How is everyone’s training going for their next APFT Challenge Test? 3 weeks is plenty of time to see some improvements over last month’s, but are you unsure on how to train until then?
One of our recruits, @JacksPhoenix, is no stranger to taking the APFT. He left me a comment full of advice on how to train for it, but I decided to not approve it. Instead, I took his advice and made it into a post.
Look at this video:
It demonstrates proper pushup form in greater detail than what’s required for the AFPT. For TESTING purposes you want a strategy that gets maximum numbers, but for TRAINING purposes you want to have a much greater focus on proper form.
Next, get yourself a mirror. I video taped myself doing pushups so that I could look at my back, hand, arm, and neck position. It took me a good week to get to where I automatically had good form in all areas.
The AFPT rules say nothing with regards to curving the back or neck. For TESTING purposes you can get a little sloppy with form, but for TRAINING purposes you should keep these things in mind:
- lead with the chest, keeping a straight back
- put exactly ZERO pounds of pressure on the back of your head with your hands
Note that not only do you gain LESS strength from sloppy pushups, but “pulling” yourself up with your hands against the back of your head is also bad for your neck. A lot of professionals advise against putting your hands back there at all specifically for this reason.
It’s one thing to run 2 miles, it’s another thing to do literally as many pushups and situps as you are physically capable of – to the point of collapse – and then running 2 miles. I trained to run a 3 mile at my target pace, but I’m not a runner and YMMV – this might be bad advice.
STEP 1 for your any training is learning proper form (Abraham Lincoln once said if you have him 6 hours to chop down a tree he’d spend the first 4 sharpening his axe). Breaking proper form during training takes you backwards. Remember:
For TESTING purposes you want a strategy that gets maximum numbers, but for TRAINING purposes you want a strategy that gets maximum strength and endurance.
Disclaimer: The contributors on this website are not certified to give professional advice. Use it at your own risk.