T Nation

Need Advice Reaching My Goals

To start off, sorry for long post, but I tried to include all relevant information.

Hello all. I have a few goals that I would like to achieve, and would like to ask the best way in which to do this.

My goals are not to become big, or ripped. I am currently 6’3, 185lbs. I am slated to take the NY State Trooper exam in January, and would like to be able to ace the physical part of it.

It involves:
[]Sit-ups - 40 [One Minute]
[
]Push-ups - 33 [No time] (would like to hit 41 at least)
1.5 Mile Run: 13:53

Now, I can do the run, I can do the sit-ups for the most part, but I am lacking on the push-ups.

However, instead of just the State Trooper exam, I would like to be able to complete the Navy Seal physical fitness requirements, as written, which are:

[]Push-ups: 42 [2:00 Minutes]
[
]Rest for 2:00 Minutes
[]Sit-ups: 50 [2:00 Minutes]
[
]Rest for 2:00 Minutes
[]Pull-ups: 6 [No Time]
[
]Rest 10:00
1.5 Mile Run: Within 11:00

So basically, I want to focus mainly on muscle strength and endurance, and am not so worried about getting big. Can anyone recommend how to do this? Should I just go through the SEAL physical test and do as many pushups in 2:00, then rest 2:00, etc…? Or is there a routine I should be looking at?

Right now, I run a Push/Pull/Legs routine as I am a relative beginner in the gym and this works great for me. It is:

Day 1 [Push]:
[]Warm-up 1.5 mile run in 12:00
[
]Bench Press: 3 x 10,8,6
[]Military Shoulder Press: 3 x 10,8,6
[
]Brain Busters: 3 x 10,8,6 (I superset this with the curl bar,
doing first brain busters 10x, then i
do the close grip tri bench type
exercise 10x, then 8 with the workout,
etc)

Day 2 [Pull]:
[]Pull-ups: 3 x 10,8,6
[
]Rows: 3 x 10,8,6
[]Lat Pulldown: 3 x 10,8,6
[
]Barbell Curls: 3 x 10,8,6
Core: Sit-ups and crunches

Day 3 [Off/Cardio]:
Normally do a 2.5 mile run in around 22:00 (second mile is uphill)

Day 4 [Legs]:
[]Squats: 3 x 10,8,6
[
]Hack Squats: 3 x 10,8,6
[]Leg Curls: 3 x 10,8,6
[
]Calf Raises: 3 x 10,8,6

So its two days on, one day off (cardio), then two days on, etc.

I travel on the weekends (for sports), so I miss a big gap on Sat-Sun as I cannot work out. As I said, I am a beginner. Another problem is the gym I attend is restricted access, so I cannot bring a workout partner or spotter. My metabolism is incredibly high, and I am very active.

So, the goals are to be able to complete that NAVY Seal exam as prescribed and increase my strength.

Also, just so you all know, I have tried some more complicated and complex workouts, and they just don’t seem to have the same results for me as I suppose I lack the muscle endurance to go through long exercise programs. I am not positive on that, but they have all failed for me that I have tried when the movements and such get too complex.

Any assistance is greatly appreciated!

Be careful, that program is going to put on at least 20-30 pounds.

If you want to do more push ups, do a lot of push ups. If you want to do more pull ups, do a lot of pull ups.

[quote]joburnet wrote:
Be careful, that program is going to put on at least 20-30 pounds.

If you want to do more push ups, do a lot of push ups. If you want to do more pull ups, do a lot of pull ups. [/quote]

Thanks for the quick response.

Weight gain is not a bad thing at all for me. As I had said, I am 6’3 185lbs, so a little weight to put on is not a bad thing, it just isn’t my primary goal.

So basically, just do the Navy SEAL routine? So do as many pushups as I can in 2:00, then rest 2:00, then do as many situps, etc and keep at it every day, or every other day, until I hit my goals?

pushups is an exercise you can do every day. but its good to take a day off here and there.

[quote]Exdeus wrote:
joburnet wrote:
Be careful, that program is going to put on at least 20-30 pounds.

If you want to do more push ups, do a lot of push ups. If you want to do more pull ups, do a lot of pull ups.

Thanks for the quick response.

Weight gain is not a bad thing at all for me. As I had said, I am 6’3 185lbs, so a little weight to put on is not a bad thing, it just isn’t my primary goal.

So basically, just do the Navy SEAL routine? So do as many pushups as I can in 2:00, then rest 2:00, then do as many situps, etc and keep at it every day, or every other day, until I hit my goals?
[/quote]

That’ll do it.

I would suggest using weight on your back when doing pushups, this way when you can do 40 proper pushups with weight you will have no problem doing bodyweight pushups. Also, use weight when doing your pullups also.

Im not talking strapping 40 lbs but 10 or so would be perfect for both lifts. As far as the running portion, thats is just plain ole cardiovascular endurance achieved by actual running for distance.

Craig

[quote]craig_4g63 wrote:
I would suggest using weight on your back when doing pushups, this way when you can do 40 proper pushups with weight you will have no problem doing bodyweight pushups. Also, use weight when doing your pullups also.

Im not talking strapping 40 lbs but 10 or so would be perfect for both lifts. As far as the running portion, thats is just plain ole cardiovascular endurance achieved by actual running for distance.

Craig[/quote]

Are you suggesting I start straight out with weight for the push-ups/pull-ups? As of right now I cannot do 40 correct push-ups. I can pull somewhere around 30. I plan on getting up in the AM tomorrow and seeing what i can do. I take it you are saying when I can comfortably do 40 correct ones, I should add plates?

Thanks again for the advice!

Also, can anyone help me with the “proper” form for a push-up? What is used in the military and law enforcement? Is it arms out at 90 degrees to the body, or are the arms closer to the body doing the pushups that appear to be more isolated in the triceps?

Any help on this is appreciate, thank you!

The trooper test; Are you taking it in Albany? I am in feb. If your taking the written (I think its only the written this jan and feb) then dont worry too much about the physical yet you got plenty of time.

I’m also getting ready for FDNY and other PD tests as well as the trooper. Most of these tests are about endurance. Make sure you run, do plenty of cardio and lose any excess fat ya can. If you have excess fat losing it will make it easier to do situps and pushups because you’ll be lighter. If you got no excess fat then just train for the exams (meaning do pushups and situps).

[quote]joburnet wrote:
Be careful, that program is going to put on at least 20-30 pounds.

If you want to do more push ups, do a lot of push ups. If you want to do more pull ups, do a lot of pull ups. [/quote]

How in the world is he in danger of putting on 20-30lb unless he’s eating like a complete monster for months at a time? This is an utterly false statement.

OP, train as you fight. I believe some above have already mentioned it. If you want to improve “X” then practice doing more of it.

I can tell you from numerous years of military fitness routines that weight-lifting won’t make your run-time faster, and bench-presses won’t make your push-ups increase. It’s not an issue of strength, but rather endurance.

[quote]Exdeus wrote:
Also, can anyone help me with the “proper” form for a push-up? What is used in the military and law enforcement? Is it arms out at 90 degrees to the body, or are the arms closer to the body doing the pushups that appear to be more isolated in the triceps?

Any help on this is appreciate, thank you![/quote]

If the Law Enforcement push-up is anything like a military push-up, you can place your arms however wide you want so long as your body (both upper and lower) go down and rise as a single unit, and your arms form a 90 degree angle at the elbows.

Some people seem to think that the proper push-up is when your upper arms and back form a flat, even line. As far as the military (most branches, that I know of), this is inaccurate.

just throwing this out how about a program set up of the HIIT Program, and the use of Tabata useing your four main exercises. The HIIT Revolution for Fat Burning Success
by Troy M. Anderson

[quote]Contrl wrote:
If the Law Enforcement push-up is anything like a military push-up, you can place your arms however wide you want so long as your body (both upper and lower) go down and rise as a single unit, and your arms form a 90 degree angle at the elbows.[/quote]

This may not be accurate. I can’t speak for your specific situation but here in Canada the military pushup is hands under the shoulders so the fingers are just visible. This is narrower and further forward than most people are used to. Depth is upper arm parallel to the floor. Angle will be significantly less than 90 degrees. Do some research and make sure you know exactly how they want them done.

In order to avoid burnout, I would recommend stopping short of failure on the pushups on most workouts. Once a week go to failure but for the rest of the week, stop at 50-70% and you can do them twice a day. You may make better progress that way.

Thank you all for the feedback. It looks like the push-up test will consist of military style push-ups and the admin will hold a 4 inch block under your chest that your chest must make contact with.

I saw a program on the web that recommended you do this one time a month for training. Stew Smith says it is somewhat modeled on military PT (former SEAL).

[quote]
On ODD days: Do 200 pushups in as few sets as possible in addition to your regularly scheduled workout of cardio exercises. You can still do upper body workouts on these days if you are already on a program. This is a supplemental 200 pushups using maximum repetition sets (4 x 50, 8 x 25 … it’s your choice how you get to 200).

On EVEN days: Do 200 pushups throughout the day. This can be little sets of ten done every half hour or fifty pushups done four times throughout the day.

RULE: If your maximum is under 50 pushups, do 200 a day. If your maximum is above 75, do 300 pushups a day.

Repeat the ODD/EVEN routine for a total of 10 days. Then take three days off and do NO upper body pushing exercises that work the chest, triceps, and shoulders. Then on day 14, give yourself the pushup test (one or two minutes depending on your PFT). I would not recommend this workout more than once every six months, since it rather challenging on the same muscle groups repeatedly.[/quote]

Anyone have any idea on this? Or should I just look to do, say my maximum is 30, do 30 a few times a day?

Thanks again for all the assistance folks!

If you max is 30, do 20 2 or more times a day. Once a week, try to beat your max. Then raise your training reps proportionately.

[quote]Exdeus wrote:
Or should I just look to do, say my maximum is 30, do 30 a few times a day?[/quote]

If your current max is 30 reps in a single set, you’d be best served doing sets of 15-20, 5 or 6 times a day. Once or twice a week, increase the reps each set a bit. That’s classic Grease The Groove training. Lots of fairly-easy sets, often throughout the day.

The 200 push-up thing seems a bit arbitrary. There’s no magic in hitting a total volume of 200 reps. The Grease the Groove method has you really fine-tuning that movement pattern so it becomes easy like Sunday morning. I’d go that route. It also works great on any other bodyweight exercises; pull-ups, sit-ups, whatever.

Thanks again to all! I will keep it to the 15-20 pushups as of now 5 or so times a day.

I had thought my bench max going up would enable me to do more push-ups, etc. The difference that made for my push-ups was minimal, as I am already starting to feel sore in my chest and shoulder area.

Thanks again!