Weights and PT Workouts

by Stew Smith

I received an email from an Army Soldier who is interested in still scoring well of the PFT naturally, but also mixing some weights and other resistance training into his weekly routine.

For those of you who like to lift weights only, it is recommended to lift weights, stretch, and do cardiovascular activities like bike, swim, jog etc. to complete the workout. Mixing all of these components into your routine will build strong muscles and bones, create joint flexibility, and develop your heart and lungs into more efficient oxygen moving organs. The workouts that mix calisthenics with weights training are common circuit training workouts, but I add a challenge of muscle burnout to keep the PFT scores high. These workouts are the kind listed in many of the eBooks found at the Military.com eBook Fitness Store.

For example, one of my favorite circuits only takes about 20-30 minutes and will workout your upper body unlike other routines:

Upperbody Weight/PT Circuit Workout
Pullups max reps until failure
Dips max reps until failure
Situps max in 2:00
Bench press 50% max reps plus 2 negatives
Pushups max in 1:00 - resort to knee pushups too
Pulldowns 50% bodyweight max reps
Situps max in 2:00
Military press max reps (dumbbells 10-20lbs)
Bicep curls max reps (10-30lbs)
Triceps extensions max reps (10-20lbs)
Situps max in 2:00
Cardio of choice 20-30:00 or repeat above if you can

* Only do this workout once a week. It is very challenging on your body to fail this many times in a workout.

Here is another upper body workout, I like to do when in the weight room that will work opposing muscle groups with a eight exercise and a PT exercise while resting with a cardio and abs routine:

- * Repeat 5 times
- Pullups - max reps
- Bench press - 5 reps of 50-75% of maximum single lift

Do not repeat - only do once

- Run or bike 10:00
- Situps - 2:00 max reps

- Repeat 5 times
- Pushups - max reps in 1:00
- Pulldowns - 10,10 (regular, reverse grips non-stop)

Do not repeat - only do once

- Run or bike 10:00
- Situps - 2:00 max reps

* Choose weight that should challenge you at the last two reps and do this workout 1-2 times a week with 2-3 days in between repeat of upper body workouts.

One of the best cardio, weight and PT mixes I like to do is with the legs:

- Repeat 3 times
- Run or Bike 5:00 fast
- Stretch legs
- Squats with no weight - 20-30 reps
- Leg press - 10-15 reps
- Lunges - 10-20 reps per leg
- Leg extensions - 10-15 reps
- Leg curls - 10-15 reps

Jog or bike 10-15:00 cool down/stretch legs well.

* Choose a weight that should challenge you at the last two reps and do this workout 1-2 times a week with 2-3 days in between repeat of Leg workouts.

These are just some ideas of how to mix PT with weights. It makes the weight room more fun and will really help your PFT scores as well. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

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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