Monday, February 27, 2012

The 42-Day "No Gym" Exercise Program

Although I have a tab that goes over my entire Rapid PT 42-Day program, I wanted to dedicate a post to my updated "No Gym" exercise program. Specifically, I wanted to explain what this program is trying to achieve as well as give you some exercise descriptions.

The Program
This program uses several different running and strength training techniques to help you rapidly improve the strength and aerobic measurements of the USAF PT test in only 42 days. I chose the 42-day time frame because it is the maximum amount of time that you have to re-test if you fail your PT test.

Click here for larger image.

As you can see from the overall program above, there are two main components of this program: Running and strength exercises.

Since 42 days neatly divides into 6 weeks, I created three different two-week phases.

Phase One: Break In (Weeks 1 and 2)
In the first and second weeks you are getting used to the program. Your intensity will be minimal. Running intensity is also minimal. You will only execute three sets of Tabata sprints each week. For PT exercises, you will alternate between sit-ups and push-ups all week. And you will only be doing three dynamic exercises each week.

Phase Two: Build Up (Weeks 3 and 4)
Phase two is all about developing your strength and aerobic base. This means more PT and dynamic exercises, as well as long, slow runs. More sprints are also added

Phase Three: PT Test Prep (Weeks 5 and 6)
In phase three, you are trying to achieve peak physical performance by the day of your PT test. Since anaerobic training can interfere with your 1.5-mile run, the Tabata sprints are removed completely. You will concentrate on building up your test pace. More rest is also added to this phase.

When executing the 1.5-mile runs, determine your test pace and train for that pace during the 1.5-mile runs.

Workout Time
You can do the running and strength portions of my program at the same time, or you can do them 4 hours or more apart (e.g., run at 0600 and do the strength exercises at 1600).

By design, you should be done with all exercises for a given day in 30-45 minutes. It is important that you spend less than one hour in the gym at one time to prevent overtraining (and excess production of the stress hormone cortisol).

The Tabata
You'll notice that the word "Tabata" is used quite a bit in the exercise program above. A Tabata isn't an exercise like the push-up, it is a workout protocol that can be applied to ANY exercise (e.g., push-ups, sit-ups, jumping rope, punching a heavy bag, bench press, squats). The Tabata protocol can compress about 20 minutes of steady-state cardio into a single 4-minute session.

Be Warned: Done correctly, the Tabata is likely the most intensity you will ever experience in your life. But they will rapidly whip your body into shape! While the first two weeks of this PT program will absolutely suck, your body will adapt quickly, generally leaving you eager for punishment by week 3 of my 42-day exercise program.

I will eventually write a post that talks about the Tabata in more detail. Until then, I have created three tables to show how the 10/20, 15/15, and 20/10 Tabatas are organized.

Click here for larger image.
As you can see, for each set you will be exercising for exactly four minutes when applying the Tabata protocol to an exercise. There are eight work/rest periods (called rounds). When you are exercising, it will be at 100% effort; when you are resting, it should be at 0% effort. Each minute has two rounds. By the time you finish round eight, you will have completed four minutes (again, one set) of a hyper-intense exercise.

Here's a good example of someone doing Tabata Burpees.

For my program, I use both the 10/20 the 15/15 Tabata protocols for all six weeks. I don't go above 15/15 (15 seconds of work followed by 15 seconds of rest) because I want you to accomplish many low-rep sets (known as low-rep volume training). When using low-rep volume training, you don't actually exercise to the point of fatigue. Your goal is to do many sets of a few reps (between 5-10 reps per set, and between 8-24 sets). If you were to do 24 sets of 10 reps, then you would complete 240 reps overall. This volume training will ultimately improve the number of push-ups and sit-ups you can do during the timed PT test.

When you have more than one Tabata exercise to perform on a given day (e.g., sit-ups and hindu squats), then you have to move from one exercise to the other within one minute. For example, as soon as you finish your Tabata sit-ups, you only have one minute to rest before starting your Tabata hindu squats.

Improving the Waist Measurement
The only thing that will improve your waist measurement will be diet changes. If you remove the 7 Deadly Foods it may be possible to remove as much as 4 inches off your waist in 42-days. This improvement is due to a reduction in bloating, intestinal inflammation, and water retention that normally accompanies foods that contain wheat, soy, gluten grains, chemical additives, sugar, trans fats, and oils high in omega-6.

For other tips on improving your waist measurement, check out my more detailed post.

Running Exercises
Obviously, the running in my program will prepare you for your 1.5-mile run. I like to use three different kinds of running: Low speed aerobic base, test pace, and sprint running. All three will help lower your run times.

The 1.5-, 2-, and 3-mile runs are executed normally (not as a Tabata). For weeks 1-4, your runs will be comfortable, which means that you are not trying to set any new running records. This pace will usually be much slower than your test pace. For weeks 5 and 6, you are getting ready to establish your PT test pace, but only twice per week. This should allow your running performance to peak at the time of your PT test.

For more tips on how to improve your run times, check out my other blog posts.

Running Intensity
On my workout sheet above, you'll see the abbreviation MHR, which stands for Max Heart Rate. You can determine your max heart rate with online calculators and view your heart rate with a watch or chest band, or you can simply try to run with low, medium, and high intensity.
  • Low Intensity: At 60% MHR you can carry on a full conversation and shouldn't sweat very much. As this pace you are working your aerobic base, which helps train your body to use oxygen more efficiently.
  • Medium Intensity: When you jump up to 75% MHR you are running at a medium pace. You should still be able to talk when running at this pace, but usually only a few sentences at a time.
  • High Intensity: As you start to run at 90% MHR you will be training for your test pace. There should be no ability to say more than a couple of words at a time.

Proper Jogging Form
Jogging is used to build your aerobic base and get you used to your test pace. But none of this training will be useful if you don't use proper form. Correct jogging form will reduce the amount of energy you waste during your 1.5-mile run. This saved energy can then be used to run with a faster pace. 

The video below gives a good explanation of what good jogging form looks like.

Proper Sprint Form
The Tabata sprint is used to build leg strength, which can improve your 1.5-mile run times. Applying the Tabata protocol to sprinting means that you will experience eight alternating rounds of high intensity running (100% MHR) followed by complete rest for recovery. Each set of Tabatas is four minutes long. 

The video below gives some solid advice on proper sprinting technique.

Strength Exercises
While I have push-up and sit-up exercises in my program, I also include other dynamic exercises designed to strengthen the entire body (especially the core). For this "No Gym" program, all strength exercises use only your body weight.

Since you will be doing push-ups for the PT test, you'll be doing push-ups in my program. However, proper technique is very important (especially if you want all of your push-ups to count during the test). When doing push-ups, remember these three things:
  • Keep your body straight (like a board).
  • Slowly drop from the starting position until your arms are at 90-degrees.
  • Go to full lockout when pushing back up to the starting position.

During the test you can let gravity pull you down so that you can get more reps within the 1-minute time limit. However, while you are preparing for PT test, I want your reps to be 1 second down, 1 second up.

The sit-up isn't very helpful for abdominal development. However, because it is on the PT test, then you will be doing them in my program.

While the video below demonstrates the Army's sit-up technique, it will help you practice the correct overall form.

Although the pull-up is not a part of the PT test, it is an excellent way to build overall upper body strength.

Nothing (and I mean nothing) beats the burpee for full body strength. And, just as there are many different ways to do the push-ups and sit-ups, there are tons of different burpee routines. Below is a good routine that I found on YouTube.

Hindu Squats
I have to be honest, I just learned about the hindu squad a few weeks ago. Normally, I do jumping squats or jumping box squats, but hindu squats offer a much better range of motion and can build leg strength quickly!

Power Jumping Jacks
Everyone in the USAF should be familiar with the jumping jack. The power jumping jack combines jumping squats with the jumping jack, which produces a pretty good explosive exercise. And always try to go for as much height as you can!

Final Thoughts
I have put a lot of effort into creating an easy-to-follow, efficient, and effective workout program that was originally designed to transform a failing PT score into an EXCELLENT in only 42 days. As I have acquired new information (like the value of low-weight volume training), I have built a program that can help anybody prepare for the PT test, regardless of their fitness level.

When it comes to getting the quickest change with the least amount of effort, I believe that this program will give you the most bang for your buck.

And so I wish you good luck with your PT transformation. If you have any feedback, or suggestions, or you would like to share your success story, please send me an email at


  1. Does running on a treadmill have any major implications(good or bad), compared to doing this workout on a track?

    1. I've read (and it seems to work) that if you're going to train on a treadmill, set it to a small incline to make up for the differences between treadmill and outdoor running. I'm assuming it's the extra effort required with the incline that helps prepare you for off-treadmill running.

    2. I have gone to the FAC several times for various reasons, and yes they do tell you if you are training on a treadmill to set it at an incline. It doesn't haven't to be anything extreme, just like a 1% incline is fine.

  2. Anyone have any success with this program? On my second week right now and pretty optimistic.

  3. You can successfully escape from the sufferings of back pain. All you need to do is to be a little more observant about your body and look in for any deviating symptoms that tell you that you are about to encounter back inversion tables help back pain

  4. Very good written article. It will be supportive to anyone who utilizes it, including me. Keep doing what you are doing – can’r wait to read more posts. best double block and bleed valve

  5. There is so much in this article that I would never have thought of on my own. Your content gives readers things to think about in an interesting way. Thank you for your clear information. best double block and bleed valve

  6. Great article with excellent idea!Thank you for such a valuable article. I really appreciate for this great information.. ชะลอการหลั่ง

  7. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!. ชะลอการหลั่ง

  8. For natural testosterone booster solution, visit and find your best oyster extract supplements.

  9. hi was just seeing if you minded a comment. i like your website and the thme you picked is super. I will be back.
    seat cushion for back pain

  10. Innova ITM4800 Advanced Therapeutic Inversion Table ... money and you should make it a point that you read the best inversion table reviews. inversion table near me

  11. Reference - Logan, Paula. “Capsiplex Scientific Studies.” Phenofficial.Com, i.e. PhenOfficial, Accessed 8 Jan. 2019.

  12. Work Citation - Paul, Benjamin. “HGH Weight Loss Scientific Studies.” HGHOfficial.Com, i.e. HGH Official, Accessed 8 Jan. 2019.

  13. Check to ensure the craftsmanship of the plan is to such an extent that you can be sure years not far off you will at present be happy with the exercise center. An unequivocally built and all around designed home rec center should most likely carry long stretches of pleasure to the proprietor. Home Body guide

  14. I am impressed. I don't think Ive met anyone who knows as much about this subject as you do. You are truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. Really, great blog you have got here. Legging

  15. Why do only so much written on this subject? Here you see more.

  16. I am continually amazed by the amount of information available on this subject. What you presented was well researched and well worded in order to get your stand on this across to all your readers.

  17. You'll be able to work out your upper body and lower body mildly. Fitness Band

  18. Thanks for the blog filled with so many information. Stopping by your blog helped me to get what I was looking for. Now my task has become as easy as ABC. california king mattress cover

  19. These are the trendy dresses women love wearing the most. Give your style statement a unique touch by donning them in your style. elbise

  20. They come in various styles and dressed up in many different articles of clothing by the people. panda bracelet

  21. Of course with advantages also come disadvantages of having a home gym. fitness machine

  22. Your eating routine ought to likewise incorporate sufficient fiber and water so your stomach related framework/kidneys can adapt to the extra protein/carbs you're placing into your body.

  23. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I've read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it! best adjustable dumbbells

  24. There is a lot of fitness data, promptly accessible on the web. A quest for nourishing enhancements, gym equipment, or workout recordings, will give extra assistance, and a comprehension of the fixings required, for delight in better health.

  25. Contingent upon what gym you go to, there is regularly a wide cluster of gym hardware accessible available to you to utilize. Twitter Video Download

  26. Joints with the ability to have increase motion are the shoulder complex, hip joint, and knee. These are the three biggest joints in the body. Next Level Fitness

  27. But wanna input that you have a very decent internet site , I like the design and style it really stands out Natasha Aughey fitness trainer

  28. Whenever you have decided how much space you will have for your home rec center you should work out what exercise center gear you will buy. this contact form

  29. An investigation, White Matter Integrity in Physically Fit Older Adults, distributed in 2013 in the US National Library of Medicine (National Institutes of Health) found that more established grown-ups with a background marked by vigorous exercise were seen to have preferred white matter honesty over their inactive friends. alpha gpc side effects

  30. For an opportunity to purchase the house gym's I suggested and for full on top to bottom audits just as a wide exhibit of more items with full inside and out surveys which are our strongly suggested items kindly follow this connection! magnesium l-threonate depression

  31. That is one of the main reasons that I am very much interested in knowing the history of the things. As most of the time their names are greatly related with their history. Also sometimes you can realize the importance help with dissertation writing of the thing just by knowing its name like this one here shows its importance by its name that is “cure all”.

  32. You make such a large number of extraordinary focuses here that I read your article two or three times. Your perspectives are as per my own generally. This is extraordinary substance for your perusers.

  33. A successful padding on a treadmill ensures the tendons, joints and the spine while working out. An awful padding may prompt a physical issue and treadmill

  34. Mattresses are not cheap. Even a relatively low-end product is still going to cost you hundreds of dollars. semi truck mattress

  35. This article is really contains lot more information about This Topic. We have read your all the information some points are also good and some usually assignment crux uk are awesome. Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts you have ma

  36. Stunning site! Do you have any accommodating clues for trying essayists? I’m wanting to begin my own site soon yet I’m somewhat lost on everything. Would you prompt beginning with a free stage like or go for a paid help with essay helper alternative? There are such a large number of alternatives out there that I’m totally overpowered .. Any thoughts? Welcome it!

  37. Gym enrollments are pricey when all is said in done. Be that as it may, the better the gym is, at that point the more costly it will be. Likewise most gym enrollments last around a year which you need to recharge each year. magnesium l threonate powder

  38. Stunning site! Do you have any accommodating clues for trying essayists? I’m wanting to begin my own site soon yet I’m somewhat lost on everything. Would you prompt beginning with a free stage like or go for a paid assignment writing service alternative? There are such a large number of alternatives out there that I’m totally overpowered .. Any thoughts? Welcome it!

  39. the company is to be the goto provider of AI-powered digital experiences particularly in hybrid formats. event marketing and thank you event

  40. I am thankful to you for sharing this plethora of useful information. I found this resource utmost beneficial for me. Thanks a lot for hard work. exercise books

  41. Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful! turkish carpet

  42. I bookmared your site a couple of days ago coz your blog impresses me. google seo course

  43. I think that thanks for the valuabe information and insights you have so provided here. persian rugs for sale

  44. I think that thanks for the valuabe information and insights you have so provided here. Tiling Service

  45. Wow, What a Excellent post. I really found this to much informatics. It is what i was searching for.I would like to suggest you that please keep sharing such type of info.Thanks best magnetic rowing machines

  46. gym is that is the incomparable Site that I have at any point seen previously , Write My Assignment for details

  47. Exercise has great importance for us and through this, we can enjoy good and healthy life. You should make a habit of taking exercise on daily basis and through this, you will spend a good life. Buy Dissertation Online.

  48. definately enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog! Persian Rugs Sydney

  49. It is my first visit to your blog, and I am very impressed with the articles that you serve. Give adequate knowledge for me. Thank you for sharing useful material. I will be back for the more great post. best spin bike seats

  50. Thank you for your sharing articles. I have been finding interesting posts and your articles are what I need. They are really useful and engaging. They are precious pieces of advice. I can branch out with new knowledge. Learn captivating things. Hope you will upload more me.

    Visit my page : 오피사이트

  51. Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article, really explains everything in detail,the article is very interesting and effective.Thank you and good luck for the upcoming articles.
    environmental economics assignment help
    geometry homework answers
    sas homework help

  52. Incredibly, half a month after the show they messaged me and the organization proprietor needing to know when their next occupation would be!aerial acrobatics

  53. Opening and strolling a tanning center may be tedious and calls for making plans on the subject of your advertising and marketing method. If you strategically studies your thoughts you'll get hold of correct results.Spray Tanning near me

  54. Does it truly attempt to assist manage manifestations of such countless ailments, infections and wounds?

  55. Your blogs are great.Are you also searching for Cheap Nursing Writing Services? we are the best solution for you. We are best known for delivering nursing writing services to students without having to break the bank.whatsapp us:+1-(951)-468-9855

  56. You’re so interesting! I don’t believe I’ve truly read something like this before. So great to find someone with genuine thoughts on this issue. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

    CBSE Schools In Patiala
    CBSE Schools In Ludhiana
    CBSE Schools In Rupnagar
    CBSE Schools In Sangrur
    CBSE Schools In SAS Nagar
    CBSE Schools In Tarn Taran
    CBSE Schools In Tehri Garhwal
    CBSE Schools In Udham Singh Nagar
    CBSE Schools In Uttarkashi
    CBSE Schools In Bathinda

  57. Is there really a demand for the world's first 'Sports City?'무직자대출

  58. Your opinion is very good, I find it very interesting. The Post is informational and always produce wondrous things. Thank you for sharing with us. By continuously clicking the mouse button, the jitter clicking technique causes regulated hand vibrations to be transmitted to the finger, which in turn causes a number of fast mouse clicks. For more information visit this blog on jitter click test.