|Preparing Americans to Serve in the Military, Special Ops, Law Enforcement, & Fire Fighting|
PFT Training and Test Week Taper
This week, an
Army soldier asked me about the week prior
to taking the PFT. "What is it that you recommend to do one week out from
your PFT? Is it similar to preparing for a running race like a marathon and
tapering a few weeks before it?"
Situps. 2:00 of situps should be paced. Many people err in testing by starting off too fast. Usually people will get 30-35 situps in 30 seconds but they will not be able to match the 30-35 reps in the next 1:30. This happens because you burn out too fast. Just as with running, the goal is to start slower at a pace that will help you attain your goal. For instance, if your goal is 80 situps in 2:00, your pace should be 20 situps in 30 seconds. You will have a much easier time reaching your goal if you pace the situps.
1.5 - 2 mile run. The run is a pacing drill as well. During your daily workouts you should know what your pace is to run a 2 mile run. For instance, if your goal is to run a 14:00 two mile run, you should pace your ¼ mile at 1:45 or your ½ mile at 3:30. This will insure a 7:00 mile pace.
Four days away from the PFT, your workouts should start tapering.
This means you should take it easy and do not push yourself to failure.
Easier runs at 7-8:00 mile pace if your goal is 14:00 run, pushups and
situps should be limited to 30-60 seconds of timed events so you do not
hit muscle failure. Do knee pushups or crunches just to keep the joints
lose and stretch well to remain limber.
Three days away from the PFT should be a day off of exercise.
Eat foods that are low in fat, higher in protein, and high in complex
carbohydrates. Personally, green leafy salad or spinach with lean chicken
or tuna fish are great examples of the types of food to help you have more
energy. Of course, these foods should be part of your normal weekly diet
anyway for best physical results. Consult my
at for more ideas. Drinking
water to stay super-hydrated will help you regulate your body temperature
during the PFT as well as other muscular-skeletal benefits.
Two days from the PFT should be a light 1-2 mile run. This
should be followed by twenty minutes of stretching from head to toe.
Pushups and situps should be performed at goal pace for 1-2 sets of 30-60
seconds. Learn your pace and know it for the test. Knowing your pace will
help you get rid of the anxiety prior to PFT. (See PFT
Anxiety Article for other ideas).
One day prior to the PFT should be a day off. Take a light
walk, run or bike for 15-20 minutes with an equal amount of time spent of
stretching. The night prior to the test should be spent relaxing and
eating foods high in protein and carbohydrates such as pastas, green leafy
lettuce, spinach, fish, chicken, lean meats. Lay off high fat foods. Drink
water all day long.
Have a breakfast of normal foods such as water, cereals, yogurt, fruit, and juice. Foods higher in carbohydrates like apples, bananas, and carrots are great snacks to add glycogen to your muscles and give you that extra kick in the PFT. When you push yourself to muscle failure and maximum effort you will expend the glucose you consumed, so make sure you eat these one hour prior to the PFT.
These tips will help you but they will not be fully beneficial if you do not practice these pre-workout methods during the weeks prior to your PFT. You will be better off however if you were unable to prepare for the PFT if you follow the above tips. Good luck in your next PFT! Let me know if I can help you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 StewSmith.com Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at StewSmith.com. To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at email@example.com.
BOOKS / eBOOKS / DVDs
BOOKS / eBOOKS / DVDs
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness (Book / DVD)
The Special Operations Workout
The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT Team Member
The Combat Swimmer Stroke DVD
The Pre-Habit Workout DVD
Clinic DVD for Navy SEAL PST
The FBI Special Agent Test Clinic DVD
The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:
Fitness for All Levels of Fitness
The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
The Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program
The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts
Navy SWCC Workout
Air Force PJ / CCT Workout
The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts
The USMC IST and PFT Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout
The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT
The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts
The Fire Fighter Workout
Some Titles Above available in Print Softcover Format