How does one Start Training for the CFT?
The Army’s new Combat Fitness Test is unlike any other Military Physical Fitness Test. It is a dynamic test which exercises multiple muscle groups and tests both endurance and strength. While the other Services physical fitness tests focuses on a few areas, such as the chest, abs, or running, the new Combat Fitness Test is truly a whole body workout.
As an online coach for the Navy PRT, I find that training for the PRT is relatively easy and straightforward. To train for the pushups one does pushups and bench press, to train for the situps one does situps and an ab machine, and to train for the run one runs.
However; training for the Combat Fitness Test, with its six events, is quite a bit harder. There is no machine I can use to train for the T-Pushup nor is there one exercise I can do to train for the leg truck.
As such how does one train for this test? Or maybe a better question is How does one train for combat?
Training For the Combat Fitness Test = Whole body Effort
Rather than the typical way of assigning muscle group exercises to prepare for the ACRT I want to propose a concept called Whole Body Effort. Whole Body Effort is the idea of putting your entire body into an exercise and monitoring how much effort you are extending. For example, going to the gym and working your biceps on the bicep machine is certainly not whole body effort. On the other hand 10x thrusters with a 45lb bar would certainly be whole body effort.
As such, when you train for the New Combat Fitness Test focus on your level of effort while using some of the exercises below
Recommended Exercises to Prepare for the Army Combat Fitness Test:
- Crossfit – The crossfit website has a new workout on it daily
- Pilates & Yoga: Both work the whole body and focus on flexibility and balance
- Run – Both sprints and longer (3-4 mile) distances
- Swim – Both sprint and longer distances
- Olympic lifting, or any bar lifting
- Body Weight pushing exercises such as pushups, dips and and handstands
- Body Weight pulling exercises such as pull ups,. Lat pulldown, and leg tuck
There are two keys to success when using this technique.
First, you must mix up the exercises. Running and yoga 6 days per week will do nothing for your deadlift ability, nor will pull ups help your 2 mile run. Keep mixing up the exercises and shoot for a diverse menu of workouts
Second, you must constantly monitor your Whole Body Effort. You must be aware when you are pushing yourself at 70% capacity, 85% capacity and 100% capacity. Try and spend time at each level of effort during your workouts and do not finish a workout until you have pushed yourself to 100% at least once.
Using these techniques as a whole will prepare your body and mind far better than training for one specific event will.
Good Luck and let me know how the training goes.