Army Fitness Challenge

Think you can pass the Army Physical Fitness Test? Prove it!

by Jeff Decker

Whether or not you’re thinking of enlisting, who doesn’t want the body and stamina of a soldier at his peak? Taking the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) is a good way to test your mettle. A 30-year-old man needs to do a minimum of 30 pushups in two minutes, 36 situps in two minutes, and a two-mile run in 17:54. Here’s a three-day-a-week plan to get you there in just a month.

The Workouts

Do as many pushups as you can, immediately followed by a set with your feet elevated (such as on a chair). Without resting, do another set with your feet even higher. Rest as needed and then repeat twice more.

Complete as many reps of situps as you can in 20 seconds and then rest 10 seconds. Repeat seven times.

Warm up for two minutes and then run fast for one minute (about a seven out of 10 effort). Then jog for one minute. Repeat six to eight times.

Do as many pushups as you can and then follow them up with a set of slow pushups, taking three to five seconds to go up and another three to five to go down. Repeat for two more sets, resting as needed in between.

Do a maximum set of situps and then as many V-ups as possible (hold your legs and arms out straight and crunch to form a "V" shape). Repeat for two more sets, resting as needed.

Warm up, then run one mile as fast as possible. Immediately perform a set of pushups. Do the run and pushup twice more, resting between sets.

Perform 100 pushups, taking as many sets as you need to finish.

Do as many situps as you can in two minutes and then rest. Now do a maximum set of flutter kicks (hold your legs out straight and kick up and down like you’re swimming).

Run two miles at or near your best pace.

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