I Challenge You to get in [Better] Shape

IMG_9092As you may or may not know, I spent five years active duty in the US Navy and now I’m in the Navy Reserve.  As our primary mission is be deployement-ready, we are required to maintain a minimum level of phsyical readiness.  This is measured by a Physical Readiness Test (PRT) performed every six months.

The Navy defines the purpose of the Physical Readiness test as:

The PRT provides Commanding Officers (COs) with a means of assessing the general fitness of members of their command and provides a means to comply with DODI 1308.3 to develop and administer a physical fitness test that evaluates aerobic capacity, or cardio-respiratory endurance, and muscular strength, and muscular endurance.

Source:  Guide 5-Physical Readiness Test

The standards have recently changed, but it’s the same basic idea.  Our brackets were previously broken down into Outstanding, Excellent, Good, Satisfactory, and Probationary.  We are still using the categories, but they have added a Low, Medium, and High to give a little more insight into those categories.  I’ve scored a good or excellent on each PRT since joining the Reserves in 2012, and I’m not worried about passing it.  My goal is to continually improve my score until I am getting an Outstanding High each time.

My Challenge to You

Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Challenge.  Increase the total number of sit-ups and push-ups you can do in 2-minutes and improve your time running 1.5 miles.  Good luck!

Starting Point.  I plan to start my challenge on this Sunday, July 17.   We had our last PRT on May 14, 2016.  I twisted my ankle three days before the PRT; this probably slowed my running time down slightly, but had little effect on my sit-ups and push-ups.  The following is a breakdown of my score:

Weight:  189 pounds
Sit-ups:  Good Medium (60)
Push-ups:  Good Medium (52)
Cardio:  Good High (11 minutes 56 seconds)
Overall PRT Score:  Good Medium

Let’s do an initial PRT to see where we currently stand.  While there are a lot of little details you need to follow for an actual PRT, this isn’t anything official, so we aren’t going to worry about those!

  1. Do as many sit-ups as you can in 2 minutes
  2. Do as many push-ups as you can in 2 minutes
  3. Run 1.5 miles
  4. Find your age group in the PRT standards charts (starting on page 19 of the guide).
    Here’s the chart for my age group:navy_prt_standards_m3034
  5. Write down how you did so we can keep track of our progress

Train.  Set a goal for how long you want to do this and how much you want to improve.  My goal is to train until our PRT in October and then, of course, continue to work on it after that.

I’m setting my goals based on five days a week because that will allow for a little rest and will take into account those days I am unable to do any training.  I’m going to be posting a weekly update to help keep me motivated and I would love for you to do the same.  This is going to be tough for me because I simply don’t like doing sit-ups or push-ups.  If you see I’m not keeping up, feel free to tell me to stop slacking and get going!  I tried this before with 100 sit-ups and push-ups a day but didn’t make it very long.  Looking back, I realize that wasn’t a very realistic goal for just starting out.  I’m more determined than ever to get in better shape.  I’ll be measuring my weekly stats from Sunday-Saturday.  There’s no blowing these off, either.  With everything else going on, I’m sure there are some weeks I may just not be able to get everything done.  I have a lot going on and am usually very busy, but that’s no excuse.  Anything I don’t get done one week just gets carried over to the next.

My daily goals, 5 days a week:

  • 50 sit-ups a day (250 total per week)
  • 50 push-ups a day (250 total per week)
  • 15 miles of running a week

Overall PRT Goal:  At least an Excellent Low for everything – sit-ups, push-ups, and run

Ending Point.  Are you ready to see how much we’ve improved?  Let’s do one last PRT!

  • Do as many sit-ups as you can in 2 minutes
  • Do as many push-ups as you can in 2 minutes
  • Run 1.5 miles
  • Find your age group in the PRT standards charts
  • Write down your score

Compare.  Did you keep up with your training plan?  How did you do compared to the goals you set?  Are you happy with the outcome?  Why or why not?  What would you have done differently?  Do you intend to maintain your training or some other form of exercise?

Share.  I’d love for you to share your progress as we go through the training phase, including any questions or comments you have about it.  Once you’re done, would you be willing to share how you did and if you plan to keep it up? Leave me a comment below or post on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #PRTChallenge!  Thanks for taking the challenge to live a healthier, happier life!


5 Comments on “I Challenge You to get in [Better] Shape

  1. Nice challenge. A tip: divide your routines into small routines throughout your day to fit your schedule. That way it doesn’t overwhelm.

    • Thanks for the tip! That’s exactly what I’m planning. I’m not starting with a huge number each day, but it’s enough for someone that doesn’t like to workout! I plan to do a little in the morning and the rest in the evening after work.

    • Thank you for catching the error in the number and type of sit-ups/push-ups per day. I’ve updated it so the numbers and activities are correct 🙂

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