Lisa Fitness

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What’s Good for the Goose, is Good for the Gander

In respect of Independence Day…

By Lisa Leath Turpin, Health and Fitness Coach

Physical Fitness Training and Testing (PT or PFT) for all branches of the military, firefighters, and 1st responders is mandatory and essential to doing their jobs efficiently and safely. Anyone putting themselves in harm’s way better sure try and exceed the minimum requirements asked of them. They are tested for accountability by a periodic physical fitness test, and although there are movements that are common across the various branches, several add or tweak their tests to better fit their needs. So could this be good for all of us civilians?

It’s the concept of “train for whatever your life demands.” So, yes, it’s all good for anyone, but we have to be smart about it. The military isn’t haphazardly throwing out movements and training regulations that wouldn’t pertain to their goals for being the best for the purpose of their division / branch. It’s an excellent facet to take information, suggestions, research and ideas from and incorporate the functional movements of stability, strength, balance, agility, and core work from the ole tried and true; the ones that test and do this all the time. I admire and envy the dedication and motivation it takes to uphold the requirements asked of the military, first responders and firefighters. The real dedication is they know these requirements BEFORE they make the choice to enlist or join. In the average real world, it’s hard enough for some people to just THINK about exercise; but I would be surprised if there is anyone out there that would say they don’t want to be physically fit. Maybe seeing things in this perspective and learning how to set simple short and long term goals will help some get started, or, hopefully, some of the fun ideas that stem from military training will boost what the physically fit are already doing! Check out the Physical Fitness Testing protocols below.

  • Army PFT minimum for Basic Training/Bootcamp: The three events are two minutes of push-ups, two minutes of sit-ups, and a timed 2-mile run.
  • Navy PFT & SEALS: minimum– swim 500 yds in 12:30, 42 push-ups, 50 sit-ups, 6 pull-ups, 1.5 mile run in 11:00… competitive– swim 500 yds in 10:30, 79 push-ups, 11 pull-ups, 1.5 mile run in 10:20… advanced– swim 500 yds in 8:00, 80-100+ push-ups, 80-100+ sit-ups, 20+ pull-ups, 1.5 mile run in 9:00 or less.
  • Airforce PFT: One-minute push-ups, one minute sit-ups, timed 1.5 mile run. While at Basic Military Training you will perform physical conditioning 5 days/week with alternating days of muscular endurance and aerobic running.
  • Marines PFT: The Marine Corps considers physical fitness an indispensable aspect of leadership. The habits of self-discipline required to gain and maintain a high level of physical fitness are inherent to the USMC way of life – combat readiness. They have two main components: The PFT and Body Composition Program.
  • Coast Guard PFT: The best way to succeed in CGPFT is to start a swimming training program. Push-ups 60 secs, Sit-ups 60 secs, Run 1.5 miles in 12:51, Sit and Reach flexibility test, complete swim circuit test (tread water 5min.), and jump off 5-foot platform into pool, swim 100 meters.

For more cool information on Military Training, visit and, perhaps, incorporate some of the above training into your own fitness routine and goals.

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