It’s time for Sailors to lace up their running shoes and get moving to prepare for the 2015 Cycle 1 Semi-Annual Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA).
With the PFA less than a month away, Naval Air Facility Atusgi’s Command Fitness Leader (CFL) Religious Programs Specialist 1st Class Larrifour Hermida urges Sailors who haven’t started preparing to begin immediately to perform at a high level.
“Sailors should be maintaining a good health and fitness routine year-round,” said Hermida.
The PFA consists of a Body Composition Assessment (BCA), which measures the Navy’s established guidelines of “maximum weight for height,” and a Physical Readiness Test (PRT) consisting of curl-ups, push-ups, and a 1.5 mile run. Alternative cardio tests can be done on a stationary bike, elliptical, treadmill or a 500 meter swim.
Sailors can contact their command fitness leader CFL and ask for a courtesy BCA.
A check-in, or courtesy BCA, is a proactive measure to help Sailors in meeting BCA standards.
Hermida said Sailors whose BCA exceeds Navy standards need to start working out now. Failing the BCA portion during the PFA results in an automatic overall failure.
Decreasing a percentage of body fat can be more difficult than just losing weight.
In order for Sailors to reach BCA standards they should focus on proper nutrition and exercise.
In addition, there are small fitness tests Sailors can do on their own to gauge where they are.
“A good way to test your curl-up performance is to go through a full workout and then do the curl-up portion of the PRT to check your core strength,” said Hermida. “If you can comfortably pass after a workout then you should have no problem when you are well-rested.”
The push-up portion of the test requires Sailors to reach at least a 90 degree bend with both elbows and then pushing all the way up.
Although the PRT requires push-ups and curl-ups, there are also several alternative exercises one can do to help increase their overall score.
“If you run through a mock PRT every time you work out you’re going to burn out,” said Hermida. “Instead of just standard push-ups, try doing the plyometric or incline version, and instead of curlups see if you can hold a plank for 45 seconds.”
Most of the exercises for the PRT can be done without the use of any equipment and in a space as small as a barracks room.
“When it comes to distance running, 1.5 miles is not that far,” said Hermida. “To train for the best possible time, Sailors should focus on improving their long distance, intermediate and sprint performance.”
These can be divided throughout the week with Sailors aiming for around 150 minutes of cardio a week.
“Alternate between a slow two-or three-mile run, a fast paced 400-to 800-meter run, and 40 to 50-yard interval sprints,” said Hermida. “150 minutes sounds like a lot but its only 30 minutes a day, five days a week.”
Samples of a six-week program to improve all of the required exercises, as well as the scoring chart for each of the age groups, can be found at http://www.navy-prt.com/.
For more tips on improving your overall PFA score or if you need to double check and make sure you’re within standards visit your CFL.