Posted on Nov 24, 2015
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In the military we require our Soldiers to conduct physical training, both in group format and individually, on and off duty. Many of our Soldiers choose strength training as a method to satisfy these requirements.

As with anything, Soldiers who experience progression in these areas want more, which begs the questions; What is strong enough? What cost are you willing to pay to be better, stronger, faster than your seniors, peers, and subordinates alike?
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SFC Bde Mobility Nco
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If i was in charge, I would base the whole pt test around weight lifting and sprints. You can never be to strong because your body has to carry all that gear not to mentioned you might have to carry, pull, or drag a buddy. Deadlift, squat, bench and sprints would be my PT test if I was in charge
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PO1 John Miller
PO1 John Miller
6 y
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I'm no expert, so please don't flame me too much (LOL). Don't get me wrong, I think brute strength is a tremendous asset. But shouldn't one balance it out with good cardiovascular/endurance conditioning? Strong muscles won't get too far if you get tired out quickly. Or is that where sprints come into play?

How do you guys feel about Cross Fit?
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MSG Smc Student
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6 y
PO1 John Miller - I don't feel about CrossFit. I know it fills a large part of societal needs for fitness, and that the military is a reflection of society. With that said, I can pick people who CrossFit out of a unit by the medical boots they wear on their feet from torn Achilles Tendons.

The Army's Physical Fitness Test as it currently stands measures a 2 mile run (or 2.5 mile walk, 800m Swim, 6.2 Mile Bike if injured) as it's standard for cardiovascular endurance. With the standard for most Soldiers being below 15 min, this isn't really that great a measurement of cardiovascular endurance.

If I had to choose the Soldiers I take into a combat environment and you gave me a guy that could run a 25 minute 5 mile or a guy that could deadlift 2X-3X his bodyweight, I'd choose the second guy every time. Our ground wars aren't fought in 5 mile increments with no kit. They are fought by brute strength. The ability to move large amounts of things into vehicles, off of vehicles, in and around short distances.
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PO1 John Miller
PO1 John Miller
6 y
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Thanks for your explanation. It makes more sense to me now.
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SFC Bde Mobility Nco
SFC (Join to see)
6 y
Crossfit=injury.
A good weight lifting program and high intensity cardio would do better than the current pt program.
When was the last time u had to run 3-8 miles no being some type of PT? All hat running weakens your body. Have u ever seen a strong or strong looking runner? When u run 5+ miles you are going to look like and be strong as a long distance runner which to me doesn't make sense considering all this gear you have to carry and I'm not even including moving and doing thing with all this gear on
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SGT Writer
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I'd say it depends on your goal(s). Since I've ETSed, my goal has been to become stronger in key lifts than I was before I joined the military. Now that I've achieved that, functionality is my primary goal - Grip and core strength. "Strong enough" is when I feel comfortable using periodization to cycle to another goal. . . until I cycle back to strength training.
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MSG Smc Student
MSG (Join to see)
6 y
Those are all solid goals and you seem to have a grasp of where you want to be!
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SGT Writer
SGT (Join to see)
6 y
"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" - Daft Punk
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In my opinion, the target should be functional movement. If you are an Infantryman, standard tests like obstacle courses and marches under load measure where a unit is at nicely.
As a general guideline:
1. Ability to move with a full combat load a set distance in a fixed amount of time. Set standards by reasonable expectation of operational requirements based on TO&E and Mission.
2. Ability to carry or drag a wounded Soldier with full load 100 meters in a fixed amount of time.
3. Ability to perform hard tasks routinely that can be expected in a unit, such as moving a spare tire, a load of mortar rounds, or loading a 155mm shell in a howitzer.
4. Mental strength to withstand the elements, or lack of sleep, for days or weeks at a time.

Other standards should be established by the Commander and overseen by the First Sergeant.
I like holding competitions to see who's who in the zoo and build esprit.
It is important to not over train, because you lose functional agility and often induce injuries.
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MSG Smc Student
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6 y
Competition/incentivizing fitness is a great way to keep a unit engaged and build esprit de corps. Well said on your thoughts.
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