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Youd be surprised at the small things that make a huge difference. Lets say for example you and another applicant have very similar credentials and he has a 250 PT score and you have a 265PT score? Who do you think they will take?

 

When sitting down with the CW5 that did my LOR who used to be on the board I asked a similar question. On my dress uniform I had Marksmanship badges for 9mm and M4. My 9mm was sharpshooter and my M4 was Expert. He asked about my 9mm score. I told him that I actually scored expert on the most recent 9mm range but didn't update it for the DA photo. I asked him if it really mattered that much between expert and sharpshooter on a pistol range. He simply sat back, winked, and smiled saying "You would be shocked at the things we pay attention to when selecting candidates".

 

Food for thought

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230 would be seen as a bad score. If I had to make categories they would probably look like this. 180-240 - poor, 240-270- OK, 270-300- good. If you're hoping to get picked up as a WO you want to be in the good category. They might be slightly more forgiving considering you're a civilian and never had to do the Army test but you are still going to get compared to others.

 

Your pushup and sit-up program sounds pretty good but I'm concerned about the run program. First, if you just bested your time by 1:15 it means you either

 

- have measured your track wrong that you practice on

Or

- you haven't figured out how to pace yourself correctly.

Or

- you weren't giving maximum effort on your last tests

 

My guess would be the pacing. Once you figure out your pace you should never be able to make gains greater than about 20 or 30 seconds.

 

There is a saying, "long slow runs, make long slow runners". If you consistently train to run (for example) a 9 minute mile pace for four miles than when it comes time to run two miles your body will keep wanting to run a 9 minute mile pace. My advice would be to run 2 miles at least twice a week for time. Try to run the first mile at 7 minutes at least, then if you need to slow to a jog or walk for 30 seconds do it, then run again. Eventually you eliminate the jogging and maintain the pace throughout.. This teaches your body the pace you want to run.

 

You're doing a ton of cardio but how good of quality is that cardio. I've never been a big fan of elipticals or bike machines, particularly the ones where you sit back like a recliner and pedal. Rule of thumb- if you can read, or knit, or do anything really while your doing it, than it is not good cardio. I know those silly heart cardio zone charts will say different but those charts are bul#*!t. If your trying to lose weight they're fine, if you're trying to improve your run than you need to run as fast and as hard as you can, if that means a 200 HR than so be it.

 

Second thing- sit- ups. Many will disagree, but don't pace yourself on sit-ups. You need something like 82 to max. That's about one every 1.5 seconds. You are more likely to run out of time than reach muscle failure. Pace yourself and you will never get more than about 60.

 

Push-ups- push-ups can be done quicker than sit-ups. You will likely hit muscle failure prior to two minutes. You want to aim for about 50 straight, or 50 in the first minute, then 25 in the second at about 3 at a time. There is also a trick to these that I'll send you later.

 

That's my advice, good luck.

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Do you have any other advice for sit-ups regarding a training schedule? Keep doing them to failure as often as possible, or a more regimented program such as tabata sit-ups?

 

 

Thanks for the tips.

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I've never been a big fan of elipticals or bike machines...If your trying to lose weight they're fine, if you're trying to improve your run than you need to run as fast and as hard as you can

 

+1 to this. I've never known anyone to improve their run time using any kind of machine. The only way to do it is to run.

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If you are using the machines to get your cardio in but prevent injury consider swimming laps. Start running some sprint intervals a couple of times a week. Something like 8x100 with a 30 sec rest between. Go all out on each sprint. Warm up and cool down properly to avoid injury.

 

Lindsey, the test is about speed on situps as much as it is endurance. My last test I did 74. I could have easily kept going, I had the endurance but lacked speed to max them. I have been using tabata situps to help train for speed. Also, consider adding some weighted situps to your schedule a couple of times a week.

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Do you have any other advice for sit-ups regarding a training schedule? Keep doing them to failure as often as possible, or a more regimented program such as tabata sit-ups?

 

 

Thanks for the tips.

I can tell you what I do, but I'm not sure it's the best program. The tricky thing about situps is that I almost never test myself in the same way as the PT test because I just don't have someone to hold my feet. Because of that, it's harder for me to track what is really the most helpful training for sit-ups, unlike push- ups or the run which I can simulate a test often. But, for many years I got 55-65 sit-ups and now I max (about 80) every time. Theoretically the best training would be to do the PT test, if you find that monotonous or not helpful - Here is what I do.

 

3 sets, Incline sit- ups with a 25 or 35 pound weight. This is just based on my theory that since extremely low weight high reps are not considered the best way to work out any other muscle group (80 squats in a row?) than why work abs that way? Put enough weight on your chest that you can't do more than 30 reps before muscle failure.

 

Then I'll do 3 sets of crunches, each set to muscle failure.

 

And I do a workout with a barbell with 70lbs swinging it from my hip, over my head to my other hip (hard to explain).

 

Occasionally I do leg raises, or 90 level sit-ups in a row.

 

I don't think the specific exercise is as important as just making sure you are working abs 3-4 times per week, and working them hard. I usually do 2 days, 1 off, two more days mixed in with other workouts since it only takes about twenty minutes or less to smoke your abs. Just make it part of another workout.

 

I can't say this is the best way but it works for me. I realize most of this involves a gym, and until you're in the Army a gym is quite expensive and probably inconvenient. Find a workout that's convenient, if you have to drive across town, you'll do it less than if you can do it in your garage. Leg raises, crunches and sit-ups can be done easily at home. Incline sit-ups, not so much, but improvise whenever possible.

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Excellent; thank you. To supplement sit-ups, are flutter kicks generally very helpful, or are they more so just helpful for being able to do more flutter kicks? They are good for hip flexors.

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Well, I went out and ran intervals today. I now have zero doubt I will be able to max out the APFT. I have been running the two-mile at a pace that is not passing, but I ran intervals at a pace that would be a maxed-out score. Just a matter of keeping that rhythm for two miles.

 

Rucker, here I come.

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Lindsey, awesome work. Makes me want to head out to the track right now...well, almost.

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Your pushup and sit-up program sounds pretty good but I'm concerned about the run program. First, if you just bested your time by 1:15 it means you either

 

- have measured your track wrong that you practice on

Or

- you haven't figured out how to pace yourself correctly.

Or

- you weren't giving maximum effort on your last tests

 

My guess would be the pacing. Once you figure out your pace you should never be able to make gains greater than about 20 or 30 seconds.

 

I think a couple of things made that difference.

1) As you said, I probably wasn't pushing myself as hard on my daily runs

2) I don't think the distance I did for the test was exactly 2 miles (I think slightly less), and I'm not sure my route is 2 miles, it might be more. I use an app on my phone, but I don't know how accurate the GPS is.

3) my normal run involves a lot of inclines and declines, whereas the run for the APFT was fairly flat

4) Usually my leg muscles start to hurt, and that slows me down (I'm pretty sure it's psychological), so I took a few ibuprofen before my PT Test, and I didn't feel like I was hurting at all during the run. But the next day I was SORE! I think it helped though.

 

You're doing a ton of cardio but how good of quality is that cardio. I've never been a big fan of elipticals or bike machines, particularly the ones where you sit back like a recliner and pedal. Rule of thumb- if you can read, or knit, or do anything really while your doing it, than it is not good cardio. I know those silly heart cardio zone charts will say different but those charts are bul#*!t. If your trying to lose weight they're fine, if you're trying to improve your run than you need to run as fast and as hard as you can, if that means a 200 HR than so be it.

 

 

If you are using the machines to get your cardio in but prevent injury consider swimming laps. Start running some sprint intervals a couple of times a week. Something like 8x100 with a 30 sec rest between. Go all out on each sprint. Warm up and cool down properly to avoid injury.

 

 

I was mostly using machines to get some cardio in between run days to prevent injury. I figured since running consists of both cardio and leg strength (endurance) I could still get my lungs and heart rate going without working my legs too much between runs. I try to go pretty good, even on the elliptical around 180-190 strides per minute (I think that's how they measure it...the machine says that number but I don't know if it's strides per minute).

 

I recently started a couple different intervals that I really like. One is running a half mile at a goal pace (3:30) and then jog a quarter mile. Do that 3 times. Then do the same with 1/4 and 1/8 miles. The other one I have been doing is sprinting the straights of the track, and then jogging the curves for about 1.5-2 miles total.

 

I'm going to get on this program starting next week since I have a little more than a month until the USAREC board:

http://military-fitn...tsvol2GX5_6.pdf

http://military-fitn...tion-pushi.html

Edited by 01CelicaGTS

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Well, I went out and ran intervals today. I now have zero doubt I will be able to max out the APFT. I have been running the two-mile at a pace that is not passing, but I ran intervals at a pace that would be a maxed-out score. Just a matter of keeping that rhythm for two miles.

 

Rucker, here I come.

 

Wouldn't it be awesome if we could keep up our sprint pace for 2 miles! It's definitely doable, I just don't know how much training it would take.

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Have you ever ran a race with a Kenyan in it? Those dudes run a 10k darn near my 400 pace.

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If my past relatives chased zebras in Africa until they passed out to have dinner I could also run a 10K sprinting.

 

That's funny as sh*t.

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It seems like I'm making huge gains every day lately. Just jogged 60 minutes nonstop for the first time and it felt phenomenal. To put it in perspective, a couple months ago I could only jog about 10 minutes.

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Sorry if I'm boring you guys, but I had to share:

 

Just shaved another minute and 6 seconds from my two-mile time. That's right--1:06 minutes!

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I've got a question for y'all:

 

Ever since I began running hard and often, my push-ups have stalled out and even sometimes go down from before. I was/am doing the hundred push-ups program, which has yielded me great results in the past, but I seem to have plateaued.

 

Any suggestions?

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Several things will contribute to push up gains, and I doubt running is the cause for you plateau. Your muscles were adapting to something new and you have now hit your peak given your current structure. If that is true, you must now work harder to get gains. Like I said earlier with the situps, try weighted pushups. Put some weight in a backpack and get some reps a few times a week. Let your body adapt to the new challenge. When you go back to body weight pushups you will see a jump in your 2min max.

 

Example workout would be to add enough weight to make 25 reps difficult. Now do 3x25 with a 1min break in between sets. Repeat 3x a week. Try to add weight every week even if it is just a pound or two. Do that for a month and retest your max. Fight for getting your 25, especially on the last set. If it takes doing the last 5 one at a time so be it, get all 75 in the workout.

 

Also, make sure you are feeding, hydrating and resting your body properly.

 

For weights, you can use books, rocks, dumbbells, weight plates or anything you have available that fits into a backpack.

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Another little technique thing for sit-ups is to keep your hands as close to the top of you head as possible and to only interlace your fingertips. Basically your arms become a weight, but you want to use this weight to help yourself by using their momentum. The regulation says your fingers must be interlocked and behind your head but by keeping only the tips interlaced you move your arms a little more forward. Also you can thrust your elbows forward and back in a rhythm with your sit-ups making each a bit easier. You'll see what I mean when you do it.

 

Just a technique to get the most out of what you have but there's still no replacement for working out.

 

 

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Just timed myself on push-ups and sit-ups, maxed both of them, went over a few reaps even! The only thing is a few of my sit-ups my hands might of not been interlocked the whole way through the sit-up. I will work on that, I did a 2 mile run earlier today and ran a 14:06 (which equals an 85 score) I will be working on that. I am starting to feel confident that I can get a 290+ before the November board. I will officially be taking an APFT next Tuesday so I will be working out hard this week.

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Just timed myself on push-ups and sit-ups, maxed both of them, went over a few reaps even! The only thing is a few of my sit-ups my hands might of not been interlocked the whole way through the sit-up. I will work on that, I did a 2 mile run earlier today and ran a 14:06 (which equals an 85 score) I will be working on that. I am starting to feel confident that I can get a 290+ before the November board. I will officially be taking an APFT next Tuesday so I will be working out hard this week.

 

Phenomenal!

 

Another little technique thing for sit-ups is to keep your hands as close to the top of you head as possible and to only interlace your fingertips. Basically your arms become a weight, but you want to use this weight to help yourself by using their momentum. The regulation says your fingers must be interlocked and behind your head but by keeping only the tips interlaced you move your arms a little more forward. Also you can thrust your elbows forward and back in a rhythm with your sit-ups making each a bit easier. You'll see what I mean when you do it.

 

Just a technique to get the most out of what you have but there's still no replacement for working out.

 

I will definitely give this technique a shot, thank you.

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I am a firm believer that the PT test is half mental if not more. Today I took the standard APFT at work and scored a 283. Highest score I've ever gotten. I ran a 14:28 which is over a minute faster than I have ever run before. May not like a great time to some but for me it personally blew my mind. All I kept thinking about was how I don't want to be the guy in the back falling out in WOCS. So for the first time ever I literally gave it my all. I always max the push ups and sit ups but the run always gets me. Hell I would have failed a few PT tests if I was in the young guys age bracket.

 

Now the running gag at work about my running time is that since I finally got selected I now have a reason to care, and they are right.

 

Before I would run during PT in the mornings and whatnot and not really care since Im now in the position to where they look at other things when deciding promotions besides how fast you can run. Getting a great PT score is little more than bragging rights at my level. But today I just decided to literally go all out and see how well I would do just for myself personally.

 

I remember sprinting to the finish line and both my platoon sgt and section sgt were standing there smiling and laughing like wtf?

 

Ill be honest, I smoke pretty often and I live in Colorado. Living here will knock off at least a minute from everybodys run time and smoking doesn't help to say the least.

 

Moral is to find whatever it is that will make you dig deep. You will be shocked at how much better you can do when you find the key to unlocking whatever it may be that makes you keep going when you want to say screw this. For me it was as simple as picturing myself in the cockpit every single time I got tired on the run when I usually slow down and stop trying so much.

 

Pushups 78

Sit ups 97

2 mile run 14:28

 

So Im pretty happy, got the highest score in the platoon besides our LT but its their whole job to PT so he doesnt count. The minimum score to get into OCS is a 295 for them so...just thought I'd share.

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