be doing a weapons qual at FIT-P. But in anyhow I am over weight and have a total hip replacement on one side and arthritis on the other but yet I pass my APFT. I do diet, well eat right, and exercise at home about 3 times a week at best and still have a problem dropping the weight. So Here is to hoping for a great two weeks.

    1. Hello! So I’m helping with Fit-P this year at FITG and I asked the same exact question. The reason why they are adding IWQ etc is because FIT-P replaces your AT, this way the state doesn’t waste money. Also, in the time you’re here, you’re not going to lose a significant amount of weight but it will give you a lot of good material to get you there.

  2. I’m getting ready to go to the fit-p program next month for 5 days straight and was wondering how the program was broken down, like day to day things. I don’t know exactly why I was chosen, I’m guessing because I usually don’t pass tape on the day of the pt test. I know there are standards for a reason, even though I don’t always agree with them, example.. I was 5 inches over on tape on the waist (43″ sucking in a bit) but I had a 285 (my best) on my APFT. I maxed push ups and sit ups and got an 85 on the run. In my opinion that’s pretty good for a fat guy, LOL. But like I said I’m excited for “fat camp” my biggest issue is diet, but am curious of how the program works. I’m looking forward to hearing back from you guys. Thanks.

    1. Zeke,

      To be honest, I’m not sure how the FIT-P Program is broken down with the classroom instruction. I do know they cover classes on nutrition, exercise, forming new habits, etc. The instructors are normally Master Fitness Trainers. Your APFT score is very impressive, even though you don’t pass the HT/WT. I learned a long time ago that everyone has a different body build. Just because you pass the HT/WT doesn’t make you fit. I know plenty of small folks who fail the APFT, but do fine with the HT/WT portion. I worked with a guy once (in the USAR) who was over 300 lbs, but could max the APFT, even the run. Yet, he couldn’t pass the HT/WT. Funny thing is, he wasn’t fat. He was just a big dude!

      In either case, I wish you all the best with FIT-P and with your Army career.


  3. I can only really bring in experience from Active Duty but I don’t recall ever having any sort of program like FIT-P. I think it would be beneficial because most of the time, when someone fails a PT test, they are placed on extra PT and that’s all.

    I’m not sure how it would be best implemented in an active unit, but in many cases where a unit is not deployed and no major training events are taking place, it would be possible. I think it would great for overweight and out of shape Soldiers to get a crash course in physical fitness and nutrition from someone who is trained specifically to deal with those issues.

    1. To the best of my knowledge Chad, there is no FIT-P program in the Active Duty Army. I believe it is exclusive to the Army National Guard. But, even some Active Duty Soldiers struggle with their weight and physical fitness, so I’m sure the program would have a huge value in the Active Duty Army too.

  4. As an Army National Guard first sergeant, I find the value of the program outweighs any drawbacks. Physical fitness and weight control have long been an issue for National Guard Soldiers, just as they are for the rest of the population, and it’s simply not possible to physically condition Soldiers in two days every month. Sure, you may lose them for three IDT periods, but today the Guard is placing bars to reenlistment on those who cannot pass the APFT. That means you can either lose them for three weekends or lose them entirely when it’s time to ETS and they can’t reenlist.

    1. Good points, Top. While I believe the FIT-P Program has some merits, I’ve found that most Soldiers revert back to their old habits very quickly. Sure, some lose weight for a few months, but most of them gain it back and end up failing their next APFT.

      I also believe that part of being a good Soldier means staying fit and staying at a healthy weight. And that is a personal responsibility. While the obesity epidemic is spreading through our society and the rest of the world, Soldiers still need to be held accountable to the Army Standard.

      Just my two cents.

      Chuck Holmes

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