Monday, August 13, 2012

The Squadron Program

Having been in the USAF as long as I have, I'm pretty experienced when it comes to squadron PT programs. From flutter kicks to arm circles to body weight circuit training, I've seen many different approaches to getting a squadron physically fit. While some of these programs were pretty well thought out, quite a few had me asking, "What does this have to do with the PT test?"

The Importance of Training Specificity
Generally, when I ask this question I find that a squadron's PT program is more geared towards getting people to become more active than to efficiently and effectively train them for their PT test. In my opinion, the priority of all PTLs leading squadron PT should be to physically condition its members so that they can easily achieve an 80 or better on their PT test.

This brings me to a critical aspect of any training program: Training specificity. (1) A person's success or failure with any test depends very much on how specifically the training simulated the challenge.

For example, doing nothing but pull-ups will not help an individual with the push-up because the muscles involved in the pull-up have little to do with the muscles involved in the push-up. Training in pull-ups will also have little to no impact on running times because an individual's upper body has little to do with running performance. So, if someone wants to improve their push-ups, then they need to do push-up-style exercises. If they want to improve their run times, then they have to run (or do leg strength exercises).
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