SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE and ATTITUDES
Maximize your APFT score
By SGM Robert S. Rush
Many soldiers can increase their physical fitness beyond their present level if theyâ€™re willing to concentrate on deficiencies instead of just trying to run faster.
The individual PT program revealed here was developed for soldiers with little time to devote to PT.
The program was validated using 40 students in an ROTC program. Students exercised three times per week for 20-25 minutes, not including the run. The following results were achieved: after one month the average score for students increased by 15-20 points from an average of 192 to 212; at the end of three months, students went from their average of 212 to 243; the second three months saw average scores climb to 267 with the low score 242 and the high score 300. Since this is an individual program, it is designed to fit each soldierâ€™s physical ability. The program takes a soldier gradually to a higher level of physical fitness.
Take a look at your last APFT. From your scores you can determine where the starting point for your Individual Fitness Program should be. If you havenâ€™t taken an APFT in the last three to four months, you may want to conduct an assessment of your physical abilities before beginning.
To conduct a self-assessment, do as many correct pushups and sit-ups as you can in a one-minute period, and then run as hard as you can for a timed one-half mile. Multiply your pushup and sit-up scores by 1.25 to find an entry point into the charts. Multiply your one-half mile time by four.
If done correctly, the program will bring you to muscle failure. This exercise regime is designed to be done every other day, as your muscles need from 24 to 48 hours to recover from hard usage.
To get your starting numbers, look at the charts. The numbers along the top of the charts are the number of pushups or sit-ups you performed. Follow the number down the row to give you the number of repetitions for each exercises youâ€™re to begin with in your individual program.
Pushup and Sit-up Improvement
1. Regular pushups: Do three sets with one-minute rests between sets. Form is important. If you canâ€™t do the pushups properly, go to your knees and continue until youâ€™ve finished the sets. After three workouts, add three pushups to each set. (Example: you start with 14 pushups on Wednesday, The next Wednesday you go to 17 pushups.)