15 Days From the PFT

by Stew Smith

This 15 day plan was written for a military member who had two weeks to pass his fitness test of 1.5 mile run, pushups, and situps. It is not designed for those members who have not exercised in months, but for those who just need an extra push to surpass the minimums. You could also use this routine to help you hit the maximum standards if you are hitting a plateau in your testing for the Most Common PFT. Knowing that this test is the most common fitness test in the military and law enforcement, I thought I would post the routine online as it is a combination of three routines:

The Pushup Push Workout - Add 50-100% to your Pushups in two weeks. You will be doing pushups for the first 11 days of this workout, then rest for 3 days of no pushups and test on day 15 of this routine. If your test requires pullups, you can do the same for that exercise - see Pullup Push

The Need for Speed Workout - Ace the 300m and 1.5 mile runs for FBI Academy, but this plan below is geared for any timed run no matter how short or long it is.

Proper Situps Technique - Learn your pace when it comes to situps. Find a goal and pace yourself to the goal. If your test is a 1 minute test, then you should strive for a pace of nearly 1 per second so you score in the high 40-50s for your situp test. If your test is a 2 minute test, pace is more important and you may need to slow it down to 20 situps per 30 seconds to score in the high 70 / low 80's.

Here is an explanation of the chart below:

1) Supplemental Plan

You can use this plan below in addition to your current workout if you wish but it is a pretty challenging plan and would not do this unless you are pretty fit now and seeking to improve your PFT scores so you are near maxing the test.

2) Stand-alone Plan

If you are an intermediate / beginner level (not complete beginner) I would recommend to just follow the plan for the next two weeks. This will challenge your pushups and situps and push you in the running category as well. If you are not used to running 1-2 miles then I would not attempt this program as this is NOT a program for beginners.

3) Goal Pace Runs

Learning to pace your runs will help you score better on 1.5, 2, and 3 mile timed run tests. Typically, I like to teach at a 400m track so students will learn the distance and muscle memory the time to do that distance. For instance, if you want to score a 12 minute 2 mile run - that means you need a 6 minute mile, 3 minute 1/2 mile, and a 90 second 1/4 mile *(400m) run. This will help you understand not to start out too fast on your timed run and a strategy to PACE the run. Just divide your timed run distance / goal into 1/4 mile distances and strive to learn the pace at 1/4 mile, then 1/2 mile and so on...     

Check out Take 2:00 Off Your PFT Mile

4) 400m runs - You can also replace this distance with a 300m run distance especially if you are seeking to ace the 300m sprint used by many law enforcement departments around the United States as well as the FBI Academy. BUT instead of running at goal 1.5 mile pace you should run it at goal 300m sprint pace.

Add the Lower Back Plan into the daily routine at the end of the day.

Try this routine if you wish. It does work and let me know how you do after the 15 Day PFT Challenge. This is not something I would repeat several times in a row but only once in a while. Your pushups / situps muscles need rest like all other muscle groups. Typically, I recommend resting 48 hours after hard pushups / ab workouts before challenging that muscle group again. Please feel free to email if you have any questions at stew@stewsmith.com

Day 1

Repeat 3-4 times
Pushups max reps 1 min
Situps - 15-20 reps in 30 seconds

1.5 mile run warmup

Repeat 2-4 times
400m run at goal pace
squats - 20
lunges - 10/leg
situps - 20 in 30 seconds

Day 2

Run 400m - rest 5:00 / stretch

Run 1.5 mile run timed

Do 100 pushups and 100 situps total throughout the day

Day 3

Repeat 3 times
Max pushups
Pace Situps 15-20 in 30 seconds

Repeat 2 times
1.5  mile at close to goal pace - rest 10 minutes in between

Day 4

Warm-up jog 10:00

Repeat 5 times
400m run at goal pace
squats - 20
Lunges - 10/leg

Do 100 pushups and 100 situps total throughout the day

Day 5

Repeat 4 times
Max Pushups
Pace Situps 15-20 in 30 seconds

Warmup Jog 5:00

1/4 mile at goal pace
1/2 mile at goal pace
3/4 mile at goal pace
1 mile at goal pace
stretch / rest 2 min in between each set...

Day 6

1.5 mile run warmup

Repeat 3-5 times
400m run
squats - 20
lunges - 10/leg

Do 100 pushups and 100 situps total throughout the day

Day 7

100-150 pushups and situps in as few sets as possible - no rest

Repeat 4 times
Run 400m run @ full speed   rest 2 minutes

Run 1.5-2 mile run timed

Day 8

3 miles at close to goal pace as possible

Do 100 pushups and 100 situps total throughout the day

Day 9

Repeat 2-4 times
bike or run - 2 minutes fast
squats - 20
lunges 10/leg
pushups - max reps
situps - 40-50 in 1 minute

Bike Pyramid:
Manual mode level 2,4,6
Hold each level for 1 minute until failure - repeat in reverse order - should be 15-20 minutes long

Day 10

Warmup Jog 5:00
1/4 mile at goal pace
1/2 mile at goal pace
3/4 mile at goal pace
1 mile at goal pace
1.5 mile run

Do 100 pushups and 100 situps total throughout the day

Day 11

Pushup test 1 or 2 minutes
Situp test 1 or 2 minutes

Bike Pyramid:
Manual mode level 2,4,6
Hold each level for 1 minute until failure - repeat in reverse order - should be 15-20 minutes long

Day 12

Repeat 2 times
800m run at goal pace - rest 2 min

Run 1.5 mile run timed

no pushups / situps

Day 13

Swim or elliptical glide or both 20:00 of either or both

no pushups / situps

Day 14

Warm-up jog 5:00
stretch well - sleep well - get ready to test with a day of rest...

no pushups / situps

Day 15

Sample Test Day

Test your fitness test today at the time you need to take it for real later this month...

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Military.com Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at Military.com. To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at stew@stewsmith.com.


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