Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) Challenge In 30 Days

When I was the Assistant Chief of Staff for Training and Education (G-8) for the whole Philippine Army in 1999 to 2000, I came up with a Command Directive that had been approved by the Commanding General of the Philippine Army for the strict implementation of the Army Physical Fitness Test where every personnel of the Command, to include all the Generals, to undergo the said test on a regular basis, for promotion, and other administrative movement to include application for schooling in the local and international training schools. Since its implementation, I was a witness of deaths of those who passed and failed in the said test, separation from the service, and non-promotion of officers and men of the Philippine Army. Because of this test, the Officers and Men of the Philippine Army were able to embrace the importance of a healthy body and mind. There had been studies made by the local medical practitioners on the validity of the Army Physical Fitness Test just to prove that the US Army Standards are not fitted to our local soldiers but after some adjustments of the standards, I personally still believe that the US Standards fit well to any person on earth. For one to be able to pass the Army Physical Fitness Test Standards, one has to prepare and train for it.

To prove my point, I asked a soldier in his mid-40s who failed in his first APFT to report to me every day for daily workout of the 3 exercises involved in the test. I asked the soldier to start doing at least 20 reps of push-ups, 20 reps of sit-ups, and run, jog and walk the 2-mile run. On a daily basis, the soldier was asked to increase the reps by one repetition every day and ask the soldier to run, at least, one hour everyday at an easy effort. After a month, I conducted a PFT on the said soldier. He was surprised that he finally got a score of 90%. He passed the 70% minimum score by getting a 90% score  after preparing for the test in one month. If that soldier who failed can improve within a month, it is possible that anybody who failed in the test could pass it with the proper training and preparation.

I know that the said Command Directive that I authored is still in place and being implemented right now by the Philippine Army. This is now one of the policies of the Philippine Army that is already institutionalized.

Now, after finishing an international and local Virtual Races during the period of 4 months of Lockdown due to Covid-19, I have been thinking of a running challenge or doing any physical challenge that will motivate me to do some exercises and running on a daily basis. I immediately thought of the APFT but to add challenge into it, I would do it on a daily basis, instead of the Quarterly Period (once in 3 months) which is the regular schedule for the conduct of the APFT in the Philippine Army.

So, on July 25, 2020, Saturday, I started my daily Army Physical Fitness Test Challenge In 30 Days. I have to make a video each of my daily APFT and have it uploaded in my You Tube Channel. Actually, I did the Video posted for my Day #1 on You Tube for a “teaser” on my APFT Challenge. On my first day, I did 21 reps of push-ups which is a passing score for my age; 29 reps on sit-ups (passed); and 28:13 minutes on the 2-mile run (failed!) in my Backyard Loop which is a single-track trail with lots of turns and uneven ground. The passing time/score for the 2-mile run for my age is 20 minutes.

The full instructions of the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) and Standards/Minimum Score could be seen here.

I hope to update my You Tube Channel with a Video on this Challenge every 6 days.

Thank you for watching this “teaser” video on the said Challenge.

Postponed: Army PFT Challenge

As I registered to join the 8th Army Physical Fitness Test Challenge at the Philippine Army Gymnasium at 4:45 AM today, I was informed that this event is postponed to 25 March 2008 with the same time of assembly and registration. It was only early last night that this decision was given. I was informed also that the celebration of the Philippine Army Anniversary celebration was postponed to 28 March 2008, thus, this event will be conducted on the last week of this month.

I am sorry to those civilian participants whom I invited to join/participate this event. At least, you have more time to prepare and practice your arms, abdominal muscles, and legs for the event.

For sure, I’ll be there to join you on the 25th of March.

Instead of the PFT Challenge, I will have my early run this morning.

Army PFT Challenge # 2

For those who are interested to join the 8th Army Physical Fitness Test Challenge, they should be at the Philippine Army Gymnasium at 5:00 AM tomorrow (13 March 2008) for the registration. Race numbers will be issued to every participant. After the registration, warm-up and stretching exercises will be done. All the participants will be divided into groups depending on the number of available proctors/exercise marshalls in the Push-ups and Sit-Ups events. All participants will start at the same time for the 2-mile run. Food and water will be!

Registration is FREE.

See you at the PA Gymnasium tomorrow morning!

Army Physical Fitness Test Challenge

This is a sports event that I introduced when I was the Assistant Chief of Staff for Training and Education, G-8, of the Philippine Army in 2000. Being the overall head for Training and Education for the Philippine Army, I strictly implemented the Commanding General’s Policy of the Philippine Army on the implementation of the Philippine Army Physical Fitness to all its Officers and Enlisted Men for them to pass the standards set forth according to one’s age.

This Physical Fitness Test consists of Push-Ups, Sit-Ups, and 2-Mile Run which is done in that order in one session with at least 15 minutes of rest in between event/exercise. The Push-ups and Sit-Ups have a time duration of performance of 2 minutes which means that you have to make your repetitions within 2 minutes. There is a Table of Reference for the number of repetitions for the push-ups & sit-ups and time of finish in the 2-mile run that correspond/equivalent to a certain rating or grade. The passing rating/grade is 70% depending on one’s age. (The older the person is, the lesser number of repetitons needed to pass the push-ups & sit-ups, and lesser time to finish the 2-mile run). This test is done on a quarterly basis. For officers who fail or did not take the test, they will be reprimanded, not considered for promotion, not considered for local & foreign schoolings, not considered for “commander” positions, and they will undergo physical fitness improvement classes & duties. For enlisted personnel who fails or did not take the test, they will be demoted to lower ranks and undergo physical fitness classes & duties.

Later, I thought of making this an sports event as part of the Month’s long celebration of the Philippine Army’s Foundation Anniversary during the month of March. I got this idea when I came across a sports event in San Diego, California which was dubbed as “Navy Seals Fitness Challenge” when I was visiting my family in Los Angeles in the summer of 1999. The sports event consisted of five events—swimming, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and running.

My “shop” in the Philippine Army Headquarters came up with the “mechanics” of translating our Physical Fitness Test into what is now called the “Army Physical Fitness Challenge”. Every repetition of the Push-Ups and Sit-ups corresponds to a certain point and the time of finish in the 2-mile run corresponds also to a number of points. The higher the number of accumulated points from these three events, the better chances for a participant to land on the top list. There are age categories on this event and a separate awards for the male and female groups. It’s inaugural event started on the PA Anniversary in March 2000. Since then, it became a hit and a success that even national athletes and civilians started to join the said event.

At present, the 8th Annual Army Physical Fitness Challenge will be held o/a 6:00 AM of 13 March 2008 (next Thursday) at the Hqs Philippine Army Grandstand, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. For particulars, contact PA Gymnasium or Special Service Unit, PA in Fort Bonifacio. 

Everybody is invited to join and experience this event. Minimal participating fee is required.

If you want to test yourself on the Army Physical Fitness Test, please click here.

Note: I’ve been a consistent Gold Medal Physical Fitness Medal/Badge Awardee (100% rating) for the past 10 years.

Strengthening Exercises @ Home (Part 1)

While at home/in my quarters, I always make a habit to do at least three strengthening exercises before taking my shower in the morning, before shower after workouts & practice runs, and before shower before going to bed. These are: Push-ups; Sit-ups (Abdominal Crunches); and Knee bends.

I recommend you start your first day with 20 repetitions for Push-ups, Sit-ups, and Knee bends. On the next day, you add one repetition for each exercise. At the end of the week, you will be able to do 27 repetitions for each exercise. Maintain that number of repetitions for the next week. On the third week, add again one repetition every day and at the end of the week, you should be able to do 34 repetitions for each exercise. Maintain 34 repetitions for the whole fourth week and on the fifth week, start adding one repetition every day for each exercise. At the end of the 5th week, you should be able to do 41 reps comfortable. Repeat the process until you will be comfortable doing as many reps as you can on these three strengthening exercises.

These is my secret training when preparing for my regular Army Physical Fitness Test. Consistently, I have been getting 100% rating on this test. For my age, I should be able to do 65 reps of Push-ups in 2 minutes; 70 reps of Sit-ups in 2 minutes; and be able to run 2 miles (3.2) kilometers in 17:30 in order to “max” the test.

I highly recommend my training for my Army Physical Fitness Test to runners for them to strengthen their legs/knees, abdominal muscles, and upper torso muscles.