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Old 06-06-2007, 09:03 AM   #1
Gordon Richmond
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Default Training specifically for a PT Test

I have to take an Army PT test one month from now. The event consists of 2 minutes of pushups, 2 minutes of situps, and a 2 mile run. For the past few months, I have been training for this and for GPP. I usually ran a 3 on/1 off schedule. In the morning on the first and the third day I would do one or two big exercises like squats, DLs, cleans, and the obligatory ab workout to help boost my situps. In the PM on the first (and usually the third day) I would run and do some pushups. On the second day, I would do some short Crossfit WOD like Cindy.

Now, like I said, I am one month away from taking this test. My goals are 80 situps, 75 pushups, and a 13:30 two-mile run. Last time I took the test (a little over a month ago), I got 78 situps, 72 pushups, and a 14:00 on the run. However, when I take the PT test this summer, the scorer on pushups will be completely anal, and even with flawless form on every rep, I have to plan to lose a few. I know for this last month, I am going to up the running to 4-5 times/week, as opposed to three, but if you were in my situation, what would your training methodology be? Would you stop lifting weights completely? Or would you not change a routine in the least?

As a side note, I am considering not doing two workouts in a day (or at least doing it less often) because it is tough to be energetic for that second workout and I really don't know that I am/was gaining too much from it in the first place.

Finally, I do short (13-16) IF on most every day. I think the fast would be longer were I to only work out in the PM. Anyway, your thoughts are much appreciated.
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Old 06-06-2007, 04:15 PM   #2
Robb Wolf
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couple of thoughts here:
1-Grease the groove (GTG) works VERY well on strength endurance activities like the sit-ups and push-ups. Pavel wrote a good piece on this using the swing as the exercise but I think it illustrates the need to alter volume and intensity to keep making progress:
Now for your needs you might shoot for something like this:
Day-1-30% of max push-ups performed ass many times throughout the Day ass possible (GTG)
Day 2-40% GTG
day 3 off
day 4 50% GTG
Day 5 20% GTG
Day 6 30%
Day 7 Off
day 8 Off
Day 9 Test-start with new cycle using similar volume progressions.

You can build this back from the date from your PT test so you allow for a few days of tapering..perhaps as many as 3-4 on the push ups ans sit-ups.

For the runs I would Hit one day per week of 400m repeats with 4 min rest between efforts. Start off with 4 sessions the first time, build each week by adding one more round till you are at 8 rounds. On another day, perhaps several days ofter the 400's run the 3 miles AT BEST RACE pace. Try to simulate the conditions you will be running in...time of day, if it's on a track is it before or after the sit-up/push-up test. In essence make it as close to your event conditions as possible. This will take a little planning to make your training coincide with the run but it won't be that hard. Specificity pay very big dividends so use it to your advantage to optimize your results.

On another day try shooting for FAST 800M runs with 4 min rest between efforts. Run 2 one session, 3 the next session and alternate between those.

Week one might look like:
400m day-4rounds, 4min rest.
Few days later race pace 3 mile day.
Few days later 800m run, 4min rest 2 rnds.
week 2
400m, 5 rounds 4 min rest
few days later race pace 3 mile
few days later800m run, 4min rest 3 rounds

Let me know if that all makes sense.

Regarding the heavy lifts...I'd focus on your strength endurance efforts...you can maintain ALL of your strength with just a bit of training. Use something like a 8x3 or 10x 2 with 85-90% of your 1RM on a Squat or Deadlift, a press and a pull up movement (bent rows can work). These should be on separate days and you need to only hit each movement once per week. You will not loose any strength and it will allow all your recovery to go towards the PT standards you NEED to ace.

Let me know if that makes sense!
"Survival will be neither to the strongest of the species, nor to the most intelligent, but to those most adaptable to change."
C. Darwin

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Old 06-06-2007, 05:29 PM   #3
Gordon Richmond
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Default Yes!

Thanks Robb, that looks really good. I had always wanted to try GTG before, but I never really got into it for whatever reason. With my current job, I can pretty much drop and do pushups anytime, so I think I will steal the Pavel pushup deal or whatever:

Mon test your max, 30% every 60 minutes
Tue 50% every 60 minutes
Wed 60% every 45 minutes
Thurs 25% every 60 minutes
Friday 45% every 30 minutes
Saturday 40% every 60 minutes
Sunday 20% every 90 minutes

Mon test your max again, 35% every 45 minutes
Tue 55% every 20 minutes
Wed 30% 15 minutes
Thurs 65% every 60 minutes
Friday 35% every 45 minutes
Saturday 45% every 60 minutes
Sunday 25% every 120 minutes
I'm going to try to be relatively flexible about the numbers, though. The actual test date is 5 July, so I think I might run through the complete two-week cycle starting today or tomorrow.

So, thinking aloud, I would do GTG on pushups, and in addition to that, the first week might break down like this:
M - 400m repeats, along with some pullups, other stuff not to failure
T - 8x3 Bent over rows, core work
W - situps, pullups, other stuff not to failure (to imitate the pushups and situps that would come before the run) 2 miles, race pace
Th - 8x3 OHP, core work
F - 800m repeats, along with some pullups, other stuff not to failure
S - Swim or hike (not too strenuous), 8x3 Back Squat, core work
Su - complete rest

Does this look like enough? I feel like I've always been prone to biting off more than I can chew, but my body has always seemed to recover fairly well. (I also got one of those foam roller thingies.) Although it's technically a 6/1 split it seems like the exercises stack up in a way that I wouldn't be too tired or beat up at any time.
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Old 06-06-2007, 05:50 PM   #4
Scotty Hagnas
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Hi Gordon-

I'd be cautious about the Pavel pushup program. One with more built in rest days like Robb suggested would likely serve you better. Both my wife and I did that Pavel pushup GTG program, and though we did add to our pushup total, we both only added a couple of reps on each test day. I think after the second week, Rochelle actually might have regressed a couple of reps. Gaining 8 or so total pushups certainly wasn't worth all of the two weeks worth of work for me. (though I did amuse lots of people by hitting the deck for reps in strange places)

It's possible that the supercompensation curve is longer - a few weeks later, my pushups did seem mush stronger. Just be sure not to do too much work and end up tanking from cumulative fatigue. Good luck!

Scotty Hagnas
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Old 06-06-2007, 06:30 PM   #5
Gordon Richmond
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I hear ya, Scott. Thanks.

Not having any experience with this, I might use Robb's suggested GTG, and I guess I can always GTG one of the latter rest days if I'm feeling awesome. Thanks again for the help, guys.

Here's a link to my training log for this:

Last edited by Gordon Richmond; 06-06-2007 at 07:31 PM. Reason: link to log
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Old 06-06-2007, 07:33 PM   #6
Don Stevenson
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I do quite a lot of programs for guys who are either in the military or wanting to get in and need to pass the tests. I've had girls work up to over 60 pushups in 2 min and a guy who did his entry test yesterday and said it was an absolute joke.

Rob has saved me a lot of typing and i would wholeheartedly endorse his approach!!
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