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Thread: Air Force PT test

  1. #1
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    Default Air Force PT test

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    Hey Mark, since you are in Witchita Falls I am sure you have plenty of experience with Airmen and our PT tests.

    I am 28 years old and weigh about 165. I have been doing stronglifts since the beginning of January and then changed to Starting Strength after I discovered it last month. I currently am at 200 on Squat, 135 on BP, 105 on clean, 95 on OHP, 235 on deadlift, and can do 12 bodyweight chinups.

    Anyhow, I am a natural runner and have always been able to almost max my run. But I have gained 20 lbs since starting lifting in January, and am worried about my upcoming PT test. Should I do any specific training for the run, Situps, and Pushups or would it be better to just keep lifting heavy like I have been? Or I guess the third option would be is there some sort of hybrid I should do where I am running and still doing barbell training?

  2. #2
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    Jul 2007
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    Try your run and see what happens. You will be shocked.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Washburn View Post
    Hey Mark, since you are in Witchita Falls I am sure you have plenty of experience with Airmen and our PT tests.

    I am 28 years old and weigh about 165. I have been doing stronglifts since the beginning of January and then changed to Starting Strength after I discovered it last month. I currently am at 200 on Squat, 135 on BP, 105 on clean, 95 on OHP, 235 on deadlift, and can do 12 bodyweight chinups.

    Anyhow, I am a natural runner and have always been able to almost max my run. But I have gained 20 lbs since starting lifting in January, and am worried about my upcoming PT test. Should I do any specific training for the run, Situps, and Pushups or would it be better to just keep lifting heavy like I have been? Or I guess the third option would be is there some sort of hybrid I should do where I am running and still doing barbell training?
    Alex, as a squid, I've had to do the PRT run more than a few times around strength training, and my experience aligns with Rip's. My run time slowed somewhat as my weight increased, but not nearly as much as you'd expect (9:00 1.5 mile to 9:30 1.5 mile going from 165 to 185 pounds). If you weren't struggling/at risk prior to your strength training, it's unlikely you're in any danger of failing, and you might even be pleasantly surprised.

    If you're really sweating it (like some of my sailors in training), it's not ideal, but it's not the end of the world if you do a test run on one of your 2-days-off periods to ease your mind. The good thing about the PT test is that it's open book. There are no surprises...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    NM
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    As a major on the usaf, I personally avoid running like the plague. I strength train and throw in conditioning every now and then, and do 400s a month or two out from my pt test after squatting. Maxing the pft is hard, getting greater than a ninety is pretty easy, especially if you are already close to maxing it.

    Check out the below article:

    A Strength-Based Approach to the APFT | Ryan Whittemore

  5. #5
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    Rip, have you seen the Canadian Army physical fitness test? They actually analyzed what soldiers do and designed the test around those tasks.

    Sandbag Lift: 30 consecutive lifts of a 20 kilogram sandbag above a height of 1 metre, alternating between left and right sandbags separated by 1.25 metres. Standard: 3 minutes 30 seconds.

    Intermittent Loaded Shuttles: Using the 20 metre lines, complete ten 20 metre shuttles alternating between a loaded shuttle with a 20 kilogram sand bag and unloaded shuttles, for a total of 400 metres. Standard: 5 minutes 21 seconds.

    20-Metre Rushes: Starting from prone, complete two 20 metre shuttle sprints dropping to a prone position every 10 metres, for a total of 80 metres. Standard: 51 seconds.

    Sandbag Drag: Carry one 20 kilogram sandbag and pull four on the floor over 20 metres without stopping. Standard: Complete without stopping.

    All CAF members will be tested annually and will be required to achieve one common minimum standard, regardless of age and gender.
    New Canadian Armed Forces minimum physical fitness standard

  6. #6
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    Apr 2008
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    Mark and CJ have good advice. My son is in the Army and easily maxed his PT run for a 2 mile while doing virtually no running in training (he squats, deadlifts, and presses regularly) and has increased in body mass from about 160 to near 200 over the past 1-2 years. He does have long legs and a high tolerance for discomfort, but has never been an avid or natural runner.

  7. #7
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    Prior to discovering barbell training I did little more than exercise exclusively to score well on the Army APFT and was usually good for a max score or close. After choosing to make barbells primary and now spending almost no time "training" for the APFT, I continue to hit maxes but can now do so against the scoring standards for personnel half my age.

    For any of these Cooper-based tests, adding 1-2 sets of push ups and sit ups as a finisher after the real training is done is more than enough practice/conditioning for the test. On non-training days I'll alternate between 100-200 meter intervals and running about three miles. Starting about a month before the test, this sets me up for an easy max.

    Attending an NCOES school, I found it easy to hit the prescribed maximums and then lead others in the Army's current Physical Readiness Training program (Army PRT (Physical Readiness Training) information at ArmyPRT.com) For a person following a good strength training program, maxing out on "army pilates" takes about two weeks of conditioning at best. The most difficult part is memorizing the ridiculously long lists of exercises.

    MAJ Long explains why:
    Why Does The Army Want Me Weak? | Ryan Long

    - John Buol

  8. #8
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    Apr 2016
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    Thank you all for your replies. I haven't decided exactly how to train for my AFPFT yet, but all of this info definitely reassures my belief that focusing on my barbell training will end up helping me on my PT test overall.

    One more question for everyone, I am forced to do PT with my squadron 3 days a week. These are almost always some sort of cardio-centric workout, such as long runs, interval runs, or a calisthenics stations thing with Pushups, planks, Burpees, crunches, etc. So if it were you, would you give it your all in these workouts and hope to gain some sort of benefit, or would you sandbag these as much as possible in order to avoid negatively affecting that afternoons barbell training?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    NM
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    Become a PTL and try for self-guided workouts.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Washburn View Post
    Thank you all for your replies. I haven't decided exactly how to train for my AFPFT yet, but all of this info definitely reassures my belief that focusing on my barbell training will end up helping me on my PT test overall.

    One more question for everyone, I am forced to do PT with my squadron 3 days a week. These are almost always some sort of cardio-centric workout, such as long runs, interval runs, or a calisthenics stations thing with Pushups, planks, Burpees, crunches, etc. So if it were you, would you give it your all in these workouts and hope to gain some sort of benefit, or would you sandbag these as much as possible in order to avoid negatively affecting that afternoons barbell training?
    IMO, sandbag them unless they're a worthwhile workout. You mentioned interval runs, depending on how they do it they can be quite useful for improving your run time. No, this isn't going to make your squat go up, but passing and not losing a stripe is more important than 5lbs on your squat that day.

    I also don't understand why you haven't tested yourself to see if there's any concern. Do a mock test run, and if you're still fine then don't stress. If you're too slow, do what you need to do in order to pass, like some people said above. You can be damn sure that if you fail because "I've always been a good runner but I've been lifting and didn't test myself prior" that your Commander is going to Give No Fucks and ruin your day/evaluation period.

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