Chapter 10 – Developing the Unit Program
The goal of the Army’s physical fitness program is to improve each soldier’s physical ability so he can survive and win on the battlefield. Physical fitness includes all aspects of physical performance, not just performance on the APFT. Leaders must understand the principles of exercise, the FITT factors, and know how to apply them in order to develop a sound PT program that will improve all the fitness components. To plan PT successfully, the commander and MFT must know the training management system. (See FM 25-100.)
Commanders should not be satisfied with merely meeting the minimum requirements for physical training which is having all of their soldiers pass the APFT. They must develop programs that train soldiers to maximize their physical performance. Leaders should use incentives. More importantly, they must set the example through their own participation.
The unit PT program is the commander’s program. It must reflect his goals and be based on sound, scientific principles. The wise commander also uses his PT program as a basis for building team spirit and for enhancing other training activities. Tough, realistic training is good. However, leaders must be aware of the risks involved with physical training and related activities. They should, therefore, plan wisely to minimize injuries and accidents.