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standard army pt test, best way to improve

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning' started by AWMP, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. AWMP


    Apr 28, 2003
    Always a topic of discussion, what does the list think the best way to improve push ups, sit ups and 2 mile run time? Curious to see if there is any programs or ways to improve in a 6 week time frame. Thanks in advance.
  2. Jim in MI

    Jim in MI

    Feb 16, 2004
    West Michigan
    My opinion.

    Push ups the easiest to improve quickly. Every hour, drop and do 20, then 30, then 40, ect. I could do the 82 max in less than a minute, I think I once did 112 in 2 minutes, right before leaving for airborne school.

    Sit ups. Well, don't just do sit ups. Do crunches amd different abdominal strengthening exercises.

    The run. Do intervals. Lift weights with your legs. Build some endurance with 1 long run a week. Discover pylometrics (sp?)

  3. proactive


    Feb 15, 2004
    What he said. In basic, it seemed like we were always getting dropped for pushups. Your body will adapt to the frequency; the key is several short (not necessarily to failure) sessions throughout the day. Same goes for any ab work. The best way to improve on a certain event is to train in that event. Its called specificity. If you want to improve your situps, do situps.
  4. younggenious


    Jun 29, 2001
    Southern TX
    Yea for push ups you just need to do a lot of stuff that will make your body adapt to doing them. Do pushups with your hands at various widths, and do them all throughout the day. Every few days do a max set.
  5. Central Texan

    Central Texan AmericanSoldier

    Dec 27, 2002
    Pyramids man, Pyramids!
    Works with both sit ups and push ups. Start with say 10, then do 9, then 8, then 7, ect ect ect. When you get to 1, start your way back up.

    As for the run, what helps me most is to run with a battle budy who's faster than me, and try to keep up.
  6. MGomez81

    MGomez81 .

    Jun 25, 2003
    Central Texan beat me to it. And I've been through Army OSUT Infantry training to know.

    Don't expect a magical formula. The reason guys in the military got stronger and develop a better physique than your average guy who goes to the gym, is because in the military they push you farther than any sane person would push themselves. We go beyond pain in the military, and when you do that, you develop a rock hard body.

    You've got six weeks. We'd run 2 miles every other day. Then we'd run 5 miles at a 9 minute pace per mile every week or so. We'd do PT every day, some days were worse than others, but we were constantly in the leaning rest position, and when they thought we couldn't stand another push-up, we'd flip onto our back and do flutter kicks. FRONT, BACK, GO! All. Day. Long.

    The normal person cannot devote 7 hours a day to PT. But when you go to do PT, go as hard as you can. Become friends with the pullup bar, find a rope to climb. Good luck.
  7. DonGlock26


    Jan 18, 2001
    I did alot of PU's in the Army(Cav Scout). For the Police Officer PT test, I would do sets of 20+ PU's with my feet on a chair while I watched TV. Every commercial break, I would do a set. Regular PU's felt easy after that. I did 60+ push-ups for my test!;f

    I would try sit-ups while holding a light dumbbell or weight plate, too.

    Good Luck,

  8. BCR

    BCR BIGASS!!!!

    Dec 8, 2002
    New Hampshire
    I think you should just do the 3 exercises you listed.

    Back in 92 when I was hanging out with my USMC recruiter we stuck with the 3 exercises: pullups, sit-ups and running (USMC does pullups instead of pushups for the test).

    We just practiced those 3 day in and day out.

    Running: Just increase your distance and speed gradually, perhaps running at an incline would help. Chasing a faster buddy is good too, like others said.

    Situps: I'd avoid crunches because the sit up is much harder. I can do a ton of crunches, but sit ups still kick my ass. The range of motion is much larger with a sit up.

    Push ups: Again, just practice. Maybe some bench pressing or elevate your feet on a chair (already mentioned).

    You've got to get it through your head to push yourself and deal with the pain. Stick with your 3 exercises and keep grinding them out!
  9. akbound


    Mar 31, 2004
    Hi AWMP,

    Do you have access to a unit Master Fitness Trainer? These trainers can be a very good resource for military personnel, (assuming you have a dedicated MFT). Particularly you should have information concerning the appropriate use of "timed sets, pyramids, and variations" for the push-ups, and sit-ups. Additionally by alternating "long slow distance runs" with recovery runs, and limited use (once weekly or bi-weekly) of wind sprints, hill sprints, and about once a month actually run a timed two mile run you can see significant improvement on your two mile run times.

    For all of the above it should go without saying that by infrequently mixing in cross training events you can not only break up the boredom but can sometimes actually "break out" of plateaus. Also do not forget to pay proper attention to warm-up, stretching (flexibility), and cool-down. Additionally I'm sure you already know that body composition has a great influence on performance.

    When I was still active duty (retired since 94) I served my last three assignments as unit Master Fitness Trainer as one of my many additional duties. In the course of doing so I assisted many service members returning from profile or simply those looking to improve their score on the AFPT. That's why I'd say look seriously to see if your unit has access to a school trained MFT, if so utilize the resource. You can improve on your own, but it's easier with someone on your side that is able to help provide good solid fitness information.

    Good luck!