1B Training for a Military Physical Fitness Test

The test in question is pull ups, 50 meters sprint and 2.4km (~1.5miles) running.

The first two I can do any day of the week without preparations, the problem is the running part, I never really liked and were never good at it when tried and after learning that I am a 1B and that this group isn’t very good dealing with lactic acid I just gave up on this kind of exercise whatsoever.

I’ve been doing some variations of Push/Pull/Legs 6 times a week (close to 20 sets for each major muscle group/week and 4 to 6/week for assistance work) for a while, 10 to 15 minutes of low intensity (not enough to make me out of breath) stationary bike if trying to lose weight and some treadmill sprint here and there if at caloric surplus.

The problem is that now I have to do it like it or not, so, how should I approach it?

By doing the exact exercise you’re bad at, dude.

Go get running… it’s the only way you’re going to get better at it.


I can give detail if you want, but my go-to way back when was 3 runs a week:

  1. One interval or hill sprint day. Total mileage should be equal or so to your test run.

  2. One “tempo” day where you work on holding an even pace. Basically come back in the same time you went out in. This should also be your distance +/- 15%.

  3. One longer day where you build some endurance. Double or so your test distance.

I had to do more when I was prepping for something, but the above is plenty for your test.


@Bwandrade, the plan suggested by @TrainForPain is ideal.

But to calibrate it a couple of questions. What is the target time you need to achieve and what is your current time for 2.4km. How long until you you need to do the test ?

Some thoughts. If you are really struggling at running I would suggest a period of running 3 x per week for whatever pace you can manage for say 10-25 mins. As you improve transition to the above programme.

15 mins of easy bike is no use for you, it is useful to keep this idea but increase the duration and the intensity. If you are a heavy strength type athlete it will also reduce impact strain on legs.

You may struggle to add endurance work in addition to your weights. You cant do everything at once so consider replacing some weights with bodyweight exercises, especially incorporating old fashioned circuit type work that improves cardio. This will retain a lot of strength but also add lower impact cardio work. Check out @ChongLordUno for bodyweight stuff. Millitary seem pretty keen on push ups sit ups burpees etc.

Get advice from the other specific sources : sorry t-nation.
Check out 5k programmes on running web sites.
Check out how to train for selection on millitary type web sites. Are there any leaflets available from your armed forces.
Do you have current/ex millitary friends who can advise.
I have no millitary experience so do your own research on this, but 2.4k in selection may just be the start. You may need to do far more running + long distance rucks etc. I know a guy who is ex tank(as in sitting down) regiment and he had to far worse than the selection running. So think about your target part of the armed forces and get their specifics.

Demonstrate a more active research background when asking this type of question here or anywhere else. How good are you now and what do want to achieve are the most basic question I asked when people turned up at our training group. Everyone knew the answer and it was just their hobby, not a potential career.


I like it!

I may have misread - I didn’t see a part about selection; this looked like the USAF PT test to me.

OP - are you going to a selection? If so, we’ll definitely need to get far more specific. The PT test for those is usually the first morning (and you don’t sleep the previous night) and there is no expectation of that being the hard part… If you’re going to be a PJ (based on my USAF guess), those were the fittest human beings I’ve ever encountered in my life. They could absolutely run laps around SEALS or Rangers, just insane endurance.

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I thought selection (pre selection if there is such a thing) because I had assumed anyone already in the miliatary would have passed some kind of endurance running test. And would know how to approach something as basic as a 1.5m run.

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Thanks everyone for the replies, to be honest I wasn’t expecting answers that thoughtful, I was just curious about how to address this specific training as my neurotype is said to not take lactic acid training very well, so I was wondering if there was some kind of different approach, that’s why I didn’t went too much into details.

That being said, let me address a few points.

Yes, it’s for the military police of my country, it had with a written exam (that I already passed) and then this physical test to join the academy, once I am in I am not that worried about it because I will have at least the basic endurance to at least keep up with the basics. (I would only be expelled if I keep being really bad at it for a long time, so I am not worried).

It’s a entry level one, 2.4km in 13 minutes. I was going to test it today to see where I am at, so I am not sure yet, it’s been years since I tried anything different from some kind of sprint.

I can’t say for sure how long I have because there’s still a lot of bureaucratics going on and there’s no set date, but I am pretty sure that it’s won’t be sooner than four months, but I would bet in at least six.

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A mile and a half in 13 minutes?? Goodness, i should have picked a nicer branch.

Don’t count on the military teaching you how to think, they will train you. And by “train”, i mean tell you what to do, not why to do it. You approach them saying “but my neurotype” and they’ll look at you like there’s a dick growing out your forehead. They are astonishingly out of date with modern (conventional) training methods.

The only way to get better at this one is just to do it… take it from someone who is terrible at running, but still made it through crayon eater 101.
You got this dude, you had the right mentality in thinking “i have no choice”. Embracing the suck is required.


I understand better now. “Selection” carries a slightly different connotation here (there’s a longer time component), but I see now this is an entrance exam for you.

Pretty much ditto what @Andrewgen_Receptors said - I wouldn’t get in your head about what type of athlete you are or what you can’t handle: you just gotta do it. Nick Saban (legendary football coach here in the States) talks about “the illusion of choice” and often says “it takes what it takes.” The point is, if you want to do this, there really aren’t that many ways to go about it. There might be slightly better or worse approaches, but worrying about them too much is just going to take away valuable training time. Besides, you really don’t have to be world-class here - that’s not a real tough time to beat, so you just need to get some miles under your feet and get it done.


Ok some good news then.
13 mins is not that difficult.
It is the worst case of running you will need to do, not military selection followed by even more running.
4months + is plenty of time at your age.
Do say 1 month of 3x per week of easy running, 10 mins working up to 25 mins per time. Then increase the quality with the faster tempo runs. just let the longer runs get faster naturaly as you get fitter. Intervals : Try 0.5 to 1km repeats at the 13mins target pace
If your legs are suffering get some more cardio in the with harder bike work or bodyweight circuits. Run on grass.
As others say, forget the neurotype stuff, IMO an unnecessary complication. Just do the training.

Let me know what your trial time is.

Good luck.


@Bwandrade On the subject of neurotype training. Its only part of the equation. Most people mix some characteristics of several neuros. A lot of dudes just like to think they are 1B because its an alpha male !
Intrinsic physical characteristics are critical, they put a floor/ceiling on performance whatever is in your head. Size, shape, fast/slow twitch muscle, intrinsic VO2 max and so on.


Thanks everyone for the replies, I may be overthinking things because it’s my last chance (because of my age) of getting in, it’s not just to join the military, it’s a 3 years course of physical training and college like classes that gives you, at the end, a bachelor’s degree and also the rank of second lieutenant.

That being said, as were pointed out, I have enough time so I don’t need to rush it, I am gonna evaluate where I am at the moment and implement things starting simple, using what were said here as needed. As I am well aware, sometimes the best way to start something is just start any way you can, “just do it” is more than just a meme.

So, again, thanks everyone for the knowledge and encouragement, I will update this post as needed and in a few months will come back with the good news.