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Army Push-Up Test


I have a female client who has to pass an army physical assessment in 8 weeks time - as part of this she has to be able to do 6 chin-ups and 60 push-ups.

So far, she can do 37 pushups and 0 chin-ups.

I'm wondering if anybody has any ideas/tips to pass the push-up test? I'm thinking that as they can "rest" in the lock out position, that she could do them in blocks of say 10, rest for a few seconds, do 10 more, so not reaching failure until near the end.......

As for chin-ups, we're working with bands, and doing them frequently, so hopefully we'll get there in time :slightly_smiling:


pushups in sets is a good idea, whats the time limit in the test?


I don't think there is one (will double check) just as long as their knees don't touch the ground, or any feet or hands leave the ground, and they must maintain a straight body position - no back sagging.


For the Army APFT, the best way to get better at push ups is to do them. The test is more about endurance of the muscle group rather than strength. So with that being said she should be doing high reps on one day and low reps another. This will produce muscle memory and she will actually get better at doing them without losing much body weight. When I get close to a PT test I do 50 push-ups every night for about 4 weeks.

Bottom line: muscle memory and endurance


yes, tons of pushups and then more pushups

throw her on the lat pulldown machine and do high reps upto 15. mix it up with heavier weight. 90 - 95% max for 1 - 3.
and do the pull ups have to be strict? teach her to use momentum if not.

teach her good technique for the pushups which can help just for the test e.g. elbows in tight and adjust for consistent tempo


Could you elaborate on what you mean by consistent tempo?


The ARMY uses pull ups? We have never done that before. It's not a bad Idea I bet a bunch of people my unit couldn't do a pull up.

As has been said before tons of pushups. If she really wants to join she will do them during commercials, before bed, etc... She has to want it and want the max.


You might want to consider knuckle push-ups if there's going to be a crazy amount of volume, as they're easier on the wrists. Also, you get more depth, which can only help regular push-ups.

And they're just more bad ass.


Only time I ever did pullups in the army was during basic, before lunch and dinner, outside the mess hall.

And, from memory, I think the 60 pushups are timed: You have 2 minutes or something. It's been about 20 years.


The basic APFT is
2:00 Pushups
2:00 Situps
two mile run (timed)

Womens standards are really easy. Its like 17:00 two mile, 25 pushups, and 45 situps. Every girl in moderate shape should pass it and even just slightly athletic girls will max it.


Okay sorry I should have specified - we're in Australia, and it is for the para rigger course.



pavel's program in the second half of page