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The Air Force Physical Fitness Test (PFT)

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The Air Force Physical Fitness Test (PFT) is a rigorous training and exercise series that measures overall physical well-being. It's the standard determinant that is used by public safety professionals, such as those in law enforcement and the military - specifically those in the United States Air Force. Four major components of physical fitness are accounted for here: aerobic, body composition, crunches and push-ups. There are minimum requirements for each component that one has to pass in order to qualify. For instance, minimum for males is to be able to do 40 crunches, 33 push-ups and a mile-and-a-half run in 12.5 minutes. For female candidates, they are required 35 crunches, 18 push-ups and a mile-and-a-half run in 14.5 minutes.

You need not be an FBI agent or a platoon officer in order to strive for this level of fitness. Athletes and health buffs also use this test to measure their state of health and well-being. Since this is considered to be the professional and optimum level of physical fitness, this has also become the state that many attempt to achieve. With the proper amount of training and discipline, most people can attain this ideal state of physical health.

Below are some tips on how to train for this demanding and challenging physical fitness test:

  1. Aerobic: To train for the run, you can do jogging while adding sprints. Sprints are particularly important because these will help you run faster naturally. The faster you run, the less energy your body will waste to keep up the pace you need during the test. Simply perform a 50-yard sprint every ¼ mile and combine it with a 100-yard sprint to complete your run. Do some variations by running uphill, which will increase the strength in your leg muscles and aid your stamina.
  2. Body composition: To get high points in this area, you need to lose weight and gain muscle. Here's how to do it - eat more protein. Eating more protein will help your body build muscle, which will then improve your body composition. Also, with added muscles, you will be able to burn more calories because of the thermogenesis that occurs when you eat more protein.
  3. Crunches: Just try to do as many crunches as possible. If you have already gained weight and are having a hard time doing these, you can always start by doing a small amount of controlled movements, say 20 to 25 reps. Day by day, you can increase the number of reps. Just make sure to rest in between because if you push past your limit, you end up cheating and not getting the full effect of the exercise.
  4. Pushups: The same principle applies to pushups as they do to crunches. Just try to do as many pushups as you can. If you think you can't do as many at a time, you can always start from 20 to 25 reps and then do an extra pushup each time you work out.

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