A New Version of the Double PFT

A group of sailors and Marines who failed the so-called "tape test'' are led by an instructor on a three mile run as they work to improve their fitness.

Preparing for a PFT, PST, PFA, PAST or whatever your branch of service or agency calls its fitness test is something that takes time and specific practice. If your goal is to crush the fitness test and reach maximum points, doing what we call the Double PFT is a good option.

Typically, we have done the Double PFT in regular order the first time, then repeated in reverse order the second time. This works really well with tests like the Navy SEAL PST or the AF PJ PAST where you swim first and last in this arrangement. 

It usually goes something like this:

  • 500yd swim
  • Pushups, Situps
  • Pullups, 1.5 mile run
  • Rest 5 minutes
  • 1.5 mile run
  • pullups, situps, pushups
  • 500yd swim. 

This is just one way to complete a double PST. 

You can also take your current scores on every event of your fitness test, then double them.

For instance: 

  • 500yd swim in 9 minutes x 2 = 1000yds in 18 minutes
  • Pushups 100 in 2 minutes x 2 = 200 reps
  • Situps 100 in 2 minutes x 2 = 200 reps
  • Pullups 20 x 2 = 40 reps
  • 1.5 mile run in 9 minutes x 2 = 3 miles in 18 minutes

We literally doubled the PST.  Now these are just goals to attempt, and you can make this a normal workout where you swim 1000yd or two 500yds laps and mix in sets of pushups and situps until you reach 200 of each in a swim PT workout.  Then shoot for 40 pullups in as few sets as possible.

Finally, run 3 miles while making sure you push the first 1.5 miles at a minimum. Finish strong on the final 1.5 miles while maybe mixing in some intervals and fartlek runs if you have any juice left.

Getting specific in your training will help you master any fitness test. It just takes practice. Doing this type of workout every other week will help you maintain or build upon previous scores and put you in good stead with the most competitive candidates of entering any program that requires a fitness test.

Stew Smith works as a presenter / editorial board with the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).  There are also over 800 articles on Military.com Fitness Forum focusing on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

Latest Fitness Books: Navy SEAL Weight Training and Tactical Fitness

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