T Nation

ROTC Training????

I just recieved a scholarship from the ROTC at my college, and school starts in two weeks. I have been training for strength and hypertrophy for the past 3 years. In order to keep my scholarship I need to pass the PT test which involves a two mile run in under 14 minutes and a sit up test and a push up test. I am not sure the exact parameters for the latter two. My question is, what is the best way to train for military life, would I do fine running and doing bodyweight exercises until I puked(not literally)? Any previous experiences in this department would be greatly appreciated.

How long do you have before your PT test and what are your current 2min pushup, 2min situp, and 2mile run max’s? Get this info in above order with only 2min breaks between events. Also, maintain strict form with pushups, have a friend watch you to make sure you aren’t sloping your back, and you aren’t sticking your ass in the air. They will not count pushups in poor form. Let me know what you come up with and I will get back to you, also ask Older Lifter he is quite knowledgeable in this area as well.

What are your current stats in the three respective areas? You should beable to do more than what is required. ie, be able to run 2 miles in 13min, 60+ situps 2 minutes, 40-50+ pushups in 2 minutes, etc.

I went the OCS route and just got out last month (as an O-3) after five years, (two with Spec War). It pains me to say it, but for now, keep the lifting to a minimum. It will only add weight to your frame and slow you down. This is true for every catagory of the test, (yes, even the pushups). Work on form and speed in all three catagories. I trained like a madman for 8 months preparing for a similar PT test given to all SEAL candidates (ours also had 2 min of pullups and a 500 swim) using various mixtures of the test on Mon, Tue, Wed, and Fri. Mon through Wed I played with the variables, (i.e. order of exercises, rest between sets, minor form modifications, 30 sec explosive speed work sets, and long slow endurance versions). Friday was always my ‘Test simulation day’ to chart my progress. This is what worked for me, maybe it will help you create your own program.
But if you shoot for that 14 minute mark or any of the minimums YOU WILL FAIL. Even if you’re in horrible shape, shoot for 10 or 11 minutes. You need to be AT LEAST in the middle of the pack, you ARE being watched. Steady, consitent improvement will get you there, so really discipline yourself to improve each week. I’d attempt to inspire you with the times and scores that I managed to get, but you wouldn’t believe them, and this would errode the credibility of my advice for you.
Push yourself hard now, while you have the option to prepare at leasure. Use the workouts as an escape from academic pressures. Chicks dig FIT guys in uniforms, the uniform by itself isn’t enough. If you MUST lift, then keep it down to higher rep workouts, only once or twice a week. You can always go back to the weight room after comfortably passing the PRT a couple times, weight gains (both the good and the bad) will come easier to you in your late 20’s anyway.
A good Officer is able to lead from the front. Your men will respect you more if you can. Make us proud. Good Luck!

Thanks for the quick response guys. I am not sure about those three areas, I think my first PT would be in about a month from now, cause I know they test three times during the semester, once at the beginning, Midterm and finals. I don’t think I will have a problem with the pushups and situps, but the run is going to kill me. I will try and figure those out in the next coupla days

First, I would like to congratulate you on earning an ROTC scholarship. Good work. I, myself went to school on an ROTC scholarship. Do they still have murder boards?
Secondly, Let’s get you ready for the PT test.
Check out the TRADOC website for their library and copy the Physical Training Field Manual, especially the chapter of the test. 2a) Push-ups/Sit-ups. Get yourself a metronome. Practice doing you push-ups and sit-ups in time to the beat. One beat down, one beat up.(Example: If you goal is 90 push-ups set the metronome to 90 beats a minute.) Initial you will have to break this down into smaller sets, but you can work-up to longer intervals.
2b. It sounds like you don’t do much running now. So you are going to have to learning pacing. It works very similar the the process discussed above. You will be tested on some type of track or road. For now find yourself a 1/4 mile track. Begin with you will have to run each lap at one minute and forty-five seconds. Practice eight laps at 1:30 with half a lap walk between, when you can do that run two laps in 3:15 with a half a lap walk between, then keep increasing your progression on distance. Also keep up longer runs, the old standard for the 101st was five miles at nine minute miles. Free feel to post any questions you might have and Best of Luck.

Sorry Man. I’m a tool. Guess I was sleepy when I responded last night, targeting 10 or 11 minutes might be a stretch. This morning I remembered it more clearly. After our Swim, 10 min rest, pushups, 2 min rest, situps, 2 min rest, pullups, 2 min rest, we then finished the test with our run (in pants & boots)which we were expected to get in the 7 to 8:30 range. The difference was IT WAS ONLY A MILE AND A HALF. Ten or 11 minutes for two miles is possible, but unnec. unless your trying to get assigned to the S.F. community. Sorry for my confusion, hopefully the program I mentioned last night will still be of use. By the way, just curious- they each have their own strengths and weaknesses, which branch are you?

Thanks again guys for the quick replies. My school has Army ROTC. Actually they wanted me to start in the advanced program right away, 3rd year of the program, but I wanted to earn my way to the top not just because of my “academic and physical stature”. You are correct I don’t do much running now, I don’t think I have run since I played Football in HS ( I am going to be a junior in College). I have been training for strength and size since then, so this running thing is like I have never done it before. So this is going to be my last week of weights, I have already tried to run on the treadmill at the gym with much huffing and puffing, starting Monday I will go balls out military style. Thanks again for your guys’ advice.

Don’t give up the weights!!! Have you selected your branch? I will be glad to advise you. How many years before you go on active duty? As a former ROTC student, Distinguished Military Graduate and Infantry Officer, I feel it is my duty to advise you.

Ok, some good suggestions have already been posted. You definitely want to shoot for higher scores than just the minimum. Your physical fitness scores and performance are held pretty highly in the military. Everyone judges everyone else by their physical limitations, and it is one of the key aspects that your superiors will judge you by initially. To be absolutely honest, the APFT is based on stamina/endurance. I noticed in most cases it was the skinny bastards that got the highest scores. Sad but true, I was never able to bulk up that much while I was in the service, but I kicked ass on my APFT. Do not dismay, you will be able to make adjustments later on that will help you get big, just suffer through the initial stages by taking training focus off of size, and focus on stamina, and superhuman recovery rates. What I am about to tell you will go against everything posted on this sight, and may send you into violent convulsions so stick your wallet in your mouth. Here goes… Initially train one day on, one day off, but after the initial soreness is gone train 5-6 days per week, 3days on one day off. The only exercises you should do are pushups, elevated pushups, pull-ups, dips, sit-ups, v-ups, runs, and sprints. Organize a one-hour workout session that includes all above exercises except running. Throughout the day continue to do pushups and sit-ups periodically when you get a chance. Do at least 200 reps of each in addition to your normal workouts. Forget about time under tension and go for maximal reps, focus on form! No resting just superset all exercises, kind of like EDT except you do go to failure. You didn’t list your run time so follow Older lifters protocol until you can go two miles without resting, then start fartlek training. Ideally you should run 3 miles per day and always turn on the after burners on the last 100 meters of the run, even if you are exhausted. Running three miles per day will make the two mile run for the APFT seem like cake, and you can haul ass the whole way. Be sure to take three whole rest days prior to your APFT for maximum recovery. Good luck, you may get really sore at first but after awhile nothing will faze you.