T Nation

What Should I Eat Before PT Test?


Im in the army and we have a PT test tomorrow. I assume I should stick to carbs so I can get that extra energy for the next day. What do you suggest?

For those who dont know a PT test is a test of endurance pretty much. You try to score the highest in three areas:
2 Minutes Push ups
2 Minutes Sit ups
2 Mile Run (Timed)

Any nutrition help would be appreciated!


I'm not sure how long you've been in the Army, but a PT Test is really not all it's hyped up to be. 2 minutes of push-ups (or less). It's really about 80 push-ups, which can be done in about half that time. It's a non-factor nutrition wise. Same for sit-ups.

You're really talking about a little energy for the run, and let's face it, two miles isn't exactly a marathon, and a 6 min. mile pace will max. Just make sure you have some carbs the night before so you're not depleted, and that morning have a caffine pill or a couple cups of coffee; whatever works for you. Candy bar or power bar might work. Maybe a Spike shooter or tablet would do it for you.


Hey man, thanks for serving. I will be leaving for BCT this summer for National Guard and ROTC, switching to active after school, so I am training for the same test. Hopefully I can help.

I wouldn't just have a lot of carbs the night before, I would be sure to have carbs in the morning as well. I prefer oatmeal in the morning so get a big bowl and mix in some blueberries as well. Drink some orange juice. Basically, you don't want your glycogen levels depleted while you're testing. This is extremely important in endurance related events. I would watch out for milk but other carbs should work fine.

Also, I'd recommend taking a drink like Surge before the test.

Be sure to get a good night's sleep also.

Strategy for pushups:

I recently did 102 in two minutes at 200 lbs. with the following basically guidelines-

Do 20, rest for 5 seconds
20 more, rest for 5 seconds
15 more, rest 5 seconds
15 more, rest 5 seconds
10-15 more (depending on how hard it is, don't go to failure), rest 5 seconds
5-10 more, 5 seconds rest
and so on until the end.

You are allowed to rest in the front lean and rest position for those 5 seconds.

If there's no way you can reach 100, then you'll have to cut the reps down. For example, perform 10, rest 5, 10 more, etc.

If you want my full program that I'm using, shoot me a pm.



Carter you SMP guys are weak.


You're just jealous because we get paid more. :wink:


Eat lots of carbs the night before. Don't eat anything two hours before the test. But, drink plenty of water.


carb loading as a practice is typically something that is done over a 3 day period, it's not just eating a bowl of pasta before the event, so, if it's tommorrow, it sounds like it's too late for that. Also, carb loading is really only useful if you're doing 90+ minutes of non-stop exercise, so... just get a decent balance of nutritious food (carbs included), and make sure that you're not eating anything that you don't normally eat that may screw up your stomach.


I honestly can't believe the attention a PT test is being given; and for someone to refer to it as an endurance event!! Now that's funny.

You do push-ups for a MAXIMUM of two minutes, with certain rest positions authorized. You then get a MINIMUM of 10 minutes of rest before doing a MAXIMUM of two minutes of sit-ups. Another (AT LEAST) 10 minutes of rest before running two miles. C'mon guys. It doesn't require loads of preparation.


I would suggest that you do a little more learning and less posting.

Both the pushups and situps are local muscular endurance tests. The two mile run is about 90% aerobic capacity and about 10% anaerobic. I do believe you could also use the word endurance for that, as it definitely doesn't fall into any other fitness category (strength, power, flexibility, etc.).

The rest periods do not have anything to do with the fitness qualities that are being tested.

As far as the amount of attention being paid to the PT test, it is part of the person's job and also part of their promotion points. From what I understand from talking to others, the test is absurd as far as measuring combat fitness, but it still should be on the priority list for no other reason than it is part of what the soldier will be graded upon.


Hey Carter, for your information I have 15 years on active duty. I'm in Baghdad right now, and my last PT test was in January this year. I think I have plenty of first hand knowledge on PT Tests. You've taken how many???
How 'bout you have a nice cup of Shut the Fuck up!
The PT test is not very demanding. It doesn't require any "nutritional strategies" to be employed. The first 25 five minutes or more you are peforming for a maximum of (2) 2 minute intervals; now that's some work density if I ever saw it LOL. Then you run two miles on a flat course or track. Let's see, to run two miles should I start carbing up 3 days out, get a little extra rest a few days leading up to it, etc. C'mon people. My workouts are all more demanding than a PT test. Yeah, there are those that struggle passing a PT test, and I'll bet NONE of them ever heard of T-Nation!


Unless you are barely achieving the minimum standards, I don't think it's going to matter what you eat before a PT test. My strategy is eat regular food the night before and drink plenty of water, and take a shit in the morning before the PT test. Works every time.


I'm sure you do, thanks for serving.


come on you can do better than that.

I agree that it is not very demanding. But making sure your glycogen stores are good is probably considered a strategy, and one that definitely should not be ignored.

I agree, not very demanding. But you said it wasn't endurance based. I don't understand your reasoning there. Which is why I said you should do more reading.

I would hope so, mine too.

Look my point of the post was to say that it IS an endurance event and that taking extra steps to make sure the guy gets a good score can not be a bad thing. If you were wrong, you were wrong and I expect that shouldn't be too hard for you to admit with 15 years AD. Or maybe that would make it harder as my Dad has been in much longer than that and he's a stubborn ol' mule.

Sure you can come on here and say "ahh pt test is so easy!" and stick your chest out along with it, but how does that help the original poster?


Way to look out for your troops, dickhead. I would hate to be in your shitbag platoon. Some oatmeal a minimum of two hours before the event should help. About 150 grams helped me. Ephedrine always slowed me down though.


Haha I find it funny that this dude is all in here talking shit about how his program for weight training is soooo much harder than the pt test. First off bodybuilders/weighttrainers are at a serious disadvantage on the pt test. Your mass and size aer going to seriously hinder you. Look at Ron Coleman for example. I am pretty sure that his program is harder than the pt test. That doesn't mean that he can pass the thing. Actually I will bet you $100 that he cannot pass the test. If you are familiar with the pt test in any way you would know that the test is catered to the piece of shit skinny ass guys that have no mass. They crank out the pushups and situps and blow away the run. So dude no one cares what the hell your program is like or how hard it is. Weight training and the pt test are polar opposites.


just thought id give my advice...

I've taken at least 20 army pt tests so far and whats worked for us may not work for you but the general basics are don't drink anything sweet before hand could cause a sugar crash or get you sick...

also drink plenty of water the night before and if you do eat something before the test eat something light.

my routine is the night before for dinner i eat carbs (pasta) and then right before bed i eat some oatmeal. I wake up the next morning and have a small glass of water and go take the PT test.... the oatmeal from the night before gives me the energy i need