Monday, June 23, 2014

Should the Waist Measurement be Part of the USAF PT Test?

(This post was actually adapted from a paper I wrote for an English class that I thought would be an interesting topic for this blog. Just keep in mind that this my personal opinion and does not reflect the opinions of the USAF in any way, shape, or form.)

Every year, the US Air Force (USAF) spends billions of dollars both training and retaining its military members. (1) To make sure that these well-trained members are physically fit enough to accomplish their jobs, it also created a bi-annual physical fitness test. This test includes two strength components (the push-up and sit-up), an aerobic component (the 1.5-mile run), and a body fatness component (the waist measurement). 

If someone fails this PT test too many times, they are seen as unfit and are very likely to get kicked out of the military. So, obviously, if you want to stay in the Air Force, you must consistently pass your PT test.

But there's something strange in the USAF PT test: The waist measurement. The strength and aerobic components seem like a valid way to measure physical fitness, but the body fat component seems a bit out of place. What does the size of my waist have to do with my ability to be "fit-to-fight"?
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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The PT Test: 5 ways to Improve Your 1.5-Mile Run Time

(This post was updated on 9 June 2014.)

The 1.5-mile run represents more than half of the points you can earn for the PT test. This means that for many of you, most of your efforts will be put towards improving your run times.

But how fast should you try to run?

Maxing out your run certainly does wonders for the ego, but this pace is usually too much for most non-athletes or running enthusiasts. A more achievable goal is to get enough points to earn you more than 90 points on the PT test. So this begs the question: How much is enough?
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