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PT Progression Series: #5 — Hardcore Full Body Movements with PT/​Run

The Three Pillars of Success

PT Progression Series #5: Hardcore Full Body Movements with PT/​Run

The PT Progression Series is a series of answers about how to get better at pullups, pushups, and situps for fitness testing as well as bootcamp, police or fire academies.

Part 5 of the PT Progression series is the PT and Advanced Movements Workout.

You now are ready to advance to full body movements in between sets of pullups and pushups and even replace pushups with more dynamic exercises like burpees, push presses, and 8 count pushups. Traveling to and from the pullup bar and the PT area will now require you to bear crawl, low crawl, fireman carry a partner, do a farmer walk with heavy weight, or any other creative method you can think of adding that will assist in your preparation for military, police, or fire fighting training.

PT Pyramid with More Mileage:

Every 5th set run a mile fast pace:

Set 1: 1 pullups, 2 pushup, 3 situp
Set 2: 2 pullups, 4 pushups, 6 situps
Set 3: 3 pullups, 6 pushups, 9 situps
Set 4: 4 pullups, 8 pushups, 12 situps
Set 5: 5 pullups, 10 pushups, 15 situps…

RUN 1 MILE…Start pyramid on Set 6 — continue to Set 10.

Run 1 mile

Continue pyramid on set 11 –15

Run 1 mile

Optional to finish pyramid at 16–20 or return in reverse order.

Harder Progressions: Now add more difficult exercises to the PT Pyramid. Work your way up a pullup pyramid to 20, but add a short run of 40-​​50m (meters) and make this place the location for your burpees, 8 count pushups, push presses, kettlebell swings, etc. Make them a 1:1 ratio of how many pullups you do. Remember if you go from 1 to 20 sets in a pyramid that is 210 reps of pullups and any other exercises you select. Don’t forget your situps and plank poses as they make great “rest” exercises when needing an active rest.

Here is where it gets harder. Use the first 5 sets as a warmup /​ run. After set#5, you can no longer run from pullup bar to PT area. You now have to pick another method to travel. Some great ideas are: fireman carry, farmer walk, lunges, bear crawls, low crawls, overhead carry of weight, wheel barrow race, crab walk, or tire flips. This is your time to get creative but make sure it is something you will see again in your training future.

Watch this video to see how you can design your own advanced pyramid circuit.

The Complete PT Progression Series:

PT Progression Series #1: PT Pyramids: Do this workout EVERY OTHER DAY. No workout is good to do daily for long periods of time. It is best to do this foundation workout only three days a week.

PT Progression #2 is the SUPER SET: This is another sub-​​max effort foundation workout to increase volume of your PT exercises. It is recommended to add this type of workout and replace a pyramid workout once a week so you only total these upper body workouts only THREE times a week. Learn how to design a SUPER SET effectively.

PT Progression #3 is the Max Rep Set Workout: Once you have mastered the PT Pyramid and the Super Set and can handle workouts with volume of 100 pullups and 200 pushups, then it is time to test your new found strength. This workout will increase your muscle stamina and endurance which is really the goal of mastering PT tests. Find out how to push your numbers even higher.

PT Progression #4 is the PT /​ Run Workout: You can make a pyramid out of this one or make it one tough super set but each “rest” period in between sets is a run of a variety of distances. Learn the best way to add running to the next generation of progression.

PT Progression #5 is the PT and Advanced Movements Workout: Add tougher exercises into your pyramids and supersets such as burpees, push presses, bear crawls, etc.

Related Topics

Military PFT Prep Military Workouts Air Force Workouts Army Workouts Coast Guard Workouts Marine Corps Workouts Navy Workouts Stew Smith Pushups and Pullups Running and Cardio

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Stew Smith works as a presenter and editorial board member with the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He has also written hundreds of articles on's Fitness Center that focus on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

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