Recently, we have been focusing on a variety of weaknesses people typically have with regards to fitness training prior to military service. Sometimes, it is the fitness test itself -- maybe the run time or the low numbers of repetitions on pullups, pushups, or situps. Sometimes, it is the bigger events students will see while in training: swimming, pool skills, rucking, or longer distance runs for instance. Here is an email from a person preparing for a future in the Spec Ops world that is doing well with the cardio / endurance events but needs help with the muscle stamina / strength events:
Stew -- I am your typical endurance type who can run and swim, but the pullup bar and pushups are my Achilles heel. Any recommendations to get better at the PT and not lose my cardio? Jim
Jim -- You still have to do all of them, but arrange with more effort put on the PT. In our large groups, we have all types of weaknesses. The one above is common, but the opposite is common too. Here is how we design the workout so each of them can focus on their own weaknesses to help make them a little stronger without neglecting any of your current strengths.
If your focus is on PT scores Warmup with a light PT pyramid 1 pullup, 2 pushups, 3 situps to 5 sets with short 25m runs in between. Once warmed up – test: Pushups 2 minutes Situps 2 minutes Pullups max reps (no rest – other than short stretch / sip of water) Run ½ mile goal pace. Repeat as many times as you have for 45-60 minutes
If your focus is cardio times / distances Warmup with a light PT pyramid 1 pullup, 2 pushups, 3 situps to 5 sets with short 25m runs in between. Once warmed up – test: Pushups big set until you have to stop to rest Situps – work on goal pace for 1 min. If you have a 2 min test and you are able to get 80 in 2 minutes – just get 40 in 1 minute. Pullups max reps Run 1.5 - 2 miles (get the full distance of your test) Repeat as many times as you have for 45-60 minutes
As you can see the workouts are almost the same, just a little different focus depending upon where you need to focus. Keep it up. The good news is lighter, good-cardio guys usually master the bodyweight PT section quickly (within 1-2 months). The next hurdle will be preparing your body for heavier events in your future (boat carries, log PT, rucking, etc). But for now, focus on getting TO your future training. Once you do that – you can focus on getting THROUGH your training. (To and Through)