Preparing for a fitness test to get selected into a training program as well as training for the selection course is an incredible challenge. Many people in the military, police, and firefighter communities seeking to advance into special operations, special tactics, and rescue diver type find themselves in this dilemma. Here is an email from one such tactical athlete:
Stew, I hope I have given myself enough time to prepare for the selection course PFT I am preparing for in the military. What do you recommend for a fitness test that contains pushups, sit-ups, pullups, a 1.5 mile run. The following training will be tougher than the test, so I need to up my game at the same time as preparing for the PT test. Any recommendations on a “PFT Starter Kit” for a test about two months away?
Stan, yes, given your current fitness level is not beginner and you have a steady foundation of physical activity for the past several months / years, a focused program to master this PT test as well as follow on selection training is possible in a few months.
Here is where I recommend you start if you want to build it yourself: Classic Week of PT – this workout includes all the elements you are seeking to pass in a one week program that is scalable and repeatable as needed, however, I find the same old week done for too long gets a little boring, so you could opt for a program like the PFT Bible or the PT Test Survival Guide.
Running Plan – If you need a little extra assistance with running, you can supplement this running plan into your week or replace the above plan if needed.
Getting Stronger with PT programs – If you want to get better at PT tests and ace the pushups, situps, and pullups, use a system of workouts versus just one style of training. Incorporate the PT Pyramid once a week, the Super Set once a week, and the Max Rep Set Workouts once a week.
Do not do the same muscle groups on back to back days – give yourself a day in between to not do upper body PT. You can work legs, do more running, swimming, and rucking depending upon the type of selection you are seeking to attend. Some other technique tips.
My short answer for you is to specifically start training for your test and the events of the selection today. The next two months can be a perfect amount of time for you to build your body, confidence, and training abilities to handle the daily grind of a selection course.
PS – if your training requires rucking or weight carry of gear (back pack, SCBA, body armor), you may want to add in some lifting, rucking, or weight vest workouts when doing your calisthenics workouts. ______________________________________________________________ Stew Smith has been in the tactical fitness industry for nearly twenty years with workout books titled Tactical Fitness, Tactical Strength, The Special Ops Workout, The SWAT Workout and more. Check out his Military.com Archive of Articles for a large variety of military and fitness related topics as well.