Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) FM 21-20 / TC 3-22.20 Training Info

APFT Conditioning Program

APFT Conditioning
Program

INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this document is
to provide guidelines, which can be used to develop a viable conditioning program for the APFT and IOCT. This document is not a stand alone training aid. The principles and concepts discussed are taken from FM 21-20 and the text used in Personal Conditioning.

APFT

PUSH UPS AND SIT UPS

PROTOCOLS: A warm up and cool down phase are an important part of a conditioning program and should be incorporated into the exercise regimens presented in this document.TERMS: The following terms and abbreviations will be used in this document.

FITT – FITT An acronym for Frequency
(F), Intensity (I), Time or Duration (T) , and Type (Tp) of exercise. It
may be used as a method of exercise prescription for any type of
conditioning regimen.
Exercise Goal (EG) The maximum number of PUs or
SUs to be completed in a 2 minute period. Two methods may be used to
calculate the EG for PUs or SUs. Use the method which gives the highest
attainable number of repetitions. If your performance on the last APFT
was below the Army minimum, use the second method.Method 1 – Past APFT
PUs/SUs + 5-10.

Method 2 – APFT
MINIMUM PUs/SUs + 5-10.

Momentary Muscular Failure Inability to complete the
entire range of motion of a single repetition with good form because of
fatigue.
Set The number of PUs or SUs
executed consecutively without a rest. Two methods may be used to
calculate the number of repetitions in a set. Use the method which gives
the highest attainable number of repetitionsMethod 1 – # of repetitions
= 70% of the Exercise Goal.

Method 2 – If the number
of repetitions in Method 1 is greater than the number of repetitions
which can be completed without having to rest, subtract 3-5 PUs from the
number of PUs you can complete without resting.

Workout Volume (WOV) The total number of
repetitions of PUs or SUs in a workout. To calculate WOV multiply the
Exercise Goal for PUs or SUs by 2.5.
Number Of Sets (Nos) To calculate the NOS in a
workout divide the WORKOUT VOLUME by the NUMBER OF REPETITIONS.
Timed Set Protocol A progressive muscular
endurance conditioning program consisting of working to MMF in multiple
sets with a specified work and recovery interval.
Numbered Set Protocol A progressive muscular
endurance conditioning program based on attaining a specified number of
repetitions in multiple sets with a specified rest interval.

 

  • TIMED SET
    PROTOCOL FOR PUs AND SUs

FITT PRESCRIPTION – (F) A
PU/SU work out should be done three times a week with 48 hours rest between workouts. (I) Strive for MMF with good form in last few sets in a multiple set work out (T) The work and rest intervals listed below are suggested starting points for the protocol. Individual may start with longer or shorter intervals, depending upon their initial level of conditioning. (Tp) For PUs and SUs use a variety of hand positions (wide, narrow, & close) and abdominal exercises to insure balanced muscular development. Progressively increase the intensity of a workout by increasing the length of the work interval, adding sets, or decreasing the length of the rest period. Never change more than one variable at a time. Volume of work should not increase more than 10% per week.


PUSH UPS

TYPE

WORK INTERVAL

RELIEF INTERVAL

Feet Elevated
Wide

30 sec

30-15 sec

Regular

30 sec

30-15 sec

Narrow

30 sec

30-15 sec

Feet on Ground
Wide

30 sec

30-15 sec

Regular

30 sec

30-15 sec

Narrow

30 sec

30-15 sec


SIT UPS

TYPE

WORK INTERVAL

RELIEF INTERVAL

Feet Elevated
Crunch

45 sec

45 sec

Regular

45 sec

45 sec

Oblique

45 sec

45 sec

Feet on Ground
Crunch

45 sec

45 sec

Regular

45 sec

45 sec

Oblique

45 sec

45 sec

 

  • NUMBERED
    SETS PROTOCOL FOR PUs AND SUs

FITT PRESCRIPTION – (F) A PU/SU
work out should be done three times a week with 48 hours rest between workouts.
(I) Strive for MMF with good form in the last few sets in a multiple set work out. (T) The suggested rest interval is one minute for this protocol. Longer or shorter intervals may be used, depending upon the initial level of conditioning. (Tp) For PUs and SUs use a variety of hand positions (wide, narrow, & close) and abdominal exercises to relieve boredom and insure balanced muscular development. Progressively increase the intensity of a workout by increasing the length of the work interval, adding sets, or decreasing the length of the rest period. Never change more than one variable at a time. Volume of work should not increase more than 10% per week.

Step 1 – Establish your Exercise
Goal. Add 5-10 reps to your last APFT PU/SU score. If you did not score above the Army Minimum for PUs/SUs, add enough reps to insure that the EG is greater
than the Army minimum for PUs/SUs.

PU Example – Cadet Alpha did 38

PUs on last APFT. APFT PU EG = 38 + 5 = 43.

SU Example – Cadet Alpha did 51
SUs on last APFT. APFT SU EG = 51 + 5 = 56.

Step 2 – Establish your WORKOUT
VOLUME. Multiply your PU/SU EG by 2.5 to establish the WOV.

PU Example – WOV = 43 PUs x 2 1/2
= 107

SU Example – WOV = 56 PUs x 2 1/2
= 140

Step 3 – Calculate the NUMBER OF
REPETITIONS in a set. Two methods may be used.

Method 1 NOR = 70% of the number of
PUs/SUs in your last APFT
PU Example – NOR = (.7) x 38
= 26
SU Example – NOR = (.7) x 56
= 39
Method 2 If the number of repetitions
calculated in Method 1 is greater than the number of repetitions
completed without having to rest, subtract 3-5 PUs from the number of
PUs completed.
PU & SU Example – Cadet
Alpha executed 30 PUs and 45 SUs on the last APFT before needing to
rest. Cadet Alpha would do PU sets of 25 and SU sets of 40.

Step 4 – Calculate the NUMBER OF
SETS. Divide the WOV by the NOR in Step 3.

PU Example – NOS = 107/25 = 4.28
or 5 sets

SU Example – NOS = 140/40 = 3.5
or 4 sets

Step 5 – Establish a REST
INTERVAL.

PU and SU Example – Use a 1:00
minute rest interval between sets of PUs and SUs.

The rest interval may vary with the initial level of conditioning

TWO MILE RUN PREPARATION

TERMS

Active Recovery The purpose of active
recovery is to promote psychological and physiological recovery from
stressful bouts of exercise, using primary aerobic activities (e.g.
running, cycling, or swimming) at reduced intensity or secondary aerobic
activities (e.g. racquetball or basketball).
Preparatory (Base Building)
Phase
The purpose of this
type of phase is to establish the cardiorespiratory base necessary for
high intensity training. It should be conducted (F) 3-5 days/week for
6-8 weeks, at (I) 60-70% of HRR, for (T) >20 minutes. (Tp) Any LSD
aerobic or combination of primary aerobic activities may be used in this
phase to train for general health. Running should be the primary aerobic
activity used to train for the 2MR on the APFT.
Conditioning Phase (CP) The purpose of this phase of
training is to increase personal fitness levels to meet specific
performance criteria or a set goal. Fast Continuous and Interval
Training techniques are used in this phase of training. (F) It should be
conducted 3-6 days a week for >8 weeks, (I) at 70-85% of HRR, for
minimum of 20 minutes. (T) The aerobic activity should be the same as
the event to be tested.
Exercise Goal (EG) The projected run time for
the 2 Mile Run on the next APFT. Resting Heart Rate (RHR) – Beats/minute
during a resting state. RHR is at the lowest point upon waking.
Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) A estimate of the heart’s
maximal potential in beats per minute. MHR is age dependent and is
calculated by subtracting age from 220.Example: Find the MHR of a
19 year old cadet.

MHR = 220 – AGE

= 220 – 19

= 201 beats/minute

Heart Rate Reserve (HRR) HRR is the difference
between the Maximum Heart Rate and the Resting Heart Rate.Example: Find Heart Rate
Reserve of a 25 year old cadet with a resting heart rate of 55.

HRR = (Max Heart Rate) –
Resting Heart Rate

= (220-AGE) – 55

= (220-25) – 55

= 195 – 55

= 175 beats/min.

Training Heart Rate (THR) THR is percent of the HRR
used during an exercise bout(60% = Low Intensity; 70%
= Moderate Intensity; 80% = High Intensity) plus RHR

Example: Cadet age 25

RHR = 60

Intensity = 70%.

Max Heart Rate = 220-age

= 220- 25.

= 195 beats/min.

Heart Rate Reserve =
MHR-RHR

= 195- 60

= 135 beats/min.

Training Heart Rate =
(HRR x %THR) + RHR

= (135 x 70%) + 60

= (94.5) + 60

= 154.5 beats/min.

 

 

Long Slow Distances (LSD) LSD develops
cardiorespiratory endurance referred to as “base mileage”. It utilizes
fat as primary source of fuel and affects body composition. LSD consists
of exercising (F) 3-4 times a week, (I) at 60-70% of HRR, (T) for 40
plus minutes). (Tp) LSD should consist primarily of running during the
preparatory phase and the first part of the conditioning phase. In the
latter stages of the conditioning phase, biking, Nordic Track, and Stair
Master workouts may be substituted for running to alleviate boredom and
reduce the risk of overuse injuries.
Fast Continuous Training
(FCT)
FCT at or near race pace
conditions an individual to perform at higher intensity levels. It
consists of exercising (F) 2-3 times a week at (I) 75-85% of HRR) (T)
for a minimum of 20 minutes. (Tp) Fast Continuous Run training should be
used in the conditioning phase for the APFT.
Interval Training (IT) IT consists of repeated
cycles of Work and Relief Intervals. The purpose of IT is to increase
run speed. (F) Interval Training should be conducted once a week. (I)
The distance and time of the run in the Work Interval is calculated from
the 2MR time. See example below. (T) It should consist of 6-8 work/rest
intervals and should be instituted at least 8 weeks prior to the test.
The activity in the Relief Interval is conducted at a reduced pace to
allow active recovery. (Tp) The type of activity depends on an
individual’s level of conditioning and goals. IT training principle may
be applied to any aerobic activity, but running is the preferred
activity for PFT preparation. The relief interval should be twice the
length of the work interval.

 

  • EXAMPLE:
    INTERVAL TRAINING FOR THE 2MR ON THE APFT

Step 1 – Calculate 1/4 mile
Interval Pace.

APFT 2 Mile Run Time = 16 min.

APFT 1 mile pace = 8 min.

APFT 1/4 mile (400 meter) pace =
2 min.

1/4 mile Work Interval = 2 min. –
(5-10 sec.)

= 1:50-1:55 min. pace

Step 2 – Determine the relief
interval.

A 1:2 ratio is recommended: Two
times 1:50-1:55 = 3:40-3:50 relief interval.

Step 3 – Determine the type of
Relief Work. Run, walk, or jog. The recovery work selected for

the relief interval depends on level of conditioning.

 

  • PREPARATORY (BASE BUILDING) PHASE

Reassess resting Heart and
recalculate Target Heart Rate every two weeks to compensate for increases in cardiorespiratory efficiency and to keep heart rate in the appropriate target range. Increase the work time or intensity 5-10% at the end of each two week cycle.


WEEKS 1-8

MON

TUE

WED

THUR

FRI

SAT

SUN

LSD

ACTIVE

LSD

ACTIVE

LSD

ACTIVE

REST

RECOVERY

  • CONDITIONING PHASE

Reassess Resting Heart and
recalculate Target Heart Rate every two weeks to compensate for increases in cardiorespiratory efficiency and to keep heart rate in the appropriate target range. Increase the work time or intensity 5-10% at the end of each two week cycle.


WEEKS 9-12

MON

TUE

WED

THUR

FRI

SAT

SUN

FCT

ACTIVE

INTERVAL

ACTIVE

FCT

ACTIVE

REST

RECOVERY

 


WEEKS 13-20

MON

TUE

WED

THUR

FRI

SAT

SUN

FCT

LSD

INTERVAL

LSD

FCT

ACTIVE

REST

RECOVERY

 


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