T Nation

A Little Bit of a Dilemma....


Hey guys,

Well I've been reading this website for awhile, but maybe I'm missing something because I feel I have a little bit of a dilemma...

Well, I'm a United States Marine (reserve) trying to become an Officer. The biggest thing I have to worry about is my PFT. Right now I'm doing 272 (100 crunches, 15 pull ups, 18:32 run time) and I need at least a 290 (but I'm going for 300) before I put in my app for OCS, sometime this fall. However, I take monthly PFT's with the Officer Selection Officer (OSO).

Now, here's my dilemma...seeing as how I want a 300 PFT I have 30 seconds and 5 pull ups to go. But, I need both to increase simultaneously. I'm a natural runner (18:20 my first PFT after years of sprinting), so my strength is my concern...but without jeopardizing the 3 mile time.

How does one go about recruiting both fast-twitch (strength and size) fibers AND slow-twitch (endurance and stamina) simultaenously without one biting the bullet?

My goal was originally to have this done by April 30 (my birthday) which is possible if I wanna stick to the old USMC way of training (balls to the wall....more is better) but I don't want to get what I need, hit a plateau and then lose my gains over time with excessive overloading. I won't be going to OCS until Fall 2007, so after I make the gains I need to sustain them.........for a long time.

I have a pull-up program that is supposed to add the extra 5 pullups on in no time. It also says that you can maintain the 20 mark by doing 50 a day (Mon-Fri as with the setup of the program), but I see that not sustainaing after awhile. It's a program based on overload, really. If y'all want, I can try to post the program for you to take a look at....

I weigh between 160 and 165 now and a few extra pounds wouldn't hurt for personal reasons (180, 185 if I can run with it is the goal). I have about 10% BF as all ab muscles are visible but it's not bodybuilder visible/cut. I considered myself an ectomorph before boot camp (157lbs) eating like a house and never gaining weight, but I think boot jacked with my metabolism. I came out of boot camp 15lbs heavier and gained another 10 at MCT, but have since lost weight (it was showing in my stomach in a bad way, though most weight gain was muscle mass), however I notice if I eat the wrong foods for too long (like a week) I'll start blowing up again.

Sorry, I know this is a lot of rambling and I apologize for the lack of organization, so let me try to sum it all up for ya.....

I need to get stronger, increase a 3 mile run time by 30secs and hopefully gain a few "functional" pounds in the process and I need both to happen simultaneously which is why my timeframe is until about August. A "get it quick" scheme would be nice for my app, but then I need long-term. Make sense?

Thanks guys. Happy posting and keep it up, this website is awesome....


Are you using creatine? Do you have access to creatine? That would probably net you those gains right off the bat due to increasing strength-endurance and lending quite a bit of energy.
Well, that and psyching up. A few other performance enhancers(I'm not suggesting PH's....) would probably help too.


GTG the pullups and start using a kettlebell.


Volume is the solution. You don't need more strength in your upper body, you need more endurance.

You have the strength to do a pullup... now you have to build the endurance to do the reps.

Try ladders, or look up ZEB's pullup program.

Dan "As much work as possible while staying as fresh as possible" McVicker


I could get some creatine, that's not a problem. I'm just debating if that would result in increased water-weight that could adversely affect my run time.

I'll look at ZEB's pull up program. I didn't even think that the ability to do 20 pullups is not so much on the strength but endurance side....goes to show how long it's been since I've done real training. Overlooking the small things....

Thanks for the advice guys....